How do you know what needs fixing?

There’s something wrong with your website. It’s failing to convert. Or it’s missing lead targets. What do you think the problem is? Quick - get it fixed! Is it working optimally now? I bet it’s not.

Most website failures fall into two broad categories, both related to conversions - not making sales, not generating leads. The fixes, once identified, could be relatively simple - but don’t rush into anything just yet. If you want to succeed and you want good value for money, do a sense check. What’s your core problem?

Your business will be showing symptoms of under-performance. Common ones include:

  • Customers are abandoning shopping carts
  • Your help desk is busier than it should be
  • You don’t get many repeat orders or visits
Noting if you have these symptoms or others will help you identify the cause of the failure. Document them - literally, write them down. This is the truth of your situation. This is what you need to ask for help fixing.

I know this advice sounds obvious and you might think it’s too cautious, simplistic even. However, quite a few businesses jump into the solution before properly diagnosing what is going on. You can recognise if you’re self-diagnosing if you state, for example:
  • "Our customer journey is all wrong"
  • "The buttons are in the wrong place
  • Our menus are confusing visitors
What happens if you risk a self-diagnosis?
  • You waste time and money
  • You’re left behind by competitors
  • You’ll continue to make the same mistakes
So, don’t rush in. Test your hunches. Look at the data then make informed decisions. UX testing and Conversion Rate Optimisation will lead you to the right improvements, ones more likely to boost your sales. The results might surprise you, shock you even - but they will delight you. This article is inspired by Leon’s longer article, Even If Your Website Is Failing, You Might Not Need A New One.