Starting an online business is easy; keeping it in operation is hard, making money off of it by any reasonable amount so that you actually profit is even harder. There are many stumbling blocks that could be preventing your business from gaining the kind of traction that you need. These can range from poor marketing choices to not having the right kind of traffic flowing to your site.

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You need to make sure that your online business is a well-oiled machine, with all the cogs turning smoothly and supporting the entire structure. Even if it’s just one area of your entire e-commerce enterprise that is not performing well, everything else will suffer. To that end, here are the most likely reasons why your online business is not taking off.

Wrong Kind of Traffic

If you actually want to succeed in e-commerce, you need the right kind of traffic. This means users who are already interested in what you have to sell and are more likely to spend money on your products or services. Even if you are getting a ton of traffic, if almost all of them are not even looking for what you have to offer, they will be useless in the end.

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Ineffective SEO

Optimization is basically how your customers can find your website. Without the right SEO tactics, you will become less visible and, thus, less relevant. No visibility means no traffic, which then leads to lower rankings, and it just becomes a cycle of agony.

Poor Website Design

These days, users do not have the patience to deal with websites that look like they were designed by an amateur. This means the color, the background, the navigation, and, most importantly, how mobile-friendly it is.

Too many e-commerce websites forget to make their platforms easy to use on handheld devices and smaller screens. Customers will notice, and they will not easily forgive such oversight.

No Sales Funnel

A sales funnel is a series of contents, landing pages, copywriting, and marketing that helps encourage customers to make the right choices with regard to making a purchase. It is meant to guide them toward conversion, and without one, your online business is not going to thrive.

If you have to pay for it to be done, then go ahead and do so. Otherwise, try to find some time to actually create sales funnels that will allow you to make more money.

Too Much Competition

Finally, there is the matter of the particular niche you chose being far too congested with rivals and competitors, many of which are so big that they can easily drown your presence. This is why it is never a good idea for you to start your e-commerce journey by jumping into an industry with a lot of big fishes.

You want to build your brand first with less competitive niches that will still net you a decent number of customers. This is necessary for a few reasons, the biggest of which is that you will have a much narrower lane to focus all of your efforts on.

When creating a sales funnel for a truly niche product or service, for example, targeting customers will become much easier.

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George Meszaros is the editor and co-founder of Success Harbor where entrepreneurs learn about building successful companies. Success Harbor is dedicated to document the entrepreneurial journey through interviews, original research, and unique content. George Meszaros is also co-founder of Webene, a web design and digital marketing agency.