And, how to have it cost you $13,000 in 11 days
Yes, it’s possible and it happened to one of my former clients.
It’s a very simple story, with a very simple solution. Unfortunately, they opted to stay with their current course. Their losses aren’t as great as this former client’s losses, but they are considerable.
I’d been working with this client for a little while and got them to mid 5-figures in revenue per month through specific, targeted SEO and User Experience design (UX). The product is a popular product that’s growing across the country and the client also didn’t want to try any advertising, which definitely limited their growth.
We put up a simple, but good looking site that started converting right away. Month by month, their traffic and sales grew fairly consistently. Eventually we started to hit about $60,000 in revenue per month.
We had a path to continue with SEO and grow their content and continue to promote their products, but getting content from the client was impossible. So the project stalled despite repeated requests for content for products, new pages and posts.
Meanwhile, they wanted a new theme for their website and decided to hire someone to create a new theme without us knowing about it.
This new theme was more of a glamour theme with with large, cool image sliders, fancy graphics and complex page builder plugins. They also removed product images and links from the home page, made users have to scroll further to get more info, and created more clicks to get to any product page.
It was also really code heavy. In fact this theme is more of an application than a theme and their Page Speed score dropped from the mid 60s (and climbing) to a 10. Honestly, I’ve never seen a site go that low in Page Speed before.
After the site launched, we waited several days to see if we could see the trends of the impact. In 11 days it was clear.
The mass of sales pre and post new theme was pretty obvious.
Looking at each period independently, we saw:
- 26% decrease in sales
- 26% decrease in orders
- 24% decrease in products sold
When I showed them this data, they said this was due to changes in their industry and that they liked the theme and were ok with the low page speed and were upset that I would bring this to their attention.
The obvious solution would be to put the old theme back in place. Second would be to modify the current theme. Third would be to do a new theme again after doing #1.
They decided to stay with the current theme that hobbled their online sales growth and sales have never been the same since.
The moral here is that design, theme and layout can all make a difference. If you’re not doing some basic things right, your site and revenue can really suffer.