Monday, June 12, 2006
How NOT to Work with a Web Designer
Like many web designers or internet marketing companies, we have many clients we love working with.
They can be demanding, yes - but they know what they want and/or are willing to at least consider our advice where called for, and provide material for their websites promptly and to a good standard. Their work whistles through and their websites are created, amended or promoted quickly and cost efficiently for all concerned. Working relationships are good and last for years. We benefit from a good client; they benefit from a good service without having to explain everything in depth to new people all the time. A Win - Win in fact.
How NOT to Work with a Web Designer
Then again, some clients seem destined to make life difficult and expensive for themselves. Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?
- Clients say they want a website, even sometimes paying for all the work upfront (NB We don't charge completely up front but some designers do still......) Then they don't provide any website content or even briefing material. Ever.
- Clients do provide some content and briefing but of debatable or insufficent quality . The designer knocks something up (content or design) for their comments and/or agreement anyhow. No comment comes back. Designer chases or politely reminds the client. Still no feedback. (You can repeat this step several times). Months later client demands to know where the website is. Annoyed with the little progress (obviously), client blames designer and removes the project from them.
- Client says they are limited by budget and agree a 'cut down' quote for an agreed limited specification. They then argue about every point on the website, increasing the spec item by item but not wanting to pay any additonal fees. Months later they have a working website but complain about being well over budget and the promised delivery time. The designer feels exhausted and knows the site has cost much more than he has charged. Relationships are stretched and seldom recover.
- The website has been developed. It may have gone very smoothly and client may be very pleased with it. The website has been submitted to search engines. Designer stresses the importance or more promotion, content development, link building etc to build traffic. Client nods sagely. Months later, designer reviews website (we do at the 3 to 6 month point as a standard service) or client complains of little traffic - whichever comes first - and the web designer finds absolutely no promotion work has been undertaken.
Clients feels their investment in a website has been wasted (which it has). They are disappointed but often somehow can't make the step to promote the website. So it stays unpromoted and a waste of time and money.
Morale - we hate losing clients and bend over backward to provide a good service - but even that is not always enough - it takes 2 to tango.
Sunday, June 11, 2006
Who am I ?
And why pay attention to me?
Well that seems a sensible first step - to say who I am and, more importantly, why my ramblings should be of interest to anybody else but me ( and even me too).
I am managing director of Net Commerce Solutions - a UK web design and internet marketing company. I formed this with some my colleagues from previous business lives back in 2000. We knew a lot about marketing and business, had launched internet and intranet products and felt we could offer UK clients a very personal and distinctive service, one which combined web development with marketing and business development.
In those days there were plenty of web designers (well , that hasn't changed - if anything there are a lot more now! ) but not too many web marketers worthy of the name. Most designers knew search engines existed, but not how to design a website for them and certainly not able to advise the client on content, promotion etc.
More design companies now can offer some level of search engine expertise and there are more SEO specialists - in fact more specialists in particular fields - like link building for example.
So is our approach still valid? Yes, I feel it is:
- Businesses need websites that work, not just look pretty
- Content is still king in our view - a good site design with rubbish content is still a rubbish site that won't achieve much
- You need to attract people to look at your site
- Your site needs to convert them to 'buyers' (whatever that means to you)
- The site also needs to work administratively too.
Can a straight 'designer ' achieve all that? - probably not - it's a combination of marketing, artistic and technical design that should work, however. And that 's where our approach comes in.