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90 Reasons Why 90 per cent of Online Businesses Fail (Part VII)

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• Website issues

Location. Location. Location. That’s the advice given landed businesses. For those who work online it is of course Website. Website. Website.

Just like location, a website has its own peculiar problems. In this last part of the series, I am going to look over 21 of them which have the capacity to destroy your online business if not checked.

Reason #70: No, or inadequate, presence online

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Congratulations for putting your business on the internet. In this day and age of high-speed information, people expect to find just about everything online using their computers and mobile devices. A business website is therefore a prerequisite for even the most basic of services you offer. Hence a business without a web presence, or an adequate one, or even at least a social media page, is virtually invisible to a great majority of the world’s population or at least to the over 2 billion people on the web.

Maybe you hired professionals to build your website for you or perhaps you created it yourself. What many new online businesses neglect to do next is make accounts for their businesses on Facebook, Twitter and other leading social media platforms. This is surprising when we know that is where your target market spends most of their time.

Reason #71: No good design

Your website is the first impression of your business to potential customers who visit it. If the design is sloppy, they will doubt the professionalism of your company. On the other hand, if your website is an overly designed, memory-intensive one filled with background music and tiny text, its flashiness will frustrate visitors.

But businesspeople who succeed online carefully consider their website design, knowing fully well that it should be clear, to the point and informative. They also bear in mind that a visitor’s first impression could also be their last.

Reason #72: No contact information on the first page

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If your presence on the internet is necessary, your contact information (such as your phone number, e-mail and address) is also. This detail should be clearly visible on the first page.

Successful website owners take this point serious because they know that each customer who can’t easily find the pertinent contact information is a lost customer. (Some even go as far as adding the geographical location of their offices).

Reason #73: No essentials on an eCommerce site

Are you an eCommerce site? Then avoid not having the following on your site:

  • A clearly designed product catalog, with your first page displaying your most current, news-worthy products. This page should also boldly show your promotionsA
  • An online shopping cart system
  • A downloadable content such as software or PDF manuals if pertinent to your products
  • For corporate or events sites, a clear company calendar with upcoming events, also synced to the iCal standard or Google Calendar

Besides, your eCommerce site must be secure, functional, have great search, adapt to mobile devices, and load very quickly.

Reason #74: Presence of garish or common clip art

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Avoid garish or common clip art on your website if you don’t want it to appear unprofessional and outdated.

A professionally-designed website instead uses made-from-scratch graphic designs, if possible.

Reason #75: Tiny text in an attempt to create a minimalist look

This must be avoided as they can often not be read on some smaller displays.

Reason #76: Unduly extravagant Flash introductions with background music

For a browser who is in hurry, or a customer seeking only basic information about your company, extravagant flash introductions become frustrating as they load slowly and also slow down older computers.

Success-oriented companies rather create launch pages with the option for the user to select a HTML or a Flash version of the site, conscious of the fact that each customer who can’t load your site is lost business.

Reason #77: Poor frequency of updates

Supposing a visitor comes to your site and sees that the last update was made ages ago, how do you think they will feel about the professionalism of your business?
But companies created to succeed know that this state of affairs can put a potential customer off since it has the potential to make them doubt the company’s response time to customer issues.

Reason #78: No enhancement of the user’s experience

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Visitors to your website these days expect to have a certain degree of interaction with it.

Companies wishing to succeed online therefore upgrade the basic foundation of their website for the New Web Now by sprucing up their website further. They do so by having the following features on their website to enhance the user’s experience:

  • A wise use of multimedia: A good example of this is Apple’s website’s Quicktime VR which enables the visitor to mimic a physical shopping experience by grabbing a product and rotating it in any way they desire.
    • Real-time tech support: Websites now offer Java or AJAX based web chat with tech support. Others also offer real-time chat via Windows Messenger.
    • RSS feeds: to allow users to subscribe to your company’s posts or updates.
    • Social networking integration via Facebook or Twitter: As a means to foster closer bonds between your company and your customers.

Reason #79: Adjusting your website’s design to have a clean one

Many online business owners failed because they just chose a website theme which appealed to them. What they hadn’t borne in mind is that website designs must reflect their businesses. In this wise, educational sites for example, must not look like show business ones.

Here are some techniques used by successful sites to have a clean design:

  • Fonts: They adopt professionally made banners and cleaner fonts such as Lucida Grande or Arial reflect. (Such companies learn to avoid the simple Times New Roman font in garish colors over clip art backgrounds for good reasons. One, they do not reflect well on a business; two, they are ugly; and three, they discourage customers from purchasing your products.)
    • They use cross-browser compatible standards which can be viewed on the widest assortment of browsers and operating systems. (Fatally new website owners choose fancy websites oblivious of the fact that some visitors may still be using outdated browsers without Flash.)
    • They use CSS or AJAX which keep their site looking lean and modern instead of appearing clunky, loading like a 1990s website being viewed on Netscape.
    Note that even successful companies which lack the capacity to tweak their website design sensibilities hire a contract web designer for this task.

Reason #80: Finishing Touches

Now your website is built but here are still some final things to consider:

  • Get a mobile version for your website to help widen your company’s exposure and promote your image as a forward-thinking company from website visitors who are increasingly adopting smartphones and mobile-optimized websites.
    • Follow forward-looking companies and launch mobile applications to allow easier, one-click access to your website and services.
    • Consult articles or contact web designers about the proper way to phrase search terms to increase hits from major search engines if your website is not already search engine optimized.
    • Install Google AdSense on your website as a free way to gain extra funds from page views and click-thrus if you plan using advertising to gain revenue.

Reason #81: Wrong reasons for building websites

Why did you build a website? Was it to solve your own problems or those of your visitors?

Maybe I should put the question another way: who is going to make you money? Yourself or your website visitors? The answer to this question is primordial to your success online.

Successful web entrepreneurs build websites to solve the visitor’s problems. Period.

Reason #82: Bad Location, Internet Presence and Marketing

A bad location is self-explanatory if your business relies on location for foot traffic. Just as dangerous, however, is internet presence. These days, your location on the internet and your social media presence can be just as important as your company’s physical presence in a shopping district. Online presence will let people know that they can give you their business. So if the need is already there, the availability and visibility of your business is the next important step.

Reason #83: Lack of a marketing plan = No website traffic

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Website traffic is the flow of visitors into and out of your website.
Have you heard the saying ‘If you build it, they won’t come — until they hear about it’? It’s true: potential customers will not find you automatically just because you have a web presence.

Yet far too many failed dotcom businesses started their operations with the unfortunate idea that they just had to build the website and visitors would appear.

But web-based businesses which succeeded knew that visitors had to be generated for their websites. And then ways had to be found to convert those visitors to customers.
A marketing plan is the way to accomplish these. It must be well thought out and implemented even before the launching of your site.

Reason #84: No Metrics

An online business offers you more ways to measure the dynamics and performance of your business than any other kind. Yet, it beats imagination why many dotcoms fail to collect and track this data; and even more surprising, why they usually ignore a proper interpretation of it.

Reason #85: Metrics are not the Almighty solutions

It is not because metrics are important that you should base all your decisions on the numbers. This almost always leads to “analysis paralysis”. What are needed to succeed with metrics are contrarian thinking, creativity, and imagination.

Reason #86: Poor Product Photography

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Online shoppers cannot physically inspect the products you sell, so they will need a strong visual representation of those products to help them understand it, want it, and buy it.

Reason #87: Lack of traffic or programs

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Promotion and duplication can be easy with just a little cooperation.

Many online businesspeople are only online to make money, so they spend little or nothing on traffic or programs, which is a mistake.

Reason #88: Lack of proper User Interface Design

A great user interface is so seamless that we don’t even think about it … But a poor user interface tends to make us frustrated, impatient, even angry – And we inherently remember that negative experience for a longer time,” Justin Mifsud.

The reaction of the visitor to the interface come from subconscious processes and you only have about 5—7 seconds to capture their attention. So successful online businesses:

  • keep their website design spot on to capture their visitors and
    make them stay
    • don’t think of saving money on design but rather hire professionals
    for the Job
    • ensure their website loads quickly
    • do not use fancy animations as they take time to load and are
    difficult to be indexed by Google
    • ensure that their website design is responsive and renders
    properly on tablets & mobile devices

Reason #89: Lack of quality content

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If you went shopping, you would choose quality products and ignore mediocre ones, wouldn’t you? It’s the same with website visitors. They have the choice between eagerly consuming quality content and coming back for more or clicking themselves out of poorly written ones.

Online workers who succeed well in their business are those:

  • who offer quality content including headlines and product
    descriptions and massively increase sales
    • whose contents educate and inspire their prospects to read more,
    sign up to their email newsletter and especially take action and
    buy their products
    • who cleverly employ emotional triggers by focusing on benefits,
    experiences and results that their products will give their existing
    customers and future prospects
    • who encourage visitor comments on their website as it helps in
    generating engagement and trust of visitors

Reason #90: Lack of quality E-Commerce Backbone/Software

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Leadership in telecommunications is also essential, since we are now in the age of e-commerce,” Michael Oxley, FBI Agent.

A saying goes in West Africa that ‘Don’t mind the body, mind the engine.’ This means that what makes a system runs is more important than the system itself. So using poor quality e-commerce backbone will affect usability, not only for you but also for your customers. Why not when the products will be poorly laid out, the discounting feature and search engine optimization features missing and the PCI code non compliant? But for people who succeed online:

  • their e-commerce software loads fast
    • they have a great structure for the user so they can find products easily
    • their site is built so Google can find and index their products with ease.

Now that you know what makes a good business website, aren’t you wondering where you can build one? Click here to read the article Would Getting a Website do You Any Good?

Do you want to succeed online?

While the web can offer immediate success for some, for most of us it will take some time and hard work on our part to build a successful online business. The secret is to avoid the pitfalls discussed above and you will have a better chance of figuring among the elite online one day.

But, now that you have an idea of why people fail online, aren’t you tempted to learn how you can be part of those who succeed on the web?
“It’s never too late to be who you might have been,” – George Elliot
Sure, you can become part of the 3% successful online workers. By joining Wealthy Affiliate.

Ready to Get Serious About Starting an Online Business?

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If you would like to leave your personal opinion or experience of the factors which make entrepreneurs fail online or if you have any questions, please do leave them below or contact me at my Wealthy Affiliate Profile Page. I would love to talk with you!

97 per cent of Online Workers Fail

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2 thoughts on “90 Reasons Why 90 per cent of Online Businesses Fail (Part VII)”

  1. Hi Akoli,
    just wanted to say that your list, 90 reasons why 90% of online businesses fail, was very interesting and useful. I see a few things there that I need to work on. It’s a good thing that we are never to old to learn something new. Like you I am also a member of Wealthy Affiliate and would like to recommand it to everybody that are looking for business opportunities online.

    • Hi Marith,
      Yes, I myself was surprised by the little that I knew about succeeding online when I was doing reserach for the article. There are many things there for me to implement too. Sure, recommending Wealthy Affiliate to everybody will be the best thing to happen to them in their desire to succeed online. What a shame that we didn’t know it earlier! But as I always say about WA, better late than never.


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