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Five warning signs of poor website performance (and how to fix them)

By Alexandra Gavril - September 2, 2020

A great website should be generating new business. If yours is not attracting, engaging, and turning visitors into customers, then it’s not performing well.

So, what’s preventing your site from succeeding? It can be anything from unclear messaging and week calls-to-action (CTAs) to lack of proper search engine optimisation (SEO). While it’s not always easy to determine what’s causing your site to fail, there are some warnings signs that can help pinpoint the problem areas on your site.

Read on as we share five warnings signs of poor website performance that could be costing you a tonne of business, and what you can do about it.

1. Low amounts of traffic

If you’re getting very few visitors to your site or if your traffic has been declining, that’s usually a sign that your website isn’t properly optimised to appear in the search engine results.

It’s also possible that you’ve been ignoring some key SEO best practices. For example, if you have lots of broken pages on your site, this can hurt not only visitors’ experience but also your rankings and visibility in the search engine results. If you’re not creating high-quality content and optimising it using relevant keywords, this can also prevent your site from showing up at the top of the search results, where potential customers can see it.

How to fix it

  • Use a tool like the Google Search Console to find and fix pages on your site that return errors. You can find a list with the broken pages on your site in Crawl-> Crawl Errors -> Not Found. Learn more about how broken links can hurt your website and how to fix them.
  • Review your SEO strategy to ensure you’re using relevant keywords and implementing the best practices to help your site show up at the top of the search results. Try these SEO beginner tips.
  • Publish more content that answers questions, delivers value, and creates an impact on your audience. This can be anything from blog posts to infographics and social media posts.

Here are a few more reasons why your traffic is dropping and how to fix it.

2. Low click-through rate

Click-through rate measures the number of people that click on an ad or a link in the search engine results after seeing it. So if someone runs a search on Google, sees your website in the search engine results and clicks to go to your site, that boosts your click-through rate.

But what if lots of people see your website or product pages in the search results and very few choose to click? That’s a problem. It usually means that people don’t find your promise or offer enticing enough to click and learn more.

How to fix it

3. High bounce rate

Bounce rate refers to the percentage of people who arrive on your site and then quickly leave without visiting any other page. This tells you if are attracting the right audience to your site and if you’re meeting their expectations.

So if someone lands on a product page from the search results and immediately hits the back button, closes the window or tab, or types a different URL into their browser, these actions add to your bounce rate.

If this happens a lot and you have a high bounce rate, that’s usually a sign that visitors don’t find your site helpful or that it has some technical issues that are causing visitors to immediately leave your site.

How to fix it

  • Check your site’s speed to ensure it loads quickly. This is a common issue that frustrates and drives away many visitors. Learn more about why speed matters and how to get your site to load quicker.
  • Make sure your content is helpful and answers customers’ most important questions and concerns.
  • Review your pages to ensure they’re not text or design-heavy. Visitors want to quickly scan the information on a page and to immediately know what to do or where to go next.

4. Very few leads and customers

If you’re getting lots of visitors but very few take the next step to sign up for your email list or to buy from you, that’s a sign that your site has performance issues.

There are lots of reasons that can cause people to avoid your company or to buy from you. Things like boring headlines, low-quality product photography, and lack of social proof can cause people to distrust your business and not feel comfortable or interested in taking the next step.

How to fix it

  • Work on your CTAs and make it obvious to people what you’d like them to do next. CTAs are key to your site’s success so take the time to make yours irresistible. Read these tips to learn how to create powerful CTAs.
  • Use high-quality images on your site to help potential customers get a better feel for the products and services you offer. Here’s how to improve the imagery that your business uses to present your offering to potential customers.
  • Use social proof like customer testimonials, reviews, ratings, and success stories to build trust and reassure visitors they’re making the right choice buying from you. Learn more about social proof and ways to use it to boost sales.

5. Lots of abandoned shopping carts

If you notice that a high percentage of people add items to their cart but then leave your site without finalising their purchase, this may be caused by website performance issues.

When was the last time you tested buying a product from your site? Is the process simple and fast, or does it take forever for your pages to load? Does everything work properly or is there a broken page that’s preventing visitors from finalising their purchase?

How to fix it

  • Again, check your site’s speed to make sure you’re not losing customers because your pages are too slow.
  • Make sure the process is simple and clear. If you have lengthy, complicated, or ambiguous form fields without descriptions, fix them right away. Read this post for some useful tips to optimise your shopping cart checkout.
  • Check to ensure there’s no broken page that may be preventing people from moving forward with their purchase.

Wrapping up

Poor website performance can harm not only your reputation and visibility in the search engines results but also your bottom line. So make sure you take a closer look at how your website performs and fix what doesn’t work as your customers expect it to.

Still need help? Use our free Website Checker to scan your site from top to bottom and get a full report on its performance. Simply enter your website address to see what works and what you can improve to get it in the best possible shape.