LONDON – TECH – The number of existing websites is truly staggering. It is estimated that there are more than 1.5 billion in the world. Some experts believe that between 200 and 300 new portals are being created every day (1). When we consider the fact that the first “official” website was created as far back as 1991, the growth of this market is truly staggering. It is also very interesting to note that while there are approximately 1.5 billion pages, fewer than 200 million are considered to be currently active. It is clear to see that many dreams have failed to reach fruition. What went wrong? Perhaps more importantly, what techniques can you employ to increase the chances of walking away a digital winner?
Common Mistakes to Avoid when Starting a Website
We often read about online success stories. Failures tend to be downplayed and relegated to the annals of history. However, understanding common errors is the first step in avoiding them. Many feel that the most prevalent mistake is starting a website without possessing a clear strategic vision. What are you trying to accomplish? Who is your audience? Have you defined short- and long-term financial goals? Failing to discover the answers to these questions is akin to exploring a cave without a functioning torch.
A second reason for failure stems from outdated and/or inaccurate content. We all know that faulty materials will negatively impact the perception of the end user. Still, the other very real danger is that the site will be penalised by Google as a result. Low-quality content can cause rankings to suffer and if it is entirely irrelevant, the portal may be pulled from a search engine results page.
Another common cause of failure is that owners stress appearance over functionality. Of what purpose is a website if the visitors cannot find what they are looking for? Attempting to be overly fancy will quickly detract from what could have otherwise been an appealing portal. If you suspect that this is the case, utilize analytics to determine which pages have the highest exit rates. These might very well need some adjustments. Keep it simple and to the point. Let us also remember that pages which contain a vast amount of material will take longer to load. Users might choose to look elsewhere; perhaps to the website of your closest competitor.
Botched branding represents the final blunder. Visitors need to know what your company represents as well as any problems that it is attempting to solve. An anonymous presence or a confusing logo will certainly not cater to these understandable requirements. Carefully contemplate the design of your logo, your mission statement and the overall “feel” of the site. This could take a significant amount of brainstorming and yet, you might still not encounter a clear solution. The good news is that there are now a number of user-friendly business tools which can be employed in synergy with your ongoing operations.
The Dynamic Range of Options at Your Disposal
Would you ever attempt to build a house on the crumbling side of a mountain? In the same respect, the best websites are associated with the strongest foundations. These foundations begin with the domain hosting service, the business name and the logo. This triumvirate will determine the initial appeal of what you are offering, so it should never be taken lightly. If you are having trouble finding a catchy and memorable business name, online algorithmic generators can help. They may also be able to provide you with an additional form of inspiration that might not have been otherwise possible.
The same holds true for a logo and any associated slogan. This additional factor will help to identify your company and to separate it from the masses of similar services. Online developmental tools can once again help you to find your unique identity. A few words can go a long way toward eventually encountering success.
Domain names are a final point to mention. Not only should you procure the services of a reliable provider, but consider the suffix (the ending of the web address). Suffixes such as .com and .net provide the greatest appearance of trust and transparency. If possible, try to avoid dubious-sounding suffixes such as .me or .biz; these could very well hurt your online presence in the long run.
Out of the more than 1.5 billion websites currently in existence, how can you enable yours to stand out from the crowd? The tips and tricks mentioned above will certainly help. Still, be sure to keep in mind the mistakes that have been outlined in the first half of this article. You have more control over the success of your online dream than you might have been initially led to believe. Always put your best “digital” foot forward!