SO the task was to settle on a design for a website for a client in the construction industry. I set about like I normally do and had a look at their major competition. In this day and age people rarely pick up the yellow pages anymore…. And almost NOBODY relies on print advertising for anything other than local specials and maybe a way for a company to just reach out and say “Hey, I’m still here”. I had a real good look at a few major competition websites and even though for search engine ranking they came up high in the search list…. The websites all BIT THE GREEN WEENIE!
It would seem most of the websites were build by the owners neighbours son’s best friend and that they had bitten into one of those cheesy black hat East Indian based SEO companies that place your link in blog posts all over the place on useless poorly ranked whiner blogs all over the internet and in doing so create posts that sound like they were formed by Yoda (Good Company is I, Please if you Visit me? You have good blog thanks)
I try hard to beat it into my customers heads that now a days the web design business is tough for both the designer and the client. While most companies with decent reputations here in Muskoka enjoy a good referral business. Muskoka Graphics enjoys a HUGE referral network that is very loyal and very vocal however, there is always going to be people that will drop out of your network.
[li]Company closes up[/li]
[li]Company changes hands[/li]
[li]Company relocates to another area[/li]
[li]Companies relative gets into same business as yours[/li]
The list is endless really!
Every business needs that new influx of fresh business into their network to maintain let alone build.
So I start hammering it to my client that you must understand that your business and its quality is being compared to other businesses online based on the Look and Usability of your own website. And that is where most of your new business network will come from.
This really is the case these days. And its not only important that your site look good, be easy to navigate, answer questions or provide the information they seek in a very easy fashion…. You have to spend Time, Money and Effort to ensure that people will find that website. Search Engine Optimization is critical. Don’t fall for the cheap we will make your page #1 for your keywords crapola… Nobody can promise that, if they do; RUN DON’T WALK away. And while in the eyes of the public the above statement is true, it’s not necessarily a fact that the company that has the worst looking website is the worst company to deal with. Took me forever to relaunch my website this year. And that’s what I DO for a living. The inverse is obviously true as well.
Make sure when designing a website for your company that you are using a professional that has experience and a track record in the industry. If you are building a website for your daughters wedding, by all means use the neighbour’s son’s best friend because the only traffic it will see is someone you send the link to in email…..
Don’t just look at that designers website, Look at the portfolio he has put out in the last while and speak to those customers about their experience. My Motto is:
A happy customer is valuable, A return customer is priceless.