Just like your finances, human resources and other aspects of your business, your Web site should be continuously monitored for red flags and to be sure it’s not out-of date.
Yes, it’s time-consuming and expensive, but any problems should be solved to maximize revenue.
The trick is to do it right, cost-effectively.
Here eight red flags:
1. Your traffic is slowing down
There are many indicators why your visitors’ rate is down. Don’t be lulled into complacency.
For instance, the vast majority of Web sites experience a decline in summer months, so companies have a tendency look the other way.
But it’s likely you have issues. All Web sites develop issues whether it’s summer or not.
Solution: Many red flags can be spotted by simply reviewing your visitors’ data, which contains valuable and insightful information.
It’s not just a matter of the number of unique visitors and cumulative visits.
Here’s an overview:
— Determine which pages are popular and analyze the content of each
— View the number of hits
— Check out the bandwidth used by visitors
— Consider the time-spent on your site by the average user
— Note the high bounce rates, especially starting on your home page
— Look at the visitors’ locations, referring sites, browsers and operator systems (including mobile users)
— Review your HTTP status codes (e.g. there are about 12 possible internal errors to review)
2. Weak conversion into sales
Even if your rate of visitors is positive, poor sales can be a concern. It’s important to learn why you’re not converting sales.
Solution: Look at your Google Analytic data to see where the visitors leave. You can also start usability testing with usertesting.com and use testing tools at Visual Website Optimizer. (Note: These are unpaid recommendations.)
You might need a simple page redesign or even a site rehab. After your home page, look at your product listing page and shopping cart. Retailers continually complain about visitors who start to buy products but abruptly abandon the shopping cart.
3. Download speed
Your site should download in seven seconds or less. Not only do your visitors get impatient, but Google especially won’t like a slow download speed and will penalize your site’s ranking.
Solution: You can shrink your image files. Next, optimize your content and browser caching.
4. Unnecessary challenges to update your site or add content
If it’s too difficult to update your site, you probably need a content management system.
Solution: You would benefit from easy-to-understand functionality and use of interfacing. The goal should be for a minimum of coding. Your visitors will appreciate simplicity.
5. A mobile Web site
Increasingly, visitors are using smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. Worse, a mobile-ready site is critical for connecting with Millennials.
Solution: Make sure your site is responsive to such users with a specific mobile strategy.
6. Opt-in/sign ups
You have a considerable investment in your site. It’s a problem if you can’t capitalize on visitors. Loyal followers are a good thing.
Solution: Above the fold on each page — preferably in the upper right — insert an opt-in for visitors to put their e-mail addresses so you can contact them or forward content to them.
7. Out-of date content
Brick and mortar retailers know to refresh their window displays and endcaps to entice shoppers. If your site isn’t fresh, you’ll miss opportunities for growth. Quality of content is king on Google, but the search engine’s crawlers also take note of content change.
Solution: One quick fix is to paraphrase your content. Another is to update your key-search words and phrases for enhanced organic search results.
Even better, update your buttons, total redesign your site, including your e-commerce process. Get knowledgeable close friends and family to use your shopping cart for all products to check usability and to prevent buyers’ remorse. Then, monitor the visitor results.
Finally, if your site needs to be totally re-worked, you will find it more cost-effective to buy a site template. Terrific-looking, cost-effective templates are available at Creative Market and Envato. (These are also unsolicited recommendations.)
8. Social Media
Do you have social media links on your site for your visitors to share your content? If not, get busy.
Solution: Depending on your sales objectives, you need to insert social media buttons above the fold. At the minimum, retailers need Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter links.
Bloggers usually need Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, and Twitter.
From the Coach’s Corner, related information:
Worried Your Web Site Losing Visitors? Best Practices to Fix it — If your site’s visitor numbers are falling, there are five possible reasons. The key is to know what’s wrong before you start applying solutions. It used to be that Web-site owners only had to worry about losing traffic in the summer.
Web Site ‘Priming’ – 6 Tips That Will Help You Succeed — If you want to increase your odds for Internet success, you might consider priming your Web site. Priming is a method to motivate users to make decisions when they visit your site.
Download Speed Matters for WordPress Web Sites – 5 Tips — Actually, download speed matters on all Web sites. Even if your WordPress Web site has compelling content with graphics and pictures, image and user convenience are equally important. So your site’s download speed matters – a lot.
11 Tips for the Best Business Mobile Web Site — If you operate a retail business, it’s increasingly important for your Web site to be easy-to-use for mobile users. The use of smartphones and tablets is skyrocketing, especially among Millennials — young adults aged 32 and under.
5 Factors to Get Peak Google Results for Your Web Site – Study — What do top Web sites have in common? Successful sites produce a high number of Facebook and Twitter messages, but the sites minimize the volume of ads on its pages according to an authoritative study.
“Domain names and websites are Internet real estate.”
Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.
Photo courtesy of marin at www.freedigitalphotos.net