Why don’t website visitors convert into paying customers?

Modern customers expect to make appointments with you any time of day, from wherever they are. No longer do they want to wait for your regular opening hours to call up and book an appointment. In fact, one recent piece of research found that more than 90% of people would like the option of booking appointments over the internet, and 71% of millennials prefer booking online to any other approach.

If you’ve added an appointment booking widget to your website, that’s a good start. However, simply making this a possibility won’t necessarily translate to a busy calendar full of bookings. Very often, these tools are confusing and hard to use. When they force your potential customers to hand over information or involve too many steps, it’s likely people will simply leave the page.

This isn’t totally unusual – one study of online shopping habits found that up to 40% of customers leave eCommerce websites the moment they are asked to hand over any personal information. Nevertheless, by changing a few things about the layout, design and information included on your scheduling page, you can see an uptick in the number of appointments people make with you.

5 reasons people drop off from booking your service online

There are many reasons a potential client might reach your online booking page then decide to go no further. Sometimes they were simply shopping around with no intention of booking your time at all. That said, resolving the following five issues can make a huge difference in the number of online bookings you receive.

1. Making them start an account up front
This is totally unnecessary. If a customer came into a physical store, they wouldn’t expect to hand over their email address and phone number just to buy a single item. The same goes for online booking. While a return customer will see the value in starting an account with you, this should not be obligatory. Allow new customers to create a ‘guest’ account, or even book without sharing any details at all.

2. Confusing or unfamiliar payment options
If you’re taking payments online, make it as easy as possible for new customers to part with their money while making them feel secure. We’ve all heard about online scams, so you want to make sue your customers feel totally at ease. Provide them with the common options for online payment – including PayPal and all major credit cards. Also, make sure your payment acceptance method is secure and trusted, including standard internet security certificates.

3. Ineffective copy on your page
You don’t need to be the world’s greatest writer to create effective copy that makes people want to book appointments with you. Write a short paragraph ‘about you’ and your service, explaining to your target customers how you can help them and why you’re special. It’s also important to clearly list all your offerings up front, with a brief description of what each service or product entails.

Also, utilize multiple ‘calls to action’ (CTAs). CTAs are usually buttons on a web page which ask the reader to do something – ‘order now’; ‘go to check out’, ‘book today for better rates’. So many businesses forget that the whole point in their website is to get visitors to do something – such as booking your time. Make it very clear for people to understand how to book your time and where they have to click in order to do so (see this article for more tips).

4. Not building trust
Building trust is so important when asking customers to make an appointment with you – especially if they have never worked with you before. There are several important ways you can do this, including:

  • Customer testimonials. People are way more likely to believe what your customers say about you, than what you say about you. Ask a happy customer (or two!) to provide a quote for your appointment booking page. Reading other people’s praise will may well push someone to make their appointment.
  • A smart, professional photo. Who would you rather buy from? A smart, smiling person, or a bland logo? If it’s right for your business, make sure you include a picture of yourself or one of your front-of-house staff. People trust people more than logos.
  • Provide an FAQ section. Answer common questions before people book with you, and they’ll immediately trust you more.

5. Make it easy to contact you
Although online booking lets people make reservations even when your business is closed, you should still make it as easy as possible for them to contact you via other mediums! Start by adding links to all your social media profiles (and your website, if you have one) to your bookings page. And of course, include your phone number, email contact and physical address somewhere prominent on the page.

Booking your services needs to be super easy

Succeeding with online booking is about making at as simple as possible for customers to book with you. Do everything you can to facilitate bookings, build trust, make people feel sure their data is safe and allow them to find out everything they need before getting in touch.

Want to make it even easier for your customers to make appointments? Check out Book Like a Boss today. Used by thousands of businesses like yours worldwide, Book Like A Boss makes the process of booking appointments over the internet as easy and intuitive as possible.

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Len is a tech and business writer who covers small business and startup advice and has appeared in many print and digital publications. He lives in London, UK, where he's also a sub editor on a national newspaper. He loves to travel and has lived in France, Spain, Senegal and Rwanda.

What’s Your Web Traffic Like?

Most clients who I talk to have Google Analytics hooked up to their site. My typical client, never looks at it, and those who do scan some top line numbers, like visits, new traffic and time spent on the site. What they don’t realize is if they dig a bit deeper in their web traffic, there is a wealth of advice waiting to be had in Google Analytics

I want to break down a client of mine’s web traffic for you. So far this month my client has seen 1,569 sessions on their web site. The traffic is meeting their expectations, but the conversions are lower than expected. So we jumped into Google Analytics to see if we could understand what’s going on.

Behavior Flow

We started off looking at Behavior Flow. This client is getting traffic from social media campaigns, email campaigns, and organic traffic, and Behavior Flow shows us what people do when they arrive on the site, based on the traffic source. We saw pretty quickly that their email recipients were much more likely to stay on the site, and click through to the inner pages that we needed.

The social media people, however, were floundering. Nearly 90% didn’t click on anything, and of those who did, we were seeing just a handful arrive at our registration page. Our first impression was that we needed to re-evaluate our social campaign, because if 90% are dropping off, we’re probably missing our target market.


Our next stop was the acquisition tab, where we looked at how our social media campaigns were performing. Our campaign URLs all have UTM codes, so it was pretty simple to see which campaigns were bringing in traffic that led to conversions, and which campaigns were total duds.

Acquisition was helping confirm our suspicion that we needed to adjust some things in our social media campaign. However, it was more nuanced than our initial impression. Our campaigns were all targeting the same audience, and since some were more successful than others, it seemed that the issue wasn’t our target audience, but was probably ensuring that the messaging in the ads was supported by the landing page. Canceling or adjusting some social media creatives would probably increase conversions.


Our last stop flipped all our thinking. We compared the difference between our mobile and desktop traffic. Our web traffic was 53% desktop, 47% mobile, but our conversions were 85% desktop, 15% mobile.

We looked deeper and found that nearly 80% of our social media traffic was coming in on mobile devices, and 90% of them were dropping off without clicking a single thing. When we compared social mobile traffic to email mobile traffic, we found the same low conversion rates. However, most of our email recipients are older, and they were arriving to the site via desktop, not mobile.

It was clear that while we needed to adjust some of the campaigns, the real issue here was the mobile experience. My client has a responsive site, but the mobile site loads slowly, and the user experience was never really considered. It was basically a modified version of the desktop site.

Now, my client has a decision to make. They can stop advertising on channels that cater to mobile users, and keep their website as is. Or they can completely rethink the mobile experience, and deliver mobile-friendly content to their mobile visitors.

As the world moves more and more mobile, it should be an easy decision to make.

How To Create Your First Hot Traffic Campaign

In the previous two articles we discussed cold traffic and warm traffic ad campaigns. If you haven’t already, jump over to those articles to get caught up.

(pro tip: hold down CTRL when you click the links to have them open in a new tab while still staying on this screen)

Now we are going to dive into Hot Traffic Ad Campaigns. This is the shortest section of the three and the last part of our funnel. Here we are going to re-market through the funnel to turn one-time buyers into multi-buyers.

Created byRobert McMillin

What’s the definition of Hot Traffic?

Mine is: “They know you, they like you and they have ‘shopped’ you before.”

If you’ve heard of the “Pareto Principle” you’ll be familiar with the 80/20 concept. Eighty percent of results will come from twenty percent of your actions. The principle applies to many things and here it applies to your customers. If you retarget throughout your funnel you’ll find that twenty percent of your customers or leads will account for eighty percent of your revenue.

This may be the shortest section in the series but it is, in my opinion, the most important.

One of the hardest things you’ll do is capture new customers for your business. One of the stupidest things many businesses do is they sell then abandon that customer in the pipeline, mark them as a conversion and move on to fresh leads.

That’s a mistake.

Many customers, once you’ve created authority and provided exceptional value, would be all too happy to purchase from you again.

Consider it for a moment…

You’ve done the hardest part. You’ve gotten them to (along with a few other things) take their credit card out of their pocket, put their info into your payment form and checkout.

Why would you not leverage this to provide more value, ascend the customer to a multi-buyer and create a scalable and repeatable process for increasing your customers lifetime value?

After considering you’re now faced with another question…

Will my business do the stupidest thing (not retarget throughout the funnel) after they’ve already done the hardest thing (capture and convert new leads into customers)?

When the it’s framed like that the answer is an obvious “no”, right? With that said…

Let’s get started with your Hot Traffic Ad campaign setup

Step 1: Navigate to your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and export a list of your buyers in a Comma-Separated Values (CSV) spreadsheet. All customer relationship management software has the option to export a list of your buyers

Step 2: Head over to your Facebook Ads Manager and navigate to “Audiences” like in the image below.

Facebook ads manager

Step 3: Once you’ve navigated to the “Audience” section of your Facebook Ads dashboard click “Create Audience” and select “Custom Audience” (like in the Warm Traffic Campaign) See the image below for more details.

Custom Audience

Step 4: Here’s what we’re going to do different than what we did in the Warm Traffic Campaign. We’re going to create a custom audience using the “Customer File” option. Here we’ll upload the comma-separated values (CSV) sheet to Facebook.

Here you will match the fields (First Name, Last Name, Email etc.) of your customer file. Facebook will then create a custom audience and match that data with those users on Facebook. This allows you to retarget and market to your known buyers on Facebook and gives you the opportunity to turn them into multi-buyers.

Bonus: Depending on your volume. You will be able to also create a lookalike audience of buyers. You won’t be targeting them for your multi-buyer campaign, because they are, after all, not yet buyers. However, they have a high likelihood of being buyers in the future based on the fact they are very similar to your known buyers. These would be great candidates for your Cold and Warm traffic campaigns and will have a higher probability of converting.

The Hot Traffic Offer

Our goal is to turn our hot traffic into repeat buyers. You’ve probably guessed that we’re going to be offering them additional products or services.

As an example, you sell a physical product. We’ll say it is XYZ Salad Dressing.

You know that the average person will consume the entire bottle within two and a half months. So, you could take your customer list (from Step 1), upload it to Facebook, and run an ad that says something like this…

“Did life get in the way? You forgot to re-order your XYZ Salad Dressing! Here’s 10% OFF your next bottle on us. Click Here.”

Or (still using salad dressing as an example)

“180 Times Better – Your favorite Salad Dressing just got even better! We’ve put together over 180 recipes you can make in less than 5 minutes. You’ve already got the secret ingredient, now it’s time to get the recipes! Claim your discounted Recipe eBook for $29.95 $9.95 – Limited Time Only”

You may be saying “Robert, hold up, I only have one product, what am I supposed to offer them”. If you’re wondering that very thing, my advice is to create another product. I’m positive that you and your team could at a minimum create an eBook and offer it for sale in less than a week.

Defining Success Metrics:

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA): They purchase something. (or cost per lead if you are sending hot traffic to a landing page as covered in the Warm Traffic Campaign guide)

  • Ad Objective: Repeat Buyers
  • Content/Offer: Retarget Through the Funnel
  • Success Metric(s): Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)
  • Bidding: Slightly higher than suggested bid
  • Budget: $5-$10 per day (as an example)
  • Target Audience: Previous Buyers (customer file)

To Break it Down For Ya….

Targeting: Customer file (CSV) containing your known buyers.

Content/Offer: You will be retargeting them via ads to purchase additional products or services.

Budget: In the land grab for customers this can be your lowest investment. I would recommend spending more on the cold and warm traffic campaigns and keeping a consistently operating low budget campaign running for your buyer list.

Success Metric: Straightforward. Do they buy or do they not and what is the cost to per sale (or acquisition). So, your success metric here will be Cost Per Acquisition (CPA).

For more guides and actionable digital marketing advice visit robertmcmillin.com or book me on my Book Like A Boss page for a free 15 minute consultation.