Having A Captcha Is Injurious To Your Conversion Rates

Posted by Vikram Rathod

September 10, 2013

Digital Marketing 13 min read

With the increase of the use of CAPTCHA in order to avoid spam, has one wondered how bad it could be for one’s business. This is because CAPTCHAs have major usability complications. It is not perceived in the right way by a majority of users. Personally, I find it very frustrating each time a website asks me to carefully look into the text and enter it in the given box.

The purpose of the CAPTCHA is the determine whether you are a human being or a robot. From the point of view of web business, a CAPTCHA may seem to be a good solution to prevent spam. However, for your online conversion goals, CAPTCHA could prove to be very harmful.



CAPTCHAs distract the prospects

Casey Henry in his post on Moz.com had written that the conversion rate of a company would shoot up by 3.2% with the CAPTCHA turned off. Though a small number in percentage, this gain has the potential to bring happiness to a number of companies. This happens as the visitors on the website do not feel distracted and they don’t have to face the difficulty of reading a complex text to prove that they are humans.

CAPTCHAs could prove to be a problem rather than a solution

CAPTCHAs are tough to interpret. This is a technically good aspect, however, the murky text and asking the visitors to understand and type in the same text may damage your conversion rate drastically. Its a fact that every now and then people get a CAPTCHA wrong while working with websites daily.

A user who is trying to purchase, or fill a form, or simply comment, is bound to get frustrated if you put this technological barrier between the user and the goal. Is it only because you don’t want to sort through some items of spam. How selfish!!

CAPTCHAs have no meaning

Most of these are just letters and numbers randomly combined, leaving the visitors with very few clues, whether they got it right or wrong before submitting the form. There is also the risk of the visitors mistyping the characters given in the CAPTCHA as it has to be the exact match. It does happen on several occasions even though the visitors get it right.

They are not readable by People With Lower Vision

There are some sites that have the option for people to hear CAPTCHA. However, it seems to be a daunting task. Also, people who have low vision or blindness are definitely not going to like the obstruction. The letters are already mangled.

Your prospects may feel abused: The visitors don’t understand the significance of CAPTCHAs. They feel like they are going through an eye-testing exam and some kind of spelling test. Some may feel that they are being treated like a schoolboy or girl and even feel humiliated.

Should CAPTCHA be left alone?


The use of CAPTCHA is actually increasing. For many webmasters, it is just a common practice, as a norm. After all, it is like a guarantee that the webmasters won’t have to worry about spam anymore.

Some points to consider if you simply can’t do without a CAPTCHA

* Use a big CAPTCHA, making it easy for your visitors to understand them.

* Have real words or sentences in your CAPTCHA so that the visitors could deduce the hard-to-understand characters.

* Only the CAPTCHA should reload and not the whole page so that the visitor doesn’t have to fill in the whole form.

* Explain to the visitors that the need for the CAPTCHA is to prevent spam

Do you want to take the risk of having a CAPTCHA on your website? Set up an A/B split test where you could compare the conversion rate between the page where you have the CAPTCHA and the one where you have not implemented one.


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