Tuesday, July 1, 2008

7 Reasons that Web Sites Fail

by S Babu

The Internet is still a fairly young medium. Even today in its infancy, the Internet is made up of many differing technologies, concepts and ideas. It is extremely hard to believe that as recently as two decades ago the Internet was completely unheard of. Over a few short years, the Internet has developed quickly and has moved at astonishing rates. Web user expectations and the fast-paced approach to creating a successful Internet presence create bigger and bigger challenges for those that practice web development. Established web standards do help somewhat but the bottom line is that web sites both fail and succeed. Simply putting a web site on the Internet does not guarantee its success. Below, we have put together a list of the 7 most common reasons that web sites fail in the competitive world of the Internet:

1) A Lack of Proper Investment

Your web site is now one of the most powerful tools that you will use to get information out to the public regarding your organization. Previously businesses might have used the Yellow Pages, newspaper ads or even local radio to promote their products and services. Today, the Internet is used. A successful web site can only come about through an adequate investment of your time and money. It is not enough to simply put a web site up on the Internet. Web sites need to be strategically planned and carefully developed. Unfortunately, the tendency for many new business owners is to save money and quickly 'put something together'. That is not enough. Never cut corners with your web site. First impressions always count and your web site is now likely to be the first impression you make on a potential customer.


2) Refusal to Work with Professionals

Success on the Internet is not as simple as having your neighbor's teenage son's best friend design a web site for you. Competitive web sites need to be designed, branded, architected, developed and marketed by professionals in order to effectively compete in today's Internet marketplace. Talk to a professional about the web site that you plan on developing. An Internet professional will be able to advise you on what works and what things you should steer clear of. Try never to underestimate the rewards of investing in professional planning, design and marketing.


3) Poor Design

Your web site is a part of your company brand and ID and the design of your web site should be consistent with your brand. Your web site should also be well-designed, clear and visually clean. To accomplish this, it is important that you have it designed and put together by a professional. Everything from the layout of the web site, to the colors used, to the text on each page of the web site needs to work together to strongly present your company and your products or services. In the same way, the terms used on your web site navigation need to be as easy to understand as possible. Make your links concise and free of confusing words or phrases.


4) Aimlessness

Have you ever visited a web site and after several minutes of browsing around, been unclear as to what the site was for? There are many web sites on the Internet that serve no clear purpose. Before you begin any work on your web site, identify its purpose and where you want the site to take your business. Many business owners choose to develop their web sites by surfing the Internet, seeing something that they like or that looks 'cool' on someone else's site and then deciding that they should have that on their web site, too, regardless as to whether it has any relevance or not to their business. This is not the way to do things. Do not have a web site just for the sake of having one or because everyone says you should have one. Rather, develop a clear set of goals, share them with your web developer and build your web site with a clear focus.


5) Difficult to Use

Internet users expect nothing less than to be able to visit your web site and to find what they are looking for quickly and easily. The text and the images on your web site along with the way in which they are laid out are all extremely important. Good information layout gives the user everything they are looking for with respect to ease of use. Try to keep in mind that the Internet is an extremely quick medium. Users are liable to click away from any web site that proves to be a hassle to surf. Also, if a visitor leaves your web site before you have had an impact on them, they are not likely to return.


6) Poor Choice of Domain Name

Never underestimate the power of a domain name. Many Internet-based companies have been able to come up with short, powerful domain names that have also served as their company names. These domain names are powerful because they are easy to remember (unforgettable). Successful domain names are hard to forget. They become embedded in the psyche of Internet users everywhere and these are the domain names that make history. A domain name should always be easy to remember, simple to spell and should never be too long. When you consider that a simple misspelling while typing a domain name in the address bar or failing to remember a complicated, long domain name are all it takes to lose a potential visitor forever, you will appreciate the need for one or two syllable domain names?


7) None or Ineffective Marketing

Web sites need to be marketed to succeed in any way. The Internet is now made up of billions of competitive, well-designed web sites and these figures just continue to grow. If your web site can not be found in the major search engines or directories it is, for all intents and purposes, equal to not actually having a web site. Web site marketing requires proper investment. Choose a qualified marketing company to take on this task for you or a marketing professional that understands the Internet industry, knows your competition and has a good feel for where you want to go with your web site.

About the Author

S. Babu is CEO of Cyber Soft Technologies, a web solutions company. Cyber Soft excels in helping small businesses launching a successful website for their business. For a FREE 30 Minute one to one project consultation visit http://www.cybersoftus.com