How to Double Conversion Rates By Eliminating Website Dead Ends

Use this playbook to find and eliminate website dead ends to not only double conversion rates, but do it faster by mapping out CTAs, creating deliberate goals, and leaning into split-testing data.

Read time: 8 min

Who this is for and why it matters

If you're a marketer building landing pages, writing web copy, or searching for quick ways to improve conversion rates and speed, you can probably relate to this:

A new visitor landed on your website and is navigating across a product landing page. Your carefully crafted content engages the visitor—hooray!

The visitor isn't ready to commit but wants to learn more. You've provided a seamless next step to go to an FAQ page for more information and they do—awesome! However, they leave shortly after because your FAQ page answered their questions (good), but didn't give a clear next step (bad).

All of that in-the-moment momentum comes to a screeching halt. They've hit a "stop sign" in your marketing funnel flow and left your site.

While traffic is great indicator that your site is working, so are page views, session times, and lead quality. An Openview report found when visitors convert, they usually see five or more pages than those who don't. What's worse is the average number of pages viewed in a single session dropped in recent years to nearly half of visitors bouncing after a single page view.

Provide a clear next step

With such a small window to convert, marketers must provide a distinct next step to keep users engaged and provide more paths to conversion.

Marketing web dev, content, demand gen, email, and PPC teams—especially product-led growth companies—need to squeeze the juice out of all interactions to drive more conversions. To increase the odds of your visitors converting, use this visual "no stop signs" framework to remove dead ends on your site and create more purposeful next steps.

How to Double Conversion Rates By Eliminating Website Dead Ends TLDR V2

1. Spot dead ends with your site map

The first step is to spot all the possible dead ends on your site. And we know first hand that they develop because they're easy to miss.

Locating impactful stop signs—especially on your money pages—allows marketers to quickly optimize content or add a next step to keep users from bouncing. A simple way to start is by using your site map and clarify what pages don't have a true path to convert (AKA a prominent next step or CTA).

If you don't have an up-to-date document, start with a prebuilt site map template where you can draw or trace lines to your CTAs from every page. This visual exercise will help you quickly spot which pages lack a solid CTA or next step.

Site Map Diagram With Highlighted Stop Signs

Even if a page has a next step, it's smart to take a step back and make sure it's the best one to lead to conversion. Brynne Burgess, Director of Growth Marketing at Sprig, experienced this when she saw a dip in conversions when segmenting enterprise and SMB leads with different CTA copy.

However, it wasn't the different copy hurting the conversion, but SMB leads were sent to the enterprise signup page with language that didn't match the CTA experience.

“We realized that the trial signup page included language tailored to enterprise customers requesting a demo from a sales representative. Although anyone with less than 150 employees starts for free by default, the copy made it seem like they still needed to talk to sales before getting started.”

By addressing that one detour, their team routed visitors to the correct page, which resulted in a significant spike in conversions.

2. Trace next steps beyond your website

Your website is not the only space to uncover harmful stop signs. Consider your fully integrated marketing plan and each channel that potentially misaligns your brand's narrative.

This includes things like a simple B2B email sequence to a prospect. While you likely include a CTA in the email, when someone clicks the link to the next step, is there another action they can take? If so, is there an additional step after that action?

Justin Rondeau, President of InvisiblePPC, a white-label PPC provider for marketing agencies, explains how his agency prevents stop signs in their email flows.

"Don't stop on the website, use your follow up emails to get them where they need to go and create logical loops to point them where they need to go. A follow up email with a 'reminder' of what they've seen already always convert better than introducing something new."

Simple B2B User Flow Diagram

No stop signs means no stop signs. The UX can get complex when moving from email to a website to potentially a web platform. However, the point is to find all locations where you can send users further down the marketing funnel and nudge them to take action.

3. Have a deliberate goal for every next step

You want to keep visitors on your site as long as possible, but what do you really want them to do next? How will this impact your money pages that already convert well?

Every page needs to give visitors a purposeful interaction for them to take. Why create a mouse maze if there's no cheese at the end?

Data from a Wordstream report shows typical well-performing sites see conversion rates between 2% and 5%. That's not much to work with, which is why it's important to strategically plan conversion and CTA goals so users continuously get pushed to relevant pages.

Justin Rondeau of InvisiblePPC Quote

More likely than not, your next step goal will be one of two paths:

  • Additional insights: Continue learning (i.e. related blogs, gated content, social videos)
  • Engagement opportunities: Start a conversation (i.e. chatbots, demos, trials)

If you think about a high-impact PPC page, an acquisition team will have a set lead magnet with a unique goal. But what is the next step after they take one of the two paths above?

For InvisiblePPC, every lead is sent to a thank you page with an intro course video or book a meeting CTA.

InvisiblePPC LP CTA Example

If the user takes them up on the course, the thank you page pitches the book-a-call option again. If they book a call and leave your site—that's actually a stop sign.

Instead, InvisiblePPC has its sales leads pushed to pre-call homework, which can be an email drip or simply linking to read more content to further qualify. This simple dead-end removal allowed InvisiblePPC to more than double conversion rates and significantly increase conversion speeds by providing a clear next step—even after becoming a lead!

4. Lean into click-through and conversion data

It's always hard to argue with click-through or conversion analysis that paints a clear picture of your site's performance. A simple examination of the data around your CTAs should provide opportunities to test content, forms, or visuals to continuously find ways—no matter how big or small—to improve conversion.

The interactive demo platform, Navattic, followed this logic when they saw a sudden decline in form fills to book a demo. The data helped them realize manual routing was leading to incomplete sign-up forms. A quick change to remove manual routing helped Navattic increase form completion by 10%.

Another way to lean into your data is through split testing CTAs, copy, links, and design elements that could harm the user experience. A/B tests can significantly improve marketing teams' conversion efforts when you are more certain on the visitor's preference.

Data from Forrester shows that split-testing basic user-experience enhancements can drive conversion by 400%. A/B tests help you determine the root cause of your problem—whether it's the CTA or the next step.

As you remove your stop signs, rely on your data to prove hypotheses and make incremental conversion improvements.

What's stopping your website's visitors?

Eliminating dead ends on your landing pages, email campaigns, and external channels is a surefire way to build a better user experience and increase website performance, and speed up conversions.

We realize budgets are tight. However, efficiency remains crucial and following this framework shouldn't break the bank. By applying a "no stop signs" approach, you'll:

  • Increase conversion rate quality, speed, and volume
  • Reduce bounce rates
  • Improve SEO (Google loves user-friendly sites)
  • Collect more user data
  • Increase time on site and viewed pages

But you don't have to do this alone. Our team of experts can walk you through this playbook process and show you how digital Whiteboards let you collaboratively map out your pages, CTAs, and next steps.

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