Reasonable Expectations

If you’re considering a new website, what should your expectations be with regard to its success? Managing and helping set realistic expectations is a key component of what we do every day, and it is very important to us.  We want you to know what to expect, and we never want a Client to be under false impressions.

What a Website does for your business

Let me be very clear: simply getting a new website is not going to do much for your business.  Yes, I, the biggest advocate for your success just said that.  Let me elaborate with a few quick facts:

  • A website without traffic is useless.  How are people going to find your new website?  See content promotion packages.
  • Getting a website just because you think you need one isn’t likely to generate much business for you. Websites need to be part of an overall web marketing strategy.
  • A website that isn’t updated regularly will appear stale to visitors, and will likely be punished by Google.
  • A website with poorly written content and poor quality photos will give visitors a negative impression of your business.
  • Failing to monitor your site’s traffic and analytics will prevent you from optimizing its performance. If you think you can build a perfect website with a perfect conversion rate before monitoring how your target audience uses it, please come work for us–we’d love to have you and your magical powers on our team.

I could go on, but you get the idea. I think I can better illustrate this point with a true story:

About eighteen months ago I was meeting with a prospective Client, discussing a new website. I mentioned the importance of search engine optimization & web marketing services, but they declined them and didn’t seem concerned about how people would find their website–even as I questioned them on their strategy. Fair enough–we never pressure or attempt to force anything on anyone. Recently however, this Client called and wanted to discuss the fact that their website was not generating much business for them. While on the phone, I accessed their analytics so I could determine if it was a traffic problem or a conversion problem. They just weren’t getting many visits, plain and simple. My mind instantly recalled the initial meeting in which they didn’t want to discuss how people would find their website.

I very politely reminded them that with them being in a highly competitive industry, they need a marketing strategy to generate traffic to their website. I looked over their site and noticed how it had literally not been updated a single time since it was launched a year earlier. And I also noted how their site had very poorly written copy that they had written themselves, as they wanted to save a few dollars by not having us professionally write it for them. This also resulted in none of their content being search engine optimized, resulting in poor Google rankings. The photos of their products were quite poor, as they opted to use a “friend who has a nice camera” instead of a professional photographer.

All of this combined resulted in a website that isn’t growing their business–and it’s no wonder why. The old adage is incredibly true: you really do get what you pay for. Their website is great looking, but has poor, never-updated content that visitors and Google dislike. If Google doesn’t like your site, you better have another plan for getting people to find it.

So back to the initial question:

What should your expectations be for your new website?

If you have a similar viewpoint as the aforementioned  Client, your expectations should be low. However, if you’re willing to do things the right way, invest in a strategy and not just a customized website, then you should have expectations of earning a positive return on your investment. When our Clients have invested in a strategy, we have never had one tell us they weren’t earning a positive return with 1 year.

I hope this post doesn’t come across as sour grapes toward the Client in discussion, as that isn’t how it is intended. Just consider it an opportunity for you to do one of the best things any of us can do in life: learn from someone else’s mistake instead of making the same mistake yourself.

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