With so many new websites going online every day it is no wonder many of them never succeed. We all hear about the new site that has only been online less than a year and has millions of visitors each month. Why do some sites do so well and others flop? There are many reasons for this and these are just some of the more obvious and often overlooked ones.
The landing page takes too long to load. Many website designers and marketers believe everyone has a high-speed connection, which is not the case. Even with a fast connection many pages will take up to 30 seconds to load, which is just too long. Without someone really wants what you have, and can not get it anywhere else, they will not wait; and forget about the person on dial-up. Without yours is a hobby site, or sales are not important to you, forget about Flash and large fancy graphics too.
Site is not finished. This may not seem like a big issue except that people who go looking for something do not want to see an under-construction animation where the information should be. You just wasted their time and probably annoyed them – not a good start. Do not advertise or promote something you do not have unless you are doing a product pre-launch, and never lead your visitor down a road to an empty page. It's one thing to upload an unfinished site for testing, however, do not promote it.
Bad navigation. If you have ever gone to a site and got lost, then you know what I mean. You click on a link and another to the point you give up looking for the information or product and just do a new search for another site. This type of marketing may work in an offline store but it has no place online. Offline you could keep a customer in your store by creating a maze and there before introducing them to more of your products. Online this does not work – the exit is never more than a click away, and do not forget it. Make your site easy to navigate and have links, at least to the home page, on every page. Never try to trap your visitor.
No contact information. While I am not saying you should give out your address and home phone number, you must at least have an email link on your site. Many sites do not have an email and use a contact form instead. These forms are usually to hide their identity and your visitors will pick up on that. Remember, people hide their identity for a reason. The more open you are with people, the more open they will be with you.
Old content. If you want to get repeat visitors, you need new content; it's just that simple. Many sites never change and rely on new visitors and customers. This is the hard way to do business, as a repeat customer is much easier to sell to.
Broken Links. It is a good idea to manually check your links as often as possible. Take a run through your site on a regular basis and mainly check links header off your site. If someone else changed their site and you are linking to them as an affiliate, for example, your link may get disabled. Your internal links should not cause many problems, but it never hurts to check.
If you are expecting to get a full-time income from your site expect to put some work into it. The "build it and forget about it" idea only works for hobbyists etc .. Most people making a full-time income online work at it full-time, no matter what they would have you believe.