People Don’t Want A Website

Whilst watching the BBC television show ‘The Apprentice’ I was struck by something that was said during one of the tasks. The task involved making a range of sausages and selling them for a profit. The team making the largest profit was therefore the winner. One of the two teams, in their infinite wisdom, tried selling their produce without getting the potential clients to taste them.

Someone on the show commented that they should sell the sizzle and not the sausage.

This got me to thinking about websites and what clients really want. Do they want the hassle of the task analysis, stakeholder interviews, prototyping user interfaces and all the myriad of different things we use to design and develop a new web design?

NO! What they really want is more traffic, more leads, more enquiries. In other words they want more customers.

If the above is true, why is so much emphasis put on the designing and building the website and so little on search engine optimisation and search engine marketing? Many years ago I was taught that a business should budget for a 20% spend on marketing. I am guessing very few web design projects get anywhere near spending that much on SEO/SEM.

Is it because business owners don’t think they need to do SEO, maybe they believe their shiny new website will bring new traffic with it – A case of ‘If we build it they will come’. Or maybe it’s because our industry isn’t very good at explaining the different requirements of a successful web project. I have seen some beautiful web designs that are getting very little traffic and without traffic you don’t have a business.

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