The 3 Biggest Reasons Your Online Business Could Fail in 2019

Rich Page
4 min readJul 3, 2019


The bad news is your online business could be destined to fail in 2019… unless you do something truly different than what you have been doing so far.

Over the last 15 years increasing conversions and sales for 100’s of websites, I’ve witnessed and learned the difference that makes online businesses become major players, and left others disappearing in their shadows.

To help make sure you don’t make these same mistakes too, here are the three biggest reasons causing websites to fail to meet their true potential:

Reason #1: An Unhealthy Obsession Wasting Money Driving Traffic to a Sub-Optimal Website

Failing online businesses waste huge amounts of marketing budget on driving traffic to their website to boost sales, instead of fixing holes in their poorly performing website causing high bounce rates, high shopping cart abandonment rates, low conversion rates and low repeat visit rates.

Instead of paying attention to improving their website so that it engages and converts their visitors better, they are addicted to the next biggest online marketing trend, like social media — always hoping the next new cool advertising method or trend will finally bring them success.

The fix? Spend just 10% of your marketing budget on conversion rate optimization (CRO) to improve your leaking website, and start converting many more visitors into sales or leads. Many of your competing websites aren’t doing this either, so it will give you a great advantage. Here are some great CRO resources for you to get started:

Reason #2: An Egotistical Company-Centric Website Focus Instead of a Visitor-Centric One

Failing online businesses are not focused on their website visitors, solving for their major needs and having an engaging easy to use website. Instead, the business owners think they know what is best for their visitors and their business — often alienating visitors and perpetuating their sub-optimal, poorly converting and selling website.

They usually don’t do website usability testing to get feedback from visitors, they rarely run visitor surveys to find ways of improving their business, and don’t gain insights from watching visitor recordings.

A highly visitor-centric ensures high satisfaction and engagement from your visitors, increasing the chances of them purchasing, returning in the future, and spreading the good word about your fantastic website.

The fix? Start placing major focus on making your website much more visitor-centric. Here are some great articles and tools to help you get started:

  • Use usability feedback tools like to discover your visitor’s challenges and issues with your website.
  • Use a great tool like Hotjar to gain insights from visitor click maps, visitor session recordings and visitor surveys.

Reason #3: A Dependence on Their Website to Convert Visitors First Time, with No Follow-Up

Failing online businesses are too focused on converting their website visitors the first time they arrive, and don’t take advantage of key ways to follow up with them to bring them back to their website to convert in the future.

They often throw the kitchen sink at their website visitors when they arrive, overwhelming them with information and choices, hoping they see something that engages them before they leave — yet often failing, frustrating visitors and causing a low chance of them returning.

This destructive habit then feeds the expensive need to keep buying traffic to replenish their leaking bucket of a website (feeding back to reason #1).

Frustrating, right?

The fix? After improving your website using conversion optimization best practices, start focusing on getting visitors to return by re-marketing to them using auto-responder emails and re-targeting ads.

  • Create an awesome lead magnet that dramatically increases the amount of visitor emails you capture, for example a first time purchase discount or a useful guide relating to what you sell.
  • Learn best practices for using email marketing tools like GetResponse to continually follow-up with your visitors and increase the chances of them coming back to purchase.
  • Start learning how to run re-targeting ads to engage previous visitors while they are browsing other websites and get them to return to your website.

It’s much more cost effective to convert someone using these methods who have previously been to your website, than to drive more new visitors.

Wrapping Up

Some online businesses don’t suffer from all of these three costly mistakes, but rarely do they avoid all of them. How well does your online business measure up? Please comment below with your thoughts, reactions and confessions.



Rich Page

CRO expert with 15 years experience. Get a free CRO teardown: