Sudden drop in form enquiries or website sales? Check these things first.

3 min read
Watb Team
An assorted group of American style, numbered mail boxes

So your website is generating a fairly steady amount of leads thanks to your digital marketing efforts. But for the past 2 weeks or so, there has been a dramatic slump in leads coming through website sales. It can be an extremely daunting experience, no matter if it’s your own site, or that of a client.

But take a deep breath, these things happen and there is probably a perfectly good explanation for it… More often than not, the solution is not all that far away.

I’ve put together a few quick things you can check when a website you work on suffers from a dramatic drop in enquiries or sales.

1. TEST THE FORM AND CHECKOUT PROCESS!

The team here at WATB regularly test forms on our own and on our clients websites. Why? Because if a user cannot submit their details or make a payment, they are not going to become a sale!

Be sure to test on different devices and if there are any problems, that could be the reason for your dip in enquiries or sales. If the forms are working, make sure you learn of any other changes which have been made to the website which could have impacted your users.

2. CHECK YOUR TRAFFIC SOURCES FOR CLUES IN GOOGLE ANALYTICS

Organic Traffic – Has organic traffic dropped recently? That could indicate a penalty or another issue with rankings. Check Google Search Console for any messages from our friends at Google and use keyword analysis tools to assess any drops in rankings. Here’s a checklist for SEO’s to help troubleshoot loss in rankings.

Paid Traffic – Has paid traffic dropped recently? Have a check what’s going on with Adwords to ensure that budgets haven’t been restricted or destination urls for the ads have been changed. If you’re not in charge of the Adwords budget, be sure to find out who is.

Referral Traffic – Relying on Social Media referrals for enquiries? Check social referrals are still performing and start investigating any unusual behaviour.

Here is a guide on how to check website pageviews and more using Google Analytics.

3. WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE WORLD?

External events can heavily influence user behaviour and sales. From something as simple as a sunny day to a major political movement such as the Brexit Vote in the UK, potential customers can be distracted or put off making purchases due to events outside of your control.

Depending on your clients’ industry, there could be a wealth of external influences on how users behave on the site. Some examples include:

  • Weather changes from a heatwave to a natural disaster distracting users.
  • Political events and economic factors such as policy changes or exchange rates reducing demand.
  • Technology changes such as a browser no longer being supported. This a large factor when it comes to being a web design and marketing agency as technology changes rapidly.

4. ARE THERE ANY ISSUES WITH YOUR WEBSITE HOSTING PROVIDER?

Although the visitor stats from Google Analytics will help show if the website has been down for a period of time, you may want to double check with the hosting company if they have noticed any issues. Some hosting providers may be the cause of lost customers as you site becomes slow, or not able to load at all. If this is the case, it could be time to consider upgrading a hosting package, or moving providers.

There are plenty of ways to monitor your website for uptime such as Uptime Robot: https://uptimerobot.com/

Social Media Management Software

In order to promote your business and reach consumers that spend an entire 24 hours a week online, you need to make sure that you have a viable social media strategy in place.

By posting unique and interesting content on your social media platforms, and by actively engaging with followers, you can start to turn this into a funnel for generating leads.

In order to stay on top of your social media strategy, it’s important to have some form of social media management software to do some of the heavy lifting. Software such as this is imperative for scheduling, tracking and monitoring social media content.

At its best, social media management software can help you not only plan your content months in advance, but also remain reactive by letting you tune into ongoing news stories or trending topics.

Screenshot of Hootsuite's homepage

We recommend: Hootsuite

There are a whole bunch of social media management companies out there and all of them offer roughly the same sort of package but Hootsuite is the only one that offers an actually free service (as opposed to just a free trial period).

They do try to hide it on their website though so make sure you follow this link in order to get to the right page.

The free version of this software lets you:

  • Manage up to three social media profiles from a choice of channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn
  • Schedule up to 30 posts in advance at any point in time
  • Track follower growth, likes and comments
  • Integrate two RSS feeds in order to find and share compelling content
  • Access Hootsuite’s online help center and community forum

Of course, there’s also a number of paid-for packages that you can buy from Hootsuite that give you access to a great number of services including higher ad spend budgets, automated post scheduling and custom analytics.

But if you’re a small business looking to get started, the free version of the software should be comprehensive enough to allow you to get your social media strategy in motion.

Website Tracking Software

We’ve said before that the secret to a successful lead generation strategy is to keep analysing and refining your methods. Well, website tracking software is the best way to conduct this analysis.

By digging into the analytics of your visitors’ actions, you can start to gain a better picture of why people come to your site, what they want from it, what they dislike about it and how you can improve upon their experience next time.

There are a wide variety of services that can fall into the category of website tracking software, including heatmaps, funnels, user polls, surveys, visitor recordings and more.

Basically, any kind of software that collects data about the ways in which your visitors interact with your site can be considered website tracking software.

Screenshot of Hotjar's homepage

We recommend: Hotjar

Whereas there are a multitude of smaller software companies that focus in on just one website tracking service, Hotjar offers an array of useful tools.

Hotjar tools include:

  • Click, move, scroll, download and share heatmaps that can also be split by device type
  • Visitor recordings that allow you to replay sessions of real site visitors
  • Conversion funnels that identify on which page and at which step the most visitors are leaving your site
  • Form analysis that can help you to discover which fields take too long to fill, which are left blank and why your visitors abandon your form and page
  • A customizable widget that allows you to create pop-up feedback polls
  • Responsive surveys that can be distributed through web links and emails, or featured your site just before your visitors abandon the page in order to discover what their concerns are
  • The ability to recruit test users in order to get instant feedback on your site

Hotjar’s free service is able to collect data from 2000 page views a day and will give you access to up to 300 visitor recordings and 3 heatmaps, forms, funnels, polls and surveys. Unlimited users can be added to your account and Hotjar will also store your data for a full year.

While we’d normally recommend free services when possible, it’s probably worth paying for Hotjar’s Plus plan to begin with.

For just under £25 a month you can collect data from 10,000 page views a day and have unlimited services and reports. Plus there’s even a 15-day free trial for you to test out whether you like their software or not.

Remember

Lead generation doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavour.

What’s important is that you put real effort into all of your interactions with potential leads - whether that’s through educational and informative blog posts, social media interactions or even just a chat on the phone.

If you believe in your business’ ability to help its customers then all you have to do is let that shine through.

Ultimately, these tools are just there to help you meet potential leads on their level. The rest is up to you.

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