When you hire a Webmaster to take care of your website, you invest in the service or employee with the expectation that your website will improve. But are you tying their hands before they even get started? Here are five things that are preventable mistakes and if you avoid, could save you some money.
1.Waiting too Long
You know that no one has looked at your website in awhile. And visitors are having trouble viewing the webpages. So you decide to hire a webmaster to clean things up and fix the issues.
The webmaster starts to work on your site and finds out that the template you purchased is no longer available, and the content-management system you are using is at least 3 versions out of date. Not to mention, all the spam that has to be cleaned out.
Now a quick tune-up is a major overhaul and you are upset because the cost of the project just tripled. You blame the webmaster, but they are cleaning up the mess you gave them.
What you should have done? Schedule in your budget a least once per year, once per quarter would be ideal, to have your webmaster go over you site and make sure code is up to date. If you keep this up on a regular basis, you will avoid the major overhaul until you are ready for a new website.
2. Disappear from your Webmaster
One of the biggest complaints I hear from new customers who are looking for a new webmaster, is their previous vendor was impossible to get a hold of. I think there is one step worse than that, business owners that hire a consultant/webmaster and then can’t take the time to return calls or emails.
This is a recipe for disaster. The webmaster doesn’t have what they need to move forward, so they are on hold. At the same time, the business owner is upset because nothing seems to be getting done and they feel their money is being wasted.
What should a business owner do? At the beginning of the contract, setup a regular time to checkin and keep your appointments, even if you don’t have any new updates. Also, anytime you bring a new resource into your business, whether its a contractor or a new employee, you need to make sure your schedule has the bandwidth to bring this person onboard successfully.
3. Don’t Listen to your Webmaster
Similar scenario to #2 but in some ways worse. Business owner hires webmaster because the website is not working the way they want. Ask the webmaster to do an in-depth analysis of what is going on with the website. Webmaster comes back with data and a to-do list of what needs to be on the site. Instead of getting to work on the site, Business owner now uses time and resources to prove why the webmaster’s analysis was wrong.
I am not saying that you need to blindly accept every piece of advice you are given. However, why, WHY, would you hire an expert and then spend all your time not listening to their advice? If you already knew the answers to your questions, why waste your money paying someone to argue with you?
How should you use your webmaster resource? Maybe instead of just asking the large question, what is wrong with my website, maybe start small. Ask the webmaster to solve a small problem first. Use their advice and see how the solution turns out. If all is well, take the chunk and work at it gradually, together.
4. Ignoring your Website Content
When we go through a website project, the most tense moment is when the business owner sees the new website for the first time. They are extremely worried about how it looks. We then spend hours tweaking the site to make it look just right.
More times than I wish were true, we end up launching a site with empty pages. All that worry about the look, but content was not delivered in time to launch the site. It’s an after thought, when it should be the most important part of the project.
What should happen? Your website content is a business asset. Instead of building the website and then fitting in the content. Create your content and build the website to fit it. Users need your website to say something useful. Search engines need your website to say something, so they can figure out what you are about.
5. Chasing Search Engine Rankings
Can’t tell you how many times I have been asked by a business owner how they can be number one on Google for some phrase and then asked for a plan to get to that ranking for that phrase. So they send all the Cybervise resources available to them towards this goal.
But what does that mean? You are number one. So what. Did your business grow? Did your revenue increase? Are your customers happy? Who cares, your number one right?
What should you be asking? How much business is your website generating? Instead of chasing rankings, worry about whether or not your current website can take traffic and convert it to paying customers. Your conversion rate is a number you can watch that will improve your business.
Building a good relationship with your webmaster will only benefit your business in the long run. If things aren’t going well, and you need someone to talk to, give us a call. It’s what we do.