What To Do If Your Website Is Not Bringing In Sales
Getting enquiries and making sales are pretty much the two things that most business owners need to get right if they want to stay in business, as without the enquiry, there is no sale, which means that the more enquiries a business can get, then the more sales they can hope to close. The primary reason any business owner has a website is to increase business, else we would all just have one for vanity reasons, but just having a website does not necessarily mean that it is going to get you success.
If you have a website and you are just fed up of it not working, then instead of giving up on it, you need to take a step back and work out why, taking an often required unbiased view and being critical about its performance and the lack of enquiries you are getting. It is very easy to get proud with websites and try to paint a rosy picture, but unless you are true to yourself, then you are never going to get anywhere. Criticism of your pride and joy can be hard to take, but if the criticism leads to changes that get you more business, it is time to take it on the chin and get some honest feedback.
The first thing to do is check your traffic levels. There are many free website statistic tools online, but the one I would always recommend is Google Analytics. Having a website is one thing but getting people to use it is another, so it’s important that before you start ripping your design to shreds, you make sure that the lack of enquiries is not down to no visitors. You need people on your site to make sales, so if they are not coming, then there is your problem and you can start to take steps to address it. From SEO through to Pay Per Click, there is a huge amount of ways to get traffic and visitors, all of which most firms should be considering implementing anyway.
If the traffic is not the issue, then you need to take a step back and really look at the site in depth.
Although there are many things to look at, some to really focus on are:
· Lack Of Conversion Points – Make sure that your contact details are on the bottom of every page and that your phone number is always in top right of the website, because no matter where the visitor is on your site, you need to make sure that it is easy for them to contact you the moment they decide they want to make an enquiry.
· Over Complication – If your website is too complicated, fussy and it is just not easy to find things, then this is going to be a major issue for your visitors. Make sure the site is easy to use, easy to find the information they need and easy to contact you, which doesn’t mean the design has to be boring, it just means it has to be useable.
· Mobile Compliant – One area still overlooked is websites on smart devices and tablets, which means that if your website does not work on mobiles or tablets and a lot of your traffic is coming from these areas, then you need to sort it by getting a responsive website that will work, so that these people can actually use your site.
· Poor Navigation – You literally have seconds when it comes to website visitors making their mind up about you and your business, so it is vital that you make sure that when they enter your site, they can get what they need quickly. A decent top menu that is easy to understand makes a big difference, with easy to follow navigation structures throughout your site.
· First Impressions – There is nothing wrong with minimal content on your site, but it is still important that the content you do have sells you and your business, else you are not going to hook the visitor into making an enquiry. Your website is an impression of you and your business, so if it looks cheap and badly run, people will assume this is how you run your business. Effort and time are both needed to make a good website, especially if you want your site to start working for you.
Websites require a lot of work if you want them to start performing and earning you money. The more content you write and the more blogs you produce, the higher you will rise in the search engines ( as long as the website is well optimised ). To be honest, if you have a website and never bother to add anything to it, then you cannot expect or demand success, as this should be considered a crucial part of your marketing strategy and you have to work it, and work it hard.
So, if your website is not bringing in the money, instead of giving up and moving on to something else, do some research and take a stand backwards to evaluate what you are offering and if it can be improved. I say this because any website you ever see has room from improvement, and with a bit more effort and unbiased views, you can make your site work for you, that is 100% guaranteed!
I remember attending my first network meeting a few years ago, and part of the mission statement was “givers gain” the principle of course is fairly obvious but I have still seen a few members over the years at various clubs expect leads and contacts right from the start.......wrong! Well most of the time anyway.
The best networkers, and by the best I mean the ones who receive the most leads, help and advice tend to be the ones who give the most leads, help and advice. Networking is the exactly the same as everything else in life ....you get back what you put in.
Basically if you’re thinking of joining a networking group to gain gain gain.....you just might be better off keeping your marketing bucks for another source. But if you are ready and willing to help others and give give give....and remember sometimes it takes a while to kick in, but the results can be staggering.
Another Local Treasure
Following on from a delightful visit to Wyndcliffe Court Sculpture Gardens a couple of weekends ago, this last Sunday with the weather being bright and sunny I decided to venture to Dewstow Gardens and Grottoes in Caerwent. The aesthetics of the tea room is not to the standard of Wydncliffe, but the food was good with scrumptious cakes to tempt.
The Gardens and Grottoes are a tranquil delight, just what is needed to calm the mind and soul after a hectic week of business. I found the gardens to be magical and relaxing, there is a bugs trail to occupy the younger visitors, whilst the adults enjoy the spellbinding setting. The history of these gardens is intriguing too, it captured my imagination, wondering what drives a grown man to create such a magical place in his private garden, which accordingly was kept private until it's rediscovery until relatively recently.
I would highly recommend anyone with a free afternoon visiting this local curiosity, though do check the website as the Gardens close during the winter months. www.dewstowgardens.co.uk
Would you know if your child was dyspraxic?
Following a diagnostic assessment on a forty-year-old Mum of three which found her to have dyslexia with co-existing dyspraxia, this was her response:
“I looked up dyspraxia as you mentioned it in the report and that definitely fits for me to a degree but I was shocked that it described my daughter completely! She is above average at school in everything except sports, is 14 still struggling with shoelaces and riding bike etc she has very emotional outbursts still that I know she can't control but just thought she was like me as I struggle with controlling emotions also. I really think I should have her tested as she is starting GCSE this year, her biggest anxiety has always been tests and exams and the school have never supported her with this despite my continuous telling them of her distress. All the school do is moan about her handwriting which is bad and she struggles with speaking clearly, but because she is smart no one has ever suggested getting her tested
She was born two weeks early and very traumatic she did not crawl and has extreme sensitivity to noise and food. I would be interested in your opinion as to the benefits of testing or not.”
This is not untypical for several reasons:
1. 70% of people with dyslexia have at least one co-existing condition (in this case the Mother)
2. The person I did the diagnosis for had not thought she was dyslexic because she could read well and it had never been picked up before
3. She had concerns about her youngest child, but had not mentioned any concerns about her eldest prior to the report
4. The characteristics outlined in her email are strong indications that her daughter has dyspraxia – though obviously it would require a full assessment to be sure.
I’d urge any parent with concerns to at least investigate further. There are lots of good websites and resources, but there is also a great deal of mis-information. Teachers are generally not given training on how to spot or work with specific learning differences such as dyslexia or dyspraxia, so we can’t always blame them. However, if the system of initial teacher training were to include mandatory training on the subject, they could have a much better understanding and be able to support such learners more effectively without the child needing to be labelled.
I offer training to schools, colleges and workplaces, and the ones who have received in-house training or attended workshops, have found it very helpful. They have been able to implement support with little cost. In fact, it could be that any outlay on training and a few resources would soon be re-cooped:
· children would be happier as their learning needs were being met
· they would learn more effectively
· they would become less disruptive or stressed
· less time and effort would be spent on having to manage problems
· the school would be more inclusive which would attract more parents to sending their children there
Regarding the mother thinking she could not be dyslexic as she could read – well that’s another blog.
Great news! Becca Cobham (Creative Bee) and I are starting a new business partnership together and it's called "WyeDean Deli confidential". More about that later and it is not the blatant advertising opportunity you may have imagined - honestly.
In fact actually this is more of a tribute to Paul James' CAP Business Clubs and the power of networking. Becca Cobham and I are both members of the Tuesday evening group where Paul is passionate about getting small business owners together to network, discuss issues and interact to the benefit of all. Paul knows this model well and is a great chairman and exponent of the art.
It was actually at our first one to one meeting (Becca and I) that we realised immediately that we shared a passion for food and drink and in particular the quality artisan food and drink producers of the Forest of Dean & Wye Valley. I, as a photographer, had been working on a social documentary project on food and drink producers of the area for a year or so and Becca had a lingering and long held urge to write and research the whole issue of quality local produce. Our individual skill sets seemed to be ideal for collaboration on the project and so the idea, if not the final business name was born. A trendy blog and quarterly glossy magazine to celebrate and shout (very loudly) about the best in quality food and drink (at all prices ranges) the Forest of Dean & Wye Valley has to offer.
And so first naturally we looked inward on our idea, examining all the issues and possibilities and whether we thought there was a viable business. We couldn't for the life of us come up with a negative! A perhaps predictable outcome when you are passionate about something. Lot's of problems for sure but then there are always 10 good reasons not to do something if you are not a positive thinker - the bottom line between the two of us - we liked the idea but we needed an additional view - an objective friend as it is sometimes called.
Next we threw our energies into the planning and development of the project into a business model and business plan followed by the first, furtive, airing of the project with some of our respective confidants in the local food sector. No negatives there either - progress! Then, in business, you get those key moments when you stop seeking views and advice and actually have to pitch the project for real. In our case it was to Amanda and Rachel from the Food Showcase (no pressure then) with whom we are now gladly collaborating. And it's a funny feeling when you as partners having internalised your ideas then listen to someone else actually, out loud, say what a great idea you have had.
All of this, and whatever success is to follow, can be traced back to CAP Business Club and the networking groups. Who know's if the two of us would have met anyway and discovered our shared passion and then gone on to develop the idea. It's not impossible but it's unlikely that it would have happened right now. And that is the power of networking.
It was fitting therefore that the official launch of the WyeDean Deli confidential should be at CAP and to our colleagues on the Tuesday evening group. But one of the real strengths of group networking is the ability to ask a question and then, most importantly, to listen. Paul convened a round table session for us as part of the concise and no nonsense launch. We had an opportunity to ask our colleagues for their views and to put three key (for us) questions to them. Our group, like all of the other individual groups, has a very diverse range of business skills and experience and we really valued the honest and supportive input we got from them - lots and lots of valuable input in fact.
These sessions are so valuable not just for the new ideas and experience based suggestions but also crucially as a health check for our own ideas, the very same ideas we spend so long internalising. It's also very motivating to hear other small business owners say - out loud again - that your idea is a good one, adds something to the area we love and live in and fills a necessary gap in the market. Sometimes we forget that amongst the blizzard of readily available business coaches and mentors, that our colleagues right next to us, whatever their individual trade or profession, hold just as much business wisdom because they have the practical experience in success and sometimes stark personal exposure of failure. I think that it was Donald Trump who said originally said "Some days you win, and some days you learn" and those hard lessons add a very practical and valuable perspective. We'd strongly recommend these CAP round table sessions to anyone starting to develop a new business or new business idea - they invaluable and a great source of learning for everyone involved.
And so WyeDean Del confidential is a complimentary addition to, and development of, our existing businesses we know will be a major success but we appreciate the motivational start CAP Business Club members and Paul James have given us and we look forward to their continued support in further round table sessions at future key stages of the blog and magazines business development.
And so in the next few days the first embryonic blog postings will be coming to life at https://wyedeandeliconfidentialblog.wordpress.com/ you can also follow us on Twitter at @YDeanconfident and here on Facebook
We've already started work on the first magazine so follow us on social media for publication dates etc. If you are or know of anyone who you think no blog or magazine should miss out please let the editorial team time know by email at email@example.com
If you'd like to advertise with us or be featured by us please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org
Bex Cobham and David Broadbent
CAP BUSINESS CLUBS BLOG
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