How to determine the root causes of website underperformance

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How do you know when it's time to invest in changes to your existing website design? It's an age-old question that dogs many businesses.

In some cases, the path forward is clear. In others, not so much. Regardless, a systematic website assessment is a great first step to improve your website performance.

To help you take this initial but critical first step, here's where you can look to determine the root causes of website underperformance.

Check Your CTAs (Call-To-Action)

You've noticed that your website traffic numbers are steady but your existing website is failing to convert visitors into leads. And it seems visitors to your site bounce after viewing a few pages and don't take action. If you have these issues, take a look at the following areas of your website to determine the problem:

  • Do you have call-to-action (CTAs) buttons on your home page and other high traffic pages?
  • Are your call-to-action graphics in highly visible areas?
  • Are the offers attached to these CTAs compelling and varied?
  • Are your forms asking for too much information relative to the quality and complexity of your offer?
  • Are the CTAs appropriate and connected to the website pages upon which they appear?

There are a variety of factors that can contribute to poor website conversion rates, including delayed response times to inquiries, faulty automated workflows or a misunderstanding of your target audience's needs and behaviors.

However, more often than not, assessing your CTA frequency, placement and offer strategy is the right place to start. In some cases, simple fixes that don't break the bank can be made to your website to improve conversion rates. What's more, tracking CTA performance and making adjustments through trial and error- i.e. thoughtful experimentation- can yield great improvement in lead generation.

Audit Your Navigation Structure

You might have a fantastic story to tell and compelling content offers, but if no one can find where they are you have a major problem.

It's critical that your website navigation path is strategic, well thought out and minimizes the amount of work a visitor needs to do to find exactly what they're looking for.

The fewer clicks it takes for a visitor to get what they want, the happier they'll be and the more likely they'll come back and decide to take action. 

The more confusing your navigation, the more muddled your brand story becomes and the harder it will be for visitors to understand what you do and why you do it best.

If you find that you have 8 main navigation buttons and it takes 4 clicks to get to the heart of the main navigation content, you have an issue that needs to be corrected.

Your audience wants content fast. If you don't make it easy for them, they'll find another website that does.

Assess Responsive Design Quality

Your website might look great on a desktop, but it might be a jumbled, illegible mess on a mobile device. Take the time to check how your website transitions from one device to another; ideally, the movement from one device to another should be seamless, delivering your key content across platforms without disruption.

If your website is not designed for tablets or smartphones, you're losing a lot of potential customers. That's just a fact as more and more consumers are making buying decisions on their mobile devices than ever before. And this trend will only increase over time.

Evaluate Website Load Times and the Content Management System

If your website is slow to load, no one is going to wait--they'll move on to your competitor in just seconds. Gather members of your team together and test out different scenarios--desktop, mobile, in office, out of office, etc.- to ensure your website loads instantly. If it doesn't you'll need to bring in the tech gurus and possibly contact your hosting company to problem solve and resolve the issue fast. 

In addition, check in with those that manage your website content via your content management system, or CMS. See if the CMS is still meeting their needs. Is it still user friendly, or are updates to copy and images taking too long and becoming a burden, resulting in outdated information that can hurt your website's performance.

CMSs need to be user-friendly to make certain your website content is kept fresh and that those tasked with website content management are able to do their jobs efficiently.

When your website is struggling to produce, pinpointing the root causes of website underperformance can be overwhelming, especially when you have myriad other responsibilities to your business and your team.

Start with these areas of concern. Self-assess. Get at least a surface-level understanding of where you need help, then go out and find website development experts that can guide you to the most efficient, cost effective solutions to get your website performing at the highest level. 

If you've already done some initial website assessment and marketing program, terrific--we can help augment what you've done by adding our expertise into the mix. Contact us today for a free marketing audit, which will include a free assessment of your website and other marketing tools.

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