At times potential clients come to me and say, “Dude my site bites. It’s not performing how we want it to. It’s just not working. Why is that?” Is it because everyone’s site is running perfectly smoothly, showing leads, showing conversions, and producing revenue? Nope, it’s not. All sites have room for improvement.
Websites are a work in progress. They are, or at least should be, continuously improving and evolving. And, Google writes their algorithms to favor those sites that are improving their content and sites. If you believe that your site is optimally designed, coded and running, then you’re not looking in the right place. Recently, I pitched to a company, which believed their site was already optimized, to help improve their website and while going through the SEo routing decided to put together my improvements list.
The key is knowing when and where to look and how to fix it. So, I’m going to give you 5 indicators that your website isn’t working. Hopefully this will help you understand what to look for and maybe even give an idea of how to fix it.
Top KPI’s of Marketing to Look For To Determine If Your Site Isn’t Working
Crickets: Websites are meant to help generate leads and convert sales – even in a B2B atmosphere. That is their purpose. To me, nothing is worse than having a great site (especially retail) that just doesn’t push traffic along. They either stall out on the home page or drop out after looking at the first inside page.Before you start fuming over your web designer, it’s not all their fault. Web designers and developers build sites often to suit the clients. While some of us may suggest ways to help move people from page to the next, this is left in large to search engine optimization or content marketing specialists. Specialists take a look at the content on the page along with forensic data and work to improve page flow and conversion.Fixing the crickets can take time, but it can be done. First step is to evaluate your existing metrics and determine, how many, from where, what they do, why they leave.
In other words the 4 W’s (How, What, When, Why, Where). Second step is to make conversion goals. By making conversion goals you can better assess which campaigns and pages are working best. Once there you can evaluate and revise for improvement. Easier said than done, as this does take time.
So, if you’re not getting any kind of response from your site, then you may want to have someone take a look at it. Hopefully that someone is an agency offering free website audit and preliminary assessemnt, like PromotionStep agency.
The top indicator that your site isn’t working is the sound of crickets.
Low or stagnant traffic: Have you ever heard the term, “You’re either growing or dying there isn’t any 3rd direction”? Well, Big Tom from Tommy Boy said it, and guess what it’s true.I worked with one client that had the same amount of people within 5% every month for the past, well….long time. What we found was, that all their customers were required to log in through their site to gain access to their SaaS product. So, while they had all this great traffic, they didn’t really have new traffic, per say.
By implementing a little content marketing campaign, tracking and improving SEO/keyword usage, we started to find added traffic and conversions. After 6 months’ time, they had improved new sessions by 73% and increased users by 91%.New sites always are low to start off with. This isn’t a serious concern. It takes time to build an audience and then some time to cultivate that audience. However, if you’re site is more than a year old and you’re experiencing a decline, you may want to consider a course correction on your strategy.
Declining Traffic: Nothing is worse than watching free-falling stats. It makes you feel helpless and panicky. Don’t. First thing to do is a deep dive analysis of your site. It may have been awhile since you’ve really taken the magnifying glass to your metrics to view where people are going, and why they are leaving. In my experience stats rarely decline without a significant reason. Let’s discover the reason and fix it.
High Bounce Rates: Ah the bounce rate issue! This is every SEO specialist’s nightmare. Company owners don’t seem to get this, so even though it plagues them, they don’t get it so they rarely (if ever) loose sleep over it like their marketing department does. However, if executives understood the significance of a bounce they’d declare it a national emergency.
Why? Bounce rates show the overall health off a site. A ‘bounce’ occurs when a viewer comes to your site and then leaves after ANY amount of time and leaves without taking action. An ‘Action’ consists of clicking on any link that leads to another page within your same URL—period. Often I work with enterprise level companies that have login portals from their site, which is a great service to their customers. Unknowingly, in doing so they often sport bounce rates hanging around the 75-85% mark. The reason being is usually 1 or 2 things (if not both).
Reason 1: They don’t use any analytic coding for their login portal. Why, they don’t I can’t figure out for the life of me. It would seem to me that executives, marketing and sales would want to know how their customers work inside the portal the same as they do outside the portal. Bizarre, yes, at least to me, yet still it is nearly a norm for any company that has portal.
Reason 2: They are operating on a legacy Google Analytics coding system where they employ two different tracking codes for their primary domain and their sub-domain. When doing this the codes actually work against each other and one ceases to work where the other picks up. In this way, it is essentially ‘bouncing’ as the code no longer recognizes the user.
Fixing bounce rates isn’t as easy as I made this sound. In more cases than not resolving high bounce rates comes from a good analysis of your customer base then tailoring content to their needs and wants, then finding a way to entice them from one page, or topic, to the next. In this way you truly gain conversion and will see added success on your site.
Low or non-existent SERP: My latest, most favorite example of this is the work I did with AFS. This is because when they first asked me to help them out they had little presence unless typing in their URL. Today more than half of their keywords are found on the 1st page and 90% of those are in the top three spots according to our Moz tracking module. I digress. Sometimes I just get excited over the progress and success of other people.I’m going to burst your bubble here for a minute. Not everyone gets to make it to the top page for every keyword. There’s simply not enough room. Did you know there are more than 800 million registered domains in the world? This means competition is stiff. Don’t despair.
Tailoring your keywords from Shipping to Freight and Parcel Auditing, or Shipping Auditing Software, or Shipping Analytics Companies can greatly shape the way your company is found and the message your convey.Some SEO companies will employ long-tail keywords—a fantastic way to go. Doing this however, takes discipline and patience. Not any long-tail phrase will do. Just like not any keyword will do.
Not too long ago I was handling the Park ‘N Fly PPC campaign. Prior to my arrival someone had the brilliant notion that buying up every possible combination of keyword(s) was the way to go. What they had was a jumbled mess that caused their own bidding war—forcing their CPC and average bid to rise. After going through a number of other combinations, we found several thousand keyword combinations needed to be eliminated. This strategy started to lower average bids and CPC. It also stopped ad confusion (seeing an ad for one service instead of another).
If you are running a PPC campaign, please make sure to involve your SEO specialist in the process (or vice versa). These two disciplines are more dependent on each other than you may realize. This is because much of the relevancy scores for PPC are dependent on site/landing page content. If you’re using separate agencies for each to compartmentalize, I might suggest consolidating to one agency that knows how, and is capable, to handle both.
While SERPs aren’t always the top KPI marketing directors and executives review, I might suggest re-evaluating what your top KPI’s are and how they are performing. Understanding how your keywords perform with relation to your website is highly important. They play in to the content you use, the links your employ, and the even the design.