How to improve your website so that it better serves your business...
In my work as a business consultant, I see a lot of people who are frustrated with their website!
It’ makes me frustrated too, to see so many entrepreneurs and business owners struggle with their website because a website should be one of your main business assets.
I often hear things like:
“My website isn’t converting”
“No-one is enquiring”
“I’m not making any sales”
“I’ve paid so much money for this website and it’s not working.”
Often they’ve paid hundreds or thousands of hard-earned money only to have a website that (may) be pretty to look at, but, isn’t helping them grow their business.
Which is what ultimately, a website is designed to do right?
But, most of them are overwhelmed and unsure about where to start.
So, today I thought I’d address the topic and share my favourite ways to improve your website, so that it does serve you and your business goals…
What are The Main Reasons Websites Don’t Work?
To understand how to improve your website, we need to first explore two different problems that websites typically face. The improvements that you need to make to your website depend entirely on which one of these problems it faces (or whether it indeed has both).
The two most common reasons a website isn't performing are:
- You have a traffic problem
- not many actual visitors to the site
- You have a conversion problem
- you have traffic, but, it’s not converting into leads or customers
Let's explore what these two problems mean for you...
PROBLEM 1: Your website isn't performing because you have a traffic problem
This is incredibly common. It may feel like your website is not working and not making any sales, but, in reality, you might not actually have enough visitors for it to achieve conversions (based on industry averages).
It’s a common myth that once we build a website, people will automatically start to find it.
Unfortunately, it very rarely ever works out like that.
Getting visitors to your website takes preparation, strategy, and regular intentional marketing.
In order to work out whether you have a traffic problem, we need to get up close and personal with your analytics.
This is where the first hurdle is. Because, if you either:
- Don’t know if you have analytics installed
- Don’t know how to access your analytics OR
- Have never looked at your analytics in your life
Then you fit right into the 95%* of people I help.
*Ok, ok, that’s a made-up statistic, but it feels accurate. The most important point is that you’re not alone if you're uncertain how to use analytics to analyse your website.
So, Step 1 to working out if you have a traffic problem, is to explore your analytics.
Here are 6 steps to using your website analytics to understand if you have a traffic problem:
Make sure you have Google Analytics installed.
If you made your own website, you should hopefully know the answer to this. If you had someone else make it for you, and you’re unsure if you have it installed, then I recommend reaching out to that person and asking them.
If you haven’t got Google Analytics installed, then go ahead and install it.
Having Google Analytics installed is essential for all businesses. Without this, you’re only guessing at what the problem with your website is. But, by looking at your analytics regularly, the data can tell us what the problem is.
Here are Google’s instructions on how to install Google Analytics.
If you get stuck, then feel free to contact us as we can help you get it installed.
Review your traffic report.
This will only work if you have had Google Analytics installed for a month or so because you need enough data to see trends. If you’ve only just installed it, you’ll need to come back to this in about a month when we’ve got something to look at.
What you want to know, to find out if you have a traffic problem is:
- How many visitors does your website have in a week/month/year?
- How long are they spending on your site?
- How many pages, and what pages are they visiting when they arrive?
- What country is that traffic based in – is it in your country of focus?
(this is to rule out whether you may have traffic which is irrelevant to you)
Assess whether you have a traffic problem or not
The industry standard for most businesses is that only 1-2% of visitors to a sales page will purchase or take action.
That means that for every 100 hits to your sales page, based on industry standard, you could expect to achieve 1-2 sales or enquiries*.
If you look at your analytics and discover that you’ve had 17 hits to your sales page this month, and you know that 1% of people typically convert, then you now know you have a traffic problem to your sales page.
*There’s obviously a lot more that goes into the success of a sales page than just getting traffic (like how effective the page copy and design is), but, for the purposes of this article, we’re going to assume that part is ok and just look at the traffic.
For more help with Google Analytics, you might like this post here:
Make a plan based on your result
If you’ve identified that you DO indeed have a traffic problem, then, it’s time to take action to solve that problem.
Solutions for getting more traffic include:
- Using social media to drive traffic to your website
- Ensure your website is optimised for search engines
- Setting up Google or Facebook Ads
- Get some help with a marketing strategy from an expert.
Have a traffic problem?
Download my free checklist: 60 Ways To Get More Website Traffic
If you have identified that you don't have a traffic problem, then it’s time to work out why you’re not getting the conversions you desire:
PROBLEM 2: You have a conversion problem
So. You’ve established that you have traffic.
You’ve hopefully established that it's relevant traffic (because not all traffic is created equal and spam traffic can be an evil trick).
Now it’s time to work out how to increase the number of people taking action on your website (your conversions).
Here are my steps for working on your conversion problem:
Get sure on your desired result
In the excitement of creating a website (and sometimes rush), it’s common for us to skip this step.
But, it’s so important to know: what do we actually want our websites to DO for our business?
What IS your primary desired result for your website?
- To get email enquiries?
- Phone calls?
- Online purchases?
Perhaps it’s a combination of all of them and some others?
It’s important to clarify this and get clear with your strategy, so that you can design your website around achieving your desired result.
The simplest you can make your customer purchasing or enquiring pathways, the more conversions you will enjoy. Try to make it easy for people to take action in as few clicks as possible.
Learn and apply the 6 most essential elements to a high-converting website:
There are 6 elements to achieving a high-converting website.
Let’s take a look at what they are:
The design of your website must be designed around helping you achieve your desired result (the action you want visitors to take).
The most important thing you need to consider here is the journey or pathway your visitors need to take, to ensure that it is simple.
I know I just said this in the previous section, but it bears repeating, because it's so important. Simple = sales.
This includes your copy, images, etc. It’s worth reviewing whether it is all thoughtfully designed and written to help you achieve your desired result?
Try to step into your customers shoes...
Is your copy written using words your customer would use themselves? Is it focused on solving their problems?
Having social proof is essential for helping your visitors establish that they can trust you.
Do you have any reviews or testimonials to provide credibility?
Where these are showing is almost just as important as having them. For example, having them on the product pages can help people take action to add to their cart.
But also, having them on the cart and checkout pages can help you improve how many people complete their purchase.
Calls to action
Calls to action and ways to communicate to your customers what the next step they should take is.
Good places to have calls to action are:
- In the top section of every single page
- On buttons, dotted through the sections on your site
- At the bottom of every page
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Optimising your website for search engines so that you can get found online by people is essential, but it’s often one that is not paid enough attention.
If you could all of a sudden rank on page 1 of google and potentially get 100s or 1000s of new visitors to your website for free every day, how much would that impact your business?
That is why SEO is so important.
Sometimes it's easy to forget that our website needs ongoing marketing. But, it does. It’s unfortunately not something we can set and forget.
Even if we have great SEO in place, they still need analysing and maintaining.
Great places to market your website include:
- In your social marketing
- In your social profiles
- Using ads
- Using partnerships
Download my full list here of 60 Ways to Get More Website Traffic.
PROBLEM 3: You have BOTH a traffic and conversion problem
Unfortunately, sometimes businesses find that they have both a traffic and a conversion problem.
This is unfortunate but not unusual.
It's a more time consuming problem to fix, because it requires more action. But, with the right action, this problem can also be turned around quickly.
The action steps are the same, for the two problems above. Just take it one step at a time.
About the author:
Kat Soper is the Founder and Head Trainer of The Helpful Academy Online Business School.
Kat is passionate about helping start-ups and small businesses succeed and achieve their business goals so that they can achieve the lifestyle they desire (and deserve).