10 Reasons A Website Fails To Perform

You’ve taken the time to finally build a website, and now it is online. Months go by. Maybe you get a few visitors now and again. Maybe you land on the search engines. Mostly though, it just sits there. Is the website you paid for pulling its weight?

A website is a tool and can be of significant help to your business. It can cut a lot of time you put into giving information to customers. It can answer questions and perform tasks for you. Find out where websites fail to perform and how you can figure out where to make it better.

1. Undefined Website Objectives

Some sites try to do way too much at once, or worse, they have no definable purpose. Many provide no clear objective. A site can do more than look good and flashy and have your contact information.

Websites can be informational, storing content and articles based on a topic. Sites can run eCommerce solutions that help you with your sales process. It can also generate leads, asking customers to fill out forms with their information and interests. It can also be a hybrid site, with mixed purposes, like offering a free ebook or free access to information (informational) in return for contact information (lead generation).

Defining the purpose of your website gives a clear direction to your customers. Where should customers arrive when they find your website? Where do you want them to end up? Using a clear path and clear objectives, you can lead them through your site, your products, and your information, depending on how you need to sell your products. Not all products or services can be sold directly in an eCommerce situation. Maybe you prefer just getting to know your customer a bit more, and being able to forward marketing materials, so a lead generation type of site might be more suitable.

Assign a secondary objective. Maybe after visitors sign up for free access, or an ebook, they are encourage to ask more by contacting your sales reps, or perhaps they can make a direct purchase online. Use a clearly definable call to action. “Email for more information.” “Clíck here to sign up.” Tell visitors where to go.

2. Unidentified Target Audience

Demographics have been used in marketing for generations. Marketers use the information because it works. Knowing who your audience is defines the purpose to your website and calls out those who qualify and would be interested in your products. Marketing is the one area where discrimination is actually a good thing! You don’t want to waste the marketing dollars that draw people to your site who won’t need your products in the first place.

Get to know who your clients are. Are they male or female? How old? Where are they located? What do they do for a living? Habits, income levels, preferences, they can all be discovered with a quick email, phone call or have your current customers take surveys and help you figure out what your clients want.

3. Building for the Wrong Audience

Your site can have a purpose and a select audience, but if it doesn’t appeal to audiences, they tend to go elsewhere. Finding preferences is only the first step. Once you figure out what your demographic is, it is time to find out what appeals to them, and use that to your advantage. It could be something as simple as site colors and images, to where and how they prefer to use navigation systems and the type of content presented.

Maybe you need simple content, easy to read and understand for younger audiences. Perhaps you need something a bit more technical for professionals. You can even see if you need to add features for those who are visually impaired. Paying attention to your demographic and their preferences can mean building your website around their likes and getting more responses.

4. Oblivious to Web Traffic Sources

A link on a Harry Potter fan club forum to your website can bring in traffic, but does it really bring in the right customers? If you’re not directing traffic from sites relevant to yours or where a matching market exists, you might end up with empty hits to your website. It looks pretty on stat pages but it doesn’t really do anything.

Refocus your efforts on search engine optimization and focus on keywords that do fit, not just what might be popular. You can plan the sort of traffic you want and focus your outreach efforts on that. Planning your search engine campaigns can make them more effective, bringing the right customers to you. You don’t need 1,000 random visitors a day, when 100 qualified visitors will do.

5. Underestimating the Competition

Who says you can’t grab ideas from your competition? Find out what they are lacking and draw customers to your site by adding more features and information. Your target audience is searching the web for your product. Don’t let your competition become more appealing.

Understand your competition by observing their sites. Where are your competitors linking? Where aren’t they? What designs do they use on their site? Does your target audience like that type of design or do they want something better? Figure out how to improve your site and make it better than your competition.

6. Poor Site Communication and Inconsistency

If you’re building a website, is one page orange and another blue? Does one page have your logo and another doesn’t? People love consistency.

Does your content and images display the right message? Your website might have pretty pictures of your children, or a fun story about what happened to you last Christmas, but is it really what your customers want to know?

Skip the personal info, unless it’s relevant and your audience wants to hear about it. You also need to make sure you present your brand in its best light, and consistently give visitors the same presentation every time and on every page. Let your brand stand out.

7. Outdated and Antiquated Site Features

Out with the old. Check your site for old content and images and delete them. Remove old links that go nowhere too. Forget pop ups and old methods of keeping visitors around. Content is great, but if it’s so old that it’s irrelevant, you’ll lose respectability and your expert status.

Stick to new information. Don’t be afraid to get rid of old articles and delete old images. Do an update on your site features, like navigation systems and contact forms.

8. Poor Overall Site Performance

You’ve plastered all there is to know about you on a few pages. Is this the right way to do it? Maybe not. Yes, you’ve given them something to look at, but you have to remember, your time to impress people on the Internet is limited to just a few seconds. Long passages of text, lengthy forms, even poorly constructed or confusing navigation can slow people down, which leads to people leaving.

Making your website flow is all about making your site easy to read, easy to browse and easy to find what you’re looking for. Include a search function, highlight popular pages, and make it simple for people to give you their information. Start with short forms, only the essentials, and a few simple questions. You can get more info later.

9. Lack of Commitment

When was the last time you updated additional information to your website?

Remember those “Website Under Construction” images from the early years of the Internet? Over time, people have learned those images are pointless. Your website is ever evolving, ever needing updating. Your website is isn’t ever finished.

You must make a commitment to update information and to improve interest in your site from visitors. It could be as simple as updating a blog once or twice a week, or updating about sales and special events. Give visitors something to come back to, and let them turn into regular guests.

10. Not using an Experienced Web Firm

You do a good job with what you do, and a good business and website owner knows when to call for help. Maybe you’re okay with writing content, but you need help with creating navigation and setting up forms. It’s okay to ask someone else for help, either with a few pages, or for the entire site design, and leave it to a professional.

It also saves money and time getting someone else to do the complicated things for you. Are you spending weeks on figuring out a web page design set up when it takes a professional a few hours to produce? When you’re in business, you consult with professionals who will help you build a better website, develop methods of search engine marketing strategies, and find out how to appeal to your target audience. You save tíme, money, and plenty of headaches.

Built my website – Where’s the Traffic and Business?

Your website is built and sitting pretty. So where are all the people you hoped would come over to play? You need traffic for your site to be effective and to start generating leads. Now that you know that just having a website won’t necessarily drive business to you, you should consider the most important thing most people miss in this effort.

Here are the 3 factors that need to be in place for a successful website and successful business. I’ll líst them from least important to most important:

1. Sound ‘on-site’ Search Engine Optimization strategies. This refers to the things many consider the most important. There are the basic A-B-C’s of getting things set up with keywords and phrases so that you will rank well against your competition in Google, Yahoo and the like. This involves a lot of elements that you, as the end user, may not realize or see. Having the proper titles for each page, putting in the right key words and header tags. There are solid things that should be done and most web designers that I talk to rarely take it beyond this point. Being ranked well by search engines starts here but the best realize this is only the start.

2. Content That Is Effective. Visitors are useless unless they buy something or make contact with you. We call this “Conversion Ratio”. What percentage of your website visitors convert into buyers and users of your services? This can and should be measured. The important things here are the attractiveness and professional appearance of the site with content that is compelling. Having the right mix of words, graphics and informational content can take conversion rates from being non-existent to well over 10%.

Web designers get so many calls from business owners that can only think to ask, “how much do you charge to make me a website?” What they miss is what it will cost them in business profíts if it is not done right. Web designers may know how to make a good looking site but not necessarily how to input the words and content for the best results. Writing compelling content is a very specialized talent. This takes more work and more time to do. It costs more, but the difference can be huge on your return on investment.

When you have this part right, the most important part of driving traffic can be taken advantage of. This aspect is where many web developers simply drop off the map in helping clients. If you are shopping price only, you won’t find this part of the mix. What is it that they miss?

3. Off Site Factors Are Most The Important Factors in Driving Traffic! What are ‘off site factors’? The most important key for ranking well with Google are the links that come to you from other sites that Google considers to be important sites. MSN and Yahoo are important sites. So are Digg.com, Wikipedia.com and WowWebWorks.com. OK, so the last one is more important to me than Google.

Here is the rub. How can you control whether or not other sites talk about you and link to you? I don’t mean calling other site owners and saying something like, “Hey, I’ll link to you if you link to me” stuff. Mutual links are not important anymore. One way links are. So how can you get those rolling? Well, this takes work. The nice part is that it is work that will have a direct effect on your bottom line. You have enough “busy work” as a business owner. This isn’t busy work; it’s vital.

Social-Business Networking Sites – Use Them

This is where sites like LinkedIn.com, Facebook.com and even MySpace.com come into play. I recommend using LinkedIn.com for business development. From there you can refer to your website and create interest in your site in others. I have a full article of ideas for this elsewhere so I won’t elaborate here. For more on this see “Why Bother with ‘LinkedIn’ or ‘Facebook’?” . Posting your information and inviting contacts to link in with you can be huge. It’s like having a second or third website with positive recommendations about you and your business.

Effective PR Campaigns

This can be the most important foundation for your business success. As our business partners Ray Lohner and Jerry Ogg from E3 Public Relations have drilled into me, most businesses have it all backwards. Here is what they preach for priorities:

1. Advertising => 2. Marketing => 3. Public Relation (If at all)

Wrong!

1. Public Relations => 2. Marketing => Advertising (If still needed)

Right!

Many businesses we build websites for already do some advertising with varying degrees of success. They do advertising yet often don’t know how that differs from marketing and ignore PR altogether.

It is PR that really sets the table for all the rest to work. The Internet is transforming even PR. Every time you have a bit of company news from hiring a new employee to lending support to a local charity it deserves a PR piece. Open a new office? PR. Have a unique solution to a problem? Let the press know – they may just do a story on it.

The idea is that if you get enough good PR working for you it opens doors for marketing and advertising because your company and name are more recognizable and respected. Just knowing who you are can be huge.

What has changed in the PR realm in recent years is the rise of online PR companies that will take your electronic releases and send them as feeds to news services nationwide. An example is www.prweb.com. It is chock full of information about good PR and advice on how to write it for best effect. Your submissions are sent out and picked up as a feed by other services. If your PR piece has a reference to your website, you now have 1 if not dozens of incoming links to your website. Do dozens of releases and you have dozens of one-way links and start to get noticed by other people interested in your field. Google notices this also.

Why Is PR All But Ignored?

So why don’t more businesses use this? Why do business owners nod in agreement but rarely follow through doing this? Because it takes time and effort to put together a good PR piece in a form that will be picked up by other sites or publications. It takes some knowledge to know where to even send it after you write it. Frankly, you probably don’t have time to sit down and pen out a 700-word piece. Few have the writing talent to do it right. It’s a skill, a specialized skill. Even if you do have the ability, you may well not know where to send it or who at a publication might be interested in it. This is exactly why PR firms exist. They do it well, know where to send it for greatest effect and they know what is newsworthy to send. They usually know people at the publications on a first name basis and what they are looking for.

I’m betting that if you cut your advertising budget in half and put that half into paying for a PR firm to take over that job that your remaining advertising will be even more effective than before.

This is one of the added values for quality web development companies. Next time you call a web design firm and ask, “How much does it cost to build us a website?” find out if “fries” come with that. Do you get just a website or do you get the added value of expertise in Public Relations, Marketing and Advertising. Trust this, you will get no more than you pay for.

If your web developer doesn’t do this, find a good PR firm and make sure they work together to do the job right.

Find out if they know enough about LinkedIn to even be there. If not, maybe they can’t help you there. How about their press releases? Do they even do them for themselves? How do they pro-actively do marketing for themselves? There are probably reasons why the cheapest bidder is the cheapest bidder. I hired the cheapest bidder to pave my driveway. Huge mistake now that it’s cracking after only 3 years.

A larger vision can make you a lot more money. You have to decide if “who’s the lowest bidder” is more important than how much money and exposure the site adds to your bottom line. After all, isn’t making money the point?

Tactics To Generate Website Traffic For Internet Marketing

Internet marketing has been around for as long as there has been the internet. It really took off, though, once the World Wide Web caught fire in the late 1990’s.

What many people new to internet marketing lose site of, or perhaps didn’t know to begin with, is that internet marketing is based on the fundamental principles of marketing. It just so happens that internet marketers use those principles with a new medium, the web, to reach buyers.

The fundamental principle of marketing is – if you want to sell anything, you need prospective customers. For many people, knowing how to generate massive amounts of traffic is the “missing link” to internet marketing.

Everyday there are lots of people who struggle to create websites and products, make them look pretty good and then… nothing. Everything was built and nobody showed up!

This is one of the biggest reasons people quit before they are successful.

It doesn’t have to be that way. There is no exact strategy that is guaranteed to bring you millions of visitors everyday. However, there are proven techniques for generating huge amounts of traffic, some very quickly and some for free.

Higher traffíc increases the potential for sales and referral commissions. The goal is to boost search engine traffic because this means a wider audience and long-term profit from various sources like ads. That is why there is such a lot of innovation in the field of search engine optimization (SEO).

Long Tails and How They Help

One of the most recent techniques, and a very effective one at that, is the use of LONG TAIL keywords to direct search engine traffic to your website.

The term may sound intimidating, but all it refers to is a new marketing trend. In the past, a few major keywords were identified to pull traffic through search engines. In the new model, websites will be drawing their business from a large variety of low-volume search queries or phrases. So, it’s goodbye to all those oft-used, clichéd keywords.

This brings about a paradigm shift in your strategy to identify keywords and phrases. Instead of opting for the most obvious keywords like ‘Makíng money online’, web marketers now have to identify several keyword phrases that attract streams of low volume traffic. The combined action of several streams of low-volume traffic will eventually add up to high revenue.

To identify Long Tails or multi-word search queries (for that is what they are), you have to pick out the actual phrases that visitors use to arrive at your website. These key phrases are more specific than general. They embody the specific information users are looking for. So, a phrase like “Top 5 SEO techniques to earn money online” will pull in more targeted traffíc than ‘makíng money online’. Ultimately, such a strategy leads to an overall jump in web traffíc.

For example, ‘Self-hypnosis’ is a general keyword. The keyword phrases within this niche would be ‘Self-hypnosis to lose weíght’ or ‘using self-hypnosis techniques to improve memory’ or ‘benefits of self-hypnosis for controlling anger’.

Methods to Identify Keyword Phrases

Use tracking programs: Certain automated programs generate a number of subject-specific keyword phrases. But you will still have to filter and select specific phrases from a long catalog of results. Further to this, you may have to run your selected phrases through a search volume analyzer, to zero in on the top phrases.

Keyword research tools: Tools like Google’s Keywords Tool can help determine the popularity of keywords, thus enabling you to develop a wide variety of secondary keywords to improve web traffíc to your site. Stringing together these words should enable you to identify keyword phrases.

Search boxes: Using on-site search boxes will enable you to monitor specific keyword phrases your visitors are looking for. This way, you get direct feedback from your visitors. This is an amazing method you can use to learn more about the general public’s search habits.

Check out your competition: Find out what phrases they are using. Search their meta tags, titles and headers. Here, all the work has been done for you. You only need to fine-tune the words and string them together to make phrases that will pull lots of search engine traffic. Keyword parsing tools help you analyze other websites.

Advantages

By using keyword phrases, you reap a number of benefits:

  • High search-engine rankings: Competition will be weaker for the phrases you have identified so you can easily climb to the top of search engine rankings for your particular choice of phrase.
  • Higher conversion rates: Since you are using the actual phrase your visitors are looking for, the website traffic you get is highly targeted. People who come to you in this manner are more likely to click the ‘Buy Now’ button than people who come in out of curiosity.
  • Increased inflow: Since you will be using many keyword phrases, you will build up several streams of low-volume customers. These streams will improve your search engine traffic.
  • Make more money: Your monetizing potential is high when you pull in search engine traffic because people who come to you are serious about your product, service or information. They are more likely to subscribe to your newsletter or RSS feeds.

Using Long Tails on your websites or Blogs will undoubtedly improve web traffíc to your site.

And of course, more traffíc is always good news!

The Ten Principles of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

1: There are No Rank Guarantees. (Period)

Search Engines alone control their indexing and ranking algorithm. Do not try to trick Search Engines. The only way to improve your search engine rank is by playing by the rules. And the rule is very simple: make it logical. Web content is primarily for the site visitor and not crawlers. If your Search Engine Optimizer sold you magic “Top rank on Google in 10 days flat”. Forget it. There are no short cuts. Top ranking in Search Engine Natural Results will take time. Hard work is imperative especially in developing the content on your website and the links to your site.

2: Ranking is Not the End, It’s the Means.

Ask yourself what will a top search engine rank get you? Most businesses are interested in increasing sales on a website or at the least driving qualified traffic. Ranking for the right keywords (keywords used by your target audience) is important. There are SEOs who will try to show case results for keywords that occur only on your website. Beware such gimmicks.

3: Know Your Competition.

“Rank” is relative position and more so in the Search Engines’ natural results. How well you do in the search engine results is a function of how much hard work you have done in relation to your competition. Analyze your competition’s keywords, links, keyword density and spread, but be sure not to copy your competition.

4: Use Search Engine Friendly Design.

A search and visitor friendly design is a must for any successful website. Your website should be compelling enough for repeat visits by search engines and potential customers. Make sure you have search engine friendly URLs and avoid those long URLs with query strings.

5: Select Keywords that are Worthy.

You must research your keywords before targeting. There are tools that give you a good idea of a keyword’s search potential for example. It is important to know the number of searches for a keyword in the last month, last 6 months and last year. You should also find out the number of web pages that are targeting the keyword. It is advisable to start a campaign with keywords with moderate competition and a high number of searches.

6: Write Great Content.

Even if your website site is technically perfect for search engine robots, it won’t do you any good unless you also fill it with great content. Great means it has contextual and editorial value. Great content brings repeat visits and increases the chance of conversion. Great content is factual and appeals to your target audience. Your web page should have your desired action embedded in the content and you must ensure that the content is fresh. Keep adding and editing content regularly.

7: Use Good Hyper Linking Strategy.

Hyperlinks make your content accessible and contextual. You must hyperlink in the right context within the website and to other websites. Good links are appreciated by the Search Engines and by visitors. No one likes to be taken to a mall selling “Macintosh” when shopping for “apples”.

8: Write Relevant and Original Meta Content.

Meta content is like a business card. Just as your business card tells who you are and what you do, Meta content tells the search engines the relevance and context of a web page. Resist the temptation to include everything in the Meta content, but make it detailed. Confused? The idea is to include only what is relevant to the page in the Meta Content but to include everything that is relevant.

9: Acquire Relevant Links.

The links you acquire are the roads to your web page for search engine bots and visitors. Good links improve your webpage’s equity on the World Wide Web and bad links make a dent in your equity and credibility. Be selective in reciprocal linking. Both reciprocal and one way links work, if you are prudent in selecting the links. Submit your website to the relevant sections in relevant directories.

10: Consult Experts, If You Need To.

If you have the competence, there are two ways to learn – learning from your mistakes and learning from others’ experience. You can choose either. If you have the time and can wait for the online dollars, do it yourself. If you want to get started now, it may be useful to consult the experts.

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Advertise Your Files With 4Shared! Traffic Will come To You!

It is been a very long time since I posted in this wordpress blog of mine. I have busy time moderating my other blogs. It is really not an easy task to blog and to be a teacher. It is not a good combination. Today, I just want to introduce 4Shared.com to you.

Join 4Shared Now!

I was searching for song today online and I stumbled upon a site called 4Shared.com. It is an awesome site where you can download mp3 and video, in one simple click. Of course the files are from users, thus came the name 4shared.com. If you notice, I’ll put up their site banner on my sidebar.

Back to the topic at hand, the tagline for this website is Free File Sharing meaning it is a free online storage. They have 5 kinds of account for you to choose from. Free, Silver, Gold, Platinum, SBE Solution and Enterprise Solution. You can download the pdf file for the package comparison HERE. Most surfer would opt for the FREE account which gives you 5 GB of free space to upload you files. The only setback for the free account is you can only upload maximum 100 MB for the files.

If you want to know more before signing up, you can go to the Quick Tour section to find out more. Or if you have questions in your head, just head to their FAQ page. If you have made up you mind, Join 4Shared Now!!

Can I Make Money Online?

The banner on top probably summarize it all for YOU…the term I alway use for this kind of offer is ‘online opportunity’ because what you will do next is UP TO YOU…it is an opportunity, whether you take it or not, that’s totally another matter…so here is a little info about Clixsense.com

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ClixSense.com – About Us

ClixSense.com, Inc.
2115 Old Ashland City Road
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Advertisers:
ClixSense is an industry proven method that allows website publishers of every size or budget to direct targeted and unique traffic to their website. This is the same system that the largest online retailers in the world take advantage of for their advertising needs. ClixSense offers this opportunity to every web merchant whether you are a start up business with a minimal advertising budget or if your business is already established but you are desiring additional web exposure. For as little as $5.00 you can position your website to be exposed to potential customers. ClixSense has developed sophisticated online tracking and monitoring systems to ensure that every dollar you spend advertising with ClixSense delivers to you the most bang for your hard earned advertising dollar. Our industry leading software virtually eliminates any type of Internet bots that automatically click through your ads. For this reason, you can rest assured that your ads are being viewed by real customers with true buying power.

Customers:
By taking advantage of the ClixSense online advertising program, as a potential online consumer, you can actually get paid for your web browsing, up to $5.00 for every 30 seconds worth of work. The income you earn is paid directly to you every month. The best part about the ClixSense program is that as a potential online consumer, there is no charge to register your new account and begin earning money immediately.
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So, what is YOUR ACTION?

Be succesful,

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