How to tell if your website is failing

Posted on February 20, 2019

 

How do you know whether or not your website is making the most of its traffic? Most website owners know if they’re getting business from their website. Either they’re getting sales and enquiries, or they’re not. It’s a simple thing to measure.

Some website owners know whether they’re getting ‘enough’ business from their website. You should be able to tell this from patterns over the months and years. Business will go up and down based on a number of different factors, and this gives you historic data to measure against. You can then spot issues based on a drop in business.

However, how do you know if your website is doing everything it can with the traffic it has? If you’re getting people to your website and they’re just not enquiring, or they’re just not buying from you, how would you know?

I recently watched an episode of NBC’s The Profit, where businessman Marcus Lemonis invests in struggling businesses and turns them around to generate more profit. Similar in theme to Dragons’ Den, or the US version Shark Tank, The Profit differs in that you see the day-to-day running of the businesses. You see their problems, challenges and how they overcame them.

You also see the difference having a multi-millionaire investor makes to a business, which means The Profit teaches more business lessons than Dragons’ Den ever would.

In a recent episode, a business was turning over upwards of $700,000 per year, but wasn’t doing as much as it should through its website. Marcus challenged the business owner on this, and discovered they didn’t know what visitors to their website were doing. They didn’t know where sales were being lost, and how people were using the site.

They weren’t using the correct tools to examine this data, tools such as Google Analytics which are simple and free to use.

Additionally, they hadn’t performed any usability testing so didn’t know where their site was going wrong.

With a business selling products to consumers, hoping to turn over more than a million dollars, and offering a bespoke product building feature on their website, the website was an essential part to the success of their business – and they had no idea whether or not it was working, and what was wrong with it.

Marcus arranged a focus group of web design and digital marketing experts to go through their website, and highlight all the areas for improvement. This was a difficult thing for the business’ website manager to have to listen to, as he bore the brunt of the criticism, but the feedback was all constructive and it allowed them to plan changes that would make huge differences to their bottom line.

While not every business can arrange a free focus group of multiple internet marketing professionals, every business does have the option of using free tools to analyse their website’s performance. Every business can also speak with internet marketing experts, like us at Engage Web, to see where their website could be improved and business could be increased.

Remember, it’s all about the profit!

Darren Jamieson

Technical Director at Engage Web
Darren is Technical Director at Engage Web, as well as being a co-founder of the company. He takes a hands-on approach to SEO and web design, helped by more than 15 years’ experience in these fields.

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