11 Reasons Why Your AdWords Traffic Isn’t Converting


Your conversion rate is the percentage of your website visitors who take action (purchase, sign up, etc.) Conversion rate optimization or CRO should be the top priority for every marketer.

The reason is simple: the higher your conversion rate, the cheaper your customer acquisition cost (CAC).

Keeping your CAC down is becoming more difficult as the soaring demand for AdWords makes customer acquisition increasingly expensive. It’s no surprise high CAC is the number one killer of new online businesses today.

If you’re not utilizing your AdWords money to the fullest, you might run into troubles sooner or later. To get to the point, we compiled a list of most common mistakes that negatively affect your conversions.

1. You are not using landing pages

Marketers often drive their AdWords traffic to the website or blog pages. Unless you can lead your visitors into your sales funnel on those pages, you’re wasting your money.

That’s what landing pages are about. A well-optimized landing page has only one purpose, to make your visitor convert.

If well designed, these standalone pages can be a real game changer to your marketing campaign. For example, Conversion Rate Experts made over $1,000,000 for Moz with a single landing page and a few emails.


A decent guide to what a high converting landing page looks like is this infographic from Neil Patel.

2. You’re not A/B testing enough

Marketers and designers are using this technique to improve their conversion rates and learn about visitor behavior. The core idea of A/B testing is that you have two different versions of your page and a one metric that defines better performance.

It’s a powerful technique. The fact that Obama raised $60 million more in his campaign shows just how powerful it can be.


Many people are not doing enough of it. They give up too early, or they make some serious mistakes.

3. Your CTAs are not standing out

To convert your visitors, they need to click at least one button or dial a number. It’s embarrassing how often I run across a website where the CTA is either hard to find or lost among other elements.

There are many ways how you can improve your CTA for better conversions. Â The rules of thumb are: make it stand out, keep it simple and prominently placed. It should look clickable, and the copy must contain powerful action words such as ‘go ahead, get your free trial.’

4. You create no sense of urgency

People are lazy. Many procrastinate. The only time they don’t procrastinate is when they face a deadline or are otherwise motivated to act. There are two kinds of motivation, negative and positive motivation. Different people respond to different kind of motivation.

A great example of negative motivation is the fear of missing out. As an example, I love the headline on the Neil Patel’s landing page: “Hey, I’m Neil Patel. I’m determined to make a business in your city successful. My only question is, will it be yours?”

A positive motivation would be a discount or a freebie. The best urgency is a combination of all three: negative motivation, incentive and a deadline.

For example, I just purchased the annual membership for Grammarly, in fear of having to pay two times as much in the couple of days. The huge price difference between monthly and annual plan was the main reason they locked me in for the entire year.

Screen Shot 2015-05-31 at 04.14.27

5. Your forms are too long or complicated

It’s simple, the shorter the signup the more conversion you get. As we already touched on the topic of laziness, a long form just scares people off.

A study of 12.5 million pieces of data shows that 51% of visitors choose not to fill in a checkout form. Of those 49% who start filling it out, only 16% finish the process.

So drop down all necessary elements such as captcha, additional password fields and fields that you don’t need. Make the form intuitive by pre-filling some details and display errors.

If you need to collect a lot of information, try progressive form. The sunk costs fallacy makes us less likely abandon existing process.

6. You fail to build trust

The main reason most people don’t convert is the lack of their trust. Imagine giving someone you just met your credit card details or private information, such as name and your email.

Building trust starts with a good design and high-quality pictures. You should avoid using generic stock photos – they look fake and reduce trust on your website.

A study from Visual Website Optimizer shows how removing stock photos helped their client increase their monthly revenue by $10,000.

Design and photos are the basics. You should reassure your visitors frequently and visibly across your site. Starting with adding trust signs, such as trust marks and accepted payment icons.


The value of trust seals. Econsultancy asked participants which factors help them to decide whether or not to trust a website.

You want to make your refund policy clear and visible and add plenty of microcopy, reassuring customers their data and privacy are secure.

7. You don’t display social proof

When it comes to building trust, you social proof signs are the most powerful weapon. Testimonials, media mentions, showing off your clients, all can radically boost your conversion rates.

A recent study shows that 79% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Smart marketers place testimonials directly on their landing pages on most prominent places.

A good testimonial displays the customer’s picture, name and a job title in the company. Likewise, you shouldn’t be shy to show off the logos and names of your corporate customers.

Screen Shot 2015-05-31 at 04.32.41

NeilPatel.com features one of the best testimonial pages across the web.

And don’t forget the microcopy. Orbit media increased their email signup conversion by 1400% just by displaying their subscriber count.

8. Your copy is weak or vague

According to Nielsen study, an average website visitor leaves a web page in 10-20 seconds and reads between 20-28% of the words on that page.

Those few seconds are the time you’re given to pitch your potential customer, and the copy they read is your sales pitch. The better your sales pitch, the more sales you get.

A good sales pitch is simple, to the point, easy to understand and most importantly, it doesn’t sound like a sales pitch. Crafting a persuasive copy is a getting close to a being a science.

A good place to start is this excellent article summarizing data from 5 research studies.

9. Your mobile experience is poor

Responsive design has become a standard in a multi-device world. For many websites, the mobile experience is far from perfect. Not long ago, the mobile traffic has surpassed desktop traffic with 52.1% of all online traffic coming from smartphones and tablets, according to IBM.

This shows how important it is, to have your website equally well optimized for mobile devices. A good mobile experience can be a huge game-changer.


Source: Ericsson Mobility Report

Improving the mobile experience, popular e-commerce store O’Neill Clothing managed to increase their revenues by 591% on Android devices and over 100% on iPhones.

10. You’re not segmenting your traffic

Not all traffic is equal. A visitor coming from an iPhone may have a different objective than a visitor coming from a PC. Likewise, there may be different keywords, geolocation, operating system, etc.

Obviously, segmentation goes beyond AdWords. It’s something you need to apply to across your entire strategy. As author of Web Analytics 2.0 Avinash Kaushik points out:

“The best ideas for taking action come from the process of segmentation. Put simply it is taking the entirety of the data on your website and breaking it down into meaningful chunks. Knowing your overall conversion rate is 2%, useless. Knowing the conversion rates of your main acquisition channels are Paid Search: 9%, Direct: 6%, Affiliate: 0.58%, priceless.”

11. Remarketing

Google introduced remarketing in 2010. The basic idea is that once someone visits your site, they’re more likely to convert.


How remarketing works. Source: Weboptims

Imagine, you visited a website and were close to making a purchase. For some reason, you chose not to do it, but the certain level of interest is still there. With remarketing, you can track those visitors and offer them more targeted ads.

Once someone becomes familiar with your site, the chances are they will develop a higher level of trust if they get across it again.

Google offers a guide on remarketing best practices. You can read it here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>