You often hear this, “Oh that movie was an epic fail, it crashed horribly in the box office.” But, website failure! Nay. People don’t really talk about it (ever). There’s just that secretive discussion that happens between the development team and the website owners and Poof, the end. What follows is either the tedious process for finding a better development team, or drilling the in-house development until a better-newer version of the website is in place. And the belief that the new website would somehow miraculously bring in more traffic, leads and business.
Let’s backtrack a bit. Doesn’t it seem that we are missing out on something important? Why exactly does the website fail? What are the reasons? Based on what we have seen, heard, observed, tested and learnt.
Here are 10 reasons why your website maybe failing.
- The Website Is Too Confusing
Did you really consider the audience while designing the website? Or was it just your idea being put into action, seeing your vision take shape? Unless it is a personal portfolio, individual introduction or something that doesn’t work with users in the forefront, this very approach might be the primary reason as to why the website isn’t working. Increased bounce rates may eventually lead to website fallout.
- Missing Out on SEO
Thought that SEO was just another marketing gimmick and skipped the step? No, wonder the traffic to your website is minimum or almost non-existent. It is like this, you created the product, but even the nearest store has no clue about it. SEO is the mechanism that gives the website visibility on the search engine, so overlooking that very step could affect the website adversely.
- Lack of Social Presence
Closely following the SEO, comes something known as the presence on social media. Very often Instagram and Facebook Links redirect to certain websites. The social media presence is considered as a social proof by the search engines and this helps in increasing the website’s ranking. Even otherwise, sharing posts on social media increases visibility and builds curiosity too. So, don’t create a website and make it a social media recluse.
- Compatibility Issues
Having a fully functional website, tried and tested to run on desktops and laptops is good, but how does it look on mobile devices? Is it even compatible on mobiles? In this era, with most users browsing websites on both smaller and larger screen, the reason your website maybe failing is that you missed out on checking the compatibility on various devices and Device-OS-Browser combinations.
- Excessive Onscreen Drama
No, this section has nothing to do with the Met Gala. So, drama? How balance is the color scheme on your website? Is the screen filled with content and images to the brim? How is it arranged? While as the content owner you may fail to see fault in it, ask a third party to take a look before drawing the conclusion. The website design should be clean, with enough white spaces. Excessive use of colors or use of bold palettes can be successful only on some websites/businesses. Be sure that it meets the professional requirements before launching the website.
- Optimization Issues
According to Google, “If the loading time of mobile webpage is over three seconds, the bounce rates increase by 32%.” Bounce rate increases as the loading time increases. Increased loading time on mobiles and even desktops is often due to lack of optimization. So, optimize the content, images, even the code for making the website user friendly.
- Content Overload
As mentioned earlier, cluttered websites do not have much appeal. But, if the traffic to the website is weaning even when the content is relevant and organized, then you need to relook at the content strategy. For starters look if there is a content overload. Try to create a balance between images/visuals and content, with crisp information. Having too much content at one place can confuse the audience (unless it is in the form of a blog or article). So, if that’s the case with your website, you know where to start.
Ever notices an error symbol on the browser? Has Google been sending alerts about possible hacking? Creating a website and letting it be isn’t a solution in the dynamic world. That too, when the number of new websites being launched increases each day. Websites like any other products require regular maintenance, security checks to avoid issues. If the website has been flagged for hacking, it may require great efforts to get it cleaned and functional and it can impact public opinion too. Prevention is always better than cure.
- Coding Errors
A not so common issue, but at times maintenance or updates can damage certain parts of the code affecting the website’s functionality and hence, influencing the website traffic. While it is easier to know if the website crashes, it is advisable to check the website thoroughly after major updates or maintenance.
- Lack of Purpose
As blunt as it sounds. It could be the biggest reason for the website to fail. What if you have a great website, put the product or service you are trying to sell doesn’t appeal to the audience. Do your research before creating both the product and the website.
So, who is to blame? Is it the developer, the management team? Website owners are the ones to hold responsibility, as it is their vision or idea that took the shape of the website, the team just put it in place. If anything, a website may fail if it is a poor idea to begin with.
So, do your research, survey, analysis etc. before designing and developing a website and once that is done spend time and efforts to make it visible.
Atul is Founder & CEO at Xenia Consulting. He has over 22 years of experience in marketing, across corporates as well as SME,start-ups. Over the last 5 years, he has gained significant expertise and has helped several companies drive growth leveraging digital marketing