5 Reasons Your Website is Underperforming
Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last 20 years, you’ve heard of the Internet and know what a vital role it can play in marketing your business. Compared to traditional advertising mediums, online marketing and advertising can be far more cost effective. Compared to things such as TV, print and radio, the Internet can be one of the most cost effective forms of advertising. Unlike a TV ad, your website is always “running” and you don’t have to wait for the publication to hit the newsstands. You can change your website as often as you want and there are easy, tangible ways to measure the results and traffic.
If you’re like many business owners, you’ve probably had some form of website for a while now. The question is, how do you know if you’re getting your money’s worth? Is you’re website helping to grow your business or just collecting dust out there in cyber-space? Here are 5 easy tips to help you know if you’re getting the most out of your website.
1- Is Your Website Creating Leads or Phone Calls?
The purpose of a website is to help grown your business, drive sales and generate leads. If your website is not doing this, then it’s broken. This is why it can be so critical to have your site created by someone who understands the principals of marketing and advertisings. Why spend thousands of dollars on something that’s not going to drive results. So you may be asking how a website is supposed to do all of this. A website is very different than a book or magazine. No one is going to cozy up to the fireplace and spend a few hours reading your website. People want to find the information they need as quickly as possible. The website should guide them to what they need in an intuitive way. It also needs to be constantly moving them towards a call to action. This could be collection leads via an online form, entering them into a contest, signing them up for a mailing list or a dozen other things.
2- Your IT Guy Designed Your Website
A business website is a marketing tool. If done correctly, it can and should be the centerpiece of your entire marketing campaign. Sure it uses technology to do its job, but so does your TV. I’m assuming that you wouldn’t have your IT company write your TV commercial, so why have them build your most critical marketing piece. Does your IT guy know how to write compelling marketing copy that motivates your customers to buy, or how to design a layout that draws the user in and calls them to action? Probably not. Have your website created by someone who understands marketing, advertising and design. The difference will be night and day.
3- Do You Have A Way To Track Visitors And Traffic?
Ideally you want your website to work in conjunction with your other advertising efforts. In fact, this synergy is critical. The question is, how do you know if it’s the print ads, or the radio spot that’s driving people to your site if you have no way to track and measure that. This is why it’s so critical to have what we call “analytics” (AKA. web traffic reports) on your website. It’s a simple matter to set up very powerful analytics that tell you who, what, where and when in regards to the traffic on your site.
Here’s a classic example. A few years ago we at Scottsdale Website Design we were working with a small private school in the Phoenix area. By analyzing their analytics, we were able to show them that their advertising dollars were flying out the back door. They were spending a lot of money on TV ads which did send a lot of people to the website. However, the analytics showed that close to 90% of them were leaving within 3 seconds. That told us that there was a problem with the design, content and messaging on the website. After a simple redesign, we were able to increase the stickiness of their website and dramatically reduce the bounce rate on their website.
4- Are You Leveraging Social Media?
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn (just to name a few) are some of the most trafficked websites on the Internet. These websites not only allow you to stay in touch with old friends, but are also a fantastic marketing tool. One great example is Facebook. It has over half a billion people on it, and you can precisely target your ads to the exact demographic that you want to reach. Facebook makes this all possible because they know exactly who someone is when they are logged in. Want to have an ad that only shows to women between the ages of 25-36 with a college education, living in Seattle or Portland? Facebook lets you do that.
Another powerful way to use social media it to engage and interact with your target audience. You can integrate Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn right into your website. This makes your site seem fresh, and up today. It also opens up a two-way dialogue between you and your perspective customers.
5- Are You Ranking Well In Search Engines?
What good is it to have a great website if no ever sees it? It’s very critical that your business is easily found on search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and others. The process of revamping your site to help it rank better in search engines is called SEO (search engine optimization). Putting together an ongoing campaign to increase and drive more traffic to your site via these search engines is called SEM (search engine marketing). The difference between being ranked well for your target keywords can make a huge impact on your bottom lines sales. The questions isn’t even “are you on page one or page two”. If you’re not on page one for the keywords you’re targeting, then for all practical reasons, you don’t exist. Few consumers will take the time to visit other pages when searching for something.
6- Is Your Website Mobile Compatible?
It’s estimated that as much as 40% of US adults use a smart phone or mobile device to browse the web. Especially younger demographics want to do the majority of their web surfing on mobile devices instead of a traditional computer or laptop. Have you ever tried using your smartphone to look at a website that wasn’t designed for mobile browsers? It can get pretty hairy. Many smartphones don’t show things like Flash, and other old technologies. Imagine your customers seeing a big blank spot in your website where your Flash animation is supposed to be. Not a great first impression. Also, even if your layout looks great on a standard computer monitor, it may look terrible on a iPhone or other mobile device. If your website is clunky, confusing or hard to use on a mobile device, then customers just wont use it. They’ll look for one of your competitors.
If you’re website is suffering from any of the above problems, we’d love to talk to you about it. At Scottsdale Website Design, we would be happy to offer you a free, no obligation evaluation of your website. You’ve got nothing to loose and everything to gain.