The reason why so many websites fail to perform well usually isn’t due to a lack of effort by the owner to make the site look nice. In fact, it’s the owners obsession with looks that generally creates the failure. Discover the five reasons why sites under-perform and how you can avoid these mistakes.
1. Lack of good content.
Content rules the Internet. Think about it. When you do a search on Google, what pops up? What makes you click one of the links? You’re looking for content. Why do those particular results pop up in Google for you? Because those pages or posts have keywords that match what you typed in the search field. Everything about folks finding and visiting your site revolves around good content that interests the reader and the search engine.
2. Lack of social media to drive viewers to your site.
Google is not the only place folks search on the web these days. Facebook is quickly gaining on Google as a source of trusted info. Being active with social media is one of the best ways you can engage your perspective clients directly. Be sure to include your social media links on your website (usually in your sidebar or header) so folks can follow you in the places they like to frequent most often.
3. Reader can’t find content they seek due to poor navigation.
Website visitors are lazy and have short attention spans. You have to make it easy for them to find things on your site. It’s not a good idea to bombard them with a dozen page links in your main navigation. Put your top pages in the main navigation bar, and break out the rest in other places on your site that will draw their attention, like in your sidebar.
Theme designs that are becoming popular have areas that feature content sorted by category. You’ll find them listed in a secondary navigation bar or in small widget areas within the main content section. These are generally known as magazine style themes. Another design element that is becoming popular are footer widgets. These are usually three to four sections at the end of every page with links to more content or useful info about the site itself. However, I don’t anticipate this style will stay around long because search engines don’t rank the links in the footer as high as those in other areas of the page.
4. Lack of content in the sidebar with links to more content or calls to action.
If your sidebar is filled with only ads, it’s likely that viewers will simply put it on ignore. The sidebar can be a great way for you to highlight a special or event, a brief blurb about you or your site, or links to other popular content on your site.
The most important element you can put in your sidebar is a call to action, which can be an invitation for folks to subscribe to your newsletter, RSS feed, or follow you on social media sites.
5. Did I mention content?
Honestly, the role good content plays in creating a successful site cannot be mentioned enough. The role of the design is to enhance the content, not compete with it. That is why most new sites fail, because the owner spent all of their time on the design and very little learning how to develop killer content. Having the right content in the right places is the key to a successful site. That content appears on your static pages, on your blog, in your sidebar, and on your social media sites. Eventually it will also appear on Google and other search engines.
Review the four other reasons above about why websites fail. Each one of them involves content. Learn everything you can about creating good content that is candy to both readers and search engines and you will have greater success with your site.