‘Internet Economy’ is a lucrative field today, with success stories such as Steve Wozniak and Apple computers and Sabeer Bhatia’s Hotmail. Naturally, everyone wants to get a share of these much ‘touted’ e-commerce profits. However, to succeed in the online world, businesses need to know all the possible causes of failure, even though it seems like an exercise in pessimism.
These are the common reasons why many startup e-businesses fail
Web businesses that have nothing new to offer, and are mere clones of an already successful business, don’t succeed. Does your e-business sell a product that is innovative? Is there something completely new about your social networking website? The key to avoid typecasting is to stay fresh. Look for problems and needs that you can solve.
Not defining your customer
The first rule in selling is to know your customer. Some startup e-businesses offer a variety of services and products, not knowing the profile of the users. As a result, they cannot offer tailor-made services for any specific age group or nature of target audience and this reduces the chances of succeeding.
The best marketing strategy is a well calculated plan. Marketing is the backbone of any business. A web site that has been creatively marketed without any regard to user acquisition costs might become cost ineffective.
For example, even buying keyword ads is a complex process. A good entrepreneur buys keywords that people most frequently use in searches while having high relevance and low competing advertisers. A common mistake most businesses make while cost cutting, is not hiring professional marketing consultants. They work on instinct, and their marketing plans lack a well researched strategy. This makes their marketing strategies ineffective. So the websites they make have inadequate SEO, SEM, and low virality, which results in low traffic to their website.
Poor web designing
Today, most websites seem like clones. Businesses make compromises while designing their web pages. They use free software and badly designed user interfaces. So, first-time visitors find the home page unattractive and it fails to register in their minds. It is highly unlikely they will ever go back to a web site that’s hard to navigate, is poorly designed and does not offer them something interactive.
A person who wants to use an online personalized gift services will look at several companies that provide the service. He is likely to choose the site which gets the first rule of ‘catchingeyeballs’ right, more so when you are dealing with the business of ‘feel-good’- gifts.
Web businesses with cluttered, badly color coordinated websites, which have long download time and unclear navigational tools don’t work. Only professionally designed, well branded websites, with original and relevant content can be effectively marketed.
Given these reasons, it is best to employ the services of a web designing company to ensure significant online presence.
Lack of web analysis
Web Designing Vs Web Development. Web analysis is a process of analyzing the behavior of visitors to a website and then enhancing and modifying the features of the website to maintain and increase the traffic. Many web businesses design a website and then forget about it; and the resources invested in web designing go waste.Such e-businesses have no feedback regarding their website, as a result of which they cannot maintain a competitive edge.
An entrepreneur needs to be friendly and people-focused. It is good to have an extended professional and personal network, before launching a web business.Web businesses that de-prioritize good partner and interpersonal relationships lose out in the long run.
Bad time and money management
A failed web business means that the founders have not managed their finances well. It includes over-spending or ineffective spending. Such individuals overlook the basic tenet of every business- time is money. They spend a lot of time bargaining for small cost reductions, while delaying launching time and other activities vital to growth in the world of start-ups.
The most important thing that leads to failed web businesses is lack of commitment and passion towards the work. Such people may know all the theoretical pitfalls that they can encounter, yet put in a half hearted effort to avoid them when confronted in the practical world. Hence, they continue to fail.
Today people live in two worlds, the real world and the virtual world. They can do most things online, ranging from banking, shopping, socializing to entertainment. The following statistics show the reach of Internet user avenues (approximate):
- 82.9% of active Internet users watch video clips.
- About 1.2 lakh blogs are created every day.
- 72.8% of active Internet users read blogs.
- Technorati currently tracks 111 million blogs.
- 63.2% of active internet users visit a photo sharing site.
- 38.5% of active Internet users upload a clip to a video sharing website.
- There are more than 90 million users on facebook.
And that’s why companies are now striving to create a strong Internet presence for wider marketing of their products and services. However, content on the Internet can be created by anyone, including the users of business services and products.
Multiple avenues of publishing product reviews, and sharing experiences on the web, have led to the rise of user generated content (UGC) on the web. All companies have online user generated content about their business’ products and services, and these are crucial to their web reputation. Users can converge at various points on the web to share information, some of them being –
- Social networking sites such as Myspace, Facebook, and Orkut
- Media sharing platforms such as YouTube, iShare, Vimeo, and Flickr to upload photographs, audio files, and video clips.
- Knowledge sharing platforms such as Yahoo, eHow, and Wikipedia
- Specialized Online Consumer Forums and discussion boards.
- Product Review Websites like Ripoffreport and Mouthshut.
The impact of negative and unfavorable user generated content is made exponentially larger through high levels of visibility, discoverability, and networking of these online points. There are many cases where negative online publicity has caused extensive damage to businesses. For example, Tata Consultancy Services has been accused of tax frauds, at a blog tcstaxfraud.blogspot.com/, which turns up in search engines and taints the name of the entire business. Similarly, Times of India, an Indian national daily, was criticized through a blog using the slogan ‘Slimes of India’. Reviews on Ripoff Reports such as “Helen Foundation took me for 4722.00 and said my insurance would pay it, but didn’t give me the bills” also affect the brand image of a business. As user generated content is unregulated, taking legal action against it can be unproductive. Such content is fragmented in nature, making it difficult to identify the author of the information.
A professional web reputation management consultant can counter negative publicity by using new approaches and strategies, such as peer friendly language, user controlled messages, SEO content creation, and dialogue. So, web reputation management services have become a business necessity to survive and succeed in the world of ecommerce. Only a professional firm can handle the negative publicity that your business may get and make sure that it has the minimum possible impact on the image of your brand.
All stats is collected from various source from Internet. I am not responsible for authenticity of stats.
You have your flashy website ready, but the hits are very low. Have you thought why?
It is true that the colours, design, logo and photos make an impression on the visitors of your website, but what is most important is the content of your website. The quality of the content on your website is truly a deciding factor for the success of your business, as your website is the first face of your company that a customer sees. And therefore, it is imperative that your website should speak for your company.
Content Is the King
How to make your content interesting to read, increase the hits and make it successful? Here are the secrets
Know your customer
The secret to quality content is to know exactly who is reading it. It is important to know your target audience and your website having exactly what they are looking for. Instead of just plainly inserting the keywords in your pages, make the content an interesting read and also make sure it aesthetically includes the keywords for the SEO. Make it interactive as customers like to have an upper hand on what they choose, and giving the customers the upper hand lets YOU have the upper hand without the customer knowing it.
Keep it short
Remember the KISS formula – Keep it short and simple. When a customer is doing a search in Google, you have only few seconds to make that first impression. So the maximum information you could give in minimum number of words would do the magic. You might have a lot to talk about your company, but knowing what to keep and what to delete is very important. Knowing which sentences would directly end up making the visitor a customer is an important aspect. After all, nobody has the time to go through pages with tonnes of information. It’s a fast paced world, remember?
Next key is to regularly update your content. It is important to create fresh content regularly. Even if it is a small change, ensure you update the website weekly or even daily. Google loves a regularly updated website. Any content change would be helpful to bring it up in Google search.
Trust the experts
You have put all your time, effort and money in building up your business, but it is always good to leave the job to the people who do it best. There are several free websites available on the web offering free content, but there is nothing like creative and unique content which matches your business. Know that your content writers are experienced and would know exactly which words would boost your business. If good content could boost your business, bad content could kill it double fast. Therefore, choose the writers wisely. After all, a comma and a hyphen could change the whole meaning of a sentence.
A mantra for success- The content of your website is the primary tool you have to win customers, use it wisely.
Internet has changed the face of commerce drastically. Gone are the days, when customers would call up to enquire about the services of a company. Internet has brought the world to the fingertips of the customers, and all they have to do is Google the name of a company to gather information about it! There are also numerous blogs, social media sites and online consumer forums, for consumer reviews. Business owners are severely affected by such reviews, which can make or break their brand image.
Web reputation management(WRM) is gaining importance, as indicated by the World Economic Forum’s recognition of web reputation firms as an important entity in today’s scenario. A bad review by an irate customer, internet slandering campaigns by competitors, and negative feedback indicating consumer dissatisfaction could cause considerable damage to your business reputation. In such a situation, you need to act fast by hiring professional search engine reputation management (SERM) consultants.
Web reputation management firms use a variety of strategies to prevent potentially harmful content about your business from showing up in the first pages of search engine results. Here are some of the benefits of using professional web reputation management services:
- Building Positive Brand Image: During difficult times, a web reputation management firm can build positive blogs and websites for your company. By reducing the visibility of negative comments, creating a positive PR, and pushing positive information about you in the top search engine results, they promote a positive brand image. Their reputation management services will ensure that when potential clients do a background search of you and your company, they will find positive results.
- Effective Monitoring – A professional web reputation management firm will monitor the information about your company in search engine result pages, social networking sites, and other web sphere content. They can track consumer opinion using search engine alerts, RSS feeders to track keywords, and conduct extensive research about the company’s internet presence. Through monitoring and extensive market research, they can quickly identify sites with negative user comments and deal with them effectively, so that they don’t turn up in the first few pages of search engine results.
- Creating Content – The basic tenet of SEO is content creation. To combat negative feedback, web reputation management firms create positive content which are seen by search engines as more relevant and push down the other negative comments about your firm. SEO and web reputation management usually go hand in hand, so it is essential to hire a firm that has both the skills.
- Other remedial measures – User generated content on the web impact the brand image of any business, be it an online company or a brick and mortar company. Brand management strategies cannot be limited to a few mechanical steps. Good web reputation management includes diverse measures such as social network profiling; blog, article and press release; and promotion of existing positive content. Formal take down requests and negotiations can also be used to remove negative content from the web.
Web reputation is a part of SEO itself but not all SEO firms have the expertise in this field. Only an experienced and competent firm can handle your web reputation effectively. And thus, selecting the right SEO firm gains paramount importance.
Don’t wait for a crisis to turn to web reputation management professionals. Do it right now. After all, as the saying goes, “the early bird catches the worm.”