For the vast majority of businesses, their website exists in order to help them increase revenue. Whether that means customers buying directly from their website, or the website being a significant part of their sales funnels in turning visitors into prospects or leads, it is imperative that the website converts.
If your sales and conversions are not as you would like them to be on your websites, it signifies that something is wrong. Where many business owners struggle is in identifying what is wrong, and more than that, many of them do not even know what to look for. Taking this a stage further, whilst they might know what is wrong, most business owners are unsure as to how to fix the problem.
This can be extremely frustrating for many business owners as their websites are an essential element of their revenue creation, or at least it should be. When the website is failing to live up to that expectation, the business will inevitably suffer given that less revenue means lower profits and even losses.
To help you understand what might be the issue if you feel your website is not generating sufficient revenue, we are going to highlight some of the most common causes and give you some suggestions as to how you can put them right.
Your Website Is Unattractive
We have to be upfront and tell you that one of the more likely causes of your website not converting is that it looks awful. Now, we appreciate you might have spent hours building your website and you may regard it as your online ‘baby’, and whilst every real baby IS beautiful, the sad fact is that there are loads of websites that are just plain ugly.
Try to put yourself in the place of a first-time visitor and open your website on your browser. Be absolutely honest with yourself and answer the question as to whether this website is genuinely attractive and welcoming. Even if you are 100% certain that it is, we would still suggest you get a second, unbiased opinion.
There are many reasons for a website to be ugly such as wrong colour choices, too many images, poor images, inconsistencies with fonts and font sizes, and poor layouts. If your website is ugly, then visitors are not going to stay, and they most certainly are not going to be converted into a buyer or a lead. If you feel it is time to have a new website designed, here are a few things web designers need to understand.
Poor Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO is the means by which a website owner attempts to improve its ranking on search engines and in particular, Google. There are many ways in which SEO benefits your website, and obviously one of them is that better ranking which should bring a greater amount of organic traffic to your website.
In addition, there are many on-site optimisations that take place as part of SEO, which also improve the experience of visitors to that website. One example is content, whereby well-written quality content that is not stuffed full of keywords, is enjoyed, and appreciated by visitors. As a result, they are more likely to remain on the site, and maybe more amenable to filling out a quotation request or purchasing directly from the site, if that is an option.
In other words, by following good SEO guidelines not only are you improving the chances of gaining more visitors from the search engines, but you are also creating a scenario on your website where those visitors have a better experience which logically should mean they are more likely to convert.
As any sales guru will tell you, selling is a numbers game. An example of that is any given salesperson or a website that sells, will have an average conversion rate. This means the more prospects that are fed into one end of that sales funnel or process, the more sales will be made.
For a website, it might be that everything that would help to convert a prospect to an actual lead or paying customer is optimised, and so the main variable that is going impact the number of sales, and ultimately the revenue generated, is how many individuals land on the website in the first place.
If revenue levels being generated from a website are lower than expectations, and everything else relating to the website seems to be effective, then the answer is simply that not enough people are visiting the website. In other words, more traffic needs to be generated. This can come from improved SEO as mentioned in the previous section, paid online advertising, social media channels, or by increasing the number of backlinks to your website from other online locations.
Your Website Does Not Have A Responsive Design
For those that might not know what a responsive design is, it is the means by which a website can be displayed properly on all device types and sizes. This has obviously come about as result in the massive increase in the use of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, and whereby many people now access the internet exclusively on these as opposed to desktop PCs and laptop computers.
However, whilst mobile devices are on the rise, PCs and laptops are still hugely popular and therefore there is nothing really to be gained by designing a website for mobile devices only. The solution is to have a responsive website which means regardless of which browser and which device it is being viewed on, it will function and appear normal for the person viewing it.
Slow Website Loading Speed
With super-fast broadband at home, at work and on our mobile devices, we all expect websites to load instantaneously every time we visit one, and that same scenario applies to any visitor to your website. If they land on your website and the home page takes any more than a couple of seconds to load, they will habitually click away and start looking for another website.
This is why a website that is under-performing, either with regards to conversions or revenue, needs to be checked to see if its loading time is quick enough. If it is not, there can be several reasons which include:
- Coding Issues
- Poor Quality Hosting Service
- Lack Of Caching
- Excessive Number Of Page Elements
- Poorly Optimised Images
- Excessively Large File Sizes
- Not Using A Content Delivery Network
One other cause of your website loading quickly, which ironically might please you, is excessive traffic levels which your current hosting plan’s bandwidth is not set up to deal with. Here you simply move up to a plan with more bandwidth so that your website can cope with the extra traffic, much of which hopefully converts to being paying customers.
Insufficient Or Poor Content
The heart and soul of any successful website is its content, and it is no surprise that those websites that offer lots of diverse, interesting, entertaining, and even controversial content, are the ones that convert best and generate the most amount of revenue. The reasons for this include the fact that great content gives a visitor a reason to remain on that website and as such, they begin to trust it more with each piece of content they encounter.
Great content can also go a long way to answering many of the queries and questions a potential customer might have about the products and services which you sell. Whilst the content itself does not necessarily do the job of closing any sale, it can play a huge role in helping the prospect to either make their decision, or to justify their decision, to buy.
If your website has a lack of content, or you determine that the content is simply not good enough, then there are lots of ways you can rectify this. Content can be commissioned or created relatively cheaply, and you should also consider updating and refreshing any of your existing content as a quick way to boost its effectiveness. Also, take a peek at other successful websites in your niche to see what types of content they use as guidance, but obviously do not copy it directly.
Too Many Distractions
One of the greatest sales lessons ever taught is that when you have a prospect in the process of making their decision to buy, especially if they are sitting in front of you, you should keep your mouth shut. Do not say anything, as the slightest distraction at this point can be enough to muddle their thoughts, and instead of saying ‘Yes’, they decide to think about it.
That very same principle applies in many ways to a website, but in this context, we are talking about distractions on the pages of a website. When Slinky Web Design creates a website for our clients one of our core principles is that we do not make pages too complicated and that if there is any kind of conversion that is to take place on a page, that there is nothing on it to distract the person making that decision.
With this in mind, take a look at those pages on your website where you hope to convert a visitor from a prospect to a solid lead or a buyer. Ask yourself if there are any distractions on that page that could deflect from them making a positive decision. If so, remove those distractions.