Today we are going to discuss (regardless how successful the websites have been that I have created for clients) we are going to discuss why my website for the last 10 years has not been working!
Ok, well the reality is my website has been working; let me explain…
As a web developer, when we say a website is not working, we mean that either the server has crashed, or there’s something wrong with the code, that somehow makes certain functions dysfunctional; it basically means the website is not working!
When a customer says a website is not working however, they usually mean that it I is not making them any money, or the measuring tools are not in place to be able to measure or identify the return on investment.
If I was to look at my website 10 year’s ago and to be quite honest, the structure of the website has not changed that much; a lot of the content has, but the structure itself hasn’t changed – at that time, it was doing its job very well.
I would advertise on the likes of Google, prospects would then get in contact with us, we would arrange a meeting and based on their needs, I would put together a presentation for them and explain the process.
I would give them a presentation that explains everything they need to know in order to make an informed decision and the conversion rate was particularly high; there is something about someone giving you all the information you need in order to make a decision, that makes you feel comfortable and this was one of our selling points.
If you have a look at a breakdown of my customers at the time, you will see that 75% of them were direct customers and the remainder were either marketing agencies or web development firms who would then outsource work to myself – either because I had done similar projects, or because perhaps they were too busy.
Now after the financial crisis, (which was how I ended-up getting back into freelance web development in the first place), after about a year, I decided I wanted to do a bit of traveling and I noticed within the first year very quickly, that the breakdown of where my customers were coming from changed significantly.
It became very obvious to me that customers prefer to have web development agencies in their same local town and therefore the number of customers who were contacting me (or prospect shall we call them) was becoming lower and lower.
I also noticed of course, that the amount of work I was doing for other web development companies or marketing agencies increased; well that was particularly obvious, as a one-man-band with only 40 hours a week that I allocate for and then usually end-up working 60 - that’s what usually happens when you work on projects until they are finished as opposed to just working until 17:00! When I finish a project, I would then move onto the next one.
Most of my work was coming from web development agencies or marketing agencies and this basically meant that the need to advertise on Google anymore was just not there; the conversion rate was not high enough and I am of course getting more and more recurring work from the same customers; I’ve got some web development firms now that I’ve been working for, for over 10 years!
OK, so why am I actually telling you this? Well, one of the most popular websites you can have out there at the moment – we actually call them brochure sites; because that’s exactly what they are.
It contains all of the information you would expect to find about a company within a brochure. Brochures normally, when they are given to a customer or a prospect – you are usually there, as the representative to use it as a tool in order to help you close a sale.
Now my website when I was in the UK, working in the UK and I could see customers – I would use a brochure and by doing the presentations or perhaps doing a sales pitch – I would convert that prospect into a customer and we would start doing business.
We would start working for them; by not being in the country, number one I had fewer leads because people didn’t want to use somebody who is not in the immediate locality and number two, by putting together a normal proposal or a brief and sending it – it is not as effective as actually being there.
Well, that’s something that I can actually fix and it’s going to be quite interesting; because I am not gGoing to necessarily be in a position to go and see the customer like I used to, what I can do is make sure that all of that information is readily available through the website by use of video; so if they go to the products and services section and look at logos for example, then they can see the type of presentation that I would have done before - which gives them all of the information about the processes, how we work, what they get for their money, what the lead time is – so-on and so-forth.
I think there’s about 30 videos in total that I’m going to have to make for my website; it’s going to be very interesting to do and like always whenever we create a website – we go to our customers, customers and we actually ask them what they want… So for my website, I have to do the same for you!
If there’s any information that you feel would make your life easier on my website, don’t hesitate to let me know and let’s see what we can do; thank you for watching!