Website developers are useless if they ignore this one thing…

Website developers are in business to develop websites. Sometimes, those websites are flashy. Sometimes, artistic and crisp. Sometimes they’re full of gimmicky things, like spinning icons and sliders with sounds. To all of that, I say: whatever. I like a beautiful “shiny” website as much as the next person, but if your website is fancy and flashy yet doesn’t serve the purpose of your business – it is just a portfolio piece for your website development company.

Website development is not cheap.

You are going to invest a pretty penny into a strong website. How can you guarantee that you will get a return on investment on your site?

START WITH YOUR PURPOSE

You wouldn’t buy a car without knowing what you needed it to do. If you need to fit three growing boys and their hockey equipment – you might look into a sedan or mini-van. If you are single and looking for speed, and room for one extra person – a sports car may be calling your name. If you need to haul your 5th wheel – you are going to look for a truck with some serious horsepower. You choose your vehicle based on your needs. A website is a powerful vehicle for business – yet so many people throw them up without even considering what they want them to do.

Developing a website without knowing what it is to accomplish is foolish.

You should have a purpose for each page on your website or you are just wasting time and digital real estate. Your website can be your most valuable employee, working for you day and night to serve your purpose. It can capture leads, garner sales, provide information, and the list goes on. Determine the purpose of your website and you will set your business up for success.

It is not about tactics, it is about goals.

Many times our clients come to us with a list of tactics:

  • “I want a mobile-friendly website design”
  • “I want a creative website design”
  • “I want to have really great copy on my website”
  • “I want to promote my website on Facebook”
  • “I want to use Google Adwords”
  • “I want to have better SEO than my competitors”

We want to give you all of that – the thing is tactics won’t get you from Point A to Point B if you do not know what Point B is. What is your overarching purpose for building a website?

FOR EXAMPLE:

  • Lead generation
  • Raising awareness a brand or cause
  • Online sales

All the tactics should come after goals are established. If you start with tactics first, you’ll find yourself chasing your tail.

Don’t just take it from me – take it from our Interactive Director.

Our interactive director, Joel Rathgaber, has a Master’s degree in Computer Science. He has developed websites to serve a wide variety of purposes and has the security background to make sure they are safe. Nothing frustrates him more than a pointless website. He has written this e-book for you on Website Useability to help you discover if your website is serving a purpose.

EXCERPT:

The truth is, it’s really hard for you (the website owner) to tell that your website is confusing. You, after all, decided on the structure and wrote the content. Maybe you even built it yourself. It makes perfect sense to you. Too bad you aren’t your target audience… What is the primary purpose of your website? This is the one thing, above all else, that your website needs to do… Examples may be raising awareness of a brand or cause, generating leads, selling products online. Yes, your website probably does all those things right now. That is not the problem. Your website can, and should be able to, do more than one thing. That aside, what is its primary goal? Your website should be built to serve that primary goal.

– JOEL RATHGABER

  1. Christine Wankling 25/02/2016, 7:30:27 PM

    I think the article was well written and provides some good advice. I felt it implied though that a DIY website by a “layman” has the same potential as one developed by a strategic marketer. It’s just really not as simple as it sounds. That sort of development takes time to research and implement. Time and skill that businesses (big or small) don’t have as they go about their business. Perhaps, what I would like to say is “know your audience” 🙂 perspective is everything, and use a photo with a clean keyboard next time. Just friendly observation, not criticism 🙂
    I’d put myself in the category of “inbetweener” not a layman, not a developer – just with enough knowledge and experience to be dangerous lol!

    • Joel Rathgaber 25/02/2016, 7:30:52 PM

      Thanks for you comments Christine. We definitely did not mean to imply creating websites was easy and layman’s work. Indeed we meant quite the opposite. When it comes to their websites we are encouraging business owners to do what they do best – think about their business objectives and goals. Don’t get bogged down in technologies and buzzwords of the day but focus on what it takes for your business to be successful. Then let a seasoned web professional decide the right tactics to get you there.

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