Is your website performing badly? If so you need to take action. A website that doesn’t quite hit the mark from a customer’s perspective could be costing your business money. A potential customer might follow a link from social media or a search engine to your home page, but if the website doesn’t meet their expectations, they are unlikely to stick around. Here are some of the most common problems.
Poor website hosting can really harm your website. Budget companies often sell shared hosting packages to lots of different companies. Before long the servers clog up and pages take forever to load.
Always check stats before you sign up for a website hosting provider. A page should take around 3 seconds to load or less. More on this here. Much more than that and a visitor will back-click. All of the big web host companies are pretty fast to load pages, with Bluehost, Hostgator and GoDaddy hitting the mark at 3.15-20 seconds.
Google Analytics is a fantastic free tool for webmasters. There is lots of data available within the Google Analytics dashboard: you can find out where visitors come from, which pages they land on first, and how long they stick around. Use this data to help you fine-tune your website content and marketing strategies.
If the data is difficult to understand, your website design company should help you make sense of the data. A good website design company will provide you with regular website performance reports and offer helpful ideas on how to improve your site’s performance.
According to a recent Google survey, 52% of users say they would be less likely to engage with a company if they have a bad experience trying to view the website on a mobile device. Users are increasingly viewing websites via mobile devices, so it is now more important than ever that websites are optimised for mobile viewing. Google’s ranking algorithm now takes into account how mobile-friendly a website is when showing results to search queries and non-mobile friendly websites will be ranked lower.
70% of small business websites do not contain any form of call-to-action on internal pages. This is seriously bad news as calls-to-action (CTAs) are one of the most important ways to generate sales from a website. If you don’t have any CTAs on your website, visitors are less likely to be drawn into your buying cycle.
There is a fine line between providing lots of useful information about the benefits you offer and why customers should buy from you, and starting every sentence with “I” or “we”. The most effective websites are those that focus on what a customer is looking for. For best results, create content that is helpful and informative, as this will encourage customers to spend time reading instead of going elsewhere.
Positive testimonials make a website feel more trustworthy. If there are none, potential customers are going to start wondering why nobody is willing to say they like your products or services. Having a few outdated testimonials is not much better either, but whatever you do - don’t commit the cardinal sin of writing your own fake testimonials. You might think they sound genuine, but they probably won’t and it will just tarnish your reputation.
Websites need to be fresh and up to date. When customers are greeted with old, out of date content and broken image links, it can suggest a lack of professionalism, even when this is not the case at all. In some cases it could suggest to a visitor that your website is insecure or out of date which can certainly harm your bottom line.
If you have recently experienced a decline in your online sales or enquiries it could be influenced by some of the factors mentioned within this post. There may also be other elements which could be affecting your website's performance. If you are unsure of where to start, you might want to take a look at one of our free website audits.