Your website is your digital shop front, yet many businesses find themselves losing out on potential customers due to an outdated, poorly designed or dysfunctional digital presence. If you suspect your website isn’t performing at its best, a new website is usually the best solution. But if that’s not an option for you at this point in time, there are a few things you can do that will help.
Let’s look at the options for improving a poorly performing website. Some of these suggestions will offer immediate results, and some require a little patience, but all will help your website work harder and more effectively for you.
First of all, how can you tell if your website is underperforming?
If you’ve got an inkling that your website is dragging the chain, you’re probably right. After all, a well-designed website noticeably pays its own way, resulting in regular enquiries and increased business. If your website doesn’t seem to be doing much, or even worse, you’ve had customer feedback that your website is difficult to use, you’ve got a problem.
While I’m used to looking under the hood of websites, we can’t all be expected to know the ins and outs of how a website is run. Fortunately, there are a few sure signs that tell me a website is underperforming – and you don’t need to be a pro to figure it out.
- It takes too long to load
- It has little to no traffic
- It has a high bounce rate
- It doesn’t create leads or sales
These issues can all be identified during a website audit (more on that shortly).
Often, if one of the above is proving to be an issue, there’s usually a knock-on effect to other areas. If, for example, your site takes a long time to load, people will give up or “bounce” off the page, resulting in lost sales.
Your website is meant to be a marketing tool for your business, so if it’s acting as a customer-repellant, it’s time to shake things up. Here are a few easy tips for bringing an old website up to date.
Audit your website
One of the best places to start when trying to improve your website’s performance is with an audit. A website audit will determine how responsive your website is, track the loading time, and give you insight into how much traffic your pages receive. From there, you can decide what the priority tasks are to bring it up to speed.
Needless to say, this is one of the most important tasks when trying to spot flaws in your website, but it can also be one of the most difficult if you’re not familiar with the relevant tools. If you’d rather cut straight to the results, speak to me about getting your website audited. I’ll provide you with a full report and recommendations for site improvements.
Improve the user experience and usability
After auditing the mechanics and analytics of your website, it’s time to cast an eye over the writing, images and how the page flows from one element to the next – the user experience, or UX.
Does your website paint your business in a good light? Does it answer your customers’ most pressing questions? Does it tell them what to do next? Try to put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer and think about what you could change to better meet their needs.
This can be a manual process, but it’s essential if you want your website to perform at its best. The process is much easier if you’re familiar with the latest research in UX – if you’d like support, feel free to drop me a message.
Improve site traffic
Once you’re confident that your website looks and performs as it should, you can focus on increasing the visitors or “traffic” who find it. There are two branches to this task, one is to encourage your existing audience to visit your website, and the other is to encourage Google to do the work for you.
SHARE YOUR WEBSITE WITH YOUR EXISTING AUDIENCE
Whether you’re regularly posting to social media, running radio ads or dropping leaflets through letterboxes, make sure you’re using that exposure to publicise your website. If you’ve followed the suggestions listed above, your website will be a great resource for potential customers. So, instead of letting it sit quietly in the corner of the internet, make sure you’re telling people about it.
SHARE YOUR WEBSITE WITH A NEW AUDIENCE
The best way to help potential customers find your website is to optimise your website for search engines. By creating a Google Business profile, you’ll appear in the search results for people looking for services in your local area. You can then improve your rank against competitors by optimising your website for keywords and regularly updating your site with new content.
Keep your website relevant
Last but certainly not least, make sure you’re keeping on top of your website maintenance moving forward. A website isn’t a set-and-forget tool, it should be regularly updated with information. Not only does this provide value to your website visitors, but it also lets search engines know that the website is still in use, so it won’t start dropping down the ranks.
A blog is a great way to tick this box and has the bonus benefit of giving you something to talk about on your social media channels. For blog ideas, start by thinking about the questions customers ask the most about the services you provide.
If all this sounds like too much hard work, my Social Media & Content Creation service takes care of that for you.
Whether you want support to update your existing site or are ready to invest in a new one, I’m happy to walk you through the process. Get in touch today to arrange a coffee and a chat.
Want to do a quick audit of your website to see how you’re stacking up?
Head over and grab my FREE Website Health Checklist.