Websites usually fail for the simple reason that some or all of these 5 things are not taken care of.
- You don’t understand your audience
- The website does not communicate immediately what it is about
- The website visitor cannot engage
- It is technically poor or incomplete
- It’s simply not found or – you’re ignoring Google.
Simply put, if a website is well and strategically planned it has a far greater chance of success.
Let’s look at those points.
You don’t understand your audience.
Spend time to research your audience. Speak to your best clients and find out exactly what they would be typing into a Google search to find you. Never lose sight of those important keywords since a lot of your content and advertising will be built around that. That way you ensure that your website caters to your audience and also to your unique selling point. (USP). Keep in mind that times change and websites have to keep up. For instance, did you know that now well over half of searches are done on mobile devices and that voice searches are on the increase? That alone may change the wording on your website.
The website does not communicate immediately what it is about
No one wants to spend time to figure out what a website is about. You have only a few seconds to leave an impression. If the visitor can’t immediately tell what you’re offering they’ll simply move on. So, one of the first things we do is to re-think how we communicate your value proposition, your “above the fold” content and your navigation. The aim here is to make sure that your website speaks immediately to those visitors that are in your target audience. Since we now know your target audience, that will already be somewhat easier.
The visitor cannot engage.
How frustrating is it to come across a business that you want to contact but you can’t find a phone number on the website. If you want new business through your website then make it easy for your visitors to engage with you. Even more, prompt them to engage, in fact, stop just before you beg them to engage. Understand that your average site visitor needs a nudge (and sometimes a shove) to take that final step. There is a good reason that exit popups and live chat popups are so popular. However much you may dislike them, they actually work.
The website is technically poor or incomplete.
I could conjure up a long list of things of technical things that I take care of when I build a website. Surprisingly I come across many websites in my website review where not even the very basics are taken care of. Although clean code and adding Alt Tags to your images is paramount, a well-constructed website goes far beyond that. It seems though that many web developers think that their job is complete when the website is launched and up and running. The technical aspects are mostly invisible to the client as well as the website visitor, but they have a far-reaching impact on the ultimate success of the site. Ignore the technical side at your peril. You’ll be happy enough with the end result until you realize far down the line that the money and effort that you’ve spent has gone wasted, simply because Google will place you way down the search rankings.
You’re ignoring Google
If we follow the first 4 points we’ve already won some of Google’s respect. If you understand your target audience and your content is successful in engaging them quickly then Google will also understand your target audience and your website. In that respect, Google has to be treated just like your best customer.
But there is more. Google offers a host of tools that allows us to analyse and further improve the understanding of your target audience and how they engage with your website. Over time we use those tools to make constant improvements to the website and to conversions.
Google also gives us an opportunity to advertise and I believe that no business should ignore that. If you have a well working site then using Google’s paid advertising is inexpensive and effective.
Start your website journey with a thorough and strategic plan, from knowing your audience to the presentation of your business on the web and ultimately to the marketing of the website and the growth and change that it has to undergo over time. I believe that then you’ll be rewarded with a successful online journey.