Why Your Conversion Rate Optimization Isn't Working

[fa icon="calendar"] Mar 21, 2017 9:17:00 AM

You’ve been making small changes to sections of your website, but you find that your conversion rate won't change. Nothing you do seems to make a difference.  If you find yourself in this situation, there are several questions to consider when your conversion rate optimization tactics aren't working. Ask yourself if you're doing everything you can to effectively improve your conversion rate optimization (CRO).

10 Things to Consider When Your Conversion Strategy Isn't Working Conversion-rate-strategy-not-working.png

1) Is your CRO strategy sound?

When you begin the process of conversion rate optimization, you need to fully consider which parts of your website are preventing your users from converting.  It is imperative to develop a conversion rate optimiztaion plan before you start making changes all-over-the-place. 

If you don't have a method to your madness, it's no wonder that your A/B tests aren't successful.

When you start trying to boost your conversion rate, your first steps will be to conduct research into who your users are and what they’re looking for.

To begin, picture your target audience.

2) Who are you trying to attract with your website?


Consider your target demographics.  Are you trying to attract a particular type of user? For instance, an association  like AARP is probably not targeting millennials, and a volunteer-based organization in California probably isn't trying to attract visitors in New York. 

Figure out your ideal buyer personas and where they are in their buyer's journey. These will be the people you will want to focus on attracting when you optimize your website. 

3) What channels and digital platforms do they use?

If your target audience mostly uses image-based platforms, like Instagram, then a website that is too text-heavy may be increasing your bounce rate, or the number of visitors who leave your site after visiting only one page. Find out where your target users hang out on the web and brainstorm how you can make your website appealing to them.

Once you’ve identified your target audience and their habits, the next step is to consider the following:

4) Where is your target audience in the buyer’s journey process?

You need to assess whether your users are in the Awareness, Consideration, or Decision stage of their buyer’s journey.

Your conversion rate will be lower if you are offering promotions that your users aren’t ready to accept. For example, your conversion rate will be low if you're offering a free trial when your visitors don't know whether or not they need your service. Keeping this in mind, the next question to ask should be: 

5) Is your website providing opportunities to convert that align with your target’s needs?

When your target audience is still trying to identify their main problems and find their pain-points, then they need content that can address those concerns and answer their questions. Bottom-of-the-funnel content will be ignored if your target isn't ready for it. 

Organizations need a variety of conversion opportunities in order to attract the highest amount of people. If you push all your visitors into starting a trial or joining your organization, awareness-stage users will be turned off from your site. Instead, offer higher-funnel conversion opportuntities or mini-conversions, like downloading an eBook or signing up for a webinar. This way, you have conversion opportunities available for the people who aren't quite ready to take the final step. 

Your next move will be to think about how your users interact with your website.

6) Is your website optimized to provide an excellent user experience for the people you’re trying to reach?

Click through your website as if you were your target users. Imagine you know nothing about your organization, and try to navigate to certain pages and find specific information. Using this process, consider:

7) Is our website intuitive and easy to use?


While you might think that your calls-to-action are clear, others might not. Take the time to go through your website page-by-page and check if the navigation, language, and images are easy to understand.  If your website sends your users in circles,  then they won't stay active on it for very long. 

8) Does it make sense to someone who's not familiar with your organization?

While your website usually makes sense to you, it might be confusing for other people who haven't heard about your organization, what you're doing, how you function, etc. 

One way to get instant data to answer these questions is to user-test your website. There are a variety of platforms available where anonymous testers and panels provide feedback on websites and apps, but you can also ask family and friends to navigate through your website and give their input on areas that might be confusing or poorly-designed.

Going along with user experience, make sure to test your site’s functionality. Your next question should be:

9) Does everything on your website work?

Broken links, illegible text, and slow load times will draw users away from your site. No one wants to use a website that’s clunky or outdated.



Make sure your site is fully functional across different web browsers as well as on tablets and smartphones.

Finally, you need to keep in mind:

10) Have we been testing long enough?

Many organizations start using A/B testing to try new things on their websites, but they stop early on when they don’t see immediate progress. To evaluate the results of your conversion rate efforts, experts recommend using a sample size of 1000 users or more.

Conversion rate optimization doesn’t have to be a difficult discipline you need years of practice to understand. When your conversion rate optimization efforts aren’t producing results, run through these 10 questions, and see if you’re truly providing the best web experience for your target users. 

If you enjoyed this post, check out some of our related blogs: 

How Goals and Funnels Improve Conversion Rate Optimization

Why You Need a Comprehensive Conversion Plan

Want to confirm you’ve done everything you can to improve your organization’s conversion? Download our inbound marketing checklist to keep you on track and ensure you don’t miss a step.

Inbound Marketing Campaign Checklist


Topics: website, Conversion, buyer's journey, conversion rate optimization

Jessica Hirsch

Written by Jessica Hirsch