There's a good article over at the Ecommerce Times called "Minding the Gap Between Click and Conversion" discusses the concept of "post-click marketing" and offers up some ways to solve the mystery of what happens between click and conversion.
Read the article, then consider the simple recommendations below. In my experience, these recommendations, while somewhat general, will address many drop-off problems.
- Even the best web sites are somewhat impersonal. Provide your phone number prominently at every step so customers can talk to a real person.
- For lead generation sites, keep it simple. Improve conversion rate by asking leads to fill out just the basics and then follow up either personally or virtually as soon as possible.
- For ecommerce sites, make sure landing pages are extremely relevant and focused. Give the customer information about the product in clear, concise language while reassuring them that your company (and web site) is reputable. Don't make it cumbersome to order -- collect only the information you need and keep screens neatly formatted.
- Don't distract customers from their goals. Too many testimonials, crowded pages, a lack of a call to action and trying to cross-sell unrelated products distract customers.
- Make the process shorter. The quicker the customer can achieve their goal while satisfying their need for information, the more will act.