Are you writing dead end conversion pages?

I’m one of those people who have a…challenged…sense of direction. (Case in point: My husband’s latest gift to me was a GPS.) It’s actually amazing how I can head towards my location, sure that I know where I’m going…

…and somehow end up at a dead end.

And what do you do at a dead end? You turn yourself around and get the heck out of there.

I was thinking today about all the websites that have “dead end” copy that doesn’t go anywhere. I typically see it on FAQ pages – although I’ve certainly seen it in blog posts and articles too. Here’s what I mean.

Here’s a clip from the STOTT Pilates FAQ page:

The copy blurb is trying to differentiate STOTT equipment from lower price consumer models. It’s true that quality equipment is a big deal – if you’re serious about your workout, you probably want professional home equipment.

The challenge is, it doesn’t tell the reader what they should do next (a bad sales mistake.) The copy doesn’t go anywhere. It doesn’t link to their equipment page and encourage the click. From a conversion perspective, it’s a dead end.

Here’s another example from SodaStream:

If you’re a sparkling water addict like I am, these machines are awesome! You may have even gotten excited while reading the copy, thinking, “I want to check out the price right now.”

But you can’t – not without clicking on the nav. There’s no hyperlink leading you to the next conversion step.

The copy is a dead end.

How do you fix dead end pages?

It’s so simple. Whenever applicable, add a call to action link to your copy. Here’s all it would take in the SodaStream example:

“Find the home soda maker that’s perfect for you.” (link to product page.)

The STOTT Pilates FAQ blurb could end with, “Check out our Pilates equipment catalog” and link to the equipment page. If they ran a sale, I’d mention the sale in the link, “STOTT equipment for up to 40% off.”

It’s really as easy as that. You don’t need to beat the reader over the head. Just a simple link will do.

Wait! These aren’t sales pages. Why should I care?

Because you should always care. :)

Granted, articles and FAQ pages are geared towards folks in the “research” phase of the buy cycle. These people aren’t quite ready to buy – but they are checking out options. Adding a non-obtrusive call to action may move them along the conversion path a tad faster. The prospect could go from “interested browser” to “customer” – and all it took was the addition of one quick hyperlink.

So, consider going through your articles and blog posts and see if they’re feeling the dead end blues. As my father used to say, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get” – and you always want to ask for the sale.

13 replies
  1. Amy C. Teeple
    Amy C. Teeple says:

    First, I must confess that I have a soda maker from SodaStream. However, I was lured in at the San Diego Fair, not the website. :-)

    When it comes to websites, I think that although not every page is a “sales” page, each page should have calls to action and links to related pages.

    If you want people to take action, make it easy for them to do it.

    As always, great post Heather!

    • Heather
      Heather says:

      Amy – thanks for your feedback. Aren’t SodaStreams great? I love my SodaStream so much that I take it with me when I travel (except on a plane.) :)

      Now if they would only let me help them with their site….. :)

  2. Nancy Murray
    Nancy Murray says:

    Excellent points and such a simple thing to implement, sometimes it’s so easy to miss the glaringly obvious. I’ll be going over our websites today looking for dead end pages.

  3. Laura Crest
    Laura Crest says:

    I usually refrain from commenting on your posts, being the editor of such, but this one simply rocks in its simplicity and immediate do-ability! Think I might just inch on over to my own site now…. ;-)

  4. Billee Brady
    Billee Brady says:

    Hi Heather,

    You make a great point here and this info couldn’t be more valuable to the blogger.
    I think it’s a great idea to have the end on mind before you even create the content.
    “The Call To Action”
    Billee Brady


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] “Dead end” pages (pages that don’t link out to related pages) can stop your readers dead in their tracks. Want to avoid this? Read more about “dead end” Web pages. […]

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