Paying Attention to the Signs

Wouldn't it be nice if you could start your business, launch your Web site, attract lots of customers, make plenty of money—and never have to change a thing? If you have owned an online business for a while, you know that that's not the way it works. The Internet industry is constantly morphing, and so are the rules for growing a thriving online business. The secret of long-term online success is recognizing the signs of change—both good and bad—and being able to adapt.

If your Web site has any of the following characteristics, you might need to reevaluate your business:

  • A drop in search engine rankings: A good, high-ranking position at Google or Yahoo! is often the lifeblood of an online business. If your site begins to slip or inconsistently maintains its position after several years on top, something is wrong. Although the problem might be an optimization issue, don't discount the possibility that your site is losing relevancy.
  • An outdated look: You notice that the visual look of your site is now considered a design relic from the dot-com era. Your competitors have stripped away the black backgrounds from their sites and adopted clean, crisp images. It's time for you to do the same.
  • A lack of ongoing maintenance: You can work in your business every day and still overlook the simplicity of good site-keeping. Broken links, expired coupon offers, and irrelevant or dated content are all indicators that you haven't been paying much attention to detail. ...

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