Make Sure Your Audience Sees Fully Functioning Pages

Amazon is able to make more money in one quarter than its first 14 years, and more and more businesses are shifting their focus from physical stores to online sales. This shift in behavior, driven by consumers and the business community, has forced business owners that do not have web development and online marketing expertise to rely on 3rd parties to build, maintain and promote their online sales channels. From building standalone websites, through sophisticated sales funnels to dedicated mobile apps, the ecommerce economy is booming.

Whether you’re targeting leads, sales, downloads, or online sign ups, you likely rely on online advertising to keep aggregating traffic and fueling conversions to your website.

As you setup your advertising campaigns, there are many conversion points along the way you can and should be optimizing. From ad creatives through sales pages, email drips, signup flow and checkout process all the way to the shipping, tracking and instant download options. Each and every one of these steps can be closely examined and optimized to drive higher click through and conversion rates.

But even with a perfectly optimized campaign and funnel many things can still go wrong and cost you a lot of time, effort and money to fix. Let’s examine some common issues and ways you can mitigate them.

1. Corrupt code

Code corruptions happen all the time. It may be a minor mistake, such as a wrongly inserted comma or something much worse, like a virus. Whichever the case, it will leave you with a non-functional or poorly functioning landing page.

Quttera’s online vulnerability scanner is a tool designed to automatically monitor threats to your website – both malicious and accidental. It can perform a deep test crawling through your website to search for malicious code, redirects, suspicious files, external links, and more.

2. Missing plugin

Missing website plugins can also cause vulnerabilities on your website. Plugins can go missing for various reasons. Someone might accidentally delete them or intentionally infect your website with a virus.

If you’re using WordPress and suspect your plugins might be missing or compromised , the problem can likely  be resolved by using a clean up service such as Sucuri or DreamHost’s “Hacked Site Repair.”.

3. Plugin conflicts

In addition to disappearing without a trace, plugins can often experience conflicts with each other or with other elements, leading again to broken webpages. This can occur due to major updates, poorly coded plugins, or similar plugins doing the same task activated at the same time.

You can address this issue by checking your website for viruses and hacks or prevent future problems by signing up for a hosting platform that offers backups as well as monitoring of your website’s performance like Jetpack.

4. API service malfunction

While an API platform can be secure and robust as they come, developers interacting with these APIs are prone to mistakes.

For example, they might make wrong assumptions about how an endpoint should work, not read the documents closely enough, or just temporarily not be concentrated enough to parse an error message. This can lead to a temporary service malfunction reflecting on your landing page’s usability.

There are plenty of tools on the market that can help you monitor your API service such as New Relic, which offers performance monitoring tools and a real-time overview of your infrastructure.

5. Corrupt content

Often you may find that your website has stopped working properly with an error message like “The site at [URL] has experienced a network protocol violation that cannot be repaired.” 

Errors like these can stem from anything such as  c a problematic SSL certificate, corrupted MySQL database, issues with accessing a resource, or even a site hack..

Again, the best solution is to monitor the website for these issues with a service like ServiceUptime, a website monitoring service which performs checks from worldwide locations and alerts you instantly via email or SMS when the website becomes unavailable.

6. Payment gateway failure

Many businesses deploy third-party payment gateways to help them accept payments from customers. However,  these services can also experience problems that are beyond your control. Sometimes payment gateways can altogether crash your website which  multiple website owners experienced in July 2018.

Payment gateways can be monitored for problems using ECommPay. This international online payment service provider also offers identification of payment infrastructure malfunctions to ensure operational efficiency.

7. Expired content/offer

Your visitors may be unknowingly clicking on an enticing offer only to receive an error message because the content is no longer available. 

In these situations, you can use a 404 page although you’re risking users giving up on browsing when they see it. You could employ 301s as an alternative but they can slow down the website’s performance. One way to deal with this and retain customers is to create a fetching 404 landing page with the help of tools like Unbounce.

Spark Logix 404 Page Error

8. Localized (geo-specific) content

In an effort to reach out to as many people possible, you’ve probably created different versions of the same website for different regions. When localizing a website, you’ll need to update those versions every time you change the original. All these separate web pages have their own code and where there’s coding there can be coding errors causing the pages to not display right.

A good idea is to monitor and regularly check your website’s localized versions. Since you can’t do this by yourself, tools like StatusCake can jump in with its global monitoring solution. It has a network of 180 testing nodes in over 42 different geographic locations around the globe.

9. Formatting issues

Formatting errors can happen when copying and pasting new content from a text editing program like Word or Google Docs into your website. 

The errors can sometimes create  problems and take a long time to be resolved. In the meantime, your users are not seeing a fully functioning website and/or the website is slow to load, resulting in wasted page visits.

Woorank is a handy tool that allows webmasters to get a quick overview of problems they might have on their sites, including HTML issues and SEO.

10. Browser incompatibility

Firefox will render a website differently than Chrome or Microsoft Edge. Furthermore, different versions of the same browser might display your website pages differently, making errors commonplace across multiple browsers.

You or your technical team might even overlook the need to update the website to accommodate different browsers with each change. With every passing minute that these issues aren’t addressed and without a good alternative in position, the visitors are inconvenienced and the audience is limited.

Cross-browser testing tools such as LambdaTest are useful here. LambdaTest provides unlimited browser and screenshot testing that allows you to test on over 2,000+ real browsers online.

Is there a good mitigation solution?

All of these issues can result in missing content and website malfunction, severely affecting your website’s performance in terms of visits and money lost due to visitors not converting. That’s why it’s important to have an easy, quick and inexpensive mitigation option. 

Unfortunately, not all existing solutions can be described as such. Most of them typically entail a monitoring tool that notifies the site owner when the website is experiencing problems, sometimes even with in-depth analytics. They also require action on your part or on the part of your team, which can cost you time and money for resources.

An ideal mitigation solution should not only monitor your website’s performance but also offer an alternative to temporarily replace the original landing page that is experiencing issues. SwitchURLs is that solution as it gives you a custom redirect link whenever you create a campaign. 

This link routes traffic through its multi-cloud servers to the final destination, checking the page’s livelihood and directing the traffic to a next-best, fallback alternative: your Amazon store, Facebook page, and so on. It only takes 60 seconds to set everything up so be sure to check it out!

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