Just because you have a small business website, doesn’t mean that website is actually helping you attract new customers and grow your business. All too often, it’s a case of “out of sight, out of mind.” Once it goes live, you check a box and start focusing on other things.
Before you know it, months (if not years) have passed while your website continues to ineffectively sputter along in the background.
How do you know when it’s time to overhaul your small business website? Here are five signs to look out for:
1. Not Enough Leads
Of all the key performance indicators you can use to evaluate the effectiveness of your website, everything boils down to whether or not you’re generating leads for your small bsiness. You can spend thousands of dollars on a design, but if your phone doesn’t ring or you’re not selling any products you’re going to be in big trouble.
Go back and look at each and every page of your website. What do you want prospective customers to do? How can you make it easier for them to contact you or make a purchase? Something as simple as including your phone number in the header or a targeted call to action (ex. “Get A Quote”) could have a huge impact.
2. Outdated Website Design
If your small business website was built in the 1990s and it looks like it was built in the 1990s, there’s a pretty good chance your online marketing efforts are going to struggle. Attracting certain types of customers means your website has to look the part (unless of course you’re specifically targeting the 90s crowd—then have at it!)
Just as you would give a brick and mortar storefront a fresh coat of paint every 2-3 years, you need to get in the habit of revisiting your website to make sure you still have the right look, feel, and functionality for your target audience.
3. Not Enough Website Traffic
You can’t generate new leads and convert those leads into paying customers unless you’re driving enough traffic to your website. As a small business marketing consultant, I speak with a ton of prospective clients who don’t know how much traffic their site is even getting.
If you don’t already have access to Google Analytics, it’s an absolute must. This free tool gives you real-time insights into how many people are visiting your site, what search terms they’re using to get there, and which pages are your most/least popular.
4. Not The Right Website Traffic
Getting lots of traffic is great, but only if it’s the right traffic. Your ultimate goal is to attract prospective customers—people who are most likely to make a purchase now or in the future.
Pay close attention to your “Bounce Rate” in Google Analytics. The Bounce Rate represents the percentage of single-page visits (visits where someone left your site from the entrance page without visiting another page). Generally, the higher the number the more likely it is that your content isn’t resonating with your audience.
5. Not Ranking for the Right Search Terms
Most small business owners I speak with are focused squarely on getting on the first page of Google search results. But the only way that’s ever going to happen is if you have a clear understanding of your visibility around specific keywords and phrases. And that’s where Google Webmaster Tools comes in.
Similar to Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools gives you free access to incredibly powerful insights you can use to help drive your content strategy including your average position in the search results for specific keywords and phrases.
When do you think a business website is ready for an overhaul?
Share your thoughts below.
By: Shawn Graham
[Image: Flickr user Randy Troppmann]