When a new client asks me to redesign an existing website the first question I ask is how the current website is working for them as a business.
A surprising number of people don’t know the answer.
If I get a reply like “pretty good” or “pretty bad” I know the client isn’t even keeping track of how many people visit their website every day. That number mightn’t show up on their balance sheet, but it’s the first step towards measuring their online business. And you can’t manage what you don’t measure.
Succeeding online involves doing three things right.
- Getting people to your website.
- Telling them exactly what you can do to help them when they get there.
- Persuading them to pay for that help, service or product.
To generate decent business from a website you’ll need to get a decent number of people visiting your website. On most successful websites only one to three percent of visitors will take further action. And a further action doesn’t necessarily mean reaching for their credit card, it might just mean clicking through to another page.
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The best way to try and someone to do something for you in life and online is to ask them to do it.
Lots of badly designed sites don’t explicitly invite visitors to take further action. They’ll have lots of fancy sliders, glowing reviews from past customers and boastful posts about how much coffee the CEO drinks, but no obvious way to contact the business or take the actual step that you want them to do.
These sites don’t generate any income. And the person paying for the site won’t know why.
A business website needs to create customers or it serves no purpose. And flashy sliding graphics won’t do that on their own.
Getting accurate and useful data about visitors to your site is a simple step. When I work with clients the first thing I do is to put the tools to actually track how your business is performing in real time and put tangible steps to start making their website actually generate new business.
If you don’t do this then your website is not working optimally and possibly not functioning well at all