How do I revive my website?
December 20, 2017 6:54 PM   Subscribe

How do I get my website converting again?

I run a website that gets about 40,000 unique visitors a month. As I have been handling my kids' medical crises, the business has pretty much fallen apart in the past few years. It's heartbreaking. But it is still getting this traffic. But jumping back in is hard. I don't know what to do to get things selling again. I make some money from it, but not like I used to, where I could live on it. I feel kind of embarrassed because I could probably tell someone else what to do. But I need to see outside my own head. Because of my family crisis, I really have very little money. I feel like I should be able to solve this on my own, but I need more help and I don't want to have to out myself to do it (since it would compromise my business). If it weren't for this business, I wouldn't have any income. But it's now the equivalent of an abandoned lot with a broken down house! I am seeking recommendations...I don't know if there is some sort of anonymous support group where I can get good feedback. I have a strong industry track record and could help someone else, so sometimes I think I need a masterminds group, but I'm not a startup and, as an established business, I sort of suck right now. Recommendations welcome. If it helps, it is a blog that helps people solve specific business problems and I make money from info products that I created. They are good quality and get good reviews. Thanks.
posted by shockpoppet to Work & Money (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Where is your traffic coming from? What sources produce the most revenue? Could you invest in those sources? Which specific pages have typically led to the most conversions? Are people still going to those pages? Are you getting as many new visitors as you used to, or is it returning visitors who have already purchased or decided not to?

Are you testing different layouts/content for conversion?
posted by lunasol at 9:39 PM on December 20, 2017 [2 favorites]

(You don't need to answer those questions here, but I do audits like this as part of my job and those are the kinds of questions I ask)
posted by lunasol at 9:40 PM on December 20, 2017 [2 favorites]

I make money from info products that I created. They are good quality and get good reviews.

Hey, I'm also (tangentially) in the same space, and I don't think it's just you: in yesterday's newsletter, Justin Jackson [1] was talking about how SaaS and info products are now easier to create, so more people enter the market, and we're potentially at a saturation point.

So! Some people will leave the market; others will stay and either demand will rise again for the same products, or the product set will improve. When were your products created? Could they use a "New for 2018" refresh, even if it's a minor update and a new cover? What's your mailing list like? When you say "convert", does that also include new lead generation to your email list, or strictly $ transactions? Lunasol's guiding questions above are also spot-on starting points for yourself.

Are there blogs you read, or newsletters you subscribe to, that have communities around them? Maybe a private Facebook group? There are a bunch in my industry that I get a ton of motivation and inspiration from, and I'd be a bit lost without them. Unfortunately I don't think we'll be able to point you in the right direction without knowing more about your niche.

[1] I like his newsletter; I see he's just launched a product that's aimed at people in your situation. I don't know if it's worth the cash. If I were in your situation I probably wouldn't invest money in that kind of thing right now. You can find a tribe of people and resources on your own, it just takes more time.
posted by third word on a random page at 2:21 AM on December 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

Thanks. Most of my traffic is organic search traffic, with probably 15% ever returning. Most of my sales are made the same day by people who have never been to the site before. So I know there should be a lot of room for improvement. I just feel very lost and I used to be good at this. (I guess I'm still doing something right if my neglected site gets this much traffic.)
posted by shockpoppet at 11:18 AM on December 21, 2017

Two thoughts:

#1 Start with the simple & easy & chip away a bit at a time:

- Make a short list of some of the relatively easy/simple things that could be fixed about the site. DON'T make it a long list, or you'll be overwhelmed. DON'T list the extremely hard/difficult/complex things that might need fixing. Those can wait until later. Stick with the easy, simple low-hanging fruit for now.

- Pick one of those things each day--the easiest and simplest and spend 30-60 minutes working on it.

- Do this for say two weeks and see if, at the end of that time, you find you've made some real significant progress in getting the site where you want it.

#2. Consider setting aside say 20% of the site income to hire someone to work on more significant or technical fixes.

That sounds like a lot when it sounds like you're kind of broke, but if you could invest 20% of the current income with a pretty good assurance that it will lead to a 10-20-30% increases in monthly income over a pretty short time period, that would certainly seem worth it.

It's hard to say what kind of help you need but if your site is on any kind of a standard platform like Wordpress or Drupal, there are various marketplaces that teeming with people willing to do work of this sort.
posted by flug at 5:28 PM on December 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

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