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Don’t Fix Everything on Your Website at Once

Feb 19, 2021

When business owners try to grow online sales, they start feeling like everything is wrong with their website. There aren’t enough people coming, folks aren’t buying, the design is wonky, and the list goes on. 

A common impulse at that point is to want to fix everything right away, sometimes hiring an expensive consultant or web designer to “handle it.” Unfortunately, this approach is usually expensive and ineffective -- and you’ll likely end up 6 months down the road feeling more discouraged and confused than you feel today. 


The Leakiest Hole First Method

So I want to share a different approach with you: don’t fix everything on your website at once. Rather, choose the leakiest hole in the bucket, seal that up, and then move on to the next leakiest hole. There are two big reasons to use the Leakiest Hole First method, rather than doing general improvements: 

  • Focus creates clarity. By fixing one thing at a time, you’ll understand which of your efforts worked and which didn’t, which lets you build on successful efforts over time (and cut the rest). 
  • Focus creates progress. By focusing your limited time and energy on solving one problem, you’ll have more success and generate greater momentum than tackling too big a project (like your whole website) and getting stuck.


The Buyer’s Journey

You may be familiar with the buyer’s journey: Awareness > Consideration > Decision. 

  1. Awareness: This is when your potential buyer first comes into contact with your brand. You can measure this through the number of visitors to your website.

    If your site is strong but you're simply not getting a lot of visitors, this is the place to focus.

  2. Consideration: This is when your potential buyer considers your offerings and explores your website and story. You can measure this through something like email list signups or visits to specific pages to your website.

    If you're getting a fair number of visitors and your store and cart are good, this is likely the best place to focus.

  3. Decision: This is when your buyer adds products to the cart and hopefully checks out. You can measure this through “adds to cart” and total number of purchases.

    If you're seeing a lot of visitors and they are putting things in the cart but not completing their purchase at the rate you'd like to see, this is the stage you should focus on.


Generally, you'll be strong in two of these steps and much weaker in one of them. It can be very powerful to focus on improving ONLY your weakest part in the buyer's journey, improving that, and then returning to reassess at a later date. 


PS -- Looking for more help with web sales and online marketing? We go deep into these topics, plus many others, at One Mill School. Just add your email below and we’ll let you know when applications open for the new quarter. 

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