Falling into the WEB development trap.

I’m not a WEB developer! I need to do my job.

The WEB Development Trap

Too often, websites and development take on a life of their own. What started as a great idea for building a website or blog quickly devolved into a time-consuming nightmare of trying to build or expand this part of your business. Unless you operate entirely online, your business needs you to market, sell, provide service, supervise, and a multitude of other tasks that do not include updating WEB pages and maintaining a website or blog.

Recognizing the Problem

If you are already running a business or starting a business, then adding a website and blog is ubiquitous to most any business model. Today, websites serve a vital function of providing a window into the business that is like visiting a store or the headquarters of the company. When you go to Apple’s website, the company is reflected through their site and this upholds the brand and value of the company as well as providing advertising. This is what is referred to as a WEB presence and it is one of the first things that people discover about your company. The problem is that for small and medium businesses, the website often becomes a point of frustration because it seems to do nothing for the business other than provide a website with contact information. This problem occurs for several reasons but mainly because of poor communication and understanding of the purpose of the website. A website is supposed to provide your business with a web presence but what does this mean? The short answer is that a website provides a contact point for your business. The long answer is that it is a point of marketing, sales, and advertising.  Often, websites are discussed in terms of selling and marketing but this point is often discussed incorrectly. The reason this happens is because companies that are trying to sell websites are not going to stress the fact that for your site to be anything other than a contact point, it will need quality content to drive traffic. Worse yet, these companies will often fail to tell you that the content needs to be original and depending on your business and products you may need large amounts of content.

This problem with content is a major issue in web development. No one wants to tell a person that they are going to need to write hundreds of articles to make their website work. This point is constantly played down and causes many businesses to lose a lot of money and time discovering that they have a site that is nearly useless.

There is also another misconception that is constantly pushed by developers, SEO experts, and content writers. This is the idea of having quantity of content. Most people are told that you need tons of content to make a site work and this is true to a limited extent. It is true that large amounts of content will drive traffic but this traffic may not be the type of traffic you want. If you post 10,000 redundant articles that are poorly written, then you can expect little change with your website. Here is the rub- even if you put up 10,000 nicely written articles that are relevant to your product and site, this does not guarantee more business or much more traffic. Why? It’s very simple, Google ranks content not just on relevance and being new, but also on its popularity. If your site had no traffic before the content, then you are not likely to have much more after the new content because your site has no ranking to begin with.  Until visitors begin visiting your site regularly, you are not likely to have much traffic or conversion. This is not to say that large amounts of content is not useful and desired it’s just that in the short term this will not have the impact that you want. It will take time for this content to build traffic.

Because of being misinformed, companies often abandon their sites once they realize that it is not making money. The sites are maintained just for appearance sake. This is a mistake. A website should work for a company and what needs to be considered is the long-term value of the website as a selling tool. Websites should be a necessary vital part of your business rather than a minor adjunct.  

Avoiding the Problem of Under-Development

Whether you already have a website or you are considering constructing a site; there is a way to avoid the development and content trap. What you need to do is reconsider what you are doing with your website and how you are thinking about your website. There is a tendency for people to think of websites as automated selling machines.  The site is developed and then earns money regularly from people buying products or contacting the business about services. This is a thought that often goes uncorrected by developers since they are trying to sell websites. The more practical way to think of a website is to consider it in terms of being a long-term investment that drives sales. Within this context, a website becomes a long-term endeavor that can be reasonably managed. If you have an existing business, you should concentrate on that and use the website for providing services such as product documentation, coupons, customer information, product information, as well as product selling. There are any number of ways to use a website that allows it to be an efficient process for your company. 

If you can write an article or blog, then set aside some time that allows you to write, even if it is just one article a month. If writing is not feasible, then alternative solutions such as blog management need to be considered. You can build a website, with content added over time for a reasonable price. As we discussed before, there is no need to publish 10,000 articles all at once because it is not going to have the impact that you desire. For a monthly charge, you can have your domain, website, and blog managed and updated which will help you grow your business in a realistic and sustainable manner.

What is important is that you (the business owner)- get out of the development role. You need to run your business by marketing, networking, etc. You can’t do this if you are spending all your time trying to manage a blog or website. 

If you need assistance with Website management or content please feel free to contact us.