Some websites can be doomed even before they’re launched and often no one realises that’s the case until it’s too late.
This can occur because businesses have expectations of their web designers which are misplaced. You see website owners often assume that their web designers will know how to create a commercially successful website. And that’s a potentially costly mistake because web designers are exactly that, people who design and build websites. They are not experts in every marketplace and they are rarely entrepreneurial geniuses leaving behind a trail of Facebooks, Ebays and Amazons. (And if they were they’d be building their own website and probably not yours.)
So, it would be unfair to expect them to understand how to market, grow and create success for your business. It would be a little akin to expecting the guys who built your house to transform into Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and become outstanding interior decorators.
My point is that when you employ a web design company you are employing their expertise in the design and development of your website. Those two skills are very different to the skill of marketing and so expecting your web designers to come up with sales and marketing strategies would be somewhat unfair. And yet this happens regularly. Businesses dump the entire website build including the traffic and conversion strategy on their web designers and relinquish all responsibility hoping that, by the power of Harry Potter, magic will be performed and a commercially successful website will emerge. The net effect of this approach is that marketing becomes subordinate to design (and as I have discussed before) that’s a dangerous position from which to develop an online business.
Why businesses do this could be because they feel that as web designers spend their lives on the Internet they are better placed to create online success. Not so. Just because someone spends their life on the football field doesn’t mean they’re a great footballer. Or it could be simply that the business itself doesn’t understand anything about online marketing and so chooses pass the buck to the web designers instead of learning themselves.
In recent years a new flavour of web design company has emerged – the digital marketing agency. This type of company offers a more complete range of services which includes marketing. However, the principle still stands and that is without your involvement, guidance and direction you could end up wasting money on misjudged or inappropriate marketing strategies.
In short you cannot underestimate the value and significance of your engagement in your website’s development and on-going marketing. Distilled, my message is this: Listen to your web designer’s advice but make your own decisions and be guided by your skills, knowledge and experience first.
After all, it’s your website and you’re the one who will see the benefits not your web designers.
Jed Wylie is the author of Make Your Website Sell and works for Morgan Wylie a web design and digital marketing agency in the Midlands. Follow Jed on Twitter at MorganWylieWeb