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PixoLabo - Why Websites Fail - 23 Critical Mistakes You Must Avoid!

Why Websites Fail – 23 Mistakes You Must Avoid

Why Websites Fail – 23 Mistakes You Must Avoid

Simply Having a Website is Not Enough!

Many businesses think having a website is enough to build an online presence that supports their objectives. However, they forget that a website will be worthless unless it meets the user expectations of its target customer.

Believe it or not, it’s a sad reality that companies and product brands often overlook the significance of websites in today’s competitive world. As a result, it leads them towards failure and disappointment and leaves them with no choice but to reinvest in web design and development.

In this post, I want to share my professional insights and experience with companies and professionals to highlight critical reasons why websites fail. Knowing them will help you avoid making these mistakes when you design and develop your website.

What makes a successful website?

What Makes a Successful Website?

Good websites consider the visitor first, provide a great user experience, and can become powerful marketing engines. However, for your website to be successful, it needs work, and it starts with web design and continues through SEO, online marketing, web security, and the implementation of trust signals. All of these elements need to work together.

If you are planning or building a new website, you are hoping for success. But, of course, success can mean any number of things, and each website’s success should dep[ends on the needs and desires of its owners and creators.

Some websites exist strictly to provide information to visitors. Others aim to sell products. Finally, some exist solely to provide information about the services of a business.

Whether you’re on a shoestring budget doing your best with your web presence or have an enterprise-level operation, a solid website opens the door to a great opportunity.

You’re investing in digital marketing to drive people to your website — now you must deliver the experience they expect when they arrive. There is no single equation for success online, but several common causes for failure with a website exist.

Here is a look at 23 possible things that can keep you from achieving your business objectives with a website.

Why do websites fail?

Why Do Websites Fail?

1. The Website is an Afterthought

Most B2C businesses have long ago understood that their clients visit their websites and evaluate the company based on their experience.

However, B2B companies have not completed the homework, especially in specific industries. They still often assume that direct relations, phone calls, RFPs, and tradeshows are where all the business is done and treat the websites as an afterthought. Someone in the marketing department is working on the website, but it does not concern the CEO.

This assumption is a critical mistake that might cost a company a lot in lost business. Many companies research products and services online before purchasing. The more complex the service or product, the more time customers spend on the vendor’s website. They may never call if they do not find what they are looking for on your website.

2. Not Seeing Value in a Website

It might be surprising, but many businesses still own a website because “you have to have one.” They do not see the value and, therefore, do not focus on it. It is built quickly and left alone, often for years. Such an abandoned website quickly turns old and outdated and looks like “a sad responsibility of having a website.”

Of course, such a website will never bring value, which makes the owners believe that the only reason to have a website is the obligation to have one.

3. Lack of Purpose

Whether your website represents your business or your business is a website, it needs a purpose. Websites representing brick-and-mortar businesses will typically exist to support and aid the company in meeting its objectives, and hopefully, that business already has a clearly defined purpose.

Whatever the situation, a website must have a clear purpose for which it exists. A website with no direction will go nowhere. If you hope to build a successful internet presence, dedicate adequate time to plan and define what you want from your website.

4. No Clear Ownership

Many business websites often do not have a clear owner. The marketing department usually maintains the website, but it often does not have full authority over what it contains or how it works. Each department chips in a little bit and controls its section.

Also, the marketing department is often supposed to provide content, and IT is responsible for delivering the software for the website. Noone, however, is responsible for the overall effect nor has the authority to make all the decisions.

Because of this, the final effect is mediocre at best. Instead of being a cohesive marketing tool, the website often comes across as a patchwork of design and content.

5. Bad Choice of Niche or Industry

Before launching a new website, choosing the right niche or industry is a crucial decision. Of course, some niches are overly crowded, and others only have a few potential visitors. Somewhere in the middle will usually be the best choice.

What caused you to choose the niche for your website? Is it a topic you enjoy with income potential, or did you base your decision on research?

6. Ineffective Monetization Choices

Every website should create value for its owner(s). However, owners should evaluate each website individually to see how it can create value most effectively. For example, should you use the site to sell products, promote your services, or sell ad space? The wrong choice can severely impact the success of the site.

7. Poor Marketing Strategy

Regardless of your website’s greatness, people must find it to succeed. A marketing strategy may involve spending thousands or even millions of dollars on advertising or only a few dollars on targeted pay-per-click ads. A marketing strategy could also include optimization for social media and search engines.

There is no limit to what you can do to market a website, but you need to have a strategy that will help you get the right people to visit the site. A great website with no marketing strategy is taking a huge chance that people will somehow find the site.

8. No Unique Appeal

Many websites strive to communicate value but fail to engage visitors and drive digital marketing results because the site has nothing unique to offer and is too generic. If visitors don’t feel the site represents what they’re looking for, they’ll hit the back button and “bounce.”

9. Not Defining Their Target Audience

Many business websites try to appeal to everyone. They target the clients, the employees, the potential employees, the board, the media, the competition, and the CEO.

Unfortunately, they get cluttered with too much information for all possible audiences without a clear vision of who they communicate with. As a result, they do not communicate well with any of the audiences.

10. Lack of Focus on the User

To achieve success, a website and its creators must maintain focus on the users of the website. Without satisfied users, no website will be successful. Unfortunately, sometimes it is easy to lose focus on those visiting a website. Building the site how you like or want may be easier or more fun, but the users’ opinions are much more critical.

Unfortunately, many websites focus on conveying how fantastic the company is. Frankly, site visitors don’t care.

When potential customers land on a commercial site, they hope to solve a problem, answer a question, or buy something. They aren’t there to hear you talk about how great the company is or how many awards the business has.

Any website will fail if it doesn’t satisfy the visitor’s wants. On the other hand, a website that does a great job meeting users’ needs will be well on its way to success. Therefore, at every stage of the website development, user needs and wants should be of primary concern.

11. Placing Design Before Usability

The design and attractiveness of a website are also crucial to success. Most visitors will at least partially base their first impression of the site on looks and appearance. Although the design is essential, different websites can be successful with varying design strategies.

Not every successful website needs to have a fancy design that is full of exciting features. Instead, a clean, attractive minimal design is more effective for many business websites.

The design should never take priority over usability. For example, it is not a practical design if a particular format interferes with visitors accessing and using the site. Designing for user expectations is more important than creating the most impressive-looking website.

12. Too Many Features

A common reason why websites fail is what we call scope creep. “Our competitor X has a map. Competitor Y has a list. Competitor Z has a custom form. So let’s have a map and a list and a form and…” is how many content plans start resulting in a cluttered website with “a lot of stuff” but no message or goal.

The more stuff you put on your website, the more difficult it becomes for the end user. Instead, it would be best to focus on your target consumer’s needs and expectations and how your website will meet them.

13. No Call to Action

Whether the goal of a website is to sell products, gain subscribers, draw clicks to PPC ads, or provide information about the services of a business, a call to action for visitors is needed. Unfortunately, many websites are unsuccessful because they do not encourage or instruct visitors to do what they want.

To have a compelling call to action, you must first know what visitors want to do after arriving at your website. Then, knowing what you want from them, you can build the website to lead them to that action.

14. Putting Design Before Content

People who build a website for the first time often focus on design first. Then, they only consider what content should fit into the predefined spaces.

Many companies build their websites this way. First, a design is purchased and then presented to the board with “lorem ipsum.” Only afterward, marketing tries to think of what to put into all the boxes designed by the agency.

This process, of course, makes for very ineffective messaging. Websites must start from the message – the content businesses want to communicate. The content needs to determine the whole design of the website.

15. Content Shortcomings

No Significant Content

The Internet is a vast source of information, and the typical website now needs to have some valuable content for visitors. Of course, blogs are an example of this as they provide extensive written content, but there are other options.

Video, audio, news, tutorials, pictures, and online tools attract visitors and make a website more valuable. Very few websites today will continually draw crowds of visitors without meaningful content.

Duplicate Content

If your website has the same content on different pages, it duplicates content, and Google doesn’t like this in front of your customers. So ensure that each page has unique content.

Outdated Content

Would you trust a business that promotes outdated products or services? One of the key reasons why people don’t use your services or purchase from you via your website is that your content is old and outdated.

Customers cannot confirm your latest offering; in many cases, some business websites don’t even offer an opportunity to buy. Outdated or missing content gives the impression that your business is not only out of touch but does not care about you, the customer.

No Detailed Product Descriptions

Websites don’t have to rewrite war and peace, but they need to have enough content so the customers can understand your product offering. Detailed information about your products allows customers to do the research they need to buy.

Information is essential for websites that sell products. Just putting up a list of prices with a shopping cart is inadequate, especially if the product is complicated. Instead, provide clear explanations and product sheets to help customers.

16. Infrequent Updates

One of the keys to successful websites is repeated visitors, and one of the keys to attracting repeat visitors is continually adding new content. If a website stays the same for long periods, what makes visitors want to return?

Posting regular content is a considerable advantage of blogs, assuming they add new posts frequently. With fresh articles, visitors will always have a reason to return. In addition, each time visitors return to the website, their connection to the site becomes a little bit stronger.

17. Spelling and Grammatical Errors

Please pay attention to spelling and grammatical errors as customers notice them. And you can guarantee that they will not tell you about them.

No matter how good your spelling and grammar are, we all need a second set of eyes. Use a proofing tool, like Grammarly, to double-check your writing. Not looking stupid is always helpful when trying to impress potential clients.

18. Relying on Contact Forms

Contact forms are a popular design option but can work against you. The reason is that most website owners ignore them.

Customers take time to fill in a contact form, and the business that gets them either doesn’t notice that it arrived or the message is in a spam box and eventually deleted.

As a result, customers are left in the lurch and not serviced. Not only do they not use your service, they tell everybody else that your contact form doesn’t work!

19. Low-Quality or Generic Images

An emerging area of concern is poor image quality on websites. Crappy stock photographs that everybody else uses can impact your website’s quality and the customers who do business with you. Low-resolution, horrible stock images look cheap because they are cheap. If you want an excellent example of high-quality photos, look at the Apple website.

On the one hand, stock photography is easier and cheaper than custom photographs. On the other hand, overusing stock photography can make a site look too much like every other site. When we design a website, we encourage customers to use custom photography as much as possible to build a beautiful web design that earns trust. You will recoup the cost tenfold.

20. Not Optimized for SEO and Social Media

SEO is nothing new, and the basic requirements are very well known. Still, many business websites are launched and managed with glaring SEO errors, some of which include essential things like a lack of unique title tags.

Even websites with the best design won’t succeed if search engines can’t find them. A website with poor SEO will never be a good lead generator; therefore, businesses will eventually abandon it as something that does not generate results.

New customers usually search on Google or Bing and social media sites like Facebook and Instagram by typing in their search queries or checking out social ads.

Therefore, if your website is not ranking on search engines, it will never reach a steady stream of customers. Aside from that, you’re ignoring the potential to leverage social media users without creating social media profiles and regularly posting new content.

21. Slow Page Speed

Not everybody has high-speed Internet, so your website must load quickly. Unfortunately, large images not optimized for the web, background videos, and too many animations are why your website will not load quickly. The result: visitors leave your website and go somewhere else.

Consider these website load time statistics for 2023:

  • 40% of consumers said they leave a page that takes more than three seconds to load.
  • 88.5% of users say that slow-loading pages are their primary reason for leaving a website.
  • 79% of online buyers who aren’t happy with the website speed say they would avoid buying from the same site again.

Website speed refers to how fast your site loads in response to a request. One of the significant reasons websites fail is that they aren’t fast enough. Regardless of your industry, service, or product, a slow website can hinder your website’s success.

Why is that? Website visitors don’t have the patience to wait for the page or site to load. Instead, they visit your website with a specific objective: comparing prices or researching a product.

22. Lack of Commitment

Many website owners get excited about the launch of a new website. But over time, that interest and commitment often fade. Without a commitment to success, no website will go very far.

Lack of commitment doesn’t only apply to an individual website owner trying to make money online. It can also apply to large businesses that don’t give a website the attention or priority it deserves. A website can be an invaluable asset to a company, or it can produce next to nothing if there is no commitment by the business to make it something special.

23. No Ongoing Support Budget

Companies often approve a budget for building a new website and then have no budget for managing it. Not budgeting for ongoing support is a critical error. These days, successful websites have to be living and breathing organisms that keep pace with changes in the business.

Nothing is worse than a website with the latest content published two years ago. Lack of budget, focus, and constant work are common reasons for business website failures.

Would YOU buy from your website?

Would YOU Buy from Your Website?

The real purpose of websites is to direct customers to your business so that you can offer them goods and services. So have a critical third-party look at your website and ask yourself, ” Would I buy from my website? Can you even buy anything from your website?

Websites are a little like fishing – thousands of fishermen cast their hooks into the ocean daily, but many never catch anything. Sometimes they use the wrong bait; sometimes, the hook is too big; and mostly, they fish in the wrong spots!

There are at least 23 reasons why people don’t like your website. At PixoLabo, we can redesign your website, add functionality, improve user experience, or update your existing website. Website specifications and technology constantly change, and your business needs to stay updated and relevant. We are here to help!

PixoLabo - A Web Design Team Focused on UX

Do You Need a Better Website?

Do you want to improve your website or online store? Our team of professional designers will be happy to help you with this. But first, look at our portfolio and read our case studies.

Then, if you believe we are a good fit for your business web design needs, let’s talk! We offer a full range of consulting and design solutions for businesses and product brands.

And if you are still unsure where your website falls short, let’s talk. We will listen to you, answer your questions, and determine how to build a successful website for your company or product brand!

What Would You Add?

We know there are other things out there that should be on this list, so please share your thoughts. What else can hold a website back from success? Are there items on this list that you do not think are important?

Please leave your comments below so our audience can benefit as well. Grab our feed, so you don’t miss our next post! And help other business owners select a website platform by sharing this post with them!

For more content relevant to your business or product brand – check out the range of articles on our web design blog. (This one, explaining the importance of user experience in web design, is an excellent place to start!)

Thank you! We appreciate your help ending bad business websites, one pixel at a time!

By Gregor Saita
Co-Founder / CXO

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