Monday, August 17, 2009

8 Reasons Why Your New Site Isn't Performing

Tell me if this has happened to you. Client says: "I don't get it. We just spent tons of money redesigning our site. It looks so much better. How could online sales be down?"

And you say: "It's the economy, stupid."

Now hold your horses there, Junior. Let's not jump to conclusions. The economy can be blamed for plenty (see: Housing Collapse and Demise of Auto Industry). eMarketer forecasts that retail e-commerce sales (excluding travel) will likely be flat in 2009.

There could be many reasons why your shiny and new transaction-based site isn't performing so well. Sure, some will be healed over time. But the good news is that most can be overcome with better planning.

Here are 8 traffic and site-side client challenges that I've recently observed:

  • 1. New site architecture can take weeks or months for your visitors to adjust
  • 2. New SEO tactics could take weeks or months for organic traffic to pick up again
  • 3. Login module was moved to new position on page and visitors can't find it
  • 4. Primary call-to-action was moved to a new position
  • 5. RSS feed was changed and now it's broken for past subscribers
  • 6. New site is so different, that visitors immediately abandon because they think they're in the wrong place
  • 7. Familiar past site functionality was removed (for better or for worse)
  • 8. New site has either too hard or too soft of a selling approach in comparison to prior design
Flickr Image: kevindooley

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