Generally, websites fail due to bad marketing and/or bad website design and content. Bad marketing equates to unsuccessful advertising or social media campaigns. In this article, we’re looking at failure due to bad website design and content.

Reasons for website failure vary from site to site based on the site’s objectives. Here are 8 common reasons why a website could fail.

1. No clear objective for the website

Your website should be the hub of your marketing efforts. It’s the place visitors go to find out about your company, your products and/or your services. It’s the place where you can display testimonials and link out to third-party sites with reviews. It’s a place to gain the visitors’ trust and turn them into a customer.

But you need to know what you want to accomplish with your website. Do you want to increase sales, newsletter sign-ups, subscriptions or visitors?

Once you know your objective, it becomes clear how to design and create content for the site that encourages the visitor to take action. Otherwise, it’s just an online brochure.

2. Not understanding who your customer is

Knowing who your customers are and what motivates them is necessary to determine the content and design for your website.

How do you determine who your customer is? If you’re a business owner, take a look at who the majority of your customers are, especially your repeat customers, and who your most profitable customers are. You’ll see a pattern.

If you’re a designer you’ll want to hold a discovery session with your client to determine who their customers are.

With this information, you can write content and design your site to appeal to the visitor and create a journey through the site that results in action.

3. Poor, lack of or outdated content

The expression content is king could not be more accurate.

You need a content strategy for your site. The content needs to speak to your audience and their needs. The content needs to get the visitor excited about the product or service and not be a hard sell. The content needs to offer the visitor social proof such as testimonials. The content should offer the visitor something of value for free in exchange for, say, signing up for an email newsletter. Giving the visitor something for free is the first step in gaining their trust. Trust which will later help you make a sale.

But if the content is sparse or is a hard sell, does not address the visitors’ needs, does nothing to gain his or her trust or is completely outdated, you’ve given site visitors no reason to stay on your website.

4. Lack of, too many or out of date visuals

Colors, images and artwork impact a site visitor’s decision to purchase or visit your business. For example, a travel study indicated 87% of the respondents said photos influenced them to book an activity or hotel. For eCommerce, color is the number one influence in purchases for about 93% of people.

Society is very visual. In 2019 time spent reading for personal interest varied greatly by age. Individuals aged 75 and over averaged 44 minutes of reading per day, whereas individuals ages 15 to 44 read on average for 10 minutes or less per day.

This shows just how important visuals are for your website experience. When you can you should be using strong, dynamic visuals on your website. If you lack photos or artwork, make use of color, typography and negative space (white space) to create visual interest and help the pages look less crowded or text-heavy.

5. No or poor mobile design

Google shows more than 50% of website visitors come from mobile devices. Yet many websites have no or a bad mobile design. Bad design means a bad experience for the visitor and a fast exit from the website.

6. Poor visitor experience

A poor visitor experience will cause visitors to leave. This can be out of date content, irrelevant content, confusing navigation, broken links, pages not found, cluttered pages, excessive pop-ups, excessive ads, auto-loading videos, well, you get the picture.

Make it easy to find content on your site, navigate through the site, to sign up for a newsletter and to purchase from you.

7. Does not have a call to action

You need to tell website visitors what to do, or they’ll do nothing. Your website is just an online brochure with no clear call to action and a missed opportunity.

Even if you are not selling anything and your site is informational, a newsletter sign-up gives you an opportunity to engage with your audience in the future.

And if you are selling on your site, a clear and strategic call to action can help guide your visitors through the buying journey and directly impact your conversion rates.

8. Slow website speed

People are impatient. Slow-loading websites cause frustration for visitors, especially when viewing from a mobile device.

According to Google, 50% of users abandon a website that takes longer than 3 seconds to load. However, this varies by industry and the more unique your business is, the more leeway visitors will give your site load time. But even with that, slow loading websites will cause visitors to bounce.

Make sure you don’t skimp on hosting. Saving a few dollars per month for cheaper hosting can cost you much more in lost revenue. Also, make sure you optimize the images on your website by using image optimization plugins/sites such as ShortPixel.

Want to make sure your website design doesn’t fail. Follow these steps:

  1. Have a clear objective for what you want the website to accomplish
  2. Know your audience and what appeals to them
  3. Make sure your content is current and speaks to your audience
  4. Use visuals and colors to break up the page, impact visitors actions
  5. Have a well designed mobile version of your site
  6. Have clean, simple navigation and make it easy for visitors to find information and purchase
  7. Have a clear call to action so your site visitor knows what you want them to do
  8. Make sure your site loads quickly, especially on mobile. Fast hosting and optimized images are key.
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