Can I stop
people from finding my website until I finish it?
Believe it or not,
this is one of the most asked questions I get asked on a daily
going to find your website. That is the harsh reality of the
People think they can
open a website, tell the search engine what they want them to
send people to buy and collect the money flowing in from all the
Based on the
early 2008 reports, Google Inc pays about $1.5 Billion to
acquire traffic each quarter. Now you expect them to bring
you traffic when they are paying people like you to send them
Lets look at a
different scenario. Lets say you get a phone installed in your
home for a new business.
How many people are
calling on the first day or week to buy the service you are
selling? I could be wrong, but I would guess none.
So why do people
think that the Internet is any different? It is not.
Until you get your
name out there, until you create a customer base, until you
advertise, you wont have anyone going to your website.
99.99% of new website
owners give up in the first few months because nothing is
happening. No people are showing up, no sales are being made and
there are no big paychecks showing up in the mailbox.
are you to do to get traffic?
Well, look at google,
they buy it. For just $1.5 Billion.
You can buy it from
them at a slightly higher price, or you can advertise, advertise
or you can advertise.
The next thing people
do is buy 10 websites since one is not getting traffic, maybe if
they have more websites then they can get more sales.
Hello! Is there
anybody in there?
I don't care how many
phone lines you install in your house, you still wont have people
calling to buy your product.
cringe when people ask if they can prevent people from
getting to their website while they build it.
have not typed even one word on one page and they are already
concerned that they will have too much traffic and people
will be buying their product before they are ready to sell it.
I can be pretty
certain that they don't understand that it will take some hard
work to actually get people to the website and it will only be a
matter of time before they give up.
I had one client with
a retail store. He called me after 6 months and complained that
he did not have any sales on the website.
I asked how he was
advertising it. Did he have the website printed on the sales
receipts, was he e-mailing his retail clients, was he doing any
advertising. At which point he told me that he did not want his
customers to know about the website which had the same name as
the retail store. He wanted to let the 2 businesses run on their
Now, he went to the
store every day, hired employees, ran TV ads, newspaper ads and
paid $3000.00 a month for a store front and he was expecting his
$20 website to do all that by itself without anyone even working
After 10 minutes of
him screaming at me that this website was a horrible waste of
money for him I was just speechless and in shock.
For some reason
people think the Internet is magic. That it will do everything
for you, pour customers into your lap and feed you endless piles
Now, had this
gentleman advertised his website while advertising his store, he
certainly would have made back the $20 a month he was spending on
the website. After all, that is one sale in most cases.
I guess what I am
trying to say is that you should not expect anything from your
You would not buy a
wrench and wait for it to fix your car, you would not buy paint
and wait for it to jump on your walls. So why would you buy a
website and expect people to be there the day you open it?
website while I update it?
Worse than that I
have people that have had sites up for 10 years that want to take
it down wile they work on it.
means anyone that tries to get to the website will see it is
offline. The search engines will remove it from the searches and
customers will assume you went out of business.
If you are
redecorating your store, do you close, lock the doors and turn
off the lights?
Nobody would ever do
that because people would get the wrong idea.
But forget what
people think, how many people are using even your website?
If it takes one day
to update the website, will you lose a million visitors? Probably
more like 20 and that is not enough to worry about those 20
people seeing some changes as your website is updated.
If you had 10,000
visitors you a day you would never consider closing it, would you?
When people see
movement they know you are busy. They will come back later and
see what is new.
There is no crime in
making updates, people expect it and there is no point in doing
that under the cover of night. Just make the updates as you
normally would in restocking shelves at a normal store.
People like seeing
changes, there is no reason to act like there is some secret
thing you can do for a website is to take it offline!
In fact, when
payments are not made, website hosts like us take websites
offline. In our case, we get people screaming that the page in
google, yahoo or bing is the offline page and not the one they
That is tough
luck, because you let the website expire and google came
and saw it was closed. Now it could be weeks before the content
is updated in google. Now the tag line in the SERPS is "Website
Needless to say,
customers are never happy, but they really can't blame us for
them not paying their bill.
The reality is, even
being down a few hours can damage a website and anyone that has
had this problem knows better.
So don't ever
ask your website host to turn off the website while you work on
it. You will not be happy with what results. Work on the site
while it is online and don't sweat the details.