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Your Website Isn't Doing Its Job. Now What?

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A good portion of the time when I'm contacted to look at a website that's performing poorly the owner will have a tendency to want to throw the baby out with the bathwater and start from scratch.

There are a lot sites that come across my screen with their fair share of issues; code that doesn’t follow web standards, JavaScript drop-down menus, unorganized content and more but I rarely, if ever throw everything away. Even with the worst search rankings, unless you're not listed at all, it's easier to lift up poor performing pages than it is to rank new ones without some help from existing content.

The nice thing about websites is they are less like bound books and more like three ring binders where we are free to rearrange and add content to meet the needs of its owners. Let's go over some common problems when a site isn't meeting it's expectations.

It's Outdated

This is one of the most common problems when sites aren't meeting expectations. If your site looks amateurish, dated or just plain ugly, visitors are going to think less of your brand and its offerings and likely go elsewhere.

A somewhat new factor is whether or not your site works on mobile devices. Most phone browsers will re-size the site to fit the screen but this makes the visitor tap and pinch to read the content at a comfortable level. Additionally, if you're using technologies like Flash or specialized JavaScript code portions of your site may not work well or at all which can drive some visitors away.

Content is Disorganized

Look over your site and ask yourself, 'Can I get to the content I want in two clicks?' If not you may want to consider restructuring your site or adding links in prominent places to draw attention to that content.

One way of organizing your content is to group subject-specific information together. This presents advantages in search results because you're grouping relevant keywords together and it also assists visitors looking for specific information.

Just like the way your site looks and acts, finding information efficiently is critical to visitors. Since the rise of the internet people expect to find the information they crave quickly and easily. If not, there is most likely another site that will give that to them.

It Doesn't Ask Your Visitors To Do Anything

It's something so simple yet I see it overlooked time and time again. When a visitor is reading about your new awesome product or service and is interested in buying it, nothing is more aggravating than not being able to find how to do just that. People like simple, what's more simple than a big bright button that says 'buy' or 'order now'.

You're Not Showing Up In Search Results

Take a few minutes and come up with a list (5 to 10 should do it) of terms you would use if you were looking for your product or service. If it's a highly technical field try to use common words or acronyms. Now use those phrases to see where your site comes up in search results.

If you don't find yourself on the first couple of pages you have a problem. Time to see if any of those phrases are in your site content. If not, you should try to add those terms in your content or consider writing some new content to accommodate those phrases.

Should You Start Over?

That depends. If you've found any of the above issues on your site you should definitely work on them. If your site falls into the outdated category it probably has other areas that it is failing in as well and it wouldn't be a bad time to look over everything and start fresh.

I would suggest that every six months to a year, you give your website some goals to achieve for you. At the end of the time period take a look and see if your site has met or surpassed those goals and move forward accordingly.

Don't try to do everything at once. It's a marathon not a sprint. Take your time and do it right.

Pixel Garden Studio Solution: I can review your site structure, content, and underlying code to find problem areas and give solutions. Then together we'll create a plan and put it into action.