3 Reasons New Websites Fail at Launch
We’ve done lead gen for dozens of companies in the last five years, mainly via Facebook ads (although we provide other services like AdWords and landing page and funnel creation, but Facebook is both hot and indispensable).
We also provide feedback when they run into conversion issues…. because, of course, if their site isn’t converting at a minimum level, our ads don’t look like they’re doing very well. That’s how we get low cost new site users and registrations.
Do you want more new users, and a lower cost per user?
We’ve seen some common obstacles and mistakes companies make…
The 3 Biggest Reasons New Sites Fail at Launch
Do you want to create a site that customers really want to use?
The biggest failures we see are when creators:
- Aren’t solving customers’ real pain points
(Mistake: “This is what we THINK their problems are.” Stop thinking and start asking.)
- Didn’t create something customers really want
(Mistake: “They SHOULD want this, right?” I don’t know. You don’t know. Find out.)
- Require new behavior that people may not comply with
(Mistake: “This is cool and NEW, so people will go through hell to get it, right?” But new things are unproven)…
…and thus you may get low conversion rates, which means high cost per user acquisition, or no conversions, which is very disturbing.
Do you want to avoid those mistakes?
How NOT to Build a PIG
Marketing and advertising, at worst, is lipstick on a pig.
How to avoid building a pig: start with what customers need and want.
Survey before building using tools like surveymonkey combined with Facebook ads to your ideal target audience.
Isn’t knowing better than guessing?
Find out what they REALLY want- not what you THINK they want.
Test Your First 100 Visitors
Do you want to know how well you’re actually doing?
Make sure your website is converting from the start. Track mercilessly.
Can’t you just grow virally or for free on social media? Not every niche or product is super-shareable, so sometimes you still need advertising to get your first users in and learn from them.
Do you want to pay only for the customers who are the best fit?
Advertising ensures you’re reaching the right people. Organic social media is a crapshoot. Who knows who you’ll get. Maybe people who don’t need your site.
Do you want to grow fast and make your users super-happy?
The companies that thrive are the ones that evolve quickly based on analytics and user feedback.
Use tools like hotjar to watch what real users do and where they run into trouble.
You can also use their poll to implement the Ask question process on your website.
Do You Have a Conversion Problem?
A conversion is when you get a user to do something:
It’s what you want them to do.
You must be able to see your conversion rates.
Do you want to accelerate your success and lower your costs?
Users should convert at at least 10-40% for free services, and at least 1-2% for paid ones.
- If you’re over those benchmarks, you’re on track. Then great marketing can accelerate your success.
- If you’re below them, something is wrong: targeting, user experience, product concept, copywriting, etc.
Do you want to avoid wasting money?
Make sure you have Google Analytics goals set up, and you’re tracking properly with Facebook, AdWords and other conversion code. These need to be tested so you are 100% sure they’re accurate as early as possible, ideally BEFORE you pay for ad traffic.
Do you want to be able to KNOW WHAT users DO on your site?
Program your website so that every page has its own URL, or you’ll have trouble tracking user actions. For some reasons a lot of programmers like to make things happen without the URL changing, but this creates tracking problems. You won’t be able to get the info you need to find out what’s wrong or get better results.
GA behaviors don’t lead to as good reporting as GA goals. You want to be able to map goals back to traffic source, landing page and more.
Do you want to know the best webpage to send them to, so you can get the lowest cost per new user?
One of my favorite custom reports in GA maps landing page (the first page they came to on the site when they visited) to conversion rate. That way I know what the best first page is to send people to with ads:
Split Testing Is NO LONGER Optional
Do you want to learn WHAT makes customers DO what you want them to DO?
Custom website programming causes a lot of tracking and improvement obstacles. One of them is the inability to split-test.
You need to be able to test multiple versions of your opt-in or registration pages. This is no longer optional.
Creating only one version of a user registration form and not being able to improve its conversion rate is a vulnerability for your business and increases the cost of customer acquisition.
- Increases conversion rates,
- Lowers customer acquisition costs
- Teaches you what they respond to and what they don’t.
You can get better results throughout your company by applying those learnings:
- To your ads
- To your product development plans
- To how you write emails
- To your customer service FAQs
- To your intro videos, etc.
The best market research is the data that shows you what your actual customers respond to or don’t.
This is the most valuable info you can get about them- what will make them take action.
That’s why landing page optimization tools like LeadPages and ClickFunnels and Unbounce are doing so well right now.
(I actually split test the titles of my blog posts, too, even this post!)
Want to create an awesome site AND get lots of new users affordably?
Some people go so far as to say the website is dead… but you and I know many companies want to create something new and unique- my recommendation is to think modularly:
- Let your website do what it specializes in, but
- Plug in a landing page tool + email marketing service to get customers into your SaaS.
If need be, create a data-bridge program to pull customers from the email service into your database. (Or… feel free to program your entire own split-testing platform- But that would be a ton more work.)
The upshot is:
- Don’t reinvent the wheel.
- Don’t use a crappy wheel that doesn’t function just because you programmed it.
- Don’t build a car that doesn’t have wheels (in this analogy, split-testing is a wheel).
Use industry best practices and plug into the services that are already out there.
Brian Carter is a popular business expert and keynote speaker with Fortune 500 clients like NBC, Microsoft and Humana as well as small businesses. He delivers motivational keynotes with practical takeaways with the comedic flair of his stand up comedy background. His agency, The Brian Carter Group, creates marketing that excites customers and increases brand visibility, sales and loyalty. Brian is a bestselling author you’ve probably seen on Bloomberg TV or in Inc, Entrepreneur, The Wall Street Journal or The New York Times. He has over 250,000 online fans and reaches over 3 million people per year.