You have a website. I have a website. Almost everyone has a website. But, how do you know if your website is actually good or bad? How do you accurately judge between sites that are effective or ineffective?
When I talk with my clients, many of them mistakenly use the wrong criteria to determine if their website is good. For instance, they make comments, such as:
- I want my website to look good.
- I want my my website to rank high on search engines.
- I want my website to display useful content.
- I want my website to represent my unique brand and personality.
Those comments may sound good, but they’re all incorrect. Just because a website looks pretty, receives search traffic, or contains useful content doesn’t mean it’s good. Here is the ONLY way to determine if your website is good or bad:
A good website produces frequent business transactions.
For emphasis, allow me to repeat: a good website produces frequent business transactions. In contrast, a bad website just sits there looking pretty while nothing productive happens. Even if your site receives a ton of traffic, it’s doing little good if it doesn’t get people to do something.
What is a business transaction? Any type of action that a visitor takes to help grow your business. Someone takes action to transfer something of value to you. Examples include when people take the following steps on your website:
- Subscribe to your email list.
- Buy one of your products.
- Register for your event.
- Request you for a speaking engagement.
- Download one of your freemiums.
- Inquire about one of your services.
Your website should be producing these types of results on a frequent basis. If not, then it’s simply taking up wasted space on the Internet. To be clear, don’t get misguided by the amount of blog comments, Facebook likes, or friendly emails you receive. Those weak actions do not count as legitimate business transactions.
The good news is that you can always tell if your website is good or bad by measuring the amount of transactions that occur on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. For instance, how many newsletter signups did you get yesterday? How many online orders did you receive last week? How many people downloaded your freemium last month? We’re talking objective fact, not subjective opinion.
Your website is either working for you, or it’s working against you. This reality presents a two-fold question:
- Do you measure the amount of business transactions produced by your website? How often?
- If transactions are infrequent, are you willing to make radical changes to fix the problem?
I believe most websites are ineffective for several reasons. First, there’s a glut of mom-and-pop web designers who aren’t savvy businesspeople. They may know how to build you a website, but they don’t know how to build your business. Second, web design has become a commodity business where services are based on price. So, people tend to hire whoever is cheapest, and you get what you pay for. Third, too many people give web designers the wrong criteria, such as “make me look good,” “get me more traffic,” or “build my brand.” Instead, website design criteria should be reversed so that the focus in on getting visitors to willingly make the business transactions that I listed above.
It’s easy to tell whether a website is good or bad. Measure the amount of business transactions your website helps create. Now that you know the difference, why put up with a lame website? Take the action needed to create the transactions needed to grow your business.
Website image courtesy of fantasista via FreeDigitalPhotos.net