“What’s the best place to hide a dead body?”

“On page 2 of Google’s search results!”

Most digital marketers have heard the saying and chuckled. But it’s so, so true.

It’s estimated the first page of Google results gets about 75% of the search traffic, with the majority of those clicks going to the top 3 results.

If consumers can’t find your site, they can’t convert into customers. But once they get there, are they actually converting? How can you tell if your business website is working?

Here are 5 telltale signs your business website isn’t as effective as you might have hoped.

1. Traffic is down.

One of the biggest signs of a poorly performing site is low traffic. Even if you have great social media pages and online listings, your business website is still part of a successful online presence.

In fact, 30% of consumers say they won’t consider a business that doesn’t have a website, and 46% say a business’s website is a main factor in whether or not they feel they can trust that business.

Two top ways to improve your search ranking with Google are:
  • Earning trusted backlinks to your site
  • Creating really great content

Earning Trusted Backlinks

Small businesses can earn backlinks pretty easily from some top search contenders, those sites we call online business listings sites. Aside from Google’s own listings, you may know them as Yelp, Angie’s List, or another popular listings site for your industry.

Claim your business listings on as many of these popular sites as you can, and make sure your information is accurate and consistent. Search engines like Google will reward you for it.

Creating Really Great Content

As for creating quality content, that’s all on you. Google loves content with detailed, descriptive language average users can understand.

  • Write in terms your average customer can understand.
  • Talk value, not technical features of your products or services.
  • Consider giving free advice via a blog, with longer articles.

2. Bounces are up.

Your website’s bounce rate is the rate at which visitors to your website leave (bounce) after only viewing the first page, or after a short period of time. Since ideally, you’d want consumers to stay on your website long enough to get in touch, bounce rates are often indicators of a problem.

What’s a “high” bounce rate? Unfortunately, it’s subjective. Fat fingers searching via mobile and dwindling attention spans are increasing the average bounce rate for many different sites.

Typically, anything above 56% (definitely anything above 70%) should be cause for concern. Or, at the very least, it’s a good reason to look into what could be causing higher-than-average bounces from your business’s website.

What’s causing your high bounce rate?
  • Slow load time – Slow load time is a big turn-off for consumers. Anything over a 2-second load time is bad news for your SEO and your business website’s effectiveness.
  • Poor navigation – If consumers don’t find the information they need quickly on your site, they’ll move on to the next. Place the most relevant, important information about how you help your customers at the very top of your business website’s home page.
  • Crappy content – Make sure what your business does is abundantly clear the second someone arrives on your site.
  • Too many graphics – While videos and high-quality images are eye-catching, if they take up too much real estate on your website, they can make it harder for consumers to find what they need fast.

3. No one’s clicking your calls to action.

Let’s loop back around to the main goal of your website. For most small business owners, you want your business website to help you generate leads, phone calls, even sales. Most small business owners would love for their websites to bring in new business, and often.

But, you can’t generate leads, bookings and purchases if your website isn’t equipped to help consumers make those decisions. That’s where links and calls to action come into play.

Best practices say to limit your calls to action to 2, 3 max. Meaning, try not to give consumers too many options about what to do once they reach your site. If your business website is confusing, your business website isn’t working as it should.

Decide which of your ideal calls to action is most important, and place that one prominently across your site. Include it in your navigation, at the top and bottom of every page, and maybe even randomly throughout the site as people scroll.

Pro tip: Make your buttons stand out by making their background color bright, and their text simple and easy to read. “Book Now,” “Call,” and “Get Quote” are all great call-to-action examples for your business website.

4. You’re getting bad leads.

Now, let’s say you get all the clicks, calls and leads you could ever want. You’re not out of the woods just yet. Of the leads your website generates, how many of them convert into customers?

If that number feels low, your business website is likely causing some bad leads. And that means your business website isn’t working.

Business website issues that cause bad leads:
  • Vague content – It may be tempting to try to be all things to all people so you can get more consumers on the phone or in the door. But if your website isn’t clear about what you can and can’t do, you’ll spend unnecessary time making these clarifications yourself, over the phone, or in person.
  • Targeting the wrong audience – Do you use search engine optimization or search engine marketing tactics? Make your keywords specific and local. Broader keywords may be cheaper and bring you more traffic. But, that traffic won’t be as qualified to buy, causing bad leads.
  • Incentives – One lead generation tactic is to offer something in exchange for a lead’s information. Make sure whatever you offer is relevant to your business. If it’s a juicy offer but is too removed from what you do, these leads aren’t likely going to be interested in buying from you.

5. Your social media isn’t connected.

You may be under the impression that having a business website, and maybe some online listings, may be enough of an online presence to get by. Not so fast.

63% of consumers actually expect businesses to offer customer service via their social media accounts. And 90% have already used social media to communicate with businesses.

Your website may be a great starting place for your business online. It demonstrates some clout with consumers and search engines, and it should help you get found. But if you don’t go the extra mile and connect it to your social media accounts, the benefits of having a website may as well stop there.