Why your website isn’t making any sales
After spending hours on your website with your web developer/designer or creating it on your own, it’s finally time to launch. You’re excited to start getting in those sales!
You launch; you wait. Nothing happens…
Do you need to scrap your entire site and start from scratch?
Before we get to the answer of that question, let’s first make sure you understand your analytics and what they mean for your site. (Note: If you haven’t got any analytics set up yet or if you’re not getting a report from your developer on a regular basis, this should be your first step!)
Understanding your analytics:
Looking at your analytics, when you’re not a digital marketer can feel daunting. What does it all mean? Below are the most important metrics to keep tabs on:
Users: The number of visitors to your site.
There is no common benchmark for this metric. Whether you perceive your traffic to be high or low should be in proportion to your marketing activities and how many people you’re reaching out to.
Bounce Rate: The percentage of traffic that leaves your site after viewing only one page.
This is probably the most important metric. In terms of benchmarks, a Bounce Rate under 40% is considered excellent, 41 to 55% is average, 56 to 70% is above average and 70% or more is poor.
Average Session Duration: The average amount of time visitors stay on your site per visit.
This metric gives you an indication of how engaged visitors are with your website. A good average for time-spent will depend on the type of content on your site, but typically anything below 1 minute could be concerning, as you would want people to stay as long as possible on your site to learn about your offering.
Pages per Session: The average number of pages people view when visiting your site.
This is another metric that gives you an idea of how engaged users are with your site and how likely they are to discover your site past the home page. Depending on your site set-up, typically a good benchmark would be at least between 2 to 3 pages per session.
Site Conversion Rate: The percentage of visitors to your site who take an action such as making a purchase, requesting a demo or providing their email.
Depending on what you’re tracking and your analytics set-up, you may need to calculate this yourself by working out the percentage of the total number of conversions vs. traffic over a given period. Benchmarks here vary by industry and country, but on average the typical conversion rate of a site is around 1 to 2% for ecommerce and 2.35% for a lead generation page.
Note: For B2B, remember, your leads may not always come directly from your website. People may also be sending you emails, calling you directly or contacting you and/or your team via Social Media. Try to keep tabs on this by having a clear lead capturing process (even if it’s just a spreadsheet) to have the big picture view when making this assessment.
Now that you know what to measure and how to benchmark your performance, let’s look at the 3 typical scenarios they can help you uncover:
No one knows about your website!
Sometimes websites don’t perform and they need to be reworked, however often they’re simply not getting enough traffic to drive sales, nor to even assess if there is an issue.
Think about it, if typically sites convert at around 2%, and your goal was 100 sales this month, you had to get at least 5,000 relevant people to your site to achieve your target - assuming your site is performing at optimum.
If your marketing activities did not achieve that, you might not be doing enough and/or your site may be impossible to find online because it’s not properly SEOd.
To understand this better, look at where your traffic is coming from. Can you see all your channels represented in proportion to your efforts? Are you getting any organic site visits? Based on these insights, revisit your marketing plan and start taking care of your SEO.
Your marketing isn’t working!
You’re getting tons of traffic but conversions are low. Before you scrap your site, make sure your website is getting good quality traffic from your marketing activities!
Look at your channels: Where is traffic coming from? Which channels are driving good traffic; which are driving poor traffic?
Audit poor performing channels to understand why they are not performing. Is it the message, the format, the targeting etc.? Adjust your tactics and see if things improve.
Your website isn’t working!
Did you have poor performance across channels? Your website needs work! Where to start? Look at these 7 dimensions:
Aesthetics: The visual look and feel of your website.
This is the top reason websites fail! If your site isn’t well branded and professionally designed, it’s unlikely to engage audiences and drive sales. If you’re not a designer, consider hiring someone to give your website a professional refresh.
Copy: The written content of your website.
Your copy needs to do more than sound good. It needs to be compelling, informative and easy to digest. For example, in the case of ecommerce, your product descriptions are key to driving sales, whilst on lead generation sites, quick overviews of benefits and features are essential to grab the attention of potential customers, as they quickly compare between competitors.
Imagery: The photographs and graphics displayed on your site.
B2B businesses can often get away with using high quality stock photography, but it’s a good idea to hire a designer to create branded graphics to give your site a unique feel. For consumer brands on the other hand, lifestyle and product photography can be make or break, so don’t skimp on hiring a good professional photographer.
Navigation: The structure that guides people to explore your site.
Clear, intuitive navigation is critical for conversions, SEO and the customer experience. Keep your menus short and easy to find, and make sure that there is a clear Call to Action (CTA) guiding people through your site to convert.
User Experience: How easy, intuitive and enjoyable your website is to use.
Don’t reinvent the wheel here; follow industry standards and make the path to purchase, book or contact you as seamless as possible. If it takes more than 3 clicks, you’ve lost your customer!
Mobile Optimization: How well your website works across devices.
We live in a mobile-first world. Mobile optimization is not optional! Your site needs to look, feel, load and perform well on any device.
Calls to action (CTA): Buttons or text that guide users through your site to ultimately convert.
If you’re performing on every other aspect but your site is not converting, it could be that it’s not conversion optimised. Every page on your site should have a button, sign-up or other CTA that directs users toward your goal.
Once you’ve gone through everything, you might find you can make several fixes on your own, while other aspects may require professional help. For example, you might spend some time working on your SEO, but hire someone to provide new photography or fix your UX.
If you’ve worked through all of these items and you still can’t seem to make sales, it could be that neither your marketing, nor your website are the problem. Sometimes a product or service just isn’t right for your market or the offer isn’t compelling enough. In such cases, try to better understand your customer, optimise your offering to appeal to their needs, test different pricing levels or test new target audiences.