Sometimes delivering more traffic to your website is the last thing required to finally make it work. Last month I completed a website marketing review for a website that highlighted this exact situation. They came to us complaining of a website delivering very little in the way of leads and on the hunt for a SEO consultant to help fix the problems. For them the answer was very clear – more traffic. I wasn’t so sure.
Fortunately they had Google Analytics installed so job#1 was to get stuck into some facts and figures of what was happening and where. Quickly it was apparent that traffic wise they were doing quite well. When we ran keyword searches for high volume terms in their market they came up well. Nevertheless, after a while I gradually created a list of a dozen or so issues that pointed towards the real underlying problem. Here are just three that are worth a few words:
• A high bounce rate on the sites main landing pages
• And an imbalance in the type of content they offered
• No Goal Tracking set up
High Bounce Rates on main Landing Pages
Most think their homepage is the only way through which people enter their website. This is very rarely the case. Google’s indexing machine does a great job of crawling around a website classifying each and every page and all going well – showing these in their results for the keywords they were optimised for.
So by looking at the top landing pages page within Google Analytics – found by Content > Site Content > Landing Pages you can see these pages that people land on when entering your site. Yes, your homepage will be there but also will be a cluster of other pages from deeper within your site which are the first thing visitors see.
In this case the report showed five landing pages with bounce rates that were well above the site’s average. Remembering a “bounce” is someone who visits one page and then leaves – something you definitely don’t want to occur for these “first impression” pages.
An imbalance in the type of content they supplied
Broadly speaking there are four classifications of content a site needs to create conversions namely who you are, what you do, why you are different and finally what needs to be done to learn more. In this case the first and last content categories were OK standard however the middle of what they did and why they were so different was a problem. The main issue being there was nothing that exactly spelt out why they were different from the rest.
They were not alone here either. When I reviewed five of their competitors websites and looked for the same content they all were all very, very similar. I’m sure if I swapped the imagery between each you couldn’t have picked one from another. Which was all very interesting especially when the client told me three really specific, solid benefits why they were different from the rest! Which would have been fine if this great content had made it onto their website.
No Goal Tracking Established
Goal tracking is one of the most valuable features available in Google Analytics. It allows you to track actions taken on your web pages that show visitor “conversion intent”. These could include forms being completed, PDF reports being downloaded or even videos played. Now I realise that a visitor that completes a “Contact Us” form is “warmer” than someone who downloads a FREE PDF report, but nevertheless if the latter isn’t being tracked then you have no idea if it is having any effect in convincing visitors to convert later on. In this instance nothing was being tracked. Fortunately we managed to tweak the system to come up with an effective conversion rate to share with the client. It was less than a third of the industry standard.
All of this added up to a classic problem of a website looking for traffic to improve its lead count when really it was its conversion rate that needed fixing first. Then, once we had this sorted, we would grab as much traffic as we could.
Need to know if your website is in the same situation as this one? One quick way to find out is to call in and have a quick discussion with one of the team here at Permission.