Do you dream of a website that is a 24/7 business development machine?

Unfortunately most websites generate no business. Companies go through the motions to create them. There is little thought that goes into the process of designing the website. The result is website failure.

Websites fail for many reasons.

Here are the most common reasons websites are failing.

#1 – No website.

Without a web presence, your don’t have a business. Even if you don’t sell anything on it, you still need a website. If you made it this far without a website, it doesn’t mean that it hasn’t hurt your business financially.

Prospects often check out your website before they commit to working with you. If you don’t have a website, you are going to lose a large percentage of your future revenues.

#2 – Zero planning.

Entrepreneurs often start on a web design project without planning. They claim to be too busy to be bothered with planning.

You have to plan your website if you want it to help you succeed.

You must set certain goals and objectives for your website.

Consider the following as you plan your new website:

  • What is the purpose of your website? Is it lead gen? Is it education? Is it selling? Is it a combination of several things?
  • What is your budget?
  • What is your deadline for starting and finishing your website?
  • Who is going to be in charge of the website within your company?
  • What content is going to be part of your website?
  • Who is going to create the website content?
  • What images will you use?

#3 –  Not mobile-friendly.

If you want a successful website, it must be mobile-friendly. Every year the number of mobile users increases while desktop internet browsing is shrinking.

Your website must be responsive. A responsive, mobile-friendly website will respond to any screen size. What that means is that your website will look good and work well on a smartphone and a large monitor.

#4 – Only a website.

Your website is an island on its own. To make your website a success, you need many more components. They all have to work together.

Websites need the following to avoid failure:

  • Great content.
  • Regular content updates.
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
  • Link building strategy.
  • Active social media accounts.

#5 – Lack of leadership.

Even if you hire a professional web designer, to build your website, you still have to be involved.

Who is going to be in charge of getting your website designed or redesigned?

There has to be a person within your business who will approve the design. The same person should work together with the web designer to make the final adjustments.

Make sure that you don’t put the wrong person in charge. Without involvement from your leadership, your website will be destined to fail.

The leadership should demand to know key website metrics. Each month the metrics should be reviewed.

#6 – Unappealing design.

Your website doesn’t have to be a work of art. People appreciate good design. A website that is carefully designed will more likely succeed.

Just because you think your website looks good, it doesn’t mean that it does.

It is best if you hire a web designer to help you create a winning website.

The design is very important because it is what people see first. You might have great content, but an ugly design.

Before you start on designing your website it helps to look at your competitors’ websites.

#7 – Lack of metrics.

Most entrepreneurs won’t be able to tell you what’s happening with their websites.

If you want a successful website, you have to know your website metrics:

  • Visitors – Unique and new visitors must be measured.
  • Conversion rate – It is important to check this metric against both unique and new visitors.
  • Traffic sources – Where does your website get its traffic?
  • Bounce rate – A high bounce rate tells you that either your website must be changed or the quality of the traffic is poor.
  • Keywords – What keywords people use to land on your website?

Once you understand your key website metrics, you will be able to make improvements.

Your website will fail if you don’t take the time to understand key metrics.

#8 – No marketing strategy.

Even the best websites must be marketed. If people can’t find your website, all of your efforts is wasted.

No marketing will result in a failed website. From day one you have to have a website marketing plan. There are countless ways to market a website.

Here are some of the most popular website marketing tactics:

  • Is your website mobile-friendly? If your website isn’t mobile optimized, you will drive visitors away from your website.
  • Share your content on your social media accounts.
  • Guest post on relevant blogs.
  • Create a content promotion plan.
  • Build links to each of your web pages.
  • Have a paid traffic strategy.
  • Create an effective call to action.

#9 – Hidden phone number.

The easier it is to find your phone number the more people will call. It is that simple.

Don’t hide your phone number. Show it in multiple locations.

The best place for your phone number is in the header area. Also show your phone number on your “Contact” page. Your phone number should be one of the several ways visitors can contact you.

#10 – No social media activity.

Many businesses are quick to create Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts. They are even quicker about abandoning them.

The whole point of having social media accounts is activity. Engage with people.

Your customers are on Facebook. Search for relevant Facebook groups. Become part of the conversation. Facebook is also a great place to learn about your target customer.

Your future customers are influenced by the interaction on Twitter. Use Twitter to make new connections. Twitter is one of my favorite networking tools.

If you have a B2B business, you have to be active on LinkedIn. Create your own LinkedIn groups. Join relevant groups. Interact and network with your future customers.

You can choose from many social media platforms. The key is to stay active.

#11 – Lack of email opt-in opportunity.

Email marketing is the most effective website marketing tactic.

If you are not aggressively collecting email addresses, you are losing money. The keyword here is “aggressively.” If your website has a “Sign Up for Newsletter” window, nobody will sign up.

You have to give people a reason to subscribe to your email list. Give people an incentive to subscribe. Offer content that is not published on your website. Create exclusive content that you only share with your email subscribers.

#12 – No email marketing.

Your email list is website marketing gold. Shockingly, many businesses forget about email marketing.

You have done the hard work of getting email subscribers. Don’t drop the ball. Email your subscribers regularly. Email at least once a month.

With each email remind people that they have opted-in to receive your emails. Give value with each email you send out.

#13 – Boring “About” page.

The “About” page is one of the most visited pages. The better quality “About” page you create the greater conversion rate you can expect.

Here is what makes a great “About” page:

  • Include photos of your team members.
  • Photos about your offices also help.
  • Tell the story about your business in a creative way.
  • Don’t just talk about your company. Share how you are helping your customers.
  • Include a few testimonials.
  • Videos enhance the “About” page experience.
  • Avoid jargons. Use simple language.

#14 – Sign-up requirements.

If you require visitors to register to view your website, you will turn off many of them. The result is your loss.

If you force visitors to register too soon, you will increase your bounce rate.

Make content available to casual visitors. You could offer more in-depth content for registered users.

#15 – Stale website content.

Most websites have too little content. The little content they have is mostly outdated.

Most companies never update their website content.

Sorry, but changing your address is not considered a content update.

Static content also hurts your SEO. Search engines lower your rankings if your content is static.

#16 – Low-quality website content.

It is not your domain name, the design, or the color of your website that differentiates your website.

Content is what differentiates your website. The content should not be about you. It should be about your customers. Before you publish any website content. Ask yourself. How is this going to help my customers?

Since many websites have poor quality content you can easily differentiate your website with better content.

#17 – Lack of proofreading.

It is not enough to have excellent website content. You also have to make sure that there are no spelling or grammatical errors.

Ask team members and people outside of your company to proofread your website content.

Fixing spelling and grammatical errors is easy to do. Don’t let them hurt your credibility.

#18 – Annoying pop-ups.

There are acceptable ways to include pop-ups on your website. For starters, use cookies, so you only activate the pop-up once a month. Make it easy for visitors to close pop-ups.

#19 – Complex website navigation.

Simple website navigation will improve your conversion rate. The easier it is to navigate your website, the more time visitors will spend there.

Here is what makes website navigation simple:

  • Keep the menu items to a minimum.
  • Keep submenus to a minimum.
  • Place your navigation at the top of the fold.
  • Place the search feature close to the navigation. Many people prefer to use the search feature instead of browsing.

#20 – Poor internal linking.

Link related content to each other. Proper internal linking helps both humans and search engines.

Use the correct anchor text within your links, to improve your on-site SEO.

#21 – Lack of commerce.

Most websites are not e-commerce sites. Even if you are not selling products on your website you should offer a way to accept payment.

Even if you are a web designer, you could take payment for projects. If you are an attorney, you could offer a way for your clients to make credit card payments on your website.

#22 – Music.

If you want a failing website, autoplay music to your visitors. There are few things more annoying on a website than music.

Avoid it.

Even if your website is about music give people a chance to start the music. Don’t autoplay music.

#23 – No testimonials.

The best websites include many testimonials. If you have been in business for a while, you should have many willing customers who are willing to give you testimonials.

You should have a dedicated “Testimonials” page. You should show customer testimonials throughout your website.

Customer testimonials offer a great way to build credibility.

#24 – Neglect.

Most websites are neglected. If you don’t want your website to fail, you have to maintain it. Once the website is built companies forget about maintenance. Your website like your car or home must be maintained.

Most websites that are hacked are outdated.

Keep your WordPress installation up-to-date. Also, update your WordPress plugins at least once a month.

#25 – Malware.

Websites that are not kept up-to-date get infected with malware. Malware destroys your reputation.

Malware also gets your website penalized. If you don’t clean up your website, Google can drop your website from its index.

#26 – No SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

Most companies lose money because their website strategy lacks SEO.

There are two pillars of SEO:

  1. Onsite SEO.
  2. Offsite SEO.

Onsite SEO has to do with optimizing your website for your target keywords. Offsite SEO is about building backlinks to your website.

 

photo credit: jseliger2 frustration-1081 via photopin (license)