This past week I was approached by three different companies looking for help with website marketing. All three shared the desire to drive large amounts of traffic to their website and expressed disappointment in their efforts to date. Whenever I get one of these phone calls I start by stepping back and looking at their website. All three websites were riddled with coding errors, had no clear direction or call to action and one didn’t even work in the Firefox browser.
Who does this kind of work? The reality is I could easily have nodded my head and started on some website marketing efforts, but I would be doing these people a great disservice. Instead, I opted to have a discussion with them about the weaknesses in their current website that will severely handicap their marketing efforts. In the course of those discussions I noticed three similarities.
1. Bargain basement cost
All three of these companies had simply gone the route of paying the lowest price for their website.
2. Poor development process
In two out of three cases these websites were produced and up and running in two weeks. No discussion of website goals, website content, competitive analysis … nothing.
3. Errors errors errors
All three of these websites had many coding errors and not one came close to validating against current standards. In addition two of the websites had broken links in the main navigation.
I raise this issue because I see this all too often. This kind of shoddy website building misleads the client and puts up road blocks both in terms of any search engine ranking and, more importantly, retaining visitors to the website. Yes, all three of these companies have websites but as they are quickly finding out having a website to have a website is an ill conceived idea. Like any other industry you get what you pay for. Don’t make the same mistakes these three companies did. Do yourself a favor and take the time to educate yourself and make a good decision about who will build your website.