Keen to avoid website failure? Anecdotal evidence suggests that nearly half of small business websites fail to perform to the level expected by the owners. There can be numerous reasons for this but a little education on what is required once a new website is launched can help the owner prepare and with a little effort avoid some of the main pitfalls.

Being found in search results

It is not unusual for owners of new websites to have un-realised expectations as to how quickly and easily they think their site will appear in Google.

Getting listed in Google or any other search engine for that matter is not that difficult. However, obtaining a sustainable listing in the first few entries or even on the first page can be an expensive and time consuming task requiring a well thought-out strategy that may take months to implement.

A good strategy for ranking well in search engine results includes providing well written material rich in keywords and terminology, numerous relevant incoming links (as well as outgoing links) and current, frequently updated content to name just a few components.

More information can be found in this article Search Engine Ranking – The Basics or elsewhere on the net.

Frequent content updates

All too often new websites are left to stagnate after launch with owners thinking that the hard work is over and the site will now take care of itself. Nothing could be further from the truth, with the real and ongoing task of making sure content is continually refreshed and up-to-date only just beginning.

News posts, blogs, galleries and social media provide successful ways to ensure that your website material is always providing something new.

The biggest reason for failing to attract regular traffic to a website is not the look or feel of a website but the presence of out-of-date, irrelevant and obviously wrong content.

Keeping a website fresh takes commitment.

Non-competitive pricing

Back in the 90’s many businesses invested large amounts of money to setup elaborate online shopping services only to be disappointed because they sat back waiting for the sales to poor in and they didn’t. Sadly, this still happens today with some business owners thinking that they can easily transfer bricks and mortar retail success into online sales or commence a new enterprise from scratch and be immediately successful. This rarely happens easily and even though there are some very real and amazing success stories around online trading, any of the owners of these businesses will tell you that it came after a lot of hard work.

Online shopping is largely price driven and very competitive. With web users able to compare products and prices between suppliers in a manner of seconds it requires a very well known and respected brand to be able to compete successfully without a competitive price point.

Pricing is even more important when entering a market with established competitors who have already built a client base that have had their expectations met and developed confidence in the supplier.

Ongoing investment

The internet and web development is evolving at an incredible pace so keeping up with new technology and trends in the online world requires ongoing financial investment to keep your website at the forefront.

Take the advice of your web developer; years of experience designing and re-designing websites based on industry trends and successful techniques will ensure that even if you aren’t aware of what works and what doesn’t your web developer should be.

Even though the website you had developed 4 or 5 years ago may still work perfectly well visitor’s expectations will have changed in that period and it is inevitable that your site will be compared to those of competitors that may be much newer. Most websites should have a facelift every 2 or 3 years to retain a modern and fresh look.

Conclusion

As can be seen from the points above it requires an ongoing investment of time and money to ensure the ongoing success of any website. To ensure you get the best from your website include it among the business tasks that receive regular attention and keep the following points in mind:

  • You will not automatically appear at the top of the list on search results when your website is launched, it takes ongoing effort.
  • Websites are not just set and forget; content needs to be added and updated regularly.
  • If you have an ecommerce website, like any other business unit, it needs to be supported by a carefully considered pricing and a marketing strategy tailored to online trading.
  • Websites require ongoing investment to remain a valuable business asset.

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