An online business needs a boost from the marketing department in order to become and remain successful. It is by no means different from a brick and mortar business, like a shop for example. You need to find a way to reach your customer through good marketing, but before you attempt to make a serious advertising attempt, you need to make sure that everything functions well.
While it is true that most websites experience a few bugs and some downtime in the first couple of months, it is also true that some bugs remain behind and can cause problems without you knowing about it.
If you are about to make that transition between testing the online market and investing into the online aspect of your business, you need to make sure that you get the most out of your marketing campaign. The only way you can achieve this is it to have a pristine website.
I suggest that you go through this list of things and check if everything functions properly.
Contact forms and contact functionality
Checking your contact forms and seeing if you can improve them in some way is a must. Analyze the way your visitors go through your page and see if there are reoccurring abandonment points. Many times, contact forms are too complicated to use or they take too much time to fill out and this can drive your visitors away and intimidate visitors who are not too familiar with the internet environment.
Also make sure that the messages actually get to the appropriate e-mails and that you won’t experience difficulties when handling a large number of messages sent within a short period of time.
Grammar and spelling
Double-check. No, scratch that. Triple-check your spelling and grammar on each section of the text you have on your website. Nothing spells unprofessionalism like “unproffessionalism”. These kinds of mistakes are very annoying and bad for your reputation. Your marketing effort will be useless if you disappoint your target audience as soon as they land on your website.
Stability and accessibility
You need to make sure your website actually functions properly and that people can access it at all times. More than a few things influence this and you should check the following list of the most common causes of website downtime:
Bad links are the equivalent of a part of your website experiencing continues downtime. Make sure that you check if each link is functional and if every page responds well.
Hosting can be an issue in more than one way. In some cases, people don’t anticipate how much traffic their website can experience and how big of a boost they actually get from a marketing campaign. This leads to overly optimistic choices of hosting packages with not enough resources to handle the traffic.
On the other hand, consider how many bugs you singed off as flukes and how many of them you got used to. If you double your traffic, they are very likely to double their frequency. Sometimes the provider is not ready to handle so much traffic. This mostly happens with cheap hosting solutions most testing websites and beginner websites are hosted on.
Make sure you read hosting reviews and find a provider that can give you both the option to tighten your belt when things go bad and the option to have the best set up possible.
One of the most annoying things for web designers is having to optimize for all web browsers. It is not uncommon that websites don’t function properly because of some mistake that was left behind. If this is the case with any of the major browsers, you can potentially lose a lot of traffic, therefore lowering the possible boost in popularity from you marketing campaign.
A lot of traffic still comes through web searches and people often Google (or Yahoo, or Bing) things instead of clicking on an anchor link. Making sure that they don’t need to dig into the second page in results to find you is crucial. It is also very important that you have all the proper SEO tags included on your page and to have an SEO friendly site composition.
You have to be prepared for online success because otherwise, if opportunity strikes and you fail to meet the challenge, you have to rectify your mistakes, which is a pointless expenditure of your investment budget.