Last week, I got a pleasure of doing a website audit. A pleasure, I because enjoy reviewing websites more than I do wring new copy (psss, don’t tell anyone 🤫).
It feels a bit like a treasure hunt, where I follow the data clues to get to the Holy Grail of Conversion Uplifts.
So, today, I’m bringing you some insights from as real as it can possibly get business website audit that should help you learn more about what you can do to get more client inquiries.
(Tip #2 is my favorite, because that discovery was new for me, too).
5 insights from a real business website audit to help you improve your website
1) How to find out if you have a traffic problem or a website copy/design problem
More often than not, it’s not your website copy and design that is responsible for the lack of client inquiries. It’s your traffic.
The one million dollar question here is: Do your sales and lead generation pages get enough traffic to justify client inquiries?
To find this out, check out the most visited pages on your website.
If you’re using GA4, you’ll find this information in a default report on the most visited pages and user engagement that GA4 provides out of the box: Reports -> Engagement -> Pages and screens.
If you don’t see your:
- main sales pages, and/or
- lead generation pages (that would be the pages with your freebies, for example)
…listed high and getting enough views, you also can’t expect more inquiries unless you get more traffic to the pages that are supposed to generate those inquiries.
In the case of my website, 7 out of 10 most visited pages are sales and lead generation pages. Yay me.
2) How to know if your homepage is doing a good job… fast?
You won’t believe this one: to find out if your homepage is good, check out the engagement… for your sales pages (i.e. engagement rate and bounce rate).
What do sales pages metrics have to do with your homepage? Homepage qualifies the leads. Whoever didn’t find it relevant bounces off, which is fine, because you only want your target audience to stay.
So, if your sales pages – the pages they visit after the homepage – get a good engagement, it means that it’s exactly what’s happening, and the homepage is doing a good job.
💡 Tip: This quiz will help you pinpoint the main mistakes on your homepage: [Quiz] How Good is your homepage?
3) One painful mistake in the website navigation that costs you page visits
This was a bit painful to discover: two out of the three most important pages on a website were losing a lot of visitors just because of the way navigation was structured.
Have an important page you’d like your prospects to check? Never-ever put it as a top navigation label for a drop-down menu.
Here’s what I mean:
- Top-level navi label: “About”, leads to an “About” page
- Drop-down menu label: “Our team”, leads to an “Our team” page
- Top-level navi label: Important service page, leads to – you won’t believe it – an important service page
- Drop-down menu labels: Aspect of a service #1, Aspect of a service #2, all leading to their own separate pages
Why is this a really, really bad idea?
Because your prospects assume that the top-level navigation label is a placeholder: a text, not a link, a category name for the drop-down entries. So, they won’t click on it, and you’ll lose a ton of visits to important pages you worked so hard on to create.
What to do instead?
Leave your most important page as the only navigation label here (i.e. top-level, no drop-downs) and,
- either link to the former “drop-down” pages from the content of that important page,
- or, better, incorporate all the necessary info from those pages into the main page (which would be my suggestion for the example above)
- Give the top-level navi label a different title
- Make it into a placeholder (i.e. text, not a link)
- Make the page that was previously the top-level navi label the first entry in the drop-down
💡 Tip: Learn what else is important for your navigation to be effective in this article: How to turn your website navigation into an effective click magnet (+ examples).
4) Videos don’t always work in your favor.
You must have heard that video content is “it”. That it adds credibility and makes your prospects trust you instantly. Which is true, but only if they watch your clips.
Fun fact: even if your videos are shot by Steven Spileberg, your prospects may still ignore them, and there is little you can do about it.
Like it was a case for a legal firm website I audited last week. Their videos were as amazing as they could possible be, positioned right in the premium spots of the pages. And yet, their prospects were scrolling right past them.
Why? We really don’t know 🤷
My assumption is that it has something to do with the state of mind of their prospects.
This law firm helps injured workers get fair compensation from their employees. By the time their prospects visit their website, many of them are in great emotional distress and physical pain. So no wonder they don’t have any patience to watch a video and would like to get the information they need as quickly as possible.
Want to know if your website visitors watch the videos on your pages?
If you’re using GA4, you can enable tracking of video engagement with one click under Admin => Data streams => Select your stream => Toggle “Enhanced measurement”.
And here’s a quick tutorial that shows you where to find video engagement data in GA4.
5) Use a sticky contact form
Do you have a long service page? Display a sticky contact form on the right side (you know, a form that stays there while a prospect is scrolling).
During the last week’s audit, I saw that many prospects use it yet again. Which is not surprising: it’s much easier to use a form that’s basically staring in your face than scroll around looking for a “Contact” button or a form at the bottom of the page.
💡Wonder how you could improve your website to get more leads?
I’d be happy to help. Check out my website audit packages.