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7 reasons why your website isn’t working and how to improve it


7 reasons why your website isn’t working and how to improve it

Stuart Watkins - LWDA Team Member




PUBLISHED:February 2, 2022

UPDATED:April 2, 2024

Do you own a website? Is it merely a digital presence, or does it genuinely attract new visitors?

How often are you looking at your Google Analytics, trying to find out which pages are being viewed the most or what content is engaging people and getting them to spend more time on your site?

To help increase your sales and enquiries, it would be easy for me to just say ‘Get more website traffic’ but that wouldn’t address the underlying issues of why your website is underperforming.

Here are seven reasons why your website isn’t working and actionable steps to enhance its effectiveness.

1. Unprofessional Website Design: A Trust Buster

The appearance of your website significantly impacts user trust. A dated, messy design can instantly turn away potential customers, so pay particular attention to the following design elements:

  1. Typography – Clean, legible fonts that are big enough to read for those with visual impairments.
  2. Spacing – On an over-crowded page can look messy and be off-putting. Give everything room to breathe. This helps the user’s eye track across the page, identifying key elements of interest.
  3. Imagery – Quality photography and illustrations will set you apart from the rest of the crowd. Stock photography is an option, but often lacks the right personality for your brand.
  4. Colour Palette – A modern, tasteful colour palette will help make your website look professional and unique.

Being consistent with how you structure your web pages and how you display page content should result in a good user experience for your visitors, building trust and brand loyalty.

Also, with a significant portion of users accessing websites via mobile devices, responsive design is non-negotiable. So make sure that the design of your website adapts well to the smaller screen size of a mobile phone or tablet, delivering a smooth and pleasurable experience for mobile users.

Investing in professional web design isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s an investment in the success of your website as a marketing tool, helping you reach your business goals.

2. Complex Navigation: A Quick Turn-off

If users struggle to navigate your website, they won’t stay long. Imagine being a first-time visitor and ask yourself a few simple questions:

  • Where do you enter the site? Perhaps a well-designed landing page with a good call to action.
  • Which page should I start on? Likely a clear home page with plenty of links directing the user to some relevant content.
  • How do I get back to where I came from? Clear links in the main navigation bar at the top of every page of your website will enable users to get back to a specific page on your website.

Simplicity is key. Avoid unnecessary features that hinder user experience and distract them from the tasks that you want them to complete. If you want people to do something on your site (sign up for a newsletter, make an enquiry, etc), you need to make it as easy and clear as possible.

Keep things simple and you’ll come across as more professional.

3. Lack of Clear Call-to-Action: Directing User Action

A primary call-to-action is vital for user direction. It should be prominently displayed on every page, providing clarity on the desired user action. Whether it’s subscribing to a newsletter, making an inquiry or purchasing an item, a compelling call-to-action increases user engagement.

Removing all unnecessary distractions from a web page is the best way to get website visitors to perform the actions that you want them to perform. So strip away those annoying sidebars, demote blog links to the very bottom of the page and focus only on high-quality content and actions that will truly benefit your customers’ needs and ultimately your business. 

4. Ineffective Content: Relevance is Key

Content that fails to connect, inform, or entertain is a major drawback. Quality website content helps position your company as a reliable source of information, clarifying your professionalism and positioning your brand as a thought leader within your business sector.

Blogs, in particular, serve as powerful content tools. They’re easy to update and can rank well in search engines for your target keywords.

When you write a blog post you need to consider the following:

  • Who is my target audience?
  • What are their common problems?
  • What are they struggling with within my industry?
  • How can I help them solve it?

Answering these questions will give you ideas on how to create relevant, interesting content that’s going to engage your target audience and get them coming back for more.

Writing regular posts that target long-tail keywords and sharing them via a newsletter or social media should be a key part of your digital marketing strategy. And, if done well, regular blogging will boost the visibility of your website in Google search results.

5. Absence on Social Media: A Missed Opportunity

A website without a social media presence is like a ship without a compass. Social media platforms provide an opportunity to reach a vast audience, showcasing your products and services to demographics and localities that your website might otherwise not be able to reach.

Engaging with potential customers on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, X (Twitter), and LinkedIn can help drive traffic to your website and grow brand awareness, so it’s important to be active on these platforms as much as possible.

Our advice is to register as many social media accounts as possible. You don’t necessarily have to use them all, but the act of registration will help protect your brand from spoofing by scammers.

Top Tip: Managing multiple social media platforms can be a daunting task, so we suggest using management tools such as Canva to automate certain tasks. And if you can afford to, consider employing a social media agency to take care of it for you.

6. Poor SEO: Invisible Presence

Even with a visually appealing website and top-notch content, if it’s not discoverable, your SEO efforts are futile.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is critical for online visibility. A comprehensive approach would involve some or all of the following:

  1. Regular website data analysis using Google’s website analytics tools.
  2. Technical audits to help identify bad code markup.
  3. A well-thought-out Inbound marketing strategy. Including blogging, social media, and link building to help boost search engine rankings.
  4. Keyword research using tools such as SEMrush.
  5. Creative copywriting – AI can be of assistance but should only be used as a tool and not the final solution.

Aligning your website with relevant keywords ensures it’s easily found by your target audience using search engines such as Google, and even voice search technologies such as Amazon’s Alexa.

7. Technical Glitches and Errors

A poor user experience and low conversation rate might not necessarily be down to the design of the website but may be due to technical issues.

For example, if your website’s content management system hasn’t received any updates for some time, you’ll likely be experiencing incompatibility problems with plugins and other 3rd-party integrations. Not to mention the security vulnerabilities that you may be subject to by out-of-date code.

Identifying and resolving technical glitches ensures a secure, frictionless user journey, which results in a positive experience for website visitors. This builds trust and fosters repeat visits

Website Enhancement: Conclusion

In conclusion, transforming your website into a powerful online asset requires a strategic approach that addresses various key aspects. From professional design and user-friendly navigation to compelling content and a strong social media presence, each element plays a pivotal role in enhancing your website’s effectiveness.

Remember, a visually appealing website is just the beginning; it must also be easy to navigate and offer a seamless user experience. Clear calls-to-action guide visitors on their journey, while relevant and engaging content keeps them coming back for more. Social media presence not only expands your reach but also contributes positively to your website’s search engine optimisation.

Furthermore, a solid SEO strategy ensures your website is discoverable by those actively searching for your products or services.

By implementing these strategies, you not only improve user satisfaction but also boost your website’s performance and online visibility. You should also regularly reassess and adapt these strategies to stay ahead of competitors.

If you’re grappling with concerns about your website’s effectiveness, we’re here to help. Reach out to us for valuable insights and assistance in elevating your online presence. Your website is more than just a digital space; it’s a dynamic tool for business success in the digital realm.

Need help making your own site click?

Website Effectiveness: FAQ

How do I know if my website lacks effectiveness?

Understanding your website’s performance involves analyzing metrics like visitor numbers, bounce rate, conversion rates, and user feedback.

Can a slow website impact my business?

Absolutely. Users expect fast-loading websites, and a delay of even a few seconds can lead to high bounce rates.

Why is mobile optimisation crucial for website performance?

Mobile optimisation ensures that your website functions seamlessly on various devices, catering to the diverse preferences of users.

What role does content quality play in website effectiveness?

Quality content builds credibility, engages visitors, and enhances SEO, contributing to overall website effectiveness.

How can clear call-to-actions improve my website?

Clear call-to-actions guide visitors, encouraging them to take desired actions, whether it’s making a purchase or subscribing to your newsletter.

Are technical glitches affecting my website's performance?

Yes, technical glitches can disrupt user experience. Regularly monitor your site for issues and address them promptly.


Case Studies

Need a new company website designed & built? You may like to review these case studies first.

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