Why is your website not generating the kind of enquiries you want?

Through our work, we come into contact with plenty of different kinds of people, but by far, the most interesting are the Baffled Website Owners.

Often they come to us with an existing business and a website that, for some reason or another is not attracting any extra customers.

Sometimes the website owner designed and built the website themselves, or perhaps a friend did it, or even another company (yes, we know we’re not the only ones!) but for some unknown reason, it’s just not attracting fresh customers or generating any leads.

Here are a few points which will help you improve your website.

Question number 1- Is your website clear?

  • Of course, you’re going to agree it is, so perhaps the best way to gauge this is to have someone look it over with ‘fresh eyes’, and there’s no more ideal person than a total stranger.
  • They don’t know you, and so won’t feel inclined to tell you nice things to make you feel better.
  • There are a few ways of doing this; you can ask a friend of a friend, someone who you’ve never met before and doesn’t know of you, to fill in a quick survey via your mutual friend.
  • Don’t worry about what questions to put on your survey, we’ll help you with those shortly.
  • The second option is by braving the internet and publishing the address of your website and your survey on Facebook Notes or a similar medium.
  • You’re probably best using your personal profile for this as you don’t want to give potential customers and fans of your business page the idea that you don’t know what you’re doing!
  • This way you’ll get a mixed bag of answers, as some people will obviously know you personally and others on your friends list will be acquaintances and colleagues so will probably be more honest in their opinions.
  • If you choose to create your own survey and facilitate the asking of strangers by yourself, we’ve combined a list of questions at the bottom of the article to help you.

Question number 2 – Is your website copy appealing?

  • Website copy is the term used to describe the text on your website.
  • It’s all very nice having a stylish site with nice colours and lots of pictures, but what about the text?
  • Is it informative, factual and in some way (of course this applies to the nature of your company) entertaining?
  • Or is it mostly copied across most of the pages on your site?
  • If a potential customer visits your website and decides to wade in deeper that just your home page, you need to deliver more information to them, as that’s obviously what they seek- some copied text does not satisfy that urge.
  • Equally, if you have a lot of information on display, such as the inner workings of a specific product, or the different aspects of a procedure or service you’re supplying, then use bullet points and short, factual descriptions to get the information across.
  • Try not to fill the page with large paragraphs of text, which can be daunting to some visitors.

Question number 3 – Has anyone used your site yet?

  • Obviously, if your website is still in the pen-and-paper stage, this doesn’t apply to you yet, but it’s worth making a note to follow this up in the future.
  • However, if your site has been active for a while, take the time to contact some of your existing customers to provide you with a testimonial.
  • The best way to contact people in this way is to give them a call if you have their contact details and ask them to quote you a testimonial over the phone.
  • Once you have collected a number of testimonials, say eight or nine, be sure to put these on a separate page of your site, or if the testimonials discuss a specific product or service, perhaps include them on the relevant page?
  • Customers are more likely to purchase goods if there’s an honest review provided alongside the product specifications.

You don’t have to use these questions word for word, but something along these lines will give you a pretty good idea of how your site appears to others:

  • What does the company do?
  • How easy did you find the site to navigate to what you wanted?
  • Do you like the logo/trademark?
  • Do you like the colour scheme?
  • Do you like the layout?
  • Was the text on each page clear, informative and legible?
  • (If there is an online catalogue) Were the images and product descriptions helpful and explanatory?
  • Is there anything that you disliked or would put you off from purchasing goods from this site?
  • Is there anything you really liked about this website?
  • Would you purchase goods from this website in the future?

Now armed with your website address and a list of questions, you can either publish the survey to a Facebook Note on your personal profile (and perhaps reference it in a Twitter update for extra traffic?) and pass the questions and web address onto some trust friends who are willing to get their colleagues/friends to rate the site for you.

Perhaps you could offer those taking part in your survey a discount on products and services.

There’s also plenty of business networking sites with forums dedicated to users rating each others’ sites – maybe you could post your survey up there too?

Allow a couple of weeks for the research to be returned and from the information learned, plan any necessary changes.

Try not to get disenchanted with any bad comments and try and view it all as constructive criticism, and enjoy the positive comments which will confirm that you and your business website are indeed on the right path.