On my way into work this morning, I passed a local computer repair shop and they have one of those messaging signs. This one said "we fix bad websites". Obviously that got my attention, but I am always on the lookout for such things as a marketing executive. It did however get me to thinking, "what exactly is a 'bad' website?"
Is a bad website something that looks like it was built in 2001? Is a bad website something that is so overwhelming with content that you "click off" the moment you get there because you don’t know where to start? Is a bad website something that drives you no traffic on its own? Is a bad website something that nobody can find unless they search for your company name? Is a bad website something that makes you click 4 times before you get to what you want? Is it when you go to visit examples of their work and they look old or in some cases you can’t FIND the references they give as "testimonials or case studies"? Just what does a "bad website" mean and look like?
I would have to say all of the above. You website is your only resource working 24/7/365 for your company. It is also a lot of times your only chance to make that all important "first impression". You have 7 seconds for them to determine if they will "click off". You have to make sure you provide enough and the right content on your business site so they feel comfortable in one of three things – buying something (if you sell), filling out your form to talk to someone – or picking up the phone and calling you. If you don’t give them what they need to do any of those three (refer to your sales process for what information is needed to get them to make a buying decision) – then you have a "bad website". PERIOD.
In a day and age where everybody says they can build your website, search optimize it, handle your social media, and drive you traffic – execution of those strategies makes all the difference. Just because they "know more than you" doesn’t make them an expert in web strategy – talking the talk is much different than walking the walk. Make sure you check out their site and the references they give you. If their site does not have the work done that they are proposing to you and/or you find references to work that you don’t like – run. If you don’t like their website (and just because it’s better than your current one, doesn't mean you have to like it) keep looking. When they are willing to tell you how they will do the things that will drive your website's return-on-investment (ROI) to new levels (which is beyond just traffic) with specific steps and tasks and give you a list of people to call – follow up with references and ask how much VALUE they received – value being ROI, data, sales, leads, qualified traffic and understanding to move their entire business forward – then you have found someone worth talking to when it comes to “fixing bad websites”.