Leaky bucket syndrome

Is your website like a leaky bucket? Javan Bramhall, owner of Digital Glue, examines how to optimise your website’s performance…

You fill your website up with visitors, bringing thousands of people to the site. You carry the bucket to its destination, and by the time you’ve got there, its nearly empty.

Leaky bucket syndrome when it comes to websites and digital marketing is created by the belief that if you drive enough traffic to any website, you’ll get the sales and that will be great for your business.

The reason it’s so prevalent is that to an extent it’s true.

But, and everything before the ‘but’ is BS – it’s expensive to drive traffic to websites, so if your only strategy for growing sales is to drive more traffic to your site, you’ll soon find your ROI on marketing isn’t getting any better. Instead of leaking water, we’re leaking pounds.

So let’s assume that you have a decent volume of visitors coming to your website – the bucket is reasonably well filled.  What can we do to block up the holes and make sure more people convert and become customers?


There are few factors which will mean customers leave a site quicker than the price being wrong. I use the word wrong deliberately. For some, it’s the cheapest possible, for others it a premium brand, the price could be too high or too low. Make sure that your pricing is right for your market and your brand.


Your product or service pages on your site need to make it easy for customers to buy. If you want inspiration for how this is well done, go and check out Amazon. Things to consider are; Is it clear what I’m asking the customer to do? have I included all relevant information to help the customer make the decision? Does the customer have proof that our business is reliable?


If you’re running paid advertising in any way ensuring that you also have a retargeting or remarketing campaign running is crucial. We all leave websites we intended to take an action on. Maybe we got distracted by a phone call, maybe we wanted to research another price, maybe we wanted to check with the boss before making a final decision.

Serving ads to bring those customers who left, back to our site is one of the most effective marketing tools available to us. It’s cheap, and it’s relevant.

 A/B testing

If we have a web page which is converting prospective customers into buyers, great. It doesn’t mean it couldn’t be converting more though.

Run tests constantly, try different formats of product or service pages on your site and evaluate which ones are delivering the best conversion rates.

Tip: When you’re running tests try and just change one thing so you can evaluate the difference easily.

Add on sales

If customers have come to your site for one product, what else should they be buying which will be useful for them? Building in a recommendation tool into your website and attaching relevant products or services to a product is a crucial way to add value to each sale. Perhaps it’s embroidery, an add on product, a service or warranty. Each customer has a potential value, make sure you’re maximising that.

Email marketing

Once you’ve converted a customer, that doesn’t mean the holes in the bucket are fully plugged. Ask yourself:

If every customer bought one more item, what would that be worth to my business?

If every customer placed one more order than they do now, what would that be worth?

If every customer referred one other customer to our business, what would that be worth?

Building automated email marketing processes to answer these questions is a highly effective way of capturing as much value from our customers as possible. Intelligent email marketing tools linked to our website such as Klayvio can provide valuable ways of connecting with our customers in relevant ways.

It costs a lot to get customers to our website – let’s make sure the bucket is watertight

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