Find Out What's Wrong With Your Website
Bouncing? Fraggles? Meta-descriptions? There are some head-scratching terms associated with your website. At the end of the day, what every business owner needs to know is whether the website is performing and improving.
The goal of every website is to get visitors. There are a lot of steps between “buy the domain” and “measure the data.” In between, you’ve written copy, had an SEO consultant weigh-in (and tear your copy apart), set up forms, added images, etc. Sometimes, somewhere along the way, you lose sight of the measure of success. Allow us to remind you.
Websites That Win
Website success has to do with traffic. At the end of the day, your website should be lead generating. Unless you are Wikipedia, and even if you are, the ultimate goal of a web presence is not necessarily to inform: it’s to get found. As you get found, you should make more money. Your revenue strategy may be direct sales, indirect affiliate or any number of structures. No matter how you slice it, it doesn’t work without a steady stream of visitors.
There are some basic ways to measure how well your website is doing, some huge red flags to look out for, and a way to monitor the teams who oversee these tasks.
Website traffic is a data point every business leader should know. You need your team, or consultants, to deliver the answers to the following questions:
- How many hits do you get a month?
- How long do people stay on your site?
- Do people click more than one page?
- How many people fill out forms?
- What is your best performing page?
- How many people buy something or perform a transaction?
There is some math to be done with these answers. Understand that how many hits you get a month, which pages people visit and whether or not they actually convert is the equation that spells out your return on investment.
Measuring Website ROI
To get down to the nit grit of return, establish the real spend. It’s important that you understand how much your website costs every month. This includes hosting costs, website fees, every little plugin that’s been added, SEO consultants, website management, copywriting work and anything else you’re actually paying for. Then, divide that number NOT by traffic but by conversions. How much money do you make based on the money you’ve spent? Traffic/conversions is the authentic measure of success. If the numbers aren’t adding up, that is your first red flag.
Here are some more.
Red Flags: Site Underperformance
If you get the data and feel like you’re spending a ton and getting very little, you have the right to raise a question. Here are the data points that could hint at an underperforming site:
- Low traffic
- Low conversion rate
- High bounce rate
- Pages with 0 visitors
- Broken links
- Toxic backlinks
These elements may not be familiar to you but they will show up in any basic site audit. In this list, there are code issues, which a web developer should address, and copy/content issues, which a digital marketing team should address. If you see major issues, like 404s or toxic backlinks, you should reach out to your web developer (or agency) right away.
The website is your company’s home base online. Even if it’s not their wheelhouse, every team member should have some awareness of, and invested interest in, the success of the website. Both internal and external teams need to be held accountable for how their work impacts your site.
Website Solutions: Action & Accountability
Every business leader has the right to demand accountability from vendors and employees. If you have a team overseeing your site, insist on reports delivered in plain English. Ask every question. Turn over every rock. Kick every tire. If website health is on the line, that means profitability is on the line. Here are some tips to lead a conversation like that well.
Together, create an action plan with solutions. For issues of traffic or conversion, you need to revisit both SEO and UX (user experience). Get the team together and ask questions like this:
- Is our website easy to use?
- Do people clearly see what to do?
- Is the copy optimized for SEO?
Both web developers and marketing experts need to weigh in on the foundational issues in an underperforming site. Yes, get to the bottom of it. Don’t throw good money after bad.
None of these elements are out of your depth. Even if your specialty or skills are far removed from web development or copywriting, it’s well within your abilities to understand the terms and metrics being used. Your business could depend on it.
Sometimes, implementing accountability measures requires a lot of effort. Systems need to be in place to ensure that your team is monitoring, fixing and improving your website all of the time. You need to hear every call, attend every meeting, read every email. It’s a lot. Want a hand? We are here to lend it. Contact us to learn more.