People browse the Internet for one thing only: information. The reason why most websites fail is they either fill it with information that is better-found elsewhere, or cloud up the information with portfolios and clutter. In most cases the problem is the latter. In other words, the information is fresh, but the means of communication are poor. This is the number one reason why an advertising campaign fails. When the customer doesn't know what you're selling and why, they have little incentive to buy.
The Customer Is Priority One
One critical mistake businesses make is to shift the focus to the company rather than the customer. 90% of all websites tout themselves rather than explain what they can do to improve the client's life. This is also the primary reason companies don't make any money of their website. The number one objective should be providing the customer with the information they want, rather than going on and on about who you are. A good website thus starts with information, and uses it to build the brand. Once the brand is established, customers will become loyal to that brand. A good website also allows customers to give feedback, where they can make suggestions to improve the site. Again, rather than focus on what you want the website to look like, listen to your clients and cater the operations to fit their needs. Remember, they don't need you, you need them.
A website costs money to operate. Some organizations will spend anywhere from $2000 to $50,000 on websites that show little to no return. While this may seem like a ludicrous thing to do, the value of a website goes beyond e-commerce. A website goes a long way to expanding the brand. However, if the site is not generating more revenue, regardless of where it's coming from, then it is simply not up to par. By setting goals for your business you can help sustain and eventually overcome the initial startup costs of running a large website.
Claw Your Way To The Top
Business isn't a sprint, it's a marathon. A good attitude to maintain is resilience. Rather than hard sell potential customers away from your competitors, sometimes the better strategy is to simply provide them with information. People don't like change. However, by simply providing information, you are gradually earning their trust, and if things were to sour with their current business relationship, their minds will turn to you without a second thought.
Collect and Mine Data
Every good website has a database of existing customer and potential customer e-mail addresses. The first step is establishing your credibility. This can usually be achieved through a sophisticated and well-designed website. The second step is to have customers give you their information. In order to do this, they will want something in return. For example, a newspaper site will ask customers to register their e-mails before being allowed to read an article. Product websites will offer customers monthly updates or newsletters highlighting special deals. Regardless of the method, a customer will only part with their personal data if they trust your website and are motivated to give it to you.
The last critical measure you need for a dynamite website is having a place for customer feedback. They need to be able to ask questions and get quick and insightful responses. Often times a FAQs section can take care of most of their needs, but having a customer service agent available to reply to e-mails and other inquiries will go a long way to establishing the trust that leads to repeat customers and a sustainable business.