A Click Too Far

“We get (fill in the blank) visitors to our website every month, but our conversions are horrible.” When I hear this, my very first question is always, “When your customers are ready to buy, are you primed to sell?”
A careful investigation of the site in question often reveals that the answer is, “No.”
Recent case in point – my sons absolutely adore dinosaurs. Friends told them that a local museum was showing a 3D Dinosaur documentary in its theater, and the boys requested, begged, pleaded, beseeched, and implored that my wife and I take them to see it. So, I set out to buy us tickets online.
Credit Card in hand, I wound up at a cool-looking site that soon had me hot under the collar. Clicked on Trailer (nothing like a sneak peek to get everyone excited), and received an invitation to try an interactive quiz. Neat feature; not what I asked for. Clicked Enter, and found myself presented with six different options to choose from (two of which were broken links), and still no Trailer. At this point, I was empathizing with the dinosaurs; I might go extinct before finding what I was looking for.
Next, I tried to buy tickets, and kept receiving prompts to do anything but. Believe me, I could go on and on and on, but you wouldn’t be able to take it anymore than I could. I abandoned the ticket-buying try.
If you’re not getting the conversions you think you should, ask yourself a few simple questions. What kind of experience have you created for the User? How easy is it for the User to navigate through the site or, if you’re selling something, how easy have you made it for them to buy? Does everything on your site even work?
In my museum example, everything was just too hard. Poor navigation, broken links, information labeled one thing on the home page and something else on the sub-page(s), and finally, when I did find what I was looking for and wished to act on it, I was asked to take A Click Too Far.
All of the above added up to a poor User experience and a lost conversion. I had been ready to buy, but the website had not been primed to sell.

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