In my work as a business consultant, I see a lot of people who are frustrated with their website.
It’s a source of frustration for me to see so many entrepreneurs and business owners struggle with their website because a website should be one of your main business assets.
It should help you achieve your business goals.
It should help you get found online.
It should help you attract and convert more clients.
It should help you establish yourself as the authority and expert in your space.
But unfortunately, for soooo many business owners I meet, this is not the case.
I Typically 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 frustrated and don’t know 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, and DOES help you grow your business…
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 problems 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 these problems in detail and discuss some solutions to them.
There is actually a third problem as well, but I’m going to save revealing that until the end ?
PROBLEM 1: 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.
Yep. 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 about right to me. The most important point is that you’re not alone, I KNOW you’ve totally got this and I’m here to help if you need it.
So, Step 1 to working out if you have a traffic problem, is to explore your analytics.
Here’s what you need to do to understand your website analytics:
STEP 1: Make sure you have Google Analytics installed.
If you made your own website, you should 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.
STEP 2: 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.
STEP 3: 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)
STEP 4: Assess whether you have a traffic problem or not
Part of this assessing whether you have a traffic problem or not is based on your answers to the above questions about your traffic report. However, part of it is also based around understanding industry standards for the volume of traffic you need to achieve your desired result.
So, let’s get clear on that: What IS your primary desired result for your website? Is it:
- To get email enquiries?
- Phone calls?
- Online purchases?
Understanding the industry standard for your desired result will help you understand the benchmark of what you can expect for how your website will perform in that area.
Say you have an online product you’re wanting to sell.
The industry standard is that 1-2% of visitors to a sales page will purchase.
That means that for every 100 hits to your sales page, based on industry standard, you could expect to achieve 1-2 sales*.
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.LEARN IF YOU HAVE A TRAFFIC PROBLEM WITH THIS FREE TUTORIAL
STEP 5: 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 Adwords
- Get some help with a marketing strategy from an expert.
I could go on and on here, but I won’t. Instead, I recommend that you download our free resource – 60 ways to increase your website traffic and convert it while you sleep (or holiday)
If you have identified that you DON’T have a traffic problem – you actually have lots of traffic, 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 established that it’s coming from your target location.
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:
STEP 1: 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?
As we explored above – what IS your primary desired result for your website? Is it:
- 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.
STEP 2: Learn and apply the 6 most essential elements to a high-converting website:
There are 6 elements to achieving a high-converting website. I call this the ‘anatomy’ of a high-converting website. And, you need all 6.
Let’s take a look at what they are:
- Your design –
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 straightforward and simple.
- Your content –
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?
- Social proof –
Do you have any? Is it enough? Having social proof is essential for helping your visitors establish that they can trust you.
- Calls to action –
Do you have enough calls to action? Are they prominent?
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) –
Optimising your website for search engines so that you can get found online by people who are searching for what you’re offering 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.
- Marketing –
We forget that our website needs ongoing marketing. But, it does. It’s unfortunately not something we can set and forget.
So, perhaps it’s time to review your website marketing plan.
Two courses to set your Business Fundamentals on the right path are through ‘Pimp My Website’ and ‘Step-by-Step SEO’ :
Learn and apply everything you need to turn your website into the traffic-generating, lead-converting business asset you deserve:
Our ‘Pimp my Website’ course is an affordable step-by-step guide to improving both your traffic and conversions.
If it’s purely help with Search Engine Optimisation you need, grab our ‘Step-by-Step SEO’ course.
(available stand-alone OR included inside the Pimp my Website course)
PROBLEM 3: You have unrealistic expectations for your website
I suspect by now, having just explored problems 1 and 2, you’ll know in yourself if you have this problem or not. But, I wanted to make sure that I included it because I see it a lot…
People create websites and want instant results.
Unfortunately, that’s just not reality.
- Websites do take strategy.
- They do take time.
- They take ongoing monitoring and improvement.
- And they do take ongoing marketing.
Our website can be one of our biggest business assets in helping us grow our business.
Assets require regular maintenance and our website is no exception.We need to first be aware of how our website are actually performing (by reviewing our analytics). Then, it’s good to regularly review your website and make sure it’s continuing to serve your business, making updates as required.
It’s only once we’ve done this, that we can help it continue to help us.
I hope you’ve found this article useful.
Because we know just how much of an important tool your website is for your business, we have so many resources and courses to help you improve it to grow your business.
I’ve tried to link to them throughout, but, if you’re unsure where to start, please email me and I’m only too happy to help you figure out where your start should be.
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).