Small business owners, as well as larger companies, often ask me the same question: why isn’t my website generating more sales?
There could be a lot of reasons. In fact, there are probably more than you’d want to read here in one sitting. Add to that the fact that each website is unique, so it could be any combination of issues.
That said, here are five (5) big reasons, that I’ve seen, many websites are not delivering the results their owners want.
- You don’t come up in search results
If your website isn’t generating sales, one big reason may be that you’re not getting enough traffic. The best way to generate traffic is to be sure that you’re coming up in search results.
This means that all the SEO is set up properly and that you’re addressing your search optimization on an ongoing basis. Too many websites are set up without any attention to SEO, or the SEO is set up and then the owners don’t want to spend any more money after that SEO. The misconception is: I optimized once, why do I have to keep doing it? That’s not how SEO works.
SEO must be done on an ongoing basis. I just wrote a blog about how this can become a racket; that is, don’t spend a fortune on SEO alone. It should be part of your overall marketing budget and plan. Not all of it – but certainly part of it.
2. Your website is confusing and hard to navigate
Is it really easy and intuitive for someone to have a problem – find your website – and get to what they need in a couple of clicks? If not, then your website has bad navigation design and one reason you’re not getting sales is that it’s too hard for people to find what they want, or to order it.
If you’re doing ecommerce, there’s a long list of best practices to get people through the order process to fill their cart and then compete the transaction. I’m not going to go into that here – that’s worth a book, not a blog. Let’s just say that if you sell online and people aren’t buying, first be sure that they know how to buy. I’ve seen lots of sites where purchasing was added as an afterthought and it’s very confusing to click through the various screens to make it happen.
3. Your website is selling, not answering people’s needs
This is a classic marketing mistake that I’ve seen even in large companies. These businesses think they’re selling widgets. They’re not. They’re selling an answer to a problem.
This has to do with the content of the website. Is it set up to draw people in who are searching for answers? Or people who are searching for products? You can do both, if you do it well.
What do I mean by selling products? If I’m looking to buy a kayak, for example, I can search for kayaks for sale. When I do that, I see individual results (thanks Google) as well as locations near me that sell kayaks, including the major brands of big box stores (Dick’s Sporting Goods, for example).
But Google does something else for me in the results that’s magical: it offers answers to commonly asked questions, such as:
- What is the best type of kayak for a beginner?
- What is the best cheap kayak?
- What is the best kayak to buy?
- How much does a good kayak cost?
The answers to these questions are offered up by websites that recommend specific brands, with links to Amazon sales. This is how online sales and eCommerce sites are getting a leg up on the local market stores.
So, are you selling a product? Or answering questions? Or both?
4. Your website sells too hard
It’s important that your website sell your product or service, but you need to be careful to walk the fine line between selling well and selling too hard. (I’m not talking about an eCommerce site now – one with the main function of selling. I’m talking about other websites, by professionals, small businesses, etc.)
It’s always important to explain to visitors why they should buy from you and not someone else. If your website pushes too hard, without explaining why someone should buy from you and not your competitor, you might be losing sales. Remember: many purchasing decisions are made based on emotion, not based on price. So be sure that you’re giving your visitors the best website experience and reason to consider purchasing your product or service.
5. Your website doesn’t sell enough
This is the opposite problem, which I also see a great deal: websites that don’t always have a clear call-to-action, all the time. They’re full of information and very helpful and, after visitors have learned what they need to know, they leave. No transaction. No further inquiry.
Are you giving your website visitors a reason to contact you? Why should they click, give you their email, or call you? It should be clear that you can offer more, and you should always provide a number of ways people can contact you. Some may prefer to send an email; others may want to speak to someone “in real life.” Consider who will want your product or service and be sure that you’ve given them ways to contact you!
As I noted earlier, these are just some of the reasons your website may be under performing when it comes to sales or revenues. There are many others, ranging from your marketing message and approach to your marketing operations. Interested in learning how to make your website better? Contact me by email or phone now!