Ok, so you now have an all singing, all dancing website. It has banners, pretty pictures, lots of smooth content, special offers, and your developer has kindly added a lot of your products on for you....
So how come you are not getting any sales? How come you are not page one of Google?
Or maybe you went all out and hired a web designer spending a thousand dollars or more to have them build your site and shopping cart.
There are millions upon millions of websites indexed by the leading search engines. less than 10% of these sites see any real traffic come to them. So, why is this? Why do some websites seem to attract huge numbers and yours is struggling down at the bottom of the league?
Here are 10 of the most popular reasons that websites fail.
What constitutes a website failure??
If your website is attracting little or no traffic, then it is failing in its role as an advertising medium. Without customers visiting your site, the world cannot know how great your company is, how amazing your products are, and how they need your company in their life.
Let’s see the most common reasons and how we together can ensure this does not happen to yours.
#1. Content, content, content. This is the single biggest factor for website failure. Your website needs to ensure that accurate, relevant, enticing content is REGULARLY added to your site. In prime positioning so that it grabs the visitor attention each time they come to the site.
In your industry field, you are the expert, visitors to your site expect to gain access to your knowledge and insight into the industry. Your content should reflect your views, opinions, ideas and enthral visitors, making them want to come again. Real content that answer real questions.
Search engines such as Google and Yahoo will read your site, looking for answers to their common search phrases. If it finds them, it will rank you higher and by association you will get more traffic.
#2. Irrelevant domains. You are targeting a niche market. So why have joebloggs.com which does not inform or entice visitors to your site? Why not think of a name that informs people more closely about what you actually offer?
#3. Typographical errors. Would you sit and read a novel that was full of spelling mistakes? Glaring mistakes are one of the quickest ways to put people off reading the important information on your website. It is a well-known fact that you only have 10 seconds to grab a visitors attention before they click 'Back' on their browser window. If your site does not grab them within those 10 seconds you have lost them for good. Having mistakes or a poorly laid out website will immediately inform your visitors that you don't care about your site or their custom.
#4. Site Never Updated!!!!!!!!!
A website is a tool, one that has to work for you! Having the same information, images and pictures on your site, every time someone visits is a sure fire way to lose their custom. Visitors want to be wow'd when they come to your website; they want to see new and interesting products and information.
A static site i.e. one that is never updated is a dead site. You should be constantly updating and adding new information and products to your website to keep visitors enthralled. At least once a week make a change, add a new product, write a blog. This way, when search engines send out their 'robots' to scour your site, they can see articles and products with a new timestamp, and then will rank you higher!
#5 Too much clutter. How you position information on your site is very important. The old trend used to be to have a huge slideshow at the top of your page to show pretty picture. In my opinion this is a mistake. That is a huge amount of web real estate that is being wasted for the sake of pretty pictures that give little to no information. a websites is not meant to be one huge advert or boring sales pitch. It is a dynamic, user interface that targets exactly what your visitors are looking for.
#6. SEO. The SEO market is a minefield, offering you contradictory advice on how to get the best rankings. Some say Keywords are best, others H1 tags, and meta tags. IMO, the main thing for SEO is CONTENT! Nothing beats fresh content on a weekly basis. That being said, optimising your site for search phrases does help. Imagine your target market and how they would mostly likely find you. What search phrases would they type into Google to get the information they need? Just thinking of a huge long list of generic words will not help you. Careful market research is key here. There are many free tools out there that can help come up with relevant suggestions of actual phrases that people are using in your market.
#7. Unrealistic expectations. Everybody wants to be on the first page of Google. But remember that only 10 websites can be there. Being front page while nice, means nothing if your website does not offer the correct information, in a way that is quickly and easily digested by the visitor.
So while you can pay a company to help optimise your site for front page listings, and your ranking will certainly go up. If your website is static (Remember static websites are DEAD websites) then all your money and expense will have been wasted.
So keep your site up to date, and keep your expectations realistic! You will not be Amazon over night, Amazon was not Amazon over night, it took hard work, diligence, constant updates and no small amount of luck.
#8. Off website communications. Your website has done its job. You have a customer, maybe they have submitted an order, or maybe they have contacted you by email for further information. If you then don't respond to them in a timely fashion, all that hard work has been wasted.
There is nothing worse than ordering off the internet, and then not receiving the product because the website owner has failed to keep the site up to date and the product is no longer in stock. It leaves a really bad taste in the visitors mouth to have been lied to. They will not make the same mistake of trusting you again. The same goes for email and telephone contact, we live in a fast paced world. When we search the web, we want the information now, and if we send you an email, its because we are interested NOW! Do not wait a week or even a day to contact them back. Let them know that they are appreciated and valued, and they will stick with your company.
Don't lose your customers due to inaction on your part.
#9. Not optimised for all devices. In this modern age, visitors to your site come on a plethora of devices and browsers if your site looks like hell on an iPad they will leave, if they can't see it on their mobile, they will leave, if it looks different in Internet Explorer to Google Chrome, they will LEAVE! If you have paid a web developer to create your website, then, hopefully they will have ensured that your site is fully responsive. If not, then look for a new designer or insist that they make it so.
#10. STATIC WEBSITES ARE DEAD WEBSITES. Yes, yes, I know I have said this already. But I can't express how important this is. If your site has no regularly updated content, IT WILL FAIL!! Your website is essentially useless, almost as bad as not having a site in the first place!
Just remember that a website is only another advertising medium, a way of driving clients to you and your company. If you can't be bothered to maintain your site, why would a visitor want to deal with you? If you physically don't have the time to do it. Then, either you need to rethink your business model, or pay an outside company to do it for you. Provide them with your new products, and target market. These companies will then provide you with industry specific blogs and informational pages to help drive clients to your door.
But also remember, that it only needs one bad review to undo all your hard work. And the final responsibility lies with you the company. Nobody else is to blame if your website fails due to your own complacency. If you want it to work, then work at it and make it work for you.