By providing website maintenance and webmaster services, the majority of sites I work on were built by someone else. This of course means that for one reason or another the client is no longer working with the original developer. Though not always the case, much of the time this is because the client was dissatisfied with their previous provider.
When the previous provider was the same individual or company that built the site, I find that the two most common points of dissatisfaction come from:
- Lack of responsiveness
- A misunderstanding of what was to be included in the site.
I can’t speak to another organization’s responsiveness, however, there are certainly some points of what was to be ‘included’ that I hear over and over again. Many of these are simply confused about how certain aspects work and what is entailed to ensure their success. Some common threads of disappointment include SEO, email marketing, and social media.
“I was told the site included SEO and social media, but nothing seems to be working as promised”. Upon review, and this has happened many many times, I find that site does in fact include social media tools, was built to be SEO ready, and/or might include functions to facilitate email marketing.
“I don’t get much traffic from Google”
“My email marketing list is not growing and I want a nicely designed HTML email template”
“I’m not getting a lot of ‘follows’ and ‘likes’ from social media”
A miscommunication or misunderstanding on what it means to build tools into a website versus running a successful web campaign. A webmaster/developer can easily add all the tools you need to run an SEO, email marketing, or social media campaign however this does not guarantee success. The point is that these are just tools and not campaigns.
Web Tools are Different than Web Campaigns
Just because a site was built with such tools, does not mean it will be successful at any one of these items. In fact, unless a concentrated campaign is conducted by an experienced marketer, non of these tools will you do you any good.
I had a recent conversation with a frustrated client who was explaining to me that they ‘needed’ to drive traffic to their website and that it had to ‘have SEO’.
‘Have to have SEO’… I can and have built in the appropriate tools to ensure the site can be easily optimized for competitive SEO. The client was insistent that the right WordPress plugin be used because it was important they rank high. I tell you it was an uphill battle to explain that the ‘right’ plugin was going to do nothing without a concentrated and ongoing SEO campaign. I did my best to set expectations.
When working with a webmaster or developer to refine or build your site, be sure that you understand the difference between adding the important tools and the campaigns that are going to be needed to make them a success. A good web developer can consult on and build out the right toolset for your website but that is just the beginning.
It is also important to note that webmasters and developers are often not the same people who will be conducting the campaigns that ensure your site is a success.