In our experience, the following problems are the most common culprits of website failure. These are issues that many of our clients had before deciding to hire us to redesign or take over their websites. Keep these problems in mind when either developing a website on your own or hiring someone else to do it for you!
1. No Purpose
A website that has no clearly defined purpose will often fail dramatically. Make sure your website has an obvious reason to exist. If you try to make your website into too many different things, you'll lose your target audience. Have an overall objective or subject with your website and stick to it.
2. No Specific Demographic
It's that old adage, "If you try to please everyone, you'll end up pleasing no one." Don't only define your audience through your website content - alienate everyone that is not your audience.
3. Wrong Demographic
Do some research. Who will be interested in this website and its content? Once you find that out, write specifically for that audience. They are the people you are interested in and want to focus on - no one else.
4. Bad Design
People relate to visuals. If they think a website is unprofessional, does not match the content, or is just plain bad, they'll press the infamous 'back' button before they even read the headline. Make sure a website is designed professionally.
5. Wrong Design
Don't have your website designed for you. Have it designed for your target demographic. Unless it's your personal website or blog, having pictures of your favorite pet, images of your face all over the website, or polka dots (just because you like them) is probably not a good idea if you want to attract visitors.
Everything must be consistent. Your content, your subject matter, the website layout and imagery should all flow with each other to make a concise message that is easy to understand by the viewer. Don't confuse people by including random content or imagery in your website.
7. No SEO
Many companies and individuals underestimate the need for search engine optimization (SEO) on their websites. Don't make the mistake that your demographic will somehow find your website anyway, or that word of mouth will make your website a success by itself. It won't. SEO is an absolute necessity for any website struggling for not only more visitors, but the right visitors.
8. Update Your Website
Always update your website as frequently as possible. If you have a blog, we recommend updating it at least once per week. This allows the website to stay fresh in the search engines as well as to your viewers. The more new content for search engines and people to munch on, the better.
9. Lack of Content
Don't just title a page and write a few sentences. Your website needs lots of rich, relevant content in order to attract visitors and search engines. You don't have to write a novel, but a good number to stay around is 800 words per page. Many times this doesn't seem possible, especially for resource pages where all you may want is a list of links to other sites. If this is the case, try to write a few sentences about each link or resource. The more content, the better. Remember: content is king.
10. Browser Compatibility
Make sure that your website works in other web browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Opera, etc). If it doesn't, the visitor you've just brought to your website via search engines or from giving them your URL will not be able to see your website. It can be even worse when they go to your website and see a broken website where the layout and content is askew. This makes you look unprofessional at best, incompetent at worst. Make sure to hire a web design company that ensures browser compatibility*.
* Some browsers are just bad. For example, Internet Explorer 6 is known to create numerous and horrific problems for websites. While some problems cannot be solved, your web designer/developer should at least be aware that the problem exists.
Questions, comments? Feel free to leave them below.
Posted on Mon, June 14, 2010
by Arora Designs filed under