Boost Conversions by Avoiding Ambiguity

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Conversion Killer: The Ambiguity ProblemConfusys

The Ambiguity Problem

Bewilders website visitors with confusion and clutter, especially on homepages.  Users who encounter Confusys tend to flee rather than figure things out.

One software company I worked with knew ambiguity was killing conversions on their sales site:

“Some people tell us the site looks nice, but they come away not totally clear what it is we do”

Prospects were leaving without arranging a software demo because they didn’t understand its purpose.  And they weren’t willing to hang around figuring it out.

Abandonment is the easiest option for visitors who don’t get what your website and business is all about, or can’t work out what to do first.  It’s often a problem for tech startups, where innovative solutions confuse newcomers.


Don’t let prospects perish at the hands of Confusys: Make it clear who you are, what you’re offering, and what action you want visitors to take – especially on the homepage:

  • Put your company name/logo in an obvious place.  The upper left corner is a safe bet.
  • Add a tagline under your logo to help visitors understand what you do, especially if it isn’t immediately obvious from the company name.  Can you guess what Infusionsoft does from the name?  No, but the answer soon becomes clearer.
  • Create a compelling headline that explains what you do and how it benefits the visitor.
  • Include an introductory paragraph on your homepage describing your business and value proposition.  Define your purpose in a few simple sentences.
  • Use straightforward language that anyone can understand.  Avoid jargon and being cryptic in an effort to sound smart and intriguing.  Web users haven’t the patience to work out what your site’s about.  Just tell them in plain English.
  • Design a clear and simple layout, one that makes the site’s purpose and initial call to action immediately obvious.

Here are two sites that do it well:


MailChimp home

MailChimp is offering ‘Easy Email Newsletters’.  The intro paragraph elaborates: ‘MailChimp helps you design email newsletters…’  And it’s obvious what to do next: ‘Sign Up Free’.


FreeAgent home

FreeAgent uses the same formula: a clear-cut headline – ‘Accounting software, simplified’ – followed by elaboration: ‘a stress-free way to manage […] books and invoicing’, and obvious calls to action: ‘try it for free’ or ‘take the tour’.

Prospects are unlikely to leave MailChimp or FreeAgent’s websites not knowing what the companies offer or what action to take.

Your site must do the same job.

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