Most client engagements start one of two ways. Either a client needs a brand new website or they have website that just does not seem to be performing to expectations. For many people this is intended to be a very transactional conversation that goes something like this:
Customer: I need a new website, how much will it cost?
Me: What kind of a website?
Customer: Well, I am not sure, you are the professional, but I am gathering quotes so I can make a decision. What do you think it would cost?
Clearly, we can provide a quote based upon simple metrics such as how many pages do you think you want? or How fast do you want it?. Even so, it does not get to the root of the question. WHY do you want a website? In most cases, what people are saying is that they want to grow their business, The assumption is then that a new website will do the trick. So in essence, what they are asking is “how much will it cost for me to grow my business?”. This is where many people get it wrong. Both web developers and customers alike are focused on the “what” rather than the “why”. After all, there are MANY (maybe most) people who have websites and it is not growing their business. In fact, I would estimate that if it is buried on the 5th page of Google it is not even being seen! Not a great way to grow your business, regardless of your website’s age.
When the conversation above starts, I try to redirect it away from that what, to the why.
We need legitimacy
Some customers just need a place on the web to send people that creates legitimacy. It is the more recent version of “hanging your shingle”. You just began your business and want to look to the outside like you are established and have been around for awhile. Often Lawyers, Accountants and other service providers trend towards these types of sites.
We want online sales
Other customers are have a great product or service and want to share it with the world. Whether they are selling an online subscription or a new widget, they see the internet as the ideal way to reach a whole new market that is not in their back yard. In many ways they are right. However, unless people can find their product, they are unfortunately not going to sell much,
We Need Leads
The last bucket of customers generally are folks that really want (or need) to grow their business. The assumption is that a new website or a replacement website will be a big boost in that effort. Good News: IT CAN HAPPEN! Bad News: It does not happen on its own. Businesses can have the most current, flashy and beautiful website but still have no leads. How can this be? Well, unfortunately, while Google cares a bit about your site, they really want to see two important things.
1: Do you have the basics set up to optimize your site for their search engine (Think SEO).
2: Is your content relevant, current and trustworthy.
Sadly, many developers miss out on the first point and most customers miss out on the second. Websites are often not set up to be successful (even if they are beautiful). They are then not updated and kept current and interesting.
Field of Dreams was a great movie. But “build it and they will come” is dead. Your website and online marketing need regular attention both technically and from a content perspective. These are the perfect balance of art and science that capture both customers (and Google’s) attention.
Stay tuned to future posts for tips on making your site a business growth engine or Contact Us and we will be more than happy to discuss how we can help kick things into high gear,