I Want a New Website!
(And, oh yeah, I also want to be number on on Google…)
We actually get this kind of request fairly often, both here at SEO Ann Arbor, and at our sister company, Network Services Group.* New clients, or potential clients who’ve just decided they want a new website, often seem to emphasize things in a way that’s almost exactly opposite to the way we would emphasize them.
The typical conversation is all about the design and the bells and whistles these clients want on their new website – “I want a white background, be sure to use mauve and chartreuse on the sidebar, and I definitely want a slide show of photos on the home page where I can feature all the ideas I have about my services.” We spend an hour or two making sure we understand the outline of what they want so we can get our designers to rough out something for them. Then, usually near the end of the meeting when everybody’s standing up and maybe even halfway out the door, the new client says something like this: “oh, and by the way, people are going to find my new site on Google, right?”
Whoops, what did you just say?
Folks can’t be blamed for this approach. After all, we’re the website and SEO professionals, and the people we meet at work are usually very good at the things they do to make their own companies run. But we’re here to tell you (and explain why) you should take a few moments to understand why the conversation should probably be fundamentally the opposite of what we normally experience. It should go something like this:
“I Want to Be Number One on Google!”
“What’s it to going to take to get there?”
“Do you think I need a new website as part of the process?”
Here’s why: the process of designing and building most websites is relatively simple, involves a limited amount of data, can usually be accomplished within 90 days or so, and usually has a specified, finite fee.
On the other hand, the best website in the world has very little chance of becoming prominent on Google without some serious SEO and other sustained efforts. The process of getting a client’s website or web pages to appear prominently in the search engines – and then at or near position one on Google – can be very, very complex, can involve many different kinds of effort, cannot be accomplished in a set period of time, and requires lots of work by professionals on a continuous basis (which means there’s a recurring monthly fee).
It's more than just a website, it's all about a "healthy online presence"!
Besides those points, it’s important to realize that simply getting to a top position in Google and the other search engines is not a guarantee that your business will get a lot of traffic, leads, or sales. At least two other things have to come together before you start seeing real results. The first is what we call a “healthy online presence.”** That means you have compelling content that truly appeals to the kinds of visitors you want, posted in relevant places, with a sufficient number of links back to that content from other website, blogs, and social media.
The second is that you have to have a way to engage your visitors so they either come back again, stay in touch with you, contact you, or actually make a purchase or use your services. That means a high percentage of people who visit your website should get real value out of the experience. Ideally, you give them a way to share their contact information so you can continue to add value to their lives. That way, when the time comes to meet with you or to actually buy your products, they’ll have already developed a good idea of how helpful you are.
One of the hardest jobs we have (and you can get a huge jump on your competition if you make this leap with us), is helping our clients learn to think like their customers, not just sometimes, but continuously and continually in the course of doing business. It’s so much easier to think about what we’re doing and what we offer (heck, we’re often guilty of it, too) than it is to truly think about what our customers need and how we can offer it in the most helpful manner possible. And yet, we have to engage in exactly that process to be effective on the internet. There are so many options for almost every idea, product, or service that if we fail to communicate in a truly customer friendly way, we’re almost guaranteed to lose out to our competition.
Don’t make this mistake! If we end up working together, or even if you end up finding other website or SEO professionals you prefer to work with, remember to do everything in your power to figure out what your ideal customers want, how they want it presented, and how you can provide those things better than anybody else.
So here’s a quick summary:
Ask not what it takes to build that new website you want. Instead, let’s sit down and figure out together what makes your ideal customer tick. We’ll determine what to offer, how to offer it, and figure out if there’s anything you’re not already doing that you could be doing to really hit it out of the park. We love success and we have a pretty good idea of how to get most businesses there. If that’s something we can work on with you and help you achieve your dream of a successful, growing business and an abundant life – which would mean you do well, we do well, and your customers are very well served – then you may be a good fit for our professional services!
There’s only one way to find out, and that’s to get hold of us. Don’t wait … we’re very busy and we’d hate to find out that you’re losing business to your competitors … who happened to call us first! Feel free to email or call today at (734) 619-0736. We promise not to yell at you if the first thing you say is “I Want a new website!”
*By the way, both companies design and build websites. Network Services Group (NSG) typically gets website requests from the companies that are already using its I.T. services. Here at SEO Ann Arbor, people are more likely to call us specifically because they’ve heard we build websites and do extremely effective S.E.O. There’s a lot of crossover between our two companies because, basically, when you find people who are incredibly good at what they do, it makes sense to stick close to them.
**Actually, our friend Charly Caldwell said that before we did. Charly’s one of the pioneers of internet marketing and has helped us tremendously as we’ve built up our abilities to rock out success on the internet!