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10 ways to ruin your website conversions

When talking about e-commerce websites, the term “conversion” refers to converting a visitor into a paying customer – that is, getting someone to buy something from your site.


The higher your conversion rate, the more visitors you turn into paying customers, which is the name of the game when it comes to selling online.

There’s a degree of skill and expertise involved when you want to increase conversions, but sometimes it’s easier to demonstrate what NOT to do.

Content is king, right?

Overload your visitors with information. Your pages take an age to load but surely it’s worth the wait for the reams of text, countless links and sea of banner graphics that your website has to offer. Probably the only thing that’ll really stand out to your visitor is their browser’s back button.

Keep them guessing

Don’t have a clear message about the product or service that your website offers. Make it a total mystery as to why your website exists in the first place. It’s like a secret club where your visitors have no clue what’s going on, but I’m sure they’ll have fun finding out. Or, they could just look elsewhere.

Don’t worry, they’ll figure it out

Make your online ordering process as complex as possible. Let the customer add items to their shopping basket before they have to spend 10 minutes figuring out how to set up an account and pay for the goods. You might be surprised to learn that they probably won’t look for the “contact” button for help, but rather the little “close” button in the corner of their screen.

Nobody minds a wild goose chase

Fill your site with old, outdated information and broken links. A broken, “404 not found” error page is the best way to get rid of those annoying customers.

Forget customer service, your website should be automated

Ensure that there’s no way for a customer to contact you. After all, you don’t necessarily want to man the phones all day long and if your email address is too obvious you might be unfortunate enough to receive some spam. You’ll be sure to frighten your customers away but at least you’ll have a clean inbox.

Make sure your customers remember you

Once you have a customer, email them every day with as many special offers as possible – twice a day if time permits. You’ll irritate the hell out of them and they’ll regret ever spending any money with you in the first place, but it’s still cheaper than sending promotional materials to them in the post.

Grab their attention

Use flashing text, animated banners or pop up windows to try and grab your visitors attention,
whilst actually causing their eyes to shut down and brains to disengage. If it worked in 1999 surely it’s worth a try now?

Oops, this page isn’t secure

Forget to renew your website’s secure SSL certificate. When your customers reach the checkout page they’ll run away screaming when presented with a delightful warning telling them that the page isn’t secure, but it’ll leave you with more time to read articles such as this.

You’ll receive your goods at some point and hopefully won’t need to send them back

Don’t have clear delivery information or a returns policy – customer’s are so eager to buy your products that they aren’t thinking about either of those things, right?

I found this great hosting company that charges the equivalent of 10 pence per day

Find the cheapest possible hosting company, preferably in another country to where your core visitors are based. Your site will be as slow as hell and when you have technical problems twice a day the hosting company’s support line will be closed, but at least you got a good deal on price.

The alternative

If, on the other hand, you’d like to actually increase your conversions rather than drive customers away, ignore all of the above and have a chat with us about how we might be able to help.