I hear it all the time. A website owner and potential customer who tells us that their website isn't converting or sales are dropping off. They scratch their heads and wonder what they need to do and how they do it. Here are the top 5 reasons why your website may not be driving business.
- The most common issue I see in poor site performance is poor messaging on the website. Yes, it kind of gets to the point of what you are trying to sell or the services offered, but the messages aren't clear and concise. Go to your website homepage and picture the most common problem that a visitor would have when they come to the site and then ask yourself if the first screen of the website answers that problem. If it doesn't then you've got problems. Messages need to be concise, clear on the point and targeted.
- Poor navigation. Once a site visitor gets a clear message on the homepage they need some call to action so they can learn more, make a purchase or contact you. If you don't give easy and clear navigation to those items users will oftentimes become frustrated and bounce.
- Unprofessional or out of date design. Unless you are a brand name you probably don't have a lot of credibility with first time site visitors. A professional, pleasing design says a lot about your business. If you haven't redesigned your website in the last three years, your website is probably looking a little out of date. Users will pick up on that. A great user interface is like a good testimonial. It speaks volumes to site visitors in three seconds or less.
- Speak in the language of your potential customers. Sometimes I find that site owners get too involved in their own personal preferences and do messaging, content, colors and design that doesn't speak in the language of their visitors. It doesn't connect. Often times technical jargon, industry language, content that is rambling and too long (or too short) can confuse and cause a disconnect. When you tell your customers what THEY want to hear they almost always feel it in their soul and when that happens you've gained a new customer.
- Loss in search engine optimization (SEO) ranking. If your website isn't on page #1 of Google, it almost doesn't exist. Doing the little things that allows your website to rank can make a BIG difference in their bottom line. Just this week we took a look at a site that started under performing and found an algorithm change by Google in March dropped the website about 5 places in the rankings. But those 5 places knocked them off of page #1 and their site traffic was cut in half as a result. It will take just some small changes to get that resolved, but it was a lot of lost revenue over the last few months.
Sometimes the best fix is to let the analytics be your guide. A lot of time I ask site owners with struggling websites if they have Google Analytics or some other analytics tool on their website and they do. I then ask if they ever look at it. The answer is usually no. Oftentimes they have never looked at it. Sometimes better than experience and gut instinct are the hard numbers. Tools like Google Analytics will tell you what pages users are visiting, how long they stay on those page, what the flow of the average user through the site and the bounce rate and exit pages on the site. Sometimes those numbers will give a clear message to what the problems on the site would be and how to fix them. Sometimes there is more than on problem that can be revealed.
One thing I love to hear when a potential customer calls and they walk me through their challenges is when they say, "You are the first person that actually told me what I needed to hear." I find there are sometimes great designers and great developers who can build partially great websites, but sometimes you need a consultant that can help take the design and make it work with development and then wrap a marketing message(s) around it into a cohesive package.
Rarely do I run into websites that are a complete disaster. Usually it is tweaks to the current website that make the biggest differences. Just yesterday I talked with a client whose sites was doing amazing until just a few months ago. Within an hour we were able to identify issues that were impacting sales and put a plan together to fix those things to regain market share. We won't have to rebuild the website or re-write all of the content. It is often times the little things that can have the greatest impacts.
What can we do to help your website start converting? Call us at 720-334-7496.