7 Reasons Why Your Website Isn’t Working

By Haydn Rowe

There are two common problems with most websites.

Either they have little (or no) traffic or they have decent levels of traffic but very poor conversion rates (from visitors to leads, enquiries or database contacts).

Here are 7 common reasons why your website is failing and what to do about it…

1. Your website was designed to look great, rather than to work great.

Too many websites are created using a flawed process.

Usually, a designer is selected, they then ask questions about what you like and don’t like, including getting you to show them websites to support your answers and then they create a “look and feel” design mock up of the site.

Once you are happy with the “look and feel” your site is built.

You then have to make the navigation structure, content, copy, images and information to fit the design.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

A great website is designed AFTER the objectives, target market/s, strategy, navigation structure, keyword plan and copy have been thought through.

Often, doing the graphic design first compromises almost every other critical element.

2. Working great hasn’t been defined.

What does (and should) your website do to generate the leads you so badly need, to convert all those visitors into opportunities and to build your database?

What is your strategy to attract traffic (AdWords, SEO, Blogging, Emailing?) and what is your strategy for converting visitors to valuable enquiries, sales leads or database contacts?

How much traffic do you need? How many conversions of each type will be required to achieve your objectives?

By being crystal clear about what you want your website to achieve before you start – you can be razor sharp in the decisions you make about your website.

For example…

  • Before you charge headlong into creating and adding video to the site – you should ask what objective it is designed to achieve and how it will do that. You only proceed when you have good answers.
  • Before you devote a lot of effort and space to promoting your social media accounts – make sure that your target market engages with social media (and if so which one) and that they take action (relevant to your objectives).

3. Traffic generation is a “bolt on” afterthought, rather than a built in system.

Organic, Pay Per Click, Blogging – all of the ways of generating traffic to your website work great when your website was BUILT to attract and maximise traffic from these sources.

When we take on a new Google AdWords client one of the first things we do is check the website – good traffic to a poor website is a waste of money and effort.

Don’t drive traffic without making sure that your website is optimised for conversion (of traffic) to leads, enquiries and database contacts.

4. Your content is chaotic and driven by opinion (yours)

Sure, it may be exciting to put your shiny new video on the Home Page.

But what if the most powerful conversion tool on your website is your White Paper or Buyers Guide, which now gets relegated “below the fold” on your Home Page because your new video has taken the valuable space at the top of the page?

Instead of offering visitors what they want (valuable information) in seconds by offering your Buyers Guide or White Paper you are now trying to force them to sit through your 5 minute video. This may be too much, too soon – the right content in the wrong place!

It may make you proud to see your video take top billing, but if your best content is relegated as a result, you’ll soon be paying a heavy price for your indulgence.

Poor content planning could kill website conversion, increase your bounce rate and drive visitors to another site where they quickly find what they want.

5. You don’t ask for the order

Imagine how long a new salesperson would stay in your employment if they never asked for an order? Not long. What about your website?

Does each page include your phone number, have a call to action directed to your Contact Us page, give an email address and offer your Buyers Guide or White Paper?

If not, it is like the salesperson who delivers a wonderful presentation and then leaves without asking for an order or securing the next step.

This is a very expensive mistake!

Visitors typically visit only 4 or 5 pages on your website, even if you have 100 pages on your website you need ‘call to actions’ on each of them as you don’t know which 4 or 5 they will choose to visit.

6. You have no plan for developing relationships with website visitors.

The first visit is just that – one small step towards your business.

Sure, some of those go all the way quite quickly – and you get a home run (the sale and a new client).

But what about the people who aren’t ready to buy just yet (they are in early research mode)? These are the people who sign up for your White Paper of Buyers Guide, or your Newsletter, or request a brochure, or make a small purchase.

What happens next and what happens over the next 12 months?

If the answer is “not much”, then you need to develop a Communications Plan so that you stay in touch until they are ready to buy.

This should (and could) include a balance of valuable articles, new product information, case studies and sales promotions.

7. You don’t test.

With a website you have the ability to test all kinds of different elements on your most important pages using the Google Content Experiments tool (part of Google Analytics), which allows you to run two versions of a page and measure the outcomes.

You should test headlines, short copy vs. long copy, offers, page layout, images and call to action.

Testing can more than double the results you get.

What now?

Is it time to take a new approach and get a new website – one that has success BUILT IN?

If so, get in touch with us by calling 01536 461 597 or by email info@WebsiteDesignMarketing.com and we’ll be happy to develop a proposal for your new website.

If you think your current website has potential, but needs to be fine tuned then request a Free MOT for your Website and Online Marketing.