14th April 2017 by John Carrell
It is a common scenario. You hire someone to build a website and kick back waiting for the customers to roll in.
But nobody turns up…
So you ask yourself “Why does no one visit my website?” or “Why does nobody buy from my website?”
Well there are many reasons but before you can figure out what the issue is, you must first understand what an under-performing website is, and how you figure out if you have one.
You have probably found this article because you are pretty sure your website is a disappointment and is capable of far more. But let me explain how to decide if your website really is rubbish.
A gut feeling that your website isn’t working well isn’t a good way of measuring its success. You must have goals which you measure. Without them you are simply guessing.
This article will help explain:
- Why your website must have goals
- Why your goals must be realistic
- If your website is really failing
Olympic athletes all want to win a gold medal. that is there goal, and everything they do is geared towards this single aim. The food they eat, the training they do, the rest they take all plays a small part towards helping them reach their goal.
Your website is no different. It should also have a clearly defined goal which you keep tabs on.
Luckily it is really easy to measure stuff on a website. 90% of all website have software installed that measures stuff, such as Google Analytics (which is completely free). This means there is no reason to not measure stuff.
The most obvious measure that people use is ‘number of visitors’. This is sometimes (wrongly) called ‘hits’. Put basically it is the number of people who land on your website. This is an interesting figure to know but it is very general and doesn’t show how relevant that visitor is.
For example if you own a hair salon in London and most of the people who visit your website are from Newcastle then the visitors are irrelevant as they are unlikely to need your services. This is why visitor number are not a good measure of success on there own. You need to measure other things to get a full picture.
A good place to start would be to measure how many people perform a specific action or goal – such as buy a product, fill in a form, or sign up for a mailing list. If you expected 4 sales a day, but get 1 per week then you can safely assume that your website is failing.
Many of the people who commission me to fix their under performing website have no idea what there goals are. My advice is when you initially commission a web designer you should sit down and come up with your goals together. Agree them. More importantly measure them.
Only then will you know if your website has fallen short of what you expected.
It can cost loads to build a new website. Regardless if you spend £1000 or £100,000 your aim should be to make more than it costs. If it doesn’t, then your website is a liability instead of an asset and can be rubber-stamped with the ‘underperforming’ label.
You must be realistic with your goals though. If you spend £10 per month on a website you are very unlikely to earn £10,000 a month. The income generated is influenced by how much time, effort and money you spend on creating and maintaining it.
Now you are aware that you need to measure certain things to establish if your website is really failing you need to go and start measuring them. If you have never had any goals make sure you create some – but be realistic.
Only then can your gut feeling be checked if it is correct.