Diagnosing an ailing website should be quite easy, especially if it is underperforming. Such a website won’t deliver more sales and no matter how hard we try, it may remain invisible to users. While diagnosing such a website is easy, fixing it could be rather challenging. However, once we are determined to make sure that the site delivers its promises, there should be ways to help us improve the performance. One thing that we may need to do is to obtain essential website metrics. This information should describe the overall performance of our website. There are many areas where we can gather metrics, such as Google Webmaster Central and Alexa. In some cases, we may not pay the service provider if we want to gather the performance stats of our website. There are some popular tools, like SpyFu and SEO Elite that can help us find out more about the websites. Not all websites provide similar diagnostic information, so we still need to rely on our instincts and experience to determine the actual information.
Some metrics could provide a clear picture of why the website performs inadequately, while others are not so helpful. Here are some of the metrics that we need to pay attention to:
- Bounce rate: Defining “bounce” is easy and it is when visitors somehow reach our website, but they somehow leave immediately. Higher bounce rate could indicate that our website fails to capture the attention of our prospect. There are some reasons why the bounce rate can be rather high. For example, the text can be difficult to read due to improper use of font. The color palettes are confusing, causing visual issues and difficulties in reading the text. Also, the headline can be too generalized and people are not convinced that they can get something worthwhile. We could reduce bounce rate by cleaning up the website. We could choose neutral colors and use black type and white background. We could also choose headline that will immediately attract attention.
- Time on site: This should indicate how long people stay on our website. In general, the longer the better; because they are more likely click our ads or purchase our products. If people visit our website stay in our website for at least 30 seconds they don’t count as bounces. They may leave because there could be nothing that interests them in our website due to differences in preferences. If we have a reasonably lower bounce rate, then we could extend this achievement by adding reasons for people to stay longer on our website. We could start by explaining the benefits of our services and products, preferably in bullet list form. It should be noted that people tend to scan, instead of reading, so we should make sure that could spot anything interesting that can encourage them to read more slowly. This will result in more sales and we could gain additional benefits in the future.