This article is intended for an executive level decision maker who may be considering a new website project, mobile or marketing initiative. Please read carefully for it may prove to be of value.
I’ve seen and forgotten more websites good and bad than most people could ever see in a lifetime. Since leaving Microsoft in the early 90’s then forming WEBPRO International (WEBPRO.COM), I have noticed the failure rate of business websites, utility, mobile and ecommerce still loom around 90 plus percent. In fact, I wrote the failure of corporate websites many years ago and my observations then are still sadly relevant. The Way Back Machine is the almighty archive chuck full of failed websites provided they hung around long enough to be indexed and cataloged.
Beyond Website Auditing - Meticulous attention to detail
There’s not one website we’ve been tasked to perform a deep audit that is technically 100% error free. Firstly, it’s impossible so I want my teammates to breath a sigh of relief. They are as OCD as I am when it comes to correctness. Our designers and developers at WEBPRO immerse themselves into every product they produce. The support and care we afford our customers are ever-present to ensure each project and relationship remains as tight and responsive as the first day of release.
Website Support Oversight
Web support and management unfortunately isn’t valued until something goes wrong. Whether you are delivering a new mobile experience, corporate website application, purchase order environment or an ecommerce platform, support availability and task management should be your first consideration.
Web and app-rot can begin as early as day one after launch if your support mechanisms aren’t securely in place. Additionally, management needs to appreciate web support during the initial planning stage and as soon as the objective is declared. Open communication is a premium and it should be scheduled to avoid complacency.
Simply put, we’ve logged enough experience to provide alternative solutions that may save money and time getting to your objective. Since 1994 we’ve made enough tools and modules over the years that pulling from our library could streamline and standardize the entire process with a little enhancement or vision correction.
Website project discovery begins by establishing who the target audience is and what the website will offer. Website considerations determine website design, flow, compartmentalization, access points, engagement protocols and impact content just to mention a few. All of which is based on the target audience. The wider the demographic, the more consideration for inclusion becomes necessary. Once the color theory and psychology are cemented then a detailed wireframe with navigation is presented with a beautiful full scale web design mockup.
Here’s a simple quiz for you to take. If you can confidently answer what WEBPRO calls “The Big Four”, What is it, Who is it for, How much will it cost, and How fast can you deliver - then you’re only half way home.
Back in the early 90’s Pizza Hut was cited to be the first company online but it was the Duracell Corporation to first build brand recognition and equity online - in other words, the first measurable ROI on the internet.
Budget Considerations for Website Projects.
Of course, all management appreciates a solid return on investment; who wouldn’t?
However, a key failing point with any website project starts with a realistic budget. Everyone wants the best deal they can get but we’re not talking about haggling over the price of a car. We’re talking about intelligently budgeting for the end-user experience and value proposition of your company or product(s).
This is where we come in and discuss the full spectrum of services offered in order to avoid scope creep.
Gotchas and Scope Creep
What is scope creep? Scope creep is adding additional features or unforeseen functionality that wasn’t discovered in the agreed to SOW – Statement of Work. By offering full cycle web solutions means we’ll provide web design, database development, hosting, maintenance and marketing with a capped price. Capped? Absolutely!
Feature creep or scope creep isn’t desirable from any client and creep isn’t necessarily welcomed even by the web developers regardless if means extra money. Creep impact disrupts timelines and doesn’t make anyone happy but we understand it can happen although rarely under our watch. Gutting a site after it’s been launched or near completion is disruptive and potentially detrimental. This is why we offer unlimited maintenance. Need extra pages or custom graphics? No problem, it's cover. Minor functionality? Happy to do it within reason. Why? Because we expect it. The reason why WEBPRO has had clients longer than most of our competitors have been in business is because we can cut the development and marketing budget to offset our contribution. Clients have come to know we’re flexible and won’t nickel and dime them to death.
Blowing Your Marketing Budget
We had one client awhile back who entered the “Clunkers for Cash” wave (sell your old car for scrap) and they did exceedingly well until they blew their web budget. The company ignored all of the organic placement percentages we achieved while they continued to pour over 100k monthly into PPC campaigns. They refused to reckon with the hard data we provided that proved our organic first page placement on Google outperformed the money they were wasting on Pay Per Click. Irrefutable side-by-side performance markers showed only 4% (four percent) of their PPC spend converted to sales compared to the 69% conversion rate we achieved organically!
This company was bleeding out to the tune of 1.2 million dollars in PPC while WEBPRO was competing organically with Kelley Blue Book (KBB.COM) CarMax.com and Edmunds.com on the same page for internet searches for “Sell My Car”, “My Car’s Value” and “Buy My Car” etc. Thanks to our competitor monitoring analytics, we noticed KBB.COM and CARMAX.COM dramatically increased their spend visibility because they couldn't compete with our client organically across all search engines.
Our end-to-end website solutions includes our technical SEO (search engine optimization) program has saved millions of dollars for small and fortune level clients since the inception of PPC. Ignoring our analytics, experience and guidance can cost you your position and the business.