We’ve all seen the following scene played out in the movies or our favorite TV drama.
A twenty-something wunderkind starts a new internet-based business and launches his new website. As fellow actors hover around the computer screen, the “hits” counter begins to measure traffic to the site. 1 .. 2 .. 5 .. 10 .. 50 .. 100 .. 1000 .. 10,000 .. Within a few minutes this wondrous new website is garnering hundreds of thousands of visitors every hour.
Well that little vignette bears scant similarity to what happens in real life. In reality most websites get very little traffic. We’re talking less than 100 hits a day – if that.
Out of the more than 56 million websites on the web, fewer than 500,000 of them have any real traffic to speak of. Another way of saying this: There are over 55 ½ million websites on the Internet that are complete failures because they have no real traffic. A poor performing website is the rule, not the exception.
Quite simply, a website with little or no traffic is a failure. Without traffic on your site, then how could anyone ever contact you or hire you? How can they find out about your product? How would they know where you are located and that you have the exact thing that they are looking for?
There are 3 reasons why most websites fail:
- Bad content
- Flawed website design or implementation
- Inadequate promotion
Bad website content
This should be no big surprise. Your customers use the internet to find answers. Successful websites have information that people want, presented in a way that is easily digestible and believable.
Websites that fail frequently have stale, stagnant and boring content. If your site isn’t updated frequently, the information it presents can be out of date and thereby useless to your audience. Plus, no one has the time to invest in reading old, out-of-date, useless information.
Many websites compound the mistake by bombarding the visitor with reams of text presenting a blizzard of messages, sometimes conflicting, and completely overwhelming the visitor. Your visitor doesn’t have the time or desire to try and find the information they seek that may or may not be buried in the text.
Typos, bad grammar, misspelled words are another reason websites fail. In the age of spell checkers and grammar checkers, these problems should not exist.
Flawed website design or implementation
Creating a website is a highly technical endeavor. The designer needs to understand and balance the roles of text, graphics, rich media, and the way users comprehend and interact with websites. The designer needs to be part graphic artist, part software programmer, part writer and part marketer. A designer needs also to understand the role played by search engines.
Websites that fail can have technical issues that make it difficult to use. For example, we’ve all visited websites that crash our computers or are so slow to load that we give up and move on. Studies show that today’s internet users expect a website’s pages to load in 2 to 3 seconds. Longer than that and potential customers start abandoning your site to find the info they need somewhere else.
Poorly designed websites can also display poorly on certain web browsers. If a site was designed to look good only on Firefox but looks bad on Internet Explorer, significant parts of a website’s potential customers could be lost.
Many amateur designers sabotage their own websites by their choices of colors, fonts and images. A “busy” background image can make difficult to read text, for instance.
Finally, for a website to be successful it must be easy to find and that means it must be search engine friendly. If search engines like Google, cannot “index” your website, no one will be able to find it.
One of the most common traits of under-performing websites is that they are inadequately promoted. Amateur web designers wrongly believe that their job is done once the website is launched.
In truth, the job begins when the site is launched. Once the site is launched, the user needs to let the world know that it is there.
Successful sites have the following in common:
- They are optimized for search engines. That means, among other things, that each page is constructed highlighting carefully chosen keywords and phrases.
- Website content is updated frequently with fresh information chosen to benefit potential customers.
- Most importantly, successful websites to seen as a part of a web presence strategy, including significant usage of social media.
A website can be a tremendous tool for any business if it is designed and promoted properly. This starts with consulting experts in the field. Just because tools exist that allow anyone to create a website, that doesn’t mean anyone can be a successful website designer.
SBD Website Design