The value of your website is dependent on the number of visitors you receive, how many stay, and ultimately, how many convert. Website metrics are a great way to determine how your website is performing. With a good analysis tool, you can track page visits, bounce rates, repeat visits, the number of newsfeed subscribers, internal search keyword usage, entrance and exit pages, and conversions. These metrics should give you a good idea of whether or not your website is working for you.
The question is, once you have metrics and a general idea of the problematic pages, how do you fix things? If you aren’t sure where to begin, here are 7 reasons your website is underperforming.
If visitors come to your website, but are unsure of what to do next, you may have navigation issues. There are natural ways that the average person’s eyes track through a computer screen. They tend to view the top from left to right, or the left side of the screen from top to bottom.
If your website is designed in a way that deviates from this, you may be providing your users with a disconcerting experience. Other navigation issues may be caused by overly generic buttons and tabs, the presence of advertising disguising itself as legitimate links.
#2. Your Content is not Connecting with People
The phrase ‘content is king’ is possibly one of the most useful, yet one of the most damaging phrases in recent marketing history. This is because there are so many website designers who appear to believe that content quantity outweighs content quality. You can fix this by paying attention to your website metrics. If people aren’t staying long enough to view your content, it is time to make a change.
#3. You have not Adopted Responsive Design
This is a double whammy. Google’s search algorithm is now configured to penalize websites that are not mobile device friendly. This means that your website’s page rankings are going to drop. However, Google’s search algorithm shouldn’t be your primary concern. If your website is designed in such a way that it isn’t useful to such a large portion of your visitors (mobile users), there is something lacking in either your web design or you’re your marketing strategy.
#4. You aren’t Attracting the Right People
Is your website a victim of your overall marketing strategy? If visitors are clicking into your website and then realizing that your products and services aren’t what they are looking for, you aren’t targeting the correct audience. Just like failing to use responsive design, this mistake can cost you twice.
First, the fast ‘click aways’ are going to cost you search engine rankings. Second, if you aren’t getting the right people to visit your website, you’re clearly missing conversion opportunities. Do you have a brick and mortar location? Is your marketing strategy attracting the right customers there?
#5. Your Website is not Search Engine Optimized
Many people believe that they need to pay high priced consultants for
- Make sure your website has an up to date sitemap
- Use keywords in your image descriptions
- Use real words in your URLs. For example, use widgets.com/lefthandedwidgets/bluewidgets.html, not www.widgets.com/lh1025s/bw1025h.html.
#6. There is Something Offensive on Your Website
If you aren’t getting the website traffic that you would like, or your metrics indicate that you have visitors who are clicking away from your website quickly, your website may contain one or more offensive elements. This doesn’t mean that your website has scandalous pictures or viruses. It simply means that potential customers are visiting your website and encountering something that is annoying enough that they are clicking away.
Here are a few common culprits:
- Your website automatically plays sound. This also includes videos that play whether or not the user presses play.
- Nobody wants to surf into a website at work or on the train, only to be embarrassed by the sound that is suddenly blaring through their speakers.
- Your font color, style, or size is difficult to read
- This is an area in which your design focus should be practicality, and not creativity. This is also a good reason to test your website on multiple web browsers, devices, and operating systems. What may be perfectly readable for one user may be headache inducing for another.
- You are using intrusive advertising such as pop-up ads or annoying banners
- Overuse of clip art and stock photos
- This can make your website seem cluttered and disingenuous. Try using pictures of your employees and products instead.
- Content that is written around keywords rather than useful information or content with spelling mistakes
- It is okay to use a few keyword phrases to make sure that you are attracting visitors who are going to be interested in your products and services. It is not okay to use keywords so frequently in your content that it is painful to read. This is especially true if you are sacrificing readability for keyword stuffing.
- Clearly outdated information
- Does your home page contain a reference to an event your company held three years ago? Even one small outdated piece of information can make visitors think your website is out of date or even dormant.
#7. You aren’t Giving Visitors enough Conversion Opportunities
Imagine this. You visit a website, and you notice that the home page contains a link for placing an order. You begin surfing around the website looking for more information. You learn about the company’s history. You visit a web page on the website describing the products and services that are being offered. You even read the company’s blog page. You are convinced. You are ready to place an order. Do you really want to navigate all the way back to the home page to place your order? Of course you don’t, and neither do your website visitors. This is why most pages on your website should have an unobtrusive link to your order form.
Images: “Fictitious Website Data/Shutterstock.com“
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