You’ve just bought yourself an affordable website for your business, and that exciting moment of launching your new site has arrived!
But a week’s gone by and you haven’t had a single visitor! You’re panicking! Your website is obviously seriously broken! What a disaster!
Have you ever felt like that? If so, it’s probably a good time to take a few minutes to think about what a website can’t do!
So, here are five unrealistic expectations of website owners. Find out if you are someone who expects too much from your website!
1 – They expect instant traffic
There’s a massive amount of internet traffic out there. In fact, every month there is about 250 petabytes of traffic worldwide (1 petabyte is about 1,000,000 gigabytes). With all that traffic buzzing around the internet, surely the second you launch your website and go live, there will be an insane amount of visitors banging down your door? Right? Wrong.
For one thing, no one knows, not even Google (yet, see #2 below), that your website exists. It’s like setting up a bricks’n’mortar shop in the middle of the desert – yes, sure there are 8 billion people in the world but would you really expect customers to just come flooding in?
You also have a lot of competition. Much of today’s internet traffic is focused on large sites like Google, Amazon, Netflix or YouTube.
The solution is to modify your expectations about website traffic, know who you should be targeting, and also understand the need to promote, market and advertise like you would a regular shop or traditional business. Check out our list of suggestions on how you can do this.
2 – They expect to rank in Google straight away
This type of disappointment is common because a lot of people find their website, not by entering the www.mybusiness.co.nz into the address bar, but by typing the name into Google. It works for many of the other websites they access, so why not their own site?
Before your website will show in Google (or any search engine) it needs to be indexed. This doesn’t happen instantly, it can take several days or weeks (or longer if you don’t take any positive action to register your site with Google).
How to index your website with Google (in order of preference):
- Submit a sitemap via the Google Search Console
- Set up your site with Google Analytics
- Get your site linked on another popular, high traffic website
- Create a sitemap
- Share your website on social media
Then, to check if your website is indexed with Google, type the following into Google search: site:mybusiness.co.nz
3 – They expect all visitors will convert
It’s exciting when you start getting visitors to your website (all our websites include basic visitor statistics, which can be accessed via the admin login) but why haven’t you had any conversions? No one’s filled in the contact form or bought any of your widgets! What’s going wrong?
Once again, it’s helpful to compare your website with an actual shop. Have you ever walked into a shop and then walked out without buying anything? Maybe they just didn’t have anything that appealed? Maybe their prices were too high? Maybe you just didn’t like the vibe of the place? Maybe you don’t even know why you walked in in the first place?
There can be a lot of reasons why visitors to your website don’t convert. It could be as simple as you don’t have a good product, or they can get it cheaper, or better, somewhere else, or they don’t have enough trust to do business with you. It can be harsh to realise this, but if you don’t tackle the real problem why visitors aren’t converting your business won’t survive, and it won’t be your website’s fault.
4 – They expect that they don’t have to do any promotion
If you don’t do any promotional work for your business, you’re at the mercy of your competitors who do. This is particularly noticeable during a downturn in the economy. Many businesses scale back their marketing and advertising budget to save money, but end up losing market share, which can really hurt their cash flow and damage their long-term prospects.
We recommend pay-per-click (PPC) advertising as it’s easy to control your budget and measure the results. As a Google-certified ad agency we can help you develop your strategy, ads and targeting, and help you to avoid many of the costly pitfalls new advertisers routinely experience.
The good news is that, even if you’re operating on a tight budget, there are still plenty of things you can do to promote your business for free, or very cheaply.
5 – They expect it will just work perfectly on all browsers and devices
It’s a nice idea and while most web design agencies will make sure your new website works correctly and looks good on a range of browsers (Chrome, Firefox) or devices (laptops, tablets or mobile phones) it’s unlikely (particularly for a budget business website) that it will be tested on ALL browsers, devices and screen sizes, of which there are literally thousands of different combinations.
This means it’s possible you might see something that doesn’t look right when you’re viewing your new website on a big 4K 60″ TV at home (on the manufacturer’s own special browser) compared with seeing it on your laptop using a current up-to-date browser like Chrome.
What should you do if you do discover a design bug? Don’t panic.
First of all, global site statistics will generally tell you that it’s likely only a very small percentage of visitors will be using this specific combination of browser and device.
Secondly, just get in touch with your website provider. You can discuss the cost of fixing the bug and the expected benefit, and go from there.
Make your website work harder for your business
Maybe this post has dampened your enthusiasm for your new website, maybe it’s not quite the magical silver bullet you thought it was.
But don’t get discouraged, your website has a huge amount of potential to promote your business, drive new sales and attract new customers. The key is understanding how websites work, and what’s possible.
Just get in touch and talk to us about your business goals, and we’ll let you know how your website can actually start meeting expectations.