Archive for May, 2010

11 Reasons Why Websites Fail

Friday, May 28th, 2010
Chances are you have heard about ‘social media’ and how it is transforming the way we communicate in business and personal lives.

The online marketing and creation of company/brand awareness, which ultimately drives web traffic, is increasingly turned to the explosion of newsletters, articles, videos, podcasts, blogs, micro blogs (Twitter), and newsfeeds (RSS) used as vital back linking tools.

In other words – user generated content. The function of website design is itself evolving.

Developing a social media network to grow your business is a proactive online marketing strategy that is increasingly being seen reflected in new design approaches to website accessibility.

Web designers are creating layouts to direct visitor’s attention to content predominantly user-generated and interactive. The focus is on human network connectivity calls to further action and greater participation, which specifically demand a depth of engagement that extends visitor dwell time at a site.

An online marketing strategy requires you decide upon your message themes and keyword links and how they may need to vary across the agreed range of networked sites and prepare a precise message delivery schedule.

Increasingly, the phenomenal success of Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, and other social sites is rapidly forcing change towards redefining the function of a website as an open resource for peer networking, accessible across different viewing and communicating channels. Twitter alone is ranked as one of the 50 most popular websites worldwide and is the third most used social network. The number of unique monthly visitors is now at six million and the number of monthly visits around 45 million.

This means website innovators are now catering for the new ‘best of breed’ technology and its array of applications intended to up the ante on web performance. Unprecedented outreach, visibility and engagement impacts on increased interaction and ultimately, trading activity results. The future of online business is the future of website design, functionality and social / prospective customer engagement. It is on a steep growing curve and impossible to predict the possible outcomes.

You need to be prepared, so your website is not doomed from the start.

Here are several reasons most new sites fail:

1. Cookie-cutter websites. Templates are so amazing because with a few clicks, you can have a great looking website. But, everyone has that same website. If you picked it, probably a few thousand other have too, and that’s being conservative. Google hates this and those websites are ranked lower in the search enginesbecause of this.

2. Too much, too fast. Designing a website takes time, it just does. No matter what anyone says. Why? There are a million things that need done. You need to add your content and pictures. Your website needs a custom design so you do not look like every other site out there, and you certainly need time to check things and make sure your website is functioning properly. Let alone the search engine optimization, search engine marketing, and backlinks that need creating if you want your website to have a decent chance online.

3. Search Engine Optimization, SEO. This one should be a no-brainer, but it is actually one of the most powerful reasons of them all. Most website designers, especially new ones, do not know anything about proper search engine optimization. It is a process, it requires tweaking, and there are no guarantees. It also takes time. If you do not get your SEO right, you might as well not bother with the website for the traffic you will get.

4. Not staying up on the process. Two terms to remember about website design are Online Reputation Management, ORM, and Search Engine Marketing, SEM. You have to know about them and you have to implement them if you want your website to have a chance online. SEM is your basic marketing campaign, while ORM requires a bit more dedication. You need profiles with your business name to be set up on all the social networks and you need to get involved in the “conversation.” This gets your name out there, filling up the search engine rankings and makes things a lot easier on your company.

5.You hired your neighbor’s son.You know he is not a professional but you know you can save a buck by using him. After paying him next to nothing, you find that the website he created hurts more than it helps. You find yourself taking your URL off your stationary and business cards and not mentioning your website to your clients. You have lost more than the couple hundred dollars you spent on it; you have lost the potential of a successful website until you have it redone.

6. You Outsourced Your Work. Another tempting alternative to what might seem to be costly work inside the country. There are two reasons why this alternative is risky and painful for you and your business. First, communication problems. You will either have a hard time understanding or being understood by the firm or freelancer you hired.  Second, like so many have already found, you may be promised everything and receive a small portion of what you expected.

7. You Can Count the Number of Pages on Your Site with One Finger.Limiting the content on your site is unadvisable. There are so many opportunities your website can take advantage of, but without content virtually none of it is possible. Content is king.

8. Your site is boring.If your site cannot create interest in your product or services, your website will lose to the competition. Focus your attention on benefits, not features. Create page titles that make your audience want to learn more. Show how the application of your product or service will change your audiences’ lives in some positive way.

9. You thought a web designer was enough.Do not have a professionally made website with no budget for marketing. When budgeting out your website, make sure to appropriate sufficient funds to attract an audience to it. Use the following flexible rule of thumb for a website budget: a quarter of your budget for design and branding, a quarter for development, a quarter for public relations and SEO, and a quarter for advertising.

10. Your website is too generic.This is why web templates can be a bad move. If your web design and content are generic and bland, you are not portraying a well conceived and implemented brand image. Branding is about determining your company’s persona. A well branded website builds trust with your visitors and shows competitive advantage.

11. You did not monetize your site.If you did not plan out the primary and secondary objectives of your website, then your website is probably spinning your visitors in circles.  Give your website an objective, and every aspect of it should be working to accomplish it.  If you are trying to sell a product, make it appealing and easy for them to buy it. If you want them to call you on the phone do the same.  Too often a website is about a company and loses the potential influence it can have to make your company more money.

*Did You Know— The first website was created by a man named Timothy John Berners-Lee, an English computer scientist and MIT professor, in 1990. He proposed a concept to facilitate the sharing and updating of information among researchers. This concept was – hypertext. With the idea of hypertext, connected with the Transmission Control Protocol and domain name system ideas, the World Wide Web was born. The first web site was built and put online on August 6, 1991. The main purpose of this web site was to explain the concept of the World Wide Web and how to use a browser and set up a Web server.