There’s no shortage of websites out there, so there’s no surprise that not all websites end up being successful. However, if you’re going to spend the time, energy, and money to get your site online, you should at least give yourself a fighting chance of success. All too often, websites fail not because the underlying idea is bad but because the owner has made one or more errors that make things much more difficult. In this blog, we’re going to run through some of the most common causes of website failure and will also make suggestions on how you can avoid them.
A Lack of Energy
It’s not enough to just have a website idea, do the basics, and then get your site online and expect it to be successful. That might have worked in the early days of the internet, but it won’t fly today; the standards are too high. If you’re going to have a successful website, then a level of commitment is required. Dedicate time and energy to your site, and you’ll soon find that all the pieces begin to come together.
You would find it difficult to sell a home if the decor looked like it was from 1993. The same principle applies to your website. If you have a dated design, then visitors will naturally be a little skeptical when they land on your site. Remember, first impressions count for a lot! It’s always worthwhile giving your site a little refresh from time to time to keep it in line with modern standards. Even if the original design is good, visitors might think that the site is defunct/no longer updated if it looks too old school.
No-One Can Find It
You could have the greatest website in the world, but if no-one is able to find it, then there’ll be an upper limit to your success. As well as working on the overall quality of your website, be sure to spend some time working on your SEO. This is the process that’ll ensure that Google and other search engines can find your site. A significant portion of your visitors will arrive via a search engine, but if you’re not indexed on those sites, then they’ll have no way to find you.
You’ve got your own vested interests for having a website, but remember that you’re asking people to voluntarily visit you. Unless you have something that they desperately need, you won’t have much bargaining power. So it’s important that you don’t give them too many reasons to hit the ‘X’ button on your site. All too often, websites add annoying features that benefit the website but which visitors don’t like. For example, do you have a lot of pop-ups on your website? Do you have autoplay videos (with sound)? Do you use dark patterns to get people to sign up for your newsletter? If so, you might find that you’re annoying your visitors…and that they don’t come back.
It’s hard to get people to visit your site once; it’s even more difficult to get them to return to your site multiple times. But you should give yourself a fighting chance. After all, it’ll be the number of people that return to your site regularly that’ll determine the ultimate success or failure of your venture. If people see that there’s never any new content on your site, then they won’t see any reason to return. It’ll begin to feel like it’s a “dead” site. So try to keep to a regular schedule for adding new content. It doesn’t really matter what it is; it could be a blog, a slightly new design that incorporates a seasonal theme (such as easter), or anything else.
As well as posting regularly, you’ll need to ensure that what you’re posting is worthy content. People aren’t going to spend time on your website if they’re not getting any value from it. Remember that it’s better to post one or two blogs that have useful information rather than posting ten blogs that simply “make up the numbers” on your website. It’s a good idea to come up with a content strategy for your website, so you’re never stuck for good ideas. If you need some inspiration for good content, then you could check out what your rivals or the big names in your industry are doing.
It’s Too Slow
People are impatient, and there’s just no getting around that fact. If your site is taking too long to load or just generally moves slowly, then you’ll need to provide something truly special to get people to stick around. Experts believe that people will only wait for around seven seconds before giving up on a site! While it can be fun to have an interactive design and other modern features, remember that these things may cause your website to load slowly.
Also, be aware that your site will function differently on different devices and browsers. Just because the site is loading quickly on your computer, that doesn’t mean that it’ll load quickly on another person’s device. When you’re testing your website, be sure to ask people that use other browsers to use the site; it’ll be even better if they’re located far away from you since this can impact loading time.
Or Too Advanced!
The boundaries for what is normal for a website are always being pushed forward. But it’s worth keeping in mind that if you’re trying to appeal to a mass audience, then things can’t be too advanced. Your site should be intuitive to use and be ready for use on all types of devices and by all (or most) levels of internet users. One of the problems that users complain about is when a website is too hard to navigate. They just don’t know how to get around! While it might be obvious to you, that’s only because you were there during the development stage. Before launch, be sure to have a general web-user test your site. They’ll be an invaluable resource that’ll make your website much more understandable by the average person.
A Lack of Engagement
Your website isn’t just a vehicle for you to give your company’s thoughts and feelings to an audience. It should be a conversation. A successful website will draw in its visitors with engaging content and methods. Things as simple as asking visitors their opinions or providing a space for them to log in and customize their experience will both help.
A good website communicates trust to its visitors. It lets them know that the site is serious and well-managed. If your site has many broken pages, then the message that’s coming across will be: people are not looking after this site. And that can compromise the whole enjoyment of the website. Of course, the odd broken page is not important; it’s when one of the main pages is offline that people will become a little skeptical. Broken pages can be bad, but an offline website is even worse. It’s a good idea to work with an IT company to ensure that your site is always up and running.
Low Quality Photos/Text
The quality of your photos and the text on your site will also communicate trust. There’s just something about low-quality images that really compromises the overall feel of a website, while written content that contains many spelling and grammatical errors will just make the website harder to understand. There are plenty of websites where you can get license-free images to use on your website. For your text, you can use a service like Grammarly to check for your own errors or you can hire an experienced content writer to write it for you. You’ll be surprised at how much more professional your site looks.
There’s No Time
You might think that your website is a failure, but that might not be the case. It all depends on how much time you’ve dedicated to your site and how long it has been online. People can often get a little disheartened when they see that their site hasn’t received as many visitors as they hoped, but if it’s only been a month or two, then that’ll be completely normal. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean that success will eventually come your way; it just means that it’s too early to tell. So long as you’ve taken care of all the essentials and haven’t committed any of the errors mentioned in this blog, then all you’ll need is a little patience.
It’s not easy building a successful website, and it’s certainly not something that happens overnight. While there are never any guarantees, it’s important that you’re not accidentally hindering your progress by making the common mistakes that other websites have made in the past. If you can avoid those errors and put your best foot forward, then you might just find that you have a website that goes from strength to strength.