11 Feb Exploding The Myths Of Website Success
Too many times over the past few years I have heard the following phrase: “Now I have a website I will ..” (fill in the blank).
Usually the blank is filled with some hogwash that has been stuffed with almond jelly paste and tastes just as bad as it sounds. In many cases it’s the website design company that has sugar coated the world of the web with glazed cherry so that you, the small business owner falls into mis-belief about what is real and what is not in the cyber world.
Let me explain.
Have you ever seen one of these types of ads, either in the newspaper or in your email in box..
“Make $24,000 in the next 24 Hours. Nothing to Pay. No Sponsoring. No Product. Entirely Online. Click Here”
Get the picture. It’s Hogwash. I know it, and you know it. Yet when it comes to website success, for myself as a local Sunshine Coast business, I am still stunned how many other Sunshine Coast business people (10 years after we really took hold of it) still believe the myths that flood internet business world.
The following web myths also fall into the “watch me throw up” bin:
Myth # 1: The latest up-to-date website will bring the business.
It’s got all the bells and whistles. There are scripts to handle everything. When a new user arrives on your main page they are greeted with a brilliantly animated funny story, or a slide show of your local area, product and service. The images are so wonderful that they take the whole page to view – better yet, when you look at them they dissolve slowly to reveal your compelling text underneath.
As you the business owner look over this new master piece, and you prepare to write a cheque for thousands and hold fast to the promise that “this” is the “way of the future.”
There is however one problem, perhaps two.
Not all people who come to view your website won’t have a high speed Internet connection like you do – those animations and slide shows will do nothing more than irritate them while they wait. Also, with the ever growing variety of web browsers, you need to understand that while you may be able to view the whole presentation, many of your visitors will not (unless they install new software). Don’t believe your web designer when he / she tells you otherwise.
This is one of the fastest ways to cripple your web business.
Myth # 2: My website will always be there.
It’s a well known fact to website designers that the Internet is a very complex and intricate enemy. It’s great when things are working well, but as a web business owner you need to understand that just because your website is “there” it may not always “be there”. Get it?
Your website is hosted on a server (a computer) much like the one you have in your office. Do you ever have problems with your PC? Yep. Well, just as your PC can have problems, so can your server. Don’t get all jacked up when you log in one morning and find that you can’t see your site.
Firstly, it may not even be your hosts problem – there are many services that your host has to rely on to provide their service to you. When your site drops off the planet, don’t panic. Make a polite phone call if it’s still not there after a few hours and then get on with your day.
Secondly, make sure that you always have a full back up copy of your entire site on CD ROM, just in case your host actually drops off the face of the planet.
(And yes, this does happen sometimes).
Myth # 3: Once it’s built I don’t need to do a thing.
This one really cracks me up. In fact, I’ve built up a whole business based on website designers inability to communicate with their clients.
Once your website is up and in place, you need to do more than just visit it each day.
A lot more.
Crucially, you need to make sure that you’ve entered into a maintenance agreement with your website designer. This should include things such as product updates, search engine monitoring, article distribution, ezine publishing and building your reciprocal links directory.
Some of these things you may be able to do yourself – just make sure that they are done. At an absolute minimum, you or one of your staff should check all your order and booking forms at least once a week.
In all you need to budget to have an average 1 – 1.5 hours a week invested into your website.
Can you imagine constructing a new building, painting it with the brightest colours and then waking away for a few years with no maintenance? The difference between your web business and your location of business, is that Online – things happen in a split second. One moment all is well, the next nothing is working.
Plan for regular marketing and health checks on your site and you’ll greatly increase your odds of success.
We’ve run out of space for this month, so next month you can look forward to the following web myths being exploded:
– My website designer will look after it for me.
– Now I’m Online I’ll have thousands of customers.
– My website will automatically be found in search engines.
Tell me,what would be your “favourite myth” that you’ve heard?
Leave a comment below and let me know 🙂
– Paul Barrs