It’s time for your company to work on a brand new website. This task is the business equivalent of moving into a new house. So many questions arise. Do you try to fix things on the existing site before moving to the new site? Do you want the new site to look totally different or do you just want it to look updated? How can you make sure your new site is optimized and filled with good contextual copy? Who do you call when you can’t call The Ghostbusters?
John Jantsch and Phil Singleton talk about this a lot in their new book, SEO for Growth. The authors suggest that many companies turn to web designers when a new website is needed, and to some extent, that is fine. You want a website that is going to attract attention and encourage people to interact and engage. However, the authors also point out that sometimes web designers are only focused on making a website pretty. Don’t be offended out there, web designers. This is not a dig at you. Rather, it simply is stating the obvious. We all focus on what we are best at. Web designers can make some gorgeous websites, but designers aren’t necessarily great writers, and great writers aren’t necessarily SEO experts. Along the same line of thinking, great business owners don’t necessarily know all of the ins and outs of how to make sure their new website is functional.
Jantsch and Singleton talk at length about websites that look great but perform quite poorly in terms of SEO. They (and we) have talked to many business owners who are shocked to find out that the beautiful new website that took months of blood, sweat, and tears is not fully optimized. The assumption is not that the objective was to rip off these companies (although that can happen, certainly). It’s simply that you can’t know what you don’t know.
Where an agency can help
Often times, when we explain to companies what an agency can offer, we use the analogy of a hub. While we may not be able to do everything you need ourselves, we know how to find experts who can fill in our skills gaps. Jantsch and Singleton make this point in SEO for Growth. An agency can help you look at your web needs holistically. An agency knows how to design a good looking website, they are engaged in copywriting all the time, and if an agency does not do SEO work themselves, they likely have trusted vendors in their network who can offer that expertise.
There is another advantage that the book does not discuss. When a company engages multiple firms to work on a website, the scenario can easily become a case of “too many cooks in the kitchen.” The designer may want a page to look a certain way, but the copywriter comes along and writes copy that doesn’t make aesthetic sense with the design at all. The SEO specialist may override some of what the copywriter has done because there aren’t enough keywords, or maybe there are too many. In these cases, you the business owner are left to moderate, and you don’t have time for something like that. Nobody does!
An agency approaches the website as a team, and if they don’t, you need to find a new agency. Working with a good marketing firm should be seamless, and all of the stress of tweaks, debates, and changes should fly under your radar if things are going well. This saves you time as well as unnecessary stress, which is always a good thing.
If you are thinking about developing a new website in 2017, consider contacting an agency rather than different companies who do different parts of the project. We’d love for you to choose us, but even if you don’t, working with a full-service marketing firm will certainly be to your advantage.
If you have any questions, let us know!
Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/darkroses/642464068 via Creative Commons