You’re visiting a site and thinking about buying a blender. You’re moving around, trying to figure out if you actually want it but something feels a little “off.” You don’t even know what it is. You’re getting the feeling that this site isn’t completely honest. And then you leave.
Your customers do this to. They come to your site, click around, and before they even understand what you’re offering, they have a bad feeling about your site. Without a second chance, they click away and they’re gone forever.
What Causes Customers to Click Away?
FUDs do. Which stands for:
FUDs are everything that prevent you from building trust with your visitors. They make visitors resistant to your message. They are holes in your marketing that actually slow you down. They are activity preventing you from getting where you want to go.
Here’s a list of many common FUDs I’ve removed from sites:
- Poor Navigation – Always make sure your visitors can easily find what they’re looking for. Navigating through your site should be intuitive, easy, and simple.
- Broken Links – When a visitor hits a broken link, this is a red flag. You’re telling them that you can’t keep your promises.
- Under Construction Page – If you’re still building a page, just leave it off your site until it’s done. Under Construction pages only show people you haven’t finished what you started.
- Links that Don’t Look Like Links – Every link needs to have visual clues that it’s a link. Otherwise, a visitor may never discover it and not know where to go. Which results in poor navigation.
- Unclear Calls To Action – Not only do you need to tell people what to do, tell them what’s going to happen. Instead of saying “Submit” on your contact form, say “Send” which is a much better descriptor of what the button will do. This will eliminate any surprises for the visitor.
- Unclear Copy – Many people try to be cute or clever with their marketing. Usually, this just confuses people and creates more uncertainty. Every sentence on your entire site should be as concise and clear as possible.
If you want to increase your customer base, you need to focus on removing as many FUDs from your site as you can find.
It can be difficult to maintain an impartial view of your site and find FUDs. After all, you’ve been working on your site for months or years. Of course the navigation makes sense. The problem is that a new visitor doesn’t have that wealth of experience to draw on when they first visit your site.
To get a better perspective on how your site appears to a new visitor, ask a friend to visit your site and have them talk through what they’re thinking as they click through it. This single tactic will find dozens of FUDs for you in 15 minutes.
When FUDs INCREASE Your Conversion Rate
I’ve going to level with you, I’ve seen tests done where FUDs actually increased the conversion rate. All else being equal, a sales letter with a few typos or a banner ad with a rougher graphic design can actually outperform a perfectly crafted piece of marketing.
But here’s the kicker, most of the time it just hurts you. Intentionally including a FUD that successfully increases conversions takes a lot of luck, experience, and testing.
When should you experiment with FUDs? Only once you have enough data to test with. Anytime you use a FUD, you’ll want to rigorously test it to make sure it’s not harming your bottom line. You’ll do this with split testing. To split test your website, Visual Website Optimizer and Optimizely are both great options. This is really only an option if you have thousands of visitors each week though.
For split testing emails, MailChimp and AWeber both offer tools to test conversion rates on different emails. Once again, you’ll need thousands of subscribers on your email list for you to get enough data for the split test.
And if you don’t have enough subscribers or traffic to test? Then get rid of the FUDs completely. Getting rid of FUDs is a far more reliable strategy for increasing your conversions when you don’t have enough data to test with.