Why am I losing money on a new website?
Business owners spend time, effort and money creating a website.
But when it doesn’t perform as expected, and the web agency has exited stage left, where do you start pinpointing the problem?
As a website copywriter, I’ve come across quite a few, less than ideal websites.
There are some common problems if fixed, can start making a difference to your website straight away.
So, if you have a brand new website that’s not converting, here are some common things to check for:
Has the website been submitted for indexing in Google Search Console?
A business I came across in a Facebook group reported their website developer had forgotten to uncheck the box that stopped Google from indexing the site.
They had launched the website and while all appeared ok, that one small tick box made the website invisible until an SEO copywriter/web developer thought to check it first.
She unchecked the box and submitted the site map to Google Search Console and voila! the website began appearing in search results.
But it took the business owner TWO YEARS to discover this!
TIP: While your website is being developed, ask the developer to set up Google Search Console and Google Analytics for you and submit the site map to GSC.
If you have the Yoast plugin set up in the back end, then this will be done automatically.
PRO TIP: I would log into GSC and GA frequently and check that the site is generating traffic.
If done right, traffic should start appearing in a couple of days.
Setting up GA and GSC must be non-negotiable whenever you’re setting up a new website. Don’t let anyone persuade you otherwise!
Website pages aren’t optimised for specific keywords
Even seasoned businesses make this mistake by not choosing specific keywords.
What this means is that you’ve left it up to Google to decide what the page is about, and pull whatever content they want.
Help search engines figure out what the page is about by:
choosing a keyword related to your business
complete the page titles tags and meta descriptions and
include long-tail keywords and phrases to tell Google all they need to know about that specific page**
**(it’s the section directly below the page template).
Think of it like providing landmarks on your web page through keywords in headings, bullet points and subheadings.
TIP: Ask your customers what words they type in to find a business like yours or use Ubersuggest or Google related searches to start you off in building your keyword list.
Content is generic and doesn’t speak to a specific person
You probably have come across generic content full of corporate-speak which doesn’t seem to speak to anyone in particular.
It’s like holding a megaphone and shouting into a crowd hoping to attract the right people.
You need to know your customer intimately before getting a copywriter to write your content or even before attempting to write it yourself.
PS: Your customer is not a woman between the ages of 15-64!
Pick a persona with their fears and desires, and have your content speak to their problems.
Avoid jargon, long words and confusing your customer.
Words that don’t connect or confuse is one of the main reasons why your website is not converting.
Sprinkle some personality in your content – think of your business as a person.
How can you make it sound more likeable and trustworthy?
Poorly laid out website design frustrates the visitor
Just like the content is the soul of the website, the design is the heart of it – guiding the customer through a natural journey and laying out all the important info in a way that’s pleasing to the eye.
Your website needs to be responsive, viewable on desktop, mobile and tablet and fast to load.
Get a professional to design your website for you, to help you choose the branding and the colours and create a template that’s simple, clean and clear.
While a free template may be ok, to begin with, if you are not a designer, please get someone to do it (advice from someone who attempted to build three websites on her own and lost money and time – it’s not as easy as it looks).
However, if you’re determined to give it a go, check out this handy How to Set Up Your SEO-friendly WordPress website course.
Finally, don’t trust your web developer blindly – inform yourself too
So many business owners pick a web developer and trust them blindly to deliver a flawless website.
I’ve had many clients burned and end up spending too much money in what becomes a frustrating and time-consuming process.
Inform yourself of the process and make sure you understand every step of the process.
The best way to avoid being burned is to go with a web developer who has been referred or recommended to you.
Make sure they check off some of the technical aspects below:
The website should load quickly ideally under 3 seconds
GSC and GA should be set up and ready for you to access
Avoid sliders on the home page at all costs – they only slow the website down
You should have access to the back end of the website – do not choose a closed system where only the developer can make changes. Anyone you choose should be able to get in