Starting an online company can be a heady affair. We’re so used to hearing success stories from companies that began with a website and a dream, then exploded from that into international prominence.
And so you head to the web, find a developer or a build-a-page program and wait. And wait, and wait, and wait. It’s an experience that all too many prospective site owners know, and it’s a heartrending one. At the end of the day, only a few sites prosper. Most fade quietly into obscurity.
That apparent invisibility can make getting your site off the ground an incredibly difficult affair. But what exactly causes it? If you’re currently dealing with a low-traffic site that you’d like to see climb the ranks, here’s what might be wrong.
Your Site May Be Invisible
Well, to search engines at least. Google, and to a much lesser extent Bing, Yahoo, Duck Duck Go, and all the other engines are what drive traffic to your doorstep. But actually getting found on those engines isn’t an automatic procedure.
Some very basic SEO tricks are in order for anyone to start a new site. First, you’ll need a sitemap. These are server documents that search engines use to document a site and track any changes. Second, you’ll want to submit that sitemap to various search engines to make sure you’ve found it.
Actually doing this requires some chops as an SEO expert. Either that, or some outside help, either in the form of an actual SEO expert, or a third-party program that takes care of generating and submitting your sitemap.
Your Site May Be Ugly
Sorry, there’s no nicer way to put that one. The proliferation of amateur coders and coding educators means that there are a lot of websites out there that just don’t look particularly nice. And, no offense, yours may be one of them.
UX and UI “User Experience and User Interface” are your friends here. Think about how your website is organized. A confusing site can be an unusable site. Focus down to one navigational hub. It can be a top bar, a sidebar, or just a portal, but it needs to be central, easily found, and capable of sending someone to any spot they need to reach on your site.
If you’re not able to hire an expert for a site design, then I’d heavily recommend looking into mainstream site-building engines. WordPress, for example, can make creating a decent-looking site much, much easier.
Pick a theme you like, and you’re already halfway to having a usable site. Customize with plugins, learn the WordPress ropes, and you’ll find that a lot of the technically tough development legwork is taken care of for you.
Your Site May Be Quiet
A well-built site is the body of a good online company, but marketing provides clothing. You can have an amazing idea, a brilliant product, or some serious abilities as a journalist, but none of that matters if you can’t make people notice you.
Building a website is the first part of the battle. When that’s done (and, if you’re doing things right, sometimes before it’s done), then it’s time to go hard into marketing.
I don’t have enough room here to give you a full rundown of digital marketing, so I’d like to leave you with this message: don’t ignore it. It’s easy to rest on your laurels after you’ve made a good site, but realize that it’s competing for attention with millions just like it.
No matter how amazing your content or site is, it will be drowned out by competitors unless you start promoting it. Set a budget, find an expert, and start spreading the word.
Image Source: BigStock