Triage Your Business

Today, we're diving into a topic that's near and dear to my heart – triaging your online business. It's dear to my heart because really, I must have done a few hundred of these in my time and I really enjoy pointing out the quick wins.

Many great business associations have started with the words 'Can you just take a look at my website?'

If your online business isn't performing as well as you'd like, it might be time to take a step back and figure out what needs fixing first.

Or, when things go wrong in your business, it can feel overwhelming. But just like in a medical emergency, the key is to prioritize.

Just like in any emergency, addressing the most critical issues first can make a world of difference. It's also important to fix things in the right order.

In this post, I'll share my tried-and-true methods for diagnosing and fixing problems in the right order, so you can get your business - or website - back on track.

Here’s a look at how to triage your online business effectively.

Step 1: Analyze Your Website's Clarity

The first thing I look for in any website audit is whether it's immediately clear what the business does. When visitors land on your site, they should instantly understand your business's value proposition. Ask yourself:

  • Is it clear what my business offers?
  • Is there a compelling "ethical bribe" to capture emails?
  • Is the call to action (CTA) obvious and enticing?

Action Point: Create a straightforward and compelling message on your homepage. Use headlines and visuals to communicate your value proposition quickly.

Step 2: Check Your Navigation and User Experience

A confusing website can turn potential customers away faster than you can say "bounce rate." Ensure your navigation is simple and intuitive. Your CTA should be prominent and easy to find.

Action Point: Conduct user testing to identify pain points in your website's navigation. Simplify your menu and ensure your CTA stands out.

Step 3: Review Your Analytics

Google Analytics is your best friend when it comes to understanding how visitors interact with your site. Make sure it's installed and that you regularly review key metrics like bounce rate, session duration, and conversion rates.

Action Point: Set up Google Analytics if you haven't already. Regularly review your data to identify trends and areas for improvement.

Step 4: Focus on Your Lead Product

Your lead product is the gateway to converting visitors into customers. It should be prominently featured and easy to purchase. Avoid overwhelming visitors with too many options.

Action Point: Highlight your lead product on your website's thank-you page and explain its benefits clearly. Simplify your product offerings to avoid customer confusion.

Step 5: Understand Your Traffic Numbers

Direct marketing principles dictate that only 1-3% of visitors will take action at each stage of your funnel. This means you need a substantial amount of traffic to achieve your sales goals.

Action Point: Use content marketing and paid advertising to drive traffic to your site. Focus on platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok, where visual content thrives.

Bonus: Real-Life Success Story

One of my most significant successes was conducting a website audit for a private bank in London. They found my feedback so valuable (and amusing) that it led to a fantastic one-year marketing contract. This story underscores the importance of detailed, honest feedback and the opportunities it can unlock.

Suggested Action List

  1. Clarify Your Message: Ensure your website clearly communicates your business's value proposition.
  2. Simplify Navigation: Make it easy for visitors to find what they need and take action.
  3. Utilize Analytics: Regularly review your Google Analytics data to make informed decisions.
  4. Highlight Lead Products: Feature your lead product prominently to guide visitors toward a purchase.
  5. Drive Traffic: Use content marketing and paid ads to increase your website's visibility and reach.

Recommended Reading

  1. "Attract 3.0" by Nicola Cairncross. Great marketing makes selling superfluous - here's my guide to doing that.
  2. "Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook" by Gary Vaynerchuk: Master the art of social media marketing.
  3. "The Lean Startup" by Eric Ries: Adopt a scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups.
  4. "Day Trading Attention: How to Actually Build Brand and Sales in the New Social Media World" by Gary Vaynerchuk


Fixing your online business in the right order can transform it from struggling to thriving. By prioritizing clarity, navigation, analytics, lead products, and traffic, you'll be well on your way to success. If you need help, feel free to drop your business name and URL in the comments, and I might feature your website in an upcoming audit.

Until next time, keep pushing forward and don't hesitate to reach out in the comment here or o YouTube with any questions!

Photo by Il Vagabiondo on Unsplash


Business, business marketing, business online, content marketing, ecommerce, Entrepreneurship, nicola cairncross, online business, selling online

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