That CAPTCHA is Costing You Money

By admin

Website Conversion Killer

Whether it’s through a form fill, newsletter signups or any other type of conversion on a website, that CAPTCHA is costing you precious leads.

What is a CAPTCHA?

CAPTCHA, short for Completely Automated Public Turning test to tell Computers and Humans Apart, is that annoying distorted word, number or image that you are required to re-type to prove you are human. It’s purpose is to thwart SPAM attempts to post comments on sites and generally reduce the amount of spam submitted to lead forms. While it is very effective in its intended use, it can cause unwanted results, most notably a decrease in website conversions.

The Case of Website Conversions and CAPTCHA

The study was conducted across 50 websites for a period of six months. In Casey Henry’s blog post on he describes the following results:

With CAPTCHA on:

  • 2,156 conversions
  • 11 SPAM submissions
  • 159 failed conversions

With CAPTCHA off:

  • 2,134 conversions
  • 91 SPAM submissions
  • 0 failed conversions

The test was split across two, three-month periods with half the sites set with the CAPTCHA on, the other half off. After the first three months, he switched the settings.

The Bottom Line

CAPTCHAs were made with the advertiser in mind, not the user. In the study above, it was found that the use of CAPTCHAs resulted in 3.2 percent less website conversions. I am willing to bet other studies have shown more drastic numbers. When it comes to conversions, 3.2 percent can mean a lot of dough. If it’s me or any client of mine, we’ll take a little extra work to get more money because, in the end, it’s all about the ROI.

Tune in next week for CAPTCHA alternatives and some of my favorite methods. Or you can comment below and I’ll fill you in ahead of time.

If you would like us to take a deep dive into your site, the design and other things that might be costing you website conversions, fill out this form and we’ll reach out to you.


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