The growth of your website is dictated by many different factors, some big and some small.
In most cases, what holds back your website is a combination of small things that add up to one big problem. Furthermore, spotting all the issues that may be turning away visitors are not always obvious. That is why you should review your website regularly with fresh eyes.
What follows are the most common reasons why your website is not growing the way it should. If you have set specific goals for audience growth and they are not being reached, then it pays to find out why. By going over this checklist, you may spot some issues that are holding your website back.
Of the many different things that may be keeping your website from reaching its full potential, the design and appearance may be one of the most common. Look over your website design and see if one of the following is present.
Outdated: If your website looks old, then it might be turning away visitors. You may need to compare your site to ones in your niche or industry to see if it is looking behind the times. Some areas in particular include the following.
- Older text, images, or structure
- Old fashioned logo
- Website branding that is not relevant to your industry
Do a comparison and bring in a few friends to get their impressions about your site. That may help provide you some perspective.
Not Responsive: In other words, not mobile friendly. With more people using smartphones and tablets to access the internet, if your website is not responsive it will not fit into the smaller screens. This means that your website is not as easy to use as it should be.
Plus, Google ranks responsive websites at a higher level compared to those that are not. So, you will want to change your website to a responsive one if you want to receive more visitors.
Poor User Experience: It’s often the little things such as not knowing where to click, a cluttered appearance, or simple lack of obvious ways to better access your site. The worse the user experience, the more it holds your website back. You may not see it, but others certainly will. So, have a couple of friends or those outside your industry to visit your website and check out its navigation.
How fast your website responds is a large factor in how well visitors will respond to it. Poor performance is an automatic strike against your website, especially by first time visitors who will not be pleased.
Slow Speed: The slower your web pages download onto a computer or mobile device, the faster a visitor will leave and go somewhere else. Slow speed creates a bad impression that you may never have a second chance to get back. Read more about website speed here.
Elements Jumping Around on a Page: This is another common issue where visitors get frustrated in seeing parts of the page jump around or move to different areas for no reason.
No SSL Certificate: Not having an SSL certificate not only creates a poor impression, it may send out browser warnings that keep people from ever visiting your site. Get an SSL certificate as soon as you can to correct this issue.
In addition to the aforementioned performance issues, there are many on-page errors that may create a bad impression of your website. Be sure to check out your website on a regular basis and do so on different types of devices to see if there are any performance issues, on-page errors, or other problems that can be corrected.
It’s not just your website, it is the information that it contains that either gets people to come back or turns people away. Content that is not informative, interesting, and compelling gives off a bad impression that will reflect poorly on your site.
Poor Content: The content on your website does not have to be spectacular, but it should be free of basic errors, be informative, and useful to those who have an interest in your products or services. Some of the most common issues with content include the following.
- Too salesy
- Too technical
- Poor formatting
- Not concise or to the point
- Not enough content
Other issues such as poor use of colours, fonts, and designs that make your content difficult to read can also create a bad impression that has visitors leaving and not coming back. The content you present needs to be clear and easy to understand. Consider one of our SEO packages for regular high quality content added to your site.
Bad Images: Low quality photos or images can really leave a bad impression. These include images that are warped, stretched, and generally difficult to see or fully understand. There are ways to reduce the size of the image file so that your webpage loads faster onto computers and devices without lowering the quality. A fully responsive website should load images properly.
Go over the images that appear on your website and check them to see if the quality is good, if they are uniformly presented, and if they are up to date.
Lack of Proper Flow: This is a subtle issue and sometimes difficult to see, but your visitors will notice it even if they cannot put it into words right away. The content on your website should generally flow together well when it is being read. It should be related in some way so that the result isn’t jarring or confusing to visitors.
In other words, reading different pieces of information that have no logical connection can be quite jarring and create a bad impression. You want everything to flow together naturally, so that a visitor can comfortably go from one piece of content to the next.
Other Website Issues
There are many additional issues that may be holding back your website’s overall performance with visitors. Some of these problems include the following.
Not Posting at Regular Times: One reason why so many television and radio series build up audiences is because they release new shows at regular times. The same is true when you update your website with fresh content. The longer you go without posting something new, the less likely visitors will return to your website.
You will need to post on a regular basis so visitors can expect to see something new. It can be daily, twice a week, or once per week. But it needs to be regular and fairly frequent. While it is possible to post every other week, it is generally recommended that you put new content up weekly to help secure and build your audience.
Poor Uptime: This is an issue that you may not always see, but when it strikes it can really damper your website. When your site is down, people go somewhere else. The more frequently it happens, the more people turn away. You should check the uptime of your website to ensure that it is well over 99%. While the perfect 100% is not a viable goal, downtime should be quite infrequent at best. If uptime is not to your satisfaction, you may need to find a new hosting site.
The issues that may be holding back your website are not always obvious or easy to connect with why visitors are not staying with you. This is why it pays to not only review your website on a regular basis but have others who are not in your industry to take a look at it as well. Inspections and reviews at consistent times such as once per week or twice per month may spot potential issues before they cause harm.