But as the old saying goes when something “unpleasant” is lurking beneath a pretty veneer,
You can proclaim "I run a website". Many people will be totally in awe of your skills and knowledge. And if you've done a half decent job of it perhaps you'll find yourself helping your friends and family with their website needs.
A brand New Shiny WebsiteI don't mean to detract from the accomplishment -- you launch a website, tick the box and sit back an enjoy seeing it "on the internet".
You dressed it up with nice graphics and funky features. You use it to showcase your work portfolio, publish testimonials from happy customers, express yourself (e.g. write articles) and much more.
But underneath all the Glitz and Glamour of "website ownership" is a non-sexy fact:
Websites are a pain in the a**– they take time and money to create, time and money to keep them running and effort to make changes. And if they've not been designed or created with the idea of "content management" then you'll find yourself very upset and frustrated when you need to make changes.
Creating a Website is EasyThe prevailing advice for "Creating a Website" that you'll find on the internet -- thanks to many other bloggers and self-professed guru's is this:
1. Register a Domain and grab some hosting
2. Install Wordpress
3. Write some content
First of all the whole idea of being "done" is a serious understatement. A website is never truly done. It WILL need to be updated periodically (frequently if you're trying to build an online business)
If nothing else, the underlying software that runs it will require periodic updates to combat security vulnerabilities, viruses and hacks.
Second, where in steps 1 through 4 did you express your website purpose, list out the major requirements or functions it needs to perform, conduct research (keywords and competitor websites), select a solution (other than Wordpress) and learn about THESE important topics?:
- Search Engine Optimization
- Link Building Strategy
- Site Content Plan
- Search Engines and How they Work
- Website Promotion Strategy and Plan
- Directories (Web and Business)
- Article Writing
- Guest Blogging
- Website Analytics
- Monetization (yes, making money with your website)
- Google Audits
- Page Rank, Traffic Rank
- Social Media
- Acquiring Targeted Traffic
- etc. (the list of other "oh by the way" topics is quite extensive)
Build it and they will Come (A Basic Promotion Plan?)So your brand new shiny website gets launched -- who noticed?
Sure, the search engines come along and index your site. But where are your visitors. You need real traffic to your site (people, not just search engines). Otherwise what was the point of creating it?
Guess what? It takes time and/or money to advertise and promote your website so people know it’s out there.
On the left is a blogger I follow -- traffic generation is her specialty!
I "met" Ana through an affiliation and pleasantly surprised to find myself agreeing with a lot of her advice. In fact, her humour and honesty is refreshing and rare. I hope you subscribe to her newsletter - just like me.
Ana has kindly offered a copy of her e-book "Mommy, Where does Traffic Come From?" to readers of my blog. To receive this 60+ page book (chock full of great information and actionable ideas for generating traffic), please complete the form below:
My Website is Broken / Hacked/ Not Working -- What do I do?
A proper root cause analysis has you checking your computer, the browser settings, different browsers, different devices. You check your virus scanning software logs.
You contact your internet service provider and hosting company. If you're lucky enough to have a customer support "hook" you ask a techie to check the web server, database, website script, check for a hacker, hijacker, a virus on the internet ….
And if you RUN your business online, a non-working website is a NIGHTMARE!
The first rule about "owning" anything is to keep the user manual ... What's that? Your website didn't come with a user manual? Of course it didn't -- YOU and your resourcefulness (and network of contacts) are the user manual.
Trust me, in a time of need it's best if you belonged to a community of Webmasters who have the experience and willingness to help you sort out the problem.
Keep Out (Scammers and Spammers)
All manner of web experts and gurus try to ram their products and services under your nose, making claims that sound good but have you questioning “are they real?”
- Don’t check out the amazing price or get suckered into a deal because there’s only xx copies left – Scarcity Tactics can turn the most die hard “never buy online-er” into a blathering idiot frantically searching for a credit card
- Don’t even share your email address (otherwise you risk being spammed with MORE great deals from various gurus, secrets to success and other snake oil to cure your website problems once and for all)
Saving the internet marketing topic for later because it’s worthy of its own satirical essay!
Hate it or Love it ... Deal with it - Google IS a Dominating Force
4. Google personalizes the Search experience (and results) based on Web History (if you search while being logged into a Google Account). This personalization means that your website might be top of the SERPs for one person and nowhere to be found for another.
Enter the Experts!
- SEO Experts Win (thank you for the monthly retainer)
- Google Wins (Google Ads revenue from desperate businesses trying to stay afloat on top of the SERPs)
- Internet Marketers Win (as they try to sell you some “secret sauce” to GET MORE TRAFFIC, DOMINATE GOOGLE / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / PINTEREST blah blah)
You Lose your motivation, money, patience, trust, sanity … you FEEL like a loser. I understand. When I was "taken for a ride" by a web designer (and his replacement), I felt really really DUMB!
Who do you blame when your Website Fails to Meet your Goals?
Somebody is to blame -- There's got to be someone or something to take the blame --
The Web Guys - directly blaming the people that are hired to help and then fail to deliver the goods is justified. They didn't approach your website project properly. They didn't explain what they were doing. There was no plan. They delivered a website but it's just not good enough.
Blame Google (or Yahoo or Bing) – it feels good to blame the "big guys" or any one of the 100’s of other search engines out there. They’ve ignored your website or scored it badly and there’s no way you’ll ever be found/seen. In fact, you've tried to find your website on a search results page using a reasonable search term and you are NOWHERE to be seen.
Bad Advice from SEO Expert(s) – they took your money and THEN TOLD YOU to read the fine print that they cannot actually guarantee you’ll reach #1 on Google – well, not unless you hurl buckets of cash at their other services – Article Writing, Link Building, Social Media Marketing
- a fundamental LACK OF KNOWLEDGE – you truly didn’t realize what is involved in creating, owning and managing your own website – it can be a real “pig” of a deal
- APATHY and ABDICATION – you don’t really care about your website. It serves a basic purpose as an electronic business card or brochure and that’s good enough. You’d rather give the problem over to somebody else to solve.
Do you Need Some Help?
Sharing knowledge and teaching website owners about the internet is What I Love to Do. And I truly want to help people.
But I can only help you if you don’t suffer from this terrible "disease":