This is a question I’ve asked hundreds of clients over the years, and it’s amazing how many people don’t have a clear idea what “job” their website is supposed to be doing, and whether it’s actually doing its job well or not.
This isn’t just a problem with old, outdated websites. Even a shiny, expensive new website can fail to deliver meaningful results for an organization. Why? In my experience, it’s usually because the website is dropping the ball one or more of the following things:
1. Attracting Visitors
“If you build it, they will come” does not apply to websites. Getting quality traffic is all about understanding your audience and knowing how to reach them. You first have to make sure people can find your site with good SEO and quality backlinks. Then, use some form of content marketing and/or targeted advertising to attract more of your ideal users.
2 . Keeping Visitors Interested
Like most of us, your website visitors are busy. In fact, research shows you have about five seconds to convince a new visitor that your site is worth their time and attention. To do this, make sure your site is easy to understand, easy to navigate, and is focused on your visitors’ needs and questions. If it’s confusing, hard to use, or too company-focused, they will move on, and someone else (maybe a competitor) will get their attention instead.
3. Getting Visitors to Take Action
Website visitors love hunting for your contact page and filling out your long web form. Oh, wait, no they don’t! Depending on your goals, there are different strategies to effectively convert website visitors into leads, prospects, or customers. But it all starts with getting very clear on the main thing you want your visitors to do, and making that thing as obvious and easy as possible. If your site doesn’t have a strong call-to-action and clear next steps, you could be missing a lot of opportunities.
Your website is an investment that should produce a measurable return for your business. If it’s not producing the results you want, however, you don’t necessarily need a brand new site. Often, properly optimizing headlines, call-to-action, navigation, and SEO can make a big difference. But whether you decide to optimize your current website or build a new one, make sure the goals for the site are clear, and that you have an effective strategy to attract visitors, keep them interested, and get them to take action. And don’t forget to measure the results!