1. Who does the work of building your website?
It’s too easy to put a sign on your door saying “Website Development Company” and outsource all the “work” overseas. This isn’t a new idea, companies have been doing it for years, and why not, the labour’s cheap! Pennies on the dollar. So why doesn’t every company do it? Why aren’t we all outsourcing our work to third world countries?
If you’re just trying to be more profitable by sourcing work in third world countries it’s not going to last. The quality of work won’t keep up, the attention to detail won’t be there and the cost savings won’t exceed the value lost. We’ve tried. We looked into outsourcing website updates, SEO, and some of the development of websites. Yes it was cheaper but it was always difficult to answer that question: “who’s actually building my website?” And for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), it never worked. We would measure on our end the inputs of what they were doing and we could never tell if it was effective. Sure the labour is cheap but it didn’t work, it doesn’t matter how much you’re saving if the job isn’t being done properly.
Don’t “outsource” your online work, “insource” it!
Here’s a different idea though, what if you could “outsource” to people in your own backyard? We’ll call it “insourcing”. What if you could create a job in your own community? Wouldn’t it be something if you could become an economic engine of growth in your city or province?
Besides supporting your local economy, being able to meet face to face with the person who’s building your website is invaluable. You can give feedback, they can better understand what you’re looking for, you can discuss the ins and outs of the look and feel you’re looking for. It’s very difficult to do this if your website is being built in another country.
2. Can I update my website without your help?
This one gets me. Why in the flying %&$# in 2019 would you build a website your client can’t edit? There’s no reason, unless you’re a bank or the RCMP. If you’re the RCMP or a bank you don’t really have to care about updating your website, people know where to find you. But for the rest of us schmucks we want to keep our websites updated. Upcoming events, celebrations, awards you’ve won, company stories, new employees, charity events you support and anything else you could think of! Your website should never stay stagnant, it’s a living, breathing organism!
Give Google what she wants
The more important reason being able to update your website is that Google LOVES fresh content. Google wants to display the “best search results possible” so updating your website consistently is a great way to show Google you are an authority on your subject of interest. But what if I’m just starting out? I’m not the authority on my topic yet!? Inevitably I get this response when I tell people they must publish content regularly to their website. Nothing happens overnight in the online world. If that were the case you could easily buy your way to the front page of Google. Not saying that you can’t now, it’s just much more difficult but always easier when you have fresh, consistent content.
3. What happens when I want to make changes to my website next year?
Again big pet peeve: not taking care of customers after they paid their bill!
Ever been to a restaurant, paid your bill and stuck around a little while? Your server no longer cares about you, the transaction is complete, there’s no more obligation for her/him to care about you whatsoever. All the more reason to take care of them. Ever have the caring server ask if you would still like water or a refill? It’s when we aren’t compensated for our actions that we can really tell what type of character one has.
Be helpful and generous with your time, but don’t let people take advantage of your kindness.
People remember the moments you help, especially when you are not obligated to, when it’s just the right thing to do. It’s okay to push back and tell past clients that if it’s going to take us more than a few hours, they will have to pay but it’s never a surprise bill or invoice. You can communicate in an honest way that what they are asking for is outside the scope of what you were originally hired for.
Corbin Fraser at Command Base was great at this, I remember back in the day his policy was “If it takes longer to do up an invoice than to fix the problem, I’ll just fix the problem.” That’s a smart strategy! It helped him a lot, customers love the service and it worked out well for Corbin. That simple philosophy covers off a lot of the communication between his clients and Command Base. That goes for many website companies out there, the majority of the problems customers have can be fixed in a simple fashion.
4. Will you give us Google Analytics Access?
Editing websites is easy. Building websites is easy. In the coming years everyone will have a website. It’s getting to the point where there are too many websites and many don’t get any traffic at all. Your website company should be able to share your Google Analytics data with you, it’s a free service. From that data you can tell exactly where people found your website, what pages they visited and a whole bunch of other information that 99.99% of people and businesses don’t care about (yes we’re that 0.01%)!
What can Google Analytics tell you about your website?
Find out where your traffic is coming from. Determine what pages on your website people are going to. You can find out how long people spend on your website, how many pages they go to and where they leave your website. You can find out how many people view your website on a mobile phone vs a desktop computer. Look up the location of where in the world (or in Saskatchewan) your traffic is coming from.
All this information is FREE if you have access to Google Analytics. It tracks traffic over time so if you’ve had it installed for a while then you can pull reports from years prior, helping your marketing team make smarter decisions when it comes to your digital strategy.