It's all too easy as a non-technical person to assume that becoming a success online is a box ticking exercise. You've got a website, tick; you've had it "SEO'd", tick; you've got a twitter account, tick; you've got a mobile optimised website, tick. The list goes on.
Too many web designers and other "web" companies have given this impression because that's how they do business. They're not interested in making you succesful, they're just interested in selling their chosen service.
This creates a problem for us, because that's not how we do business, and it sometimes means that we lose a prospect.
All too often, we are invited to tender for a prospect who wants a whole load of boxes ticked. For example, they may want a new website, mobile optimisation, Google AdWords and SEO. Most other companies tendering will just say "sure, no problem, this is what it will cost". But frequently, we need to delve a lot deeper.
"So, you want a new website, but you already have one. What's the new one for? What's the problem with the old one? Do you really need a completely new website, or do you just need a new content management system? Are you just seeing poor results from your existing website."
"So, you want Google AdWords, is your budget limited? If so, then there may be much more cost effective advertising programs."
"So, you want your website mobile optimised. How many mobile visitors is your website currently getting? Is your visitor to sale (or visitor to lead) ratio lower for your current mobile visitors?"
The answers to these sorts of questions could save a lot of wasted money, or could even end up pointing to a completely different strategy altogether.
All too often though, we get the response "we just want a new website". There's a tickbox that needs ticking.
These sorts of websites will never work, because there's no performance criteria to build to, or to judge it by. The goal is unknown.
We're getting better at pushing our prospects and asking "the right questions" to get the required criteria, but it's difficult doing this without just annoying them.
"Why can't you just build us a website? Nobody else is wasting our time with these questions."
And that's the problem.
Most companies in this industry are quite happy to help you tick your boxes, in the full knowledge that your investment won't pay for itself.
The web is still new, so it's not intuitive for us yet. For that reason, when we hear about someone doing well with a website, or with Google AdWords, or with SEO, or with social media, it's easy to think that it will work for you; that it's something inherent in the concept itself that makes it successful.
But it doesn't work like that.
What works for one business might not work for another. It's about fitting the tool to the strategy, and fitting the strategy to the business. And then working hard to make it work.
Just having a website won't be succesful.
Just setting up a facebook page won't be successful.
Just throwing a few hundred pounds a month at Google Adwords won't be successful.
Of course, some companies will get lucky occasionally and will have a success that they don't fully understand. But trying to run your business on luck isn't a good strategy.
If you just want to tick some boxes and forget about it, there are lots of companies who can help you. But if you want to develop a tailored strategy for being successful online, and you don't mind answering a lot of questions to get there, then contact us today on 0845 269 9624.