What are the Performance Bottlenecks Preventing Your Website from Making You Money?

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“Why isn’t my business website working for me?”

This is one of the most common questions business owners ask after setting up their business website or e-commerce store. If you run or own a website and you haven’t seen results even after a couple of months, then this article might just be what you need.

Though having a website is already a big step forward, it doesn’t end with its creation. It takes many elements and factors working together to make a website do its job and convert online users into customers.

Website performance bottlenecks: what does it mean?

When a website is ineffective, it means consumers don’t see it online and it’s not making you money.

What are the Performance Bottlenecks Preventing Your Website from Making You Money_

Here are some indicators that your website is not performing as it should: 

  • It doesn’t show up on Google results; the top spot or anywhere on the first page.
  • It’s getting less traffic.
  • Users are not staying and engaging with your website (high bounce rate).
  • Users are not buying or signing-up.

All four correspond to every website’s goal for any business. When you’re not hitting any of them, it’s time to rethink your site.

Many factors are involved in creating a high performing website. Just like how you need quality parts, upgrades and modifications if you want a faster performance car, websites are also the same. You can’t have just a beautiful website.

9 common performance bottlenecks that keep your website from making money

9 common performance bottlenecks that keep your website from making money

Performance bottlenecks hurt your website’s ability to convert users or attract traffic. Furthermore, without the proper number of users, you can gather the appropriate data you need to improve your sales and marketing efforts in the future.

Address these nine performance bottlenecks immediately.

1. Poor web design

Today’s web design objective is to minimize a user’s effort in understanding and navigating it. The easier you make it for them, the more successful your website will be in engaging and converting visitors to become customers.

Common web design mistakes include: 

  • Poor Hierarchy. Poor hierarchy is when you have too many things going on that grabs the user’s attention; that they don’t know where to look. The concept of hierarchy is that you must decide which element in a page should be the focus, which information is going to be the first, second, or third. 
  • Lack of Alignment and Balance. Elements like the text, photos and background, and aren’t properly aligned. Alignment and balance promote a coherent and consistent way for users to consume information. Without it, your website will look disorganized and unprofessional.
  • Poor Image-ext Contrast. Poor image-text contrast can make your page look busy, unreadable, and chaotic. Users who’ll visit could miss an important message or text because it wasn’t visible. Make sure that every text is readable by adjusting contrast.
  • Invisible CTAs and Buttons. Call-to-action copies are one of the most important elements for conversion; one enemy when it comes to web design is having them blend with the rest of the design. Sometimes, you get too engrossed in making everything match the theme, you forget that CTAs and buttons should stand out from other elements on the site. Have it in a completely opposite color, or an eye-catching color so that they stand out.

Pro Tip: Visit your favorite websites. Observe which ones you enjoyed using, and what you like about them. Ask yourself if you can do the same for your business.

2. Lack of mobile compatibility

Lack of mobile compatibility

When it comes to ranking your website on Google, you can’t miss mobile compatibility. Google, which is the search engine for nearly four billion users, has implemented mobile-first indexing.

About 92.8 percent of internet users access the web through their mobile devices, and it’s one of the reasons that Google decided to base their indexing and ranking on the page’s mobile version.

So you can’t risk losing visitors just because your website isn’t compatible with mobile devices. Check if your website is mobile-friendly through Google’s own mobile-friendly tool.

3. No sitemap

Not providing a sitemap will have web crawlers missing some of your pages. This can occur if you have pages that are separated or don't have an inner link to another page. 

A sitemap is a file that ensures search engines get the details they need about your website and its pages to properly index and rank it. It gives Googlebots information about all the pages, videos, images, and other elements found on your site. It 

4. Broken links

Broken links are links that don’t work. They may be links that direct a user to another site or to another page on your website. If a user clicks on a broken link, they will be taken to a 404 page, displaying a message that the link couldn’t be found.

The effect is user frustration. Google will see this as an unsatisfactory experience, signaling to the search engine that your website isn’t updated. Your search engine rankings, traffic, and conversion rates will likely be affected. 

Use tools like Ahrefs to identify dead or broken links.

5. 404 errors (and redirects)

Redirects or 404 errors are pages that let a user know that a page is unavailable. Some reasons a page may not be available can be because it doesn’t exist anymore, the URL has been updated, or the user needs to enter another keyword or search. 

Redirects are not necessarily a bad thing, but it can be if you have too many of them because they will affect user experience. And user experience is the primary focus of search algorithms when ranking websites. 

Check for redirects using Ahrefs or Google Analytics. This way, you can fix them early before they can cause any more problems for your website and users.

6. Slow website

slow website

Website speed is now a ranking metric that Google uses to measure user experience. Slow loading pages have always been a killer for website experience. People want a website that loads in less than 3 seconds. If they don’t get that, they’re going to bounce and look for another site.

So not only will a slow website speed hurt your rankings, it will also affect the bounce rate metric (how many users leave your page without performing any action). A high bounce rate will also contribute to lower rankings and lower website performance. 

Pro tip: 1. Use Google’s Pagespeed Insights to check your website’s performance. 2. Make the pages load faster by compressing your image and file sizes.

7. Ineffective landing pages

Landing pages are your conversion pages. Users who’ll land there can take all sorts of action that will result in further engaging with your website. Some of these actions include learning more about your company, reading your blogs, subscribing, signing up, or purchasing a product.

Your landing pages help highlight the benefits of the products and services that you offer, eventually leading visitors to conversion.

A poor landing page results in a poor conversion rate.

Here are some of the common mistakes when it comes to creating a landing page: 

  • Missing or Poor Call-to-Action. A CTA that’s not optimized or is vague will confuse visitors, prompting them to leave the page. Have a CTA that clearly outlines what action you want your users to take according to the landing page’s intention.
  • Catch-All Page. Different users require different landing pages. You have to design a landing page based on the user and what stage they are in the user’s journey. You also have to take into account what action you want them to take. Make sure that the landing page you create is relevant, and armed with the proper CTA.

8. Poor search engine optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your website so that it appears and ranks well on search engines like Google. Proper SEO helps search engines properly crawl and index your content, which will then help increase your search rankings. 

The goal is to have your website land on the first page of search results for keywords or queries that are most relevant to your business. Higher rankings will mean more exposure to your target users, eventually bringing in more organic or unpaid traffic.

Lack of SEO optimization will be detrimental to your website performance and its ability to attract leads.

Here are some examples of poor SEO:

Unoptimized header and meta tags

Headers and meta tags are a way for search engines to immediately know what a page is all about. It’s a simple but mostly overlooked way to automatically tell search engines that your page is made for a particular search query or intention. 

They are also important in optimizing User Experience, a notable core web vital update that Google decided to implement this year.

To optimize, make your headers easy for people and search engines to understand. In optimizing your header, you need to: 

  • Add your keywords into your H1 or the page title.
  • Properly label your heading (H1-H6). 
  • Create headers as if you’re answering a question or a user’s query.
  • If applicable, use numbers or list-form for blog posts.
  • No image alt tags

Another simple way to get Google to understand and index your page correctly is by adding image alternative texts (alt tags). Search engines can’t view photos the way we do. Help it understand what your image is all about by providing Image Alt Tags. The alt tags should be a brief description of what your image is all about and should always relate to the content of the image because the text will be displayed on your site whenever the image doesn’t load.

The best SEO practice is to incorporate keywords into the alt text, but don’t make it spammy. It’s important to give clear descriptions and avoid generic or vague ones.

Poor content

Quality content will always be a priority in SEO because people go online to get information. They get information to learn more, to discover products and brands, or stay up-to-date on news and events. And users need that information to be relevant and reliable, that it’s accurate and meets what they are looking for. 

Create top-quality content (or outsource)

Because Google continually improves its algorithm to satisfy user experience, content is a substantial part of Google’s ranking guidelines. This is why a robust content marketing strategy is essential to the success of your SEO efforts.

A content strategy isn’t just concerned with what keywords your business needs to rank and gain visibility; it’s also focused on what sort of content your target market needs at their stage in the customer journey: awareness, consideration, purchase. The result is that you produce the right type of content (e.g., blog, video, or infographic) at the right time users need it.

9. Security and certification issues

Google sees HTTPS as necessary and considers it as one of its best practices

Your internet connection (as well as your users) can be tapped like a telephone line. If a user Googles something using a wireless connection, other devices in the area with wireless connectivity can detect your packets and see what you’re doing. Anyone who’s close to the wireless area can tap into your connection with the right software. If you want your communication to be private, encryption is key.

HTTPS tells your users that their communication with the server is encrypted. Some people can try tapping into it, but they won’t be able to understand anything or get anything out of the connection. 

HTTPS now provides these three main protections: 

  • Encryption. This makes sure that there's no unauthorized access by converting your website data into a code that can only be opened by your server.
  • Data Integrity. Any data you provide can’t be altered during transfer.
  • Authentication. This makes sure that the user is connected to the intended website — your website. This secures user trust and increases website authority.

Which one of these bottlenecks are you dealing with? Do an SEO audit to figure out the website issues you need to resolve — and work on them immediately. 

Key takeaway

Your website is likely to be the first point of contact for your customers, especially since the world is still restricting physical movement to deal with the pandemic. 

Your site needs to deliver on performance, from design to functionality, so users will linger, explore, be prompted to act (e.g., inquire, sign up for demos, or buy) and eventually convert into customers. The fewer bottlenecks your website has, the more you can provide a better user experience to your visitors.

Do this consistently, and search engines like Google will respond favorably by ranking your site, giving you further online visibility and reach.

About the author 

Dan Smink

Dan Smink is the founder of C1 Partners, a Denver SEO company that helps small to medium enterprises with their digital marketing strategy. Dan comes from a background of 20 years in business leadership and has a track record of helping businesses achieve million-dollar revenue values. He is an active community leader and a contributor to the Forbes.com's Agency Council spreading the word on how digital strategies can make a positive impact on today’s businesses. You may connect with him on LinkedIn.

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