Poorly performing websites are too often due to people not asking the right questions at the beginning. For example, why not ask how much traffic or sales leads the site can expect to get? It’s not an unreasonable request today. If they claim it’s impossible, then you’re talking to the wrong developer.
Who builds a business website is as important as finding the right builder for your new home. But like all those leaky homes, disasters occur, more frequently than most realise. Only this week we can across another small business that had spent $8,000+ on their beautiful site last year, yet in 12 months had only 300 visitors and few sales inquiries! A typical small business website should set a goal of 1,000+ visitors per month and several online inquiries per day or week. But if the right questions aren’t asked, if the core building skills aren’t there, your website will be a dud – Your time and money spent largely wasted, be it a $1,000 or $10,000 invested.
If the goal is good ranking, a steady flow of website traffic and leads, then most designers fail
I think a lot also comes down to no expectations being set beyond the site look. If the designer claims the website to be a sales tool, then why don’t businesses set it a sales target? It’s not an unreasonable request either. Other items we buy are expected, often guaranteed to do the job we expect them to do. Why not websites? Sure it costs more, and some designers, like bad builders, will be forced out of the industry since they haven’t a clue how to do it. They only want to talk about ‘design and branding’, not about traffic-building.
Don’t blame me, I’m only the graphic designer!
The point here is not to beat up or lay blame with traditional web designers. Their forte is typically the visual art. But there’s another two new skillsets required to build a business website. Coding (development) and SEO (traffic-building). Copywriting deserves a mention too.
This all reinforces the need for those web designers versed in Adobe Photoshop, Dreamweaver etc to accept that their artistic skills are not enough to build a high traffic business website. They need to either up-skill, or partner up with others like ourselves.
So, Let’s Test Your Site
Determining standards and identifying badly engineered sites isn’t hard. We can now look at a website, do a detailed analysis, telling you your search ranking, domain authority, marketing grading, how much traffic you’re really getting, what it should be getting, and then coming up with a plan to improve it.
Certainly our testing has shown a strong co-relationship between the website or storefront cost and its effectiveness in business. However like any service, cowboys are about too.
Why is this? Well, there’s no regulations, outdated training courses, few qualifications set, no real guidelines in terms of business website expectations and outcomes. Everybody is floundering around in the dark, fixated upon the site appearance or tools, not asking the hard questions, like ‘will this site generate business’ and receive a truthful answer.
Certainly any free or minimal cost site is guaranteed to fail if the goal is to get lots of new customers via Google. The MYOB/Wespac bank website promo (as advertised on TV) are some of the worst sites in terms of Google ranking, effectiveness and business results. Yet it’s all vague enough that we can’t sue them for false advertising, since the expectations are being set in our heads, not what they actually say on TV. And it’s free so we’ve lost nothing, other than the many hours spent learning the system and adding in content. However it just proves the point that we get what we pay for…
Here’s the right questions to ask
Want to know what a good website questionnaire is? Ideally you shouldn’t need to be asking your web designer anything. They should know their job and be asking you the right questions. So, what should they be asking you? Checkout a copy of the ideal questionnaire here