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Website Design In Fife

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

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

This post is being update as it was originally written in November 2016.

Back then ICTADVISOR were website designers in fife but mainly supporting other website designers. Our website designer was mainly on hand to assist with fixes and updates rather than build sites.

In the years prior to 2016 ICTADVISOR was mainly focused upon working i partnership with others to improve website performance. A lot of our time was spent conducting analysis using Google Analytics. We still do that.

We were working with other website designers in Fife and also supporting ecommerce website designers in Glasgow. Most of whom we worked with had to be willing to follow our best practices when it came down to website design and building search engine friendly websites.

Often, when pulled in by businesses on an adhoc basis to assist a business with analysis, paid ads, or to do a website audit we would find there were variations in the standards of how that website had been built, designed or marketed.  We didn’t have to look far to find some problematic issue.

Having the opportunity to regularly deliver workshops on behalf of Business Gateway in Scotland allows Digital Marketing Practitioner Brian Mathers to get a snapshot of how businesses outside of Fife were operating with websites.

We have spent many years conducting website audits to analyse performance, architecture and how micro and small business owners tackled marketing. The analysis flagged up a common thread of issues. From the capital Edinburgh, up through the Highlands to Inverness, or across the border in to England and the rest of the UK similar findings were observed. From those micro and small medium business owners it was always about what was NOT working, and in many cases they scrapped site and started again. In some cases that would be the answer, but only if there was going to be a proper migration plan when you move from the old site to the new.

It remains a sad fact of life having been in this industry for over 20 years that the website design industry unfortunately remains unregulated. This industry is unlikely to ever follow a regulation standard for everyone to follow. This therefore is a minefield for the micro small business owner who has a challenging task on how to buy a website?

How does the business owner community who need a website know who is actually following best practice website design and following digital marketing principles?

Across the globe, there are trusted voices in the search marketing and website design world, but the business owner community might not even know who they are.

ICTADVISOR are working hard as website designers in Fife and who bow to those in that super league across the globe, because they have demonstrated proven methods and wrote books that provide good guidance for us to build you a fit for purpose super fast website.

But there are others who simply turn up in the Digital Web Design and Marketing world that follow their own guidelines. But there are at least a handful of website design businesses located here in Fife, who, admittedly are doing their best to contribute to being reputable website builders and marketers wanting to help business owners promote their products and services online.

There is believe it or not more than enough work for that group here in Fife to help improve the websites already out there. That doesn’t take into account all the new businesses that come along needing their first website.   are still business owners with websites in place that are simply not working. Just in a coffee break we can sit down, look around and find lots of websites that are just not working having been poorly built and not optimised for their target market audience.

ICTADVISOR are still seeing far too many businesses missing out on huge opportunities to reach their online audience. Business owners remain desperately frustrated trying to get in front of their ideal customer because their website design and marketing strategy has failed them.

This is only going to continue if more website developers and agencies, not just in Fife, or Scotland, but even beyond the UK don’t take greater pride when building websites that are fit for purpose. And they must seek to follow Google’s Quality Rating Guidelines when it comes to ensuring best practice marketing tactics are being implemented.

For anyone who knows ICTADVISOR and dedicated Digital Marketing Practitioner Brian Mathers he has led this company for over 20 years. But has now changed his business model and has his own team of website designers in Fife and no longer just a website marketing company or just doing website analysis. We are doing a whole lot more.

ICTADVISOR today has a ‘website operating theatre‘ where you will find Full Stack Website Developers, Graphic Designers, Copywriters, Paid Ads Account Managers, and Website Analysts looking after business websites entrusted to us.

Digital Marketing Practitioner Brian Mathers has his preferred design team to build new websites, but also be the business where you the business owner can come if the website you have is not well, not performing. If you are the business with a website and no technical backup, we are also that ‘garage’ where you can come and see if we can repair you and so deal with any ‘snagging issues’.

If your business seeks to have a website that works or want to improve the website you have which might now not be bringing any traffic, or your just not equipped to create pages of engaging content to bring in more sales or enquiries, well we can help.

You can 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
  • KOMMAND
  • SQUARESPACE
  • MAGENTO

We will look at other platforms you may turn up with and we shall take a look under the hood. It might be that you are working with a proprietary CMS platform or some of the other entry level website platforms. We shall take a look and see how bad things are should you turn up with a problem.

If you need a new website built specifically to your needs – we will have a brochure or ecommerce website solution product that fits your needs.

If you are a start-up and have limited budgets – talks to us. We are sure to have a solution that is scalable.

Is Your Website Not Working?

Without fail every month, our website designers in Fife are regularly approached by businesses from all over Scotland and the UK whose website is failing them. What we do as a first step involves first of all doing a review of that Company’s website. Our aim is to find out what is going wrong. Our website audit and performance analysis service is very popular

A Typical Website Scenario

Our website designers in Fife 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‘ was not properly managed. In some cases what had been sold as a bespoke solution to improve user experience or 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 more unwell 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!!

We have lost count how many websites we have revived back to life and make them work for the micro and small medium business community.

The moral of the story, if you think your website is unwell and under-performing then engage ICTADVISOR to conduct a website performance audit.

We do try and not have to break bad news to the business owner of that website.
The dreaded words ‘Your website is terminally ill‘ is not what you want to hear. But in some cases it will be found to be that bad a new site has to be built. But not before we have worked out why the current website is not working.

Having to share a sad story, because we have found the website had been getting slowly poisoned since its birth way – say back in 1999, well 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..

There are so many things the uninformed business owner just doesn’t know. But what today’s business owner must do is look beyond what is your aesthetically pleasing website. It is all about all that coding and stuff that lurks underneath like a cancer that could be killing the website and affecting the website from performing in the way you the business owner had hoped. And so, our diagnosis can help to make clear why the website is not bringing more business and greater success.

It has been with regret that some sites with poor website performance simply came down to the pages having suffered badly. Mainly there not being a proper content strategy or link building strategy that follows best practice. And every time that web developer said you need a new site, they simply butchered and severed the old one and didn’t do a proper transplant.  We often talk about all this lovely link juice your website should be guzzling. But lots of in-experienced developers are losing this valuable juice due to in-competence. The website owners just don’t have any idea of the risks involved.

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

Website designers build websites. But the website designers must be led by someone who has real world web marketing experience .

The golden rule is real world marketing practitioners lead the website development project. The reason for this is because their aim is to get traffic, and convert those visitors into either leads or sales. What Digital Marketing Practitioners look at most when doing a website audit review is – does the landing page offer a positive customer experience?

You can tell if a website has been left in the hands of someone who simply BUILDS WEBSITES. At least those who are good developers freely admit they don’t do or want to know the full ins and outs of WEBSITE MARKETING – if nobody leads your project that has marketing savvy your project is regrettably 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 engines
  • 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 at the beginning of a website project how are you going to build this website – racing car – that has to win ranking races 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 someone inside the business had ever 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?

Does your website meet with Google’s Marketing Guidelines?

What is the Solution to Having a Successful Website?

ICTADVISOR welcomes you to get in touch with us and have just a 15 minute chat to find out if your website was built using best practice design principles?

You might be surprised to find that your website does live up to those minimum standards.
But, well done to those who helped deliver you a successful 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. However you keep ‘pogo sticking’ around jumping from one person to the other who says they can help you. What you need to do is stick to a proven prescription.

ICTADVISOR website designers in Fife today 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.
And don’t think we are not affordable? Don’t be silly, affordability 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 are website designers in fife who 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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