The top 5 reasons that most websites fail to profit are;
- Ineffective strategic planning.
No one plans to fail, but failing to plan is a good way to do it. You need to know who your potential customer is, looking at demographics, but also at psychographics. You need to know how you will reach them and how you will convert visitors to buyers. You need to know how you turn buyers into repeat buyers.
Ideally, you will also know how to turn buyers into word of mouth endorsement for your company. And, you need to include all of that in the planning stages of your website.
- Many "web site designers" don't know anything but design.
If your website designer does not know marketing, conversion, usability and compatibility issues the bottom line is that you end up with a website that looks great, at least to you, but doesn't do much to ring the cash register.
- Many marketers don't know design.
The web isn't television, or radio, or direct marketing. Using a methodology suited to another medium (such as television or direct marketing) is like running a text ad on tv. You could, but why would you want to?
Making use of the unique aspects of marketing that only the web can offer will result in greater response and profit than using any one offline method alone. A few marketers are finally cluing in to the fact that layout and well chosen graphics can vastly affect your bottom line, but they are few and far between.
- Poor html development skills
Anyone can pick up a copy of Frontpage or any other such "design software" and whip up a web page. And they do. I have no problem with anyone building their own site. Quite the contrary, I applaud anyone that wants to learn how to build and maintain their own site. (That's why we offer CMS interfaces.)
However, when a website designer does not know why errors occur, or do not know that the sites they build are not browser and platform compatible - and they are charging people for their work - their customers will pay for the designer's lack of knowledge in lost sales.
- Lack of promotion
Websites don't come with traffic at the door. A well designed website is ready for promotion. It works in all browsers and on all platforms. It looks good no matter what monitor size the visitor has. It works on a MAC and it works on a PC. It works in IE and it works in Opera or Firefox. It is coded and ready for the search engine bots. It has a mailing list database ready to accomodate the people that will join your list or otherwise get into your conversion plan.
But, it doesn't come with a line up of people ready to buy. This seems to be shocking to many website owners. They seem to think that if they have a nice website, the money will start rolling in. Not so. Good design means it works for everyone and is ready for you to work it. Bad design means it doesn't work for everyone and won't work even if you do.