How to know if your website is actually working

I know you want your website to look good. You want it to wow your visitors and get all the praises for its stunning appearance. And it should.

But your website needs to do more than that too. Ultimately, your website is there to serve a purpose for your business and if it’s not doing that, it might be costing you money or losing sales. Obviously, we want to make your website look good, but we also want to make sure it’s doing what it should for you too.

Here’s what we’ll cover

  • What your website should be doing for your business
  • How to know if your website is working for you
  • 4 easy ways to improve your website
  • A website evaluation checklist

What your website should be doing for your business

Your website is there to work for your business. It holds the most important information about your brand and your offerings, gives people a place to connect with you and find out more about your business, houses valuable content and resources to serve your audience, and provides a place for them to purchase from you or inquire about working with you.

Your website can do a lot. And the best part is that it can be doing all of that for you 24/7. It’s your always available concierge that can greet people whenever they want. It’s the tipping point of your sales machine that is there when you can’t be.

Your website is so much more than some words and images on a page. And while the bottom line of most websites is to make sales in one way or another, it isn’t the only thing websites are good for either.

Your website is an interactive tool for you to engage with your audience on their time, without you needing to be there.

So it’s important to treat it that way and make sure that it is actually doing it’s job.

How to know if your website is working for you

The best way to understand if your website is actually working for you is to track key performance indicators. This means regularly looking at your website analytics to make sure that you reach your goals and get what you need from your website.

A few KPIs to track are:

Total website traffic – The best place to start when tracking your KPIs is with overall website traffic. After all, your website can’t convert if people aren’t visiting. You want to get eyes in front of your offerings and essentially sell your products or services. Is your traffic consistently and steadily increasing? If your website isn’t getting that traffic, then you might have some work to do.

New visitors – The next thing you want to look at is how many of those visitors are new visitors and where they are coming from. This will tell you if you are reaching new traffic and what source is working best to send people to your site.

Returning visitors – You also want to look at how many of your overall visitors are returning to your site. Reaching new people is great, but it’s even better if those people come back again and again and become loyal to your brand.

Bounce rate – Ideally, you want people to come to your site and stay awhile. But that isn’t always the case. Even if you build the most engaging website, some people will still scroll briefly and be done. But that could mean that it was easy for them to find what they needed, which is a good thing. You do want to pay attention to your bounce rate to see if you need to elevate the experience of your website and keep people there longer.

Conversion rates – Another great stat to track is your conversion rate. You can look at conversion rates for a lot of different things on your site specifically, but you want to keep your main website purpose/goal in mind. Is your website converting? Are your visitors taking the action you want them to?

4 easy ways to improve your website

If you check your website analytics and realize that your traffic is lacking or people are clicking out of your site too soon, there are a few simple tweaks you can make to improve your website today:

Improve the clarity
If your website is confusing people will leave so one of the easiest tweaks you can make is to improve the clarity. You want clear, simple, easy-to-read headlines and short paragraphs that lead them through the site easily.

Clean up your navigation
When people get to your website it needs to be easy to navigate and lead them to the things they need to see. Grabbing their attention quickly is important as most people will click away if they aren’t initially engaged and what they were looking for isn’t readily available.

Lead them to the next step
If they are coming to your website from Instagram or Pinterest, they are probably coming to see that one thing you talked about. But typically they will leave after they got what they came for. Instead of letting them get away that easy, optimize your pages and blog posts so that you encourage them to stay and explore a bit longer.

Focus on your main conversion goal
It’s always good to go back to your main conversion goal and make sure that you are focusing on that. If your website is getting traffic but you’re still not seeing the conversions, you might have some work to do. Traffic is great, but conversions are better. You can add a button to your main navigation, a pop up window, or even a new section to your home page that focuses on that goal so that it draws attention to it.

A website evaluation checklist

It can be so easy for us to focus on getting new website visitors through different marketing tactics, but sometimes we don’t need more traffic, we just need to optimize for the traffic we are already getting. You can use this website evaluation checklist to make sure that you are optimizing your site for the traffic you’re already getting.

Website evaluation checklist

Branding + Design

Is your branding consistent and strong?
Does your website evoke a welcoming feeling for visitors?
Are the fonts legible and are you using 3 or fewer?
Is there consistency in color and design?
Do you utilize white space well?
Do your images match your brand and style and convey your message just as much as your content?

Content

Is your content well-written and keeps with your brand voice and message?
Do you speak directly to your ideal client?
Are you speaking to one person with your content?
Do you tell people who you are and what you do quickly?
Do you communicate your offering and the benefits of working with you?
How well is your website showing what sets your site apart from your competitors?
Do you include client or customer testimonials?
Do you showcase your best and most recent work?
Is your content up to date?
Is there a clear call to action on every page?
Is it easy to navigate and understand?
Is there a hierarchy in your content to guide your visitor?
Is your contact information clear and easy to find?
Are your social media profiles linked and easy to find?

Technical

Is there an email opt-in that is easy to see and use?
Have you completed the basic SEO setup (titles and metadata)?
Are all of the links working and active?
Do all external links open in a new window?
Is Google Analytics installed?
Does it load fast?
Is it responsive and mobile-friendly?

Recap

I’m sure you know how important it is to have a website for your business. But just having something online isn’t always enough. We have to put thought and purpose behind our online presence in order to use it well and use it intentionally. Your website is such an important tool for your business so it’s key to make sure that it’s actually doing its job.

Taking time to evaluate your website and its performance can benefit your business so much. Once you know that your website is optimized, then you can focus on getting more traffic to your site and have peace of mind that the increased traffic will actually convert to paying customers.

Next Steps

Take a look at your website analytics and go through the checklist to make sure your website is performing the best it can. Then you can make tweaks as needed to make sure your website is optimized well.

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