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Archive for the Website Failure Category

Website Design In Fife

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

Website Design In Fife Can Only Get Better – And Elsewhere too

Before ICTADVISOR decided to bring in its own website designers to support the ICTADVISOR brand we had turned to other website designers in Fife seeking to find out if they were willing to follow our best practice design and build recommendations so our clients had delivered a search engine friendly website. But we found there were variations in the standards of website design that were somewhat problematic and not just in our beloved Kingdom of Fife.

Unfortunately bad website design continues to turn up all over Scotland, England, infact right across the UK and even abroad on other continents.

It is therefore a sad fact of life in the website design industry that whilst there are a number of website design businesses located even just here in Fife, who, admittedly are doing their best to contribute to Scotland’s economy as being reputable website builders wanting to help business owners to promote their products and services online, there are still business owners with websites in place that are simply not working. And therefore we are still seeing far too many businesses missing out on huge opportunities to reach their online audience they so desperately want to get in front of because their website design has failed them

This is only going to continue to happen, if more website developers and agencies, and not just in Fife, or Scotland, but even beyond the rest of the UK don’t take greater pride when in the business of building websites that are fit for purpose.

ICTADVISOR have therefore decided to stop just being a website marketing company and now have a ‘website operating theatre‘ looking after business websites entrusted to us.

During 2016 we teamed up with a preferred design team and also hired a website developer who will deal with ‘snagging issues’.  If your business seeks to have a website that works or want to improve your website which might now not be bringing any traffic or pages are simply not bringing sales or enquiries, well you can now put your business website in our hands and have us be the website agency who will make the website better and have it achieve its objectives.

However, we are only going to take certain types of ‘website patients in our operating theatre‘ – if you have the following most common types of website CMS platform we shall be willing to help you:

  • WORDPRESS
  • WORDPRESS/WOOCOMMERCE
  • SHOPIFY
  • PRESTASHOP
  • MAGENTO

We also offer to build for you a website either using our preferred proprietary CMS platforms that can be tailored specifically to your needs – ask about the Enterprise Redback Ecommerce CMS or the KOMMAND product that is great for start ups. Both products are scalable and capable of either supporting a brochure website or ecommerce website solution.

In addition to this we also build websites using WORDPRESS/WOOCOMMERCE.

Is Your Website Not Working?

Without fail every month, ICTADVISOR ends up being approached by businesses not just in Fife but from all over Scotland and the UK that involves first of all doing a review of a Company’s website to find out what is going wrong. This is our very popular website audit and performance analysis service.

A Typical Website Scenario

We reviewed a website that had been live for around 6 months after a redevelopment by their local website agency. The website domain however had been in existence since 1999. But over the years, every time this business turned to a different website agency or developer to improve their site, the analysis had found that each ‘website redevelopment and migration‘ to improve the website’s performance had been ‘botched’ by the website surgeons hired. To many failures in the ‘website operating theatre‘ to list here, but enough to say lots of websites were lost after coming out of surgery, got worse and in some cases simply died. But, unfortunately, it should have been the website agency/developer that was buried!!

The moral of the story was, the business engaged ICTADVISOR to conduct a website performance audit service, and on this occasion as we have had to do lots of times before – we have to break bad news to the business owner of that website. The dreaded words could be ‘Your Website is Terminally ill‘.  If the case is found to be that bad and having to share such a sad story, having to say the website had in fact been getting slowly poisoned since its birth way back in 1999, it is just terrible news and so we do go through lots of boxes of tissue. The words we regularly hear from the business website owner is ‘How…Why….I Never Knew….The Web Builder Never Said..‘ so many things the business owner just did not know about. You never think in looking at your aesthetically pleasing looking website that lurking underneath was a cancer that was killing the website and affecting the website from performing in the way the business owner had hoped. And so, our diagnosis helped to make clear why the website was not bringing them more business and greater success.

It was with regret that some of that poor website performance simply came down to the pages having suffered badly and lots of lovely link juice being lost each time another website builder came along to do redevelopment work. The website owner had no idea of the risks involved.

Is Your Website Design Failed to Be Built for Marketing Purposes?

You can tell when a website has been built with no one who has real world web marketing experience .

The golden rule is real world marketing practitioners should be leading the website development project, because their aim is to get traffic, and convert those visitors into either leads or sales. What we look at most when doing a website audit review is does the landing page offer a positive customer experiencence?

You can tell if a website has been left in the hands of someone who simply BUILDS WEBSITES but does not understand the full in’s and out’s of WEBSITE MARKETING – your project is regrettably already doomed.

Some Common Website Failures

  • Basic website design and architecture principles overlooked and lots of cases – simply not implemented.
  • Migration from the old website to the new website badly handled, thus losing the website owner built up relationships with search enignes
  • Badly migrated sites losing sales and enquiries in some cases up to a 40% loss in revenue.
  • The marketing messages on the website pages poorly constructed due to poor keyword research or the total lack of it ever been done
  • Pages targeting the wrong Keyword Terms/Phrases in Headlines and so did not entice the audience the business was  desperate to attract.

With no proper KEYWORD RESEARCH or COMPETITOR ANALYSIS conducted right at the beginning of a website project how are you going to build this website – racing car – that has to win against your website competitors?

The Need to Rebuild The Website

A key step  that is missed when a decision is taken to rebuild the website is NOBODY i.e. the web developer or even someone inside the business had really questioned or looked at WHY THE OLD WEBSITE had not achieved its objectives – before attempting to build the new website.

All that tends to happen is the developer agency throws away the old site and just builds something else which in some cases ends up being worse than the website they killed off.

And so, the new website can simply makes the business worse off . The big mistake made often is the old websites back history is lostmurdered really. Simply because the website agency – who claimed they were also internet marketers had not properly conducted a ‘website transplant‘ and had allowed their client’s website to die in their hands.

If you are reading this, are you someone looking at your own website and thinking – I wonder if this is why my website is not bringing me traffic or making more money for my business?

How do you feel about the website you have had delivered from the website agency or freelance developer hired to build your website?
Do you think the web agency or web developer delivered to you a ‘website racing car‘ that is regularly winning races?
Is your website beating off your competitors and improving the bottom line in your business?

What is the Solution to Having A Successful Website?

ICTADVISOR welcome you to get in touch with us and have even just a 15 minute chat to find out if your website was built using best practice design principles?
Does your website meet with Google’s Marketing Guidelines?

You might be surprised to find that your website does live up to those minimum standards. If so, well done to those who delivered your website. But, if we find that has not been the case – then be prepared to sit down and have us first of all make you a sweet tea whilst you recover from the shock of finding out your website is not fit for purpose.

You could also be a website owner suffering from SHINY OBJECT SYNDROME. So you have a nice looking website, but it is stuck in the garage and not going anywhere soon.

ICTADVISOR has rescued a number of websites over the years and as each year comes along, it never fails to amuse us, just how many websites ended up being badly designed or the business was found not to be operating with an effective marketing strategy supporting the website.

Thinking about building your first website?

If the next step is to go and buy your first website, we appeal to you to come and have a free chat with us first.

Thinking about redeveloping the website you have now?

So, you have had a website for a while, but don’t seem to be reaping any benefit from it? Or feel the website is OK but you are just not cut out to market your website?

ICTADVISOR Helps Businesses Build and Market Websites to Achieve OnlineXcellence

We have all the right people and partners behind us to achieve that Goal. Right now one of our partners in this team is busily training Microsoft on how to market themselves again. So, you think we are not affordable then? Don’t be silly, affordable is what we offer, best practice is what we provide, websites that work is what you want. So, whether you are a large business or a small one (and we are very passionate about all sizes of business) – we want to help you, because we know we can. Come and talk to us.

Why Scotland’s Small Business Websites Are Failing

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

Small Business Websites Are Stilling Failing in 2014 – Why?

Small Business Owners in Scotland whose expectations for their website is to swiftly achieve getting traffic and achieving sales should take a moment to read this interesting newspaper article http://bit.ly/1ehSwBN

How Far Will Your Business Go on a Cheap Website Solution?

Many of Scotland’s small business owners tend to look for cheap website design as their primary objective. When doing so, they simply put their faith in a web developer, where there are any amount of freelancers, one man web design companies  and even a few small web agencies made up of around 3-4 people that just build websites.

We came across a small website owner recently that requested a website audit from ICTADVISOR because they felt their website was just not attracting any attention.  No visitors and no visibility in search engines, they weren’t even ranking well for their brand. The analysis raised many points and produced a 50 page document of recommendations. The small business was asked during this analysis period how did you choose this website designer? What was your approach towards purchasing the website Content Management Software that you are now working with?  How did you measure the performance of website agency or designer – were they associated with websites that actually made money? We asked the business owner what approach they had taken first of all to put together a specification brief so they could supply that to the website designer?

Choosing the Web Developer is Tougher than Choosing Your Next Vehicle

The answer to all of these questions from this SME and others we engaged with is not unexpected – they simply provide the web developer or agency with a verbal brief given over a 1 or 2 hour meeting.

And, we also know of regular conversations that go something like this:

Hello, web developer – can you build me a website?

Web Developer – Yes we can.

Business Owner – What do you need from me?

Website Developer – Just send over some pictures and content and a logo if you have one.

And of course the SME is looking at the money available to spend on the website and sees the Ad – Get a Free Website, Get a Website for £100, Ecommerce Websites from £299!

OK, we are not saying every web agency acts in this way as outlined above, but many do offer websites with deals that sound to good to be true. Now, there are website solutions that should be viewed as a STARTER PACK that will move you a little way forward to maybe make some money. But, if you have set a goal that you want be doing at least a few thousand pounds of sales per month are you going to achieve that on a cheap low budget website?

Now look around, there are many small medium web agencies that are just made up of tech guys, software geeks that are still trying to be quirky rather than seeing the website as something that has to make money and be competitive.

There is also a lack of knowledge on the part of the business owner, who, expects the website agency, to know everything about website design and website marketing and just expect that agency or freelancer to do it all.

And finally, many a business owner just chooses a website based on the design looking good.  You can hear it now – Yes – I like the colour of that – I will just have one of those! This is usually the point where the website project is likely to fail, as what has been chosen in the end doesn’t actually work. So, ask yourself, do you want a website, built by the web designer you have hired to make money for your business?

Website Project Specification Brief

The small business, prior to meeting the web design agency is also found not to have done any research to determine the specification brief that provides a list of deliverable you seek from the website agency or freelance developer. Unfortunately, for the business owner, this is not like choosing your next company vehicle. Here you already have to hand specification sheets on trucks, vans and cars as to whether they are reliable and more importantly bring some ROI to the business.

Build a Website to Make Money and Achieve OnlineXcellence

There are lots of FREE downloadable website in a box packages, and many a small business owner will be drawn to these because they are cheap, but in the business owners mind, they want to look like some of the big brand sites out there such as ASOS, Cosmopolitan or stores like Lipsy which have good architecture, search engine friendly URL addresses and much more, all of which contribute to a successful website that will end up building great relationships with both visitors and search engines.

But still, there are small businesses that have put in place their website without much thought towards how it will look and perform in search engines plus achieve that all important aim of converting the visitor to actually do business with them. They also forget their is a requirement to spend money on marketing their website. There is no point in having put in place this website racing car, if you are not prepared to have it use some serious fuel to get it round the track . The track you are on could be to win in local web marketing, or regional website marketing or having an eye on your brand becoming well known nationally across the UK or you want to be involved in doing internationalisation marketing at a global level. This will all come down to how competitive your willing to be and more importantly how much budget you have to compete in the race. Just think how much it would cost if you became a new rookie driver about to enter Formula 1 racing?

So, going back to this newspaper article http://bit.ly/1ehSwBN it is not to faraway from the truth as to why so many of Scotland’s business owner websites are failing.

It was interesting to note that a large Scottish Web Agency approached for comment in the interview who we know are good at building websites was asked to comment – there answer was found to be one of surprise!

Big Website Agencies and Small Freelance Developers – Who will Work With The Small Business?

Big well known brand website agencies in Scotland sometimes forgot to consider their position in the market place, when giving out advice to smaller business owners that might just be listening to them or reading about what they have to say – like in a newspaper article.   These bigger website agencies are serious about building websites and many of their clients are big well known brands.

So their job has already become easy. Why?

Big Brands are well known. So, that well known brand website is going to want to be supported by a seriously established web agency. And so when they want to further enhance their website visitor experience to make their brand online even more visible and have an even slicker website to convert even more visitors and make even more money – they spend their investment with a Ferrari Website Agency.  So, the big brand, spends big bucks, but a lot of that will go on Adwords, because they can afford to invest here, and they can afford to invest in more time from the Web Agency to help them rank better organically. Hence these larger website agencies have something to crow about – easily, because it is much easier for really big brand sites to do well in an organic ranking campaign.

With there only being a handful of really good web design agencies in Scotland, then those who we know that fall into this category and good at what they do, are really first and foremost going to concentrate their efforts on wanting to build sites for business owners who are:
truly serious about having a competitive website
have already spent some serious money in the past
will even be willing to spend serious money on improving their branding guidelines before planning and designing the website
and still have serious amounts of money left over to spend with the agency for the marketing of that website.

These bigger brand website owners also have sufficient money in their company to put in place a full time resource to work hard at driving the website – everyday – so they can be an aggressive competitor in this website race. It is still tough for the bigger brands as just like SMEs their web pages have to be found amongst the billions of other pages that are out there, and are chasing the same dream as the SME – to make money. But there is no doubt there journey will be a little easier.

Those few top web agencies who can help a better established brand name business achieve this will therefore command fees that might make a small business owners eyes water. This can range from £15k-£55K and beyond. This is because that is the true cost of going into the race of competitive website marketing. Ask yourself – Would you buy a LADA to race against a Ferrari?

Today, if you are a small business who is considering getting a website for the first time, or you feel the website you have is not working but you don’t know why? You should seek advice before entering into your next website project.

If you are thinking about spending a total budget of less than £3k, say for the whole financial year and you want both a website and to do some online marketing, then you really have to sit down and map out your marketing strategy, that will also include, more importantly, what you set yourself as achievable goals and make sure your expectations are realistic. Just like what you see on the Dragon’s Den, make sure you crunch your numbers before entering into doing Internet Marketing with either a brochure or Ecommerce Website.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Mathers

Real World Internet Marketing Practitioner
Follow OnlineXcellence on Twitter or Connect with Brian via LinkedIn

Search Marketing | Website Strategy | Web Design | Analytics

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