"Why isn't anyone coming to my website?" this a question many people ask themselves every day. You had spent a lot of money, time and resources into making your online business available for anyone interested in your products and services but, now that you are finally ready nothing is happening. Why?
The perception of having a website and becoming a successful company almost instantly is a residue we still have from the .com boom. The advertiser's hope in that age were immense, and many businesses did remarkably well, but as we all well know, many others lost all they had in the process. For a given period it became a massive disaster that threatened to kill the internet while it was still in its infancy.
What should I expect?
The internet, as we know it today, is saturated with start-ups and business. No matter what it is you do, many of them will be competing with you in whatever your business is about. You need to think about your website as a regular front-door store.
You wouldn't open a brand new store by just opening your door and sit down to wait for customers to walk in without even putting your name at the front. Likewise, when you start your business online you need to put the word out that you are open for business, tell everyone your location and make some marketing efforts to bring in your new customers. It doesn't matter how good your products and services are or how cheap you sell them for there is no way people will find your store and make any kind of business with you. No one will know you even exist!
What to do then?
The first thing you should have is an excellent website, one that not only looks and works good, but it's also compliant with Google's, Bing's and other search engines requirements. Besides that, there are a lot of rules and regulations a website need to follow in order to receive better rankings once search engine bots and other organizations start collecting information from it.
Let's list a few:
Structured Data and Schemas
Structured Data, also know as Schemas, have to be implemented on the site to let the search engines, and other services bots, know what each section of your site is about. Products, services, reviews, blog articles, events and more, each needs to have a properly structured data/schema that explains, in code, each of the different areas of your site and what they are intended to for.
The code has to be done in a nice way so the search engines can collect all the information fast and easy. The site needs to be on a fast server/hosting in order to give the search engines the best and most complete answer to any query they throw at it.
Images and photos
Website images need to be optimized and displayed with the right information and format and the main image/photo of each page needs to be available in the headers of the site so when social networks engines try to receive the website's data it will be given to them in the best possible way.
Every future client who may find you online has a smartphone at his/her disposal. Your website needs to be able to handle your customer devices and present your website in a responsive and optimized way. If your customer can't read and see your products and services they won't buy. That is why your site needs to be mobile-friendly and able to handle perform properly in any device. More about responsive web design here.
The Bottom Line
There are many more rules that can be applied to a website in order to make your website as functional and optimized as possible, but the bottom line here is that you need to know who is creating your website and make sure they are masters of what they claim. Unfortunately, this industry is plagued with wannabes and misleading people that have minimal knowledge of what they are doing but are ready and willing to take advantage of anyone at any given moment. I feel I have written about this problem on this blog extensively, but you can't ever be too informed.
Google recommendations can be found here. But remember, and although this is not an absolute guide, it will definitely help you get a better understanding the world you are about to enter a little better but it's your responsibility to learn and make sure it is all done the way it should be.
After all of this is done... then what?
So you got past the website construction and you have a beautiful, functional website that you can test. Now is a matter of putting the content that will bring you the customers.
This is your business and we strongly recommend that you should spend time learning basics of it so you can take advantage of every opportunity. Make sure you know how to handle your back-end administration, learn how to use keywords, title, meta descriptions. Learn how to update your site at least once a week (a blog is a great tool for this). Make sure you are comfortable with your computer. Knowing how all of these work together will allow you to make the best decisions when it comes to both creating the content for your site and directing your strategies.
Getting started with Keywords (and why you should use them)
Create a list of keywords that you would like to appear on the search engines for. Make sure there are not too many (15 to 20 are usually enough) so you can keep track of them. Check your competition for those keywords, make sure your site has as much content or more as your competition and keep posting every week. Check how much traffic the selected keywords attract every month. Get reports of your site and comparisons with your competition.
All this will give you a better understanding of who you are dealing with, will help you fine tune your strategy, and allow you to achieve your goals with a better understanding of your industry.
To learn more about the keywords you selected and how they may improve your site go to google trends and make a search about it. Google will give you a very good understanding about the traffic your keywords actually handle and how they are searched around the world.
Many people tend to lose their focus while in this process and most of the time will blame the amount of work and time it takes to start seeing results. But I can assure you, if you spare 2 hours every night to work on your site and to learn how to handle your business in this new environment, you'll start seeing results really quickly.
What about an SEO company?
Of course, this is a great idea, but if you had ever dealt with an advertising company before you know your budget can get out of control really fast.
But let's say you contracted an SEO company to do your marketing. How will you know if they are doing what they are supposed to do if you have absolutely no idea what they are supposed to be doing? Once again, learning the basics will only bring you closer success.
There are many, many good and honest SEO companies out there, however, SEO is not something that happens overnight. It will take time for you to start seeing any kind of SEO results. What will you do to make sure it is all going in the way you expected to go? You need to learn the basics or it'll be no one's but your own fault when you don't get the results you expect.
Speaking of which.. what should my budget be for advertising?
If you already have a marketing strategy and a budget set for advertising, great! But note that having the money to spend on advertising does not automatically equals great results. But having a budget helps. You can have a lot of advertising done with no money at all.
While any market can be difficult to break into, today we have a powerful new venue for advertising. Social media available for everyone who wants to take advantage of it... And it is free.
Go to quora.com and start typing your keywords/phrases there and check the most relevant questions about things related to what you do. From there go and answer the questions people are asking and be helpful to them. People will see your good will to help and how good are you with your answers and that can start making you an expert in your field to their eyes, and guess what?! Next time they need something they will look at you for help and that can mean traffic for your site and more sales for your business.
Social media works the same way, if you write an article, post it on social media. If you make a video, post it on social media. If you have a new product, post it in social media... You get the idea. Just don't post the whole article, post a good section of it and create a link to your article in your site at the bottom so people can click on it to read more. The more exciting you make it the more traffic you're likely to have.
Facebook and Google Plus, whether you like it or not, these are great tools for advertising. Just create your page on Facebook and/or Google Plus and invite all your friends into it.
After that just search for the pages of your competition and read thru them, you'll find all the post that are doing great within those pages and you can create posts on your Facebook/Google Plus page with similar content. With a little search on google, I'm sure you can come out with a lot of ideas on similar content. This can attract people that were attracted by your competition before and can help bring traffic to your site.
Don't just limit yourself to articles, videos and images do even better on Facebook that text post. The possibilities are endless.
Got it, I have to learn, but this is difficult and my computer skills are not good.
I understand and this is something you should take into consideration even before you thought about going online with your business. Make sure you are willing to learn a bit of what you are getting into.
This is a minimum requirement.
And remember, we are talking about your business here, it will all depend on you and your skills to make it as good as you need it to be.
Check out this list and make sure you follow it as much as possible:
- Understand what you are getting into:
Not only learn about your product or service that I'm sure you are an expert on but also about computers and how to handle then. Learn about excel and word documents. Learn about mailing list and how to make then work properly. Learn about online editors, CMS, and what you should expect from it. etc.
- Check out your competition
Find out who are your competitors online, which can be very different from your regular ones. See how they handle their business. Find their online prices. Check when they have specials and promotions. Find out how often they send coupons to their clients. Learn as much as possible from them so you know what area they are slacking on and how you will be able to differentiate from them in a positive way.
- Find out the best web design company that you can afford and go for it.
I know many people talk about creating your own website or using premade stuff, but if you really want to stand out from the crowd you should make sure you are doing things right from the beginning. Find about the company you selected to make your website. Check their reviews, ask for referrals, make sure they can deliver what they promised, check their website and see how they implement all the above to themselves. Check out our work and give us a chance to make it right for you.
- Learn your keywords
Make your keywords list and check them online, there are many places to do it (here's one of them). Your list should not be longer than 20 phrases. Check the online competition to those selected keywords and adjust as needed (The more competition a keyword has the more work to bring it up in the rankings).
- Get Into SEO and Marketing
It is the most approachable, cost effective and easy to learn way to bring up your business ranks. If you decide to go with an SEO company make sure their results are good, don't just go for what they say, make a little research about them and their achievements and take your own conclusions.
- Use social media
As explained before, social media is a big deal and it is free. Make sure you take advantage of it to build up your traffic and follow the above recommendations. You'll start seeing results in really quick.
Getting back to the main question of this article. Why Isn't Anyone Coming to My Website? Our recommendation couldn't be simpler... read and learn as much as you can so you'll be able to see and understand the process for yourself. There are thousands of tutorials online, and videos on YouTube to learn anything you want to. It will take some time to make your website... so use that time wisely to learn as much as possible. Write down the questions you can have and ask them to your web developer, they should be able to answer any question you may come out with... They are the experts!
Ask questions, learn and don't be afraid to get out of your comfort place, the only limit you have is your own mind telling you “you can't do it” and once you passed this step you'll be able to make it work.
Did I leave anything out? Please let me know in the comments bellow!