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Do You Need a Web Designer or a Marketing Partner?

everybody's building websitesWe’ve been in the industry of web development for nearly 20 years. Perhaps the one thing that we’ve seen the largest growth in over the last several years is the number of “web designers” that there are in America. I should probably say “worldwide” because of all of the India-based designers that we hear from nearly everyday.

Would You Believe That There Are 100s of Thousands of “Web Designers” in the U.S. Alone?

According to several yellow page websites, there are more than 30,000 companies categorized under “web design” and more than 50,000 companies categorized as “websites”. Then add in all of the “one-man-shops” and marketing & ad agencies that have gotten into website design and the number soars.

On top of that – every kid coming out of high-school these days is a “computer guru” according to their parents. If you’re in business and you’re reading this, chances are that YOU know someone who you feel “knows everything that there is to know about computers, web design and ‘all things internet'”.

I’m in conversations nearly every day with business owners and perhaps the most common thing that I hear when it comes to discussing web development is that they know someone who is a genius at building websites.

Here’s Something to Consider: What is More Important? Knowing How to Push Some Graphics Around a Page, or Knowing How to Get Prospective Customers to Visit Your Website?

Website design is child’s play these days. Any web design company who tries to tell you different is lying. You can freely get access to tens of thousands of templates with programs like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and in about a day (for even the least computer savvy person) you can have a website. Website design has gotten SO EASY that Wix, Web.com, GoDaddy and others say that they will actually build your website FOR NOTHING. NO COST. NADA. There are tens of thousands of India-based designers who will build your website for pennies on the dollar.

So if all of these people are willing to build your website for NOTHING, ask yourself, “WHAT IS A WEBSITE ACTUALLY WORTH?”

I would argue that a website, by itself, is worth very little really. How much is one of your business cards worth? Go ahead and pull one out of your wallet and have a look at it. It has your company logo on it; maybe your photograph and perhaps some bulleted services that you render and your contact information, right? In your own hand that business card is worth nothing. Admit it, you’ve probably used a business card to jot down some reminder or note that you needed to remember. Now – pass one of those same business cards to a prospect and it just became worth something.

That is how websites work as well. ANYONE can build a website these days. Certainly a professional can create a better LOOKING website. A pro will probably do a better job of organizing the flow and navigation of a website. However, how a website LOOKS makes only a small amount of difference in terms of how productive that website will be.

business-cardsThink about it this way. Grab a hundred of your business cards and stick them in your pocket and walk around with them for a month or two – only handing out one or two cards in that span of time. No matter how amateurish or professional those business cards are – how much good are they doing you sitting in your pocket with only a sporadic few being seen by prospective customers? Now go to your local mall and place one under every windshield wiper in the mall parking lot. More people will see them but will everyone who sees them KEEP them or will they throw them away?

The MAJORITY of websites that we see are basically nothing more than an online business card. If you occasionally tell people to visit your site, then you’ll get the occasional visitor.

Just Because ‘Johnny’ Can Build a Website, Does NOT Make Him a Marketing Person…

marketing-kidImagine that every time that someone needed a service or product that your company provides – that one of your business cards would magically appear in their hands. Picture it – a potential customer is sitting in their favorite recliner, thinking about the very service or product that your company can provide and instead of seeing any other company – he sees your business card appear in his hands. THAT is what a successful and well-ranked website can do for you.

ANYONE can build a website these days. YOU CAN. However, only the very best, most diligent web design companies these days know how to make your website show up at the top of the search engines. Oh sure – they ALL say that they’re good at it – but that too is a lie.

Making a website productive takes a lot of time and effort. There is NO perfect, step-by-step science for every website – that will insure that it will get all of the traffic possible. Every website is different because every industry is different. Some industries are more competitive than others. Where a business is located also determines how competitive that industry might be.

For example, if you’re trying to get a jewelry website ranked well in Big Horn, Wyoming (population 490) then ‘little Johnny’ could be your web guy. However if you want that jewelry website to rank well in Houston, Texas or nationwide on Google – forget it…it isn’t happening unless you hire the right professional (and be prepared to spend a lot of money).

Likewise, getting a real estate website ranked well for “Bombay Beach, California homes for sale” (population 295) is a piece of cake. If you’re a realtor in Charlotte, North Carolina you’ll need to shell out tens of thousands of dollars to rank at the top of Google for even a few important search terms that would drive home buyers to your website.

That is Where a True Internet Marketing Professional is Needed

Chance are “little Johnny, the computer savant” is not going to be able to help you think the way that your average customer or client would think. He can’t; he’s probably still got a lot of MUSH for brains. Didn’t YOU when you were 15-25 years old? Heck, my own brain didn’t clear from an adolescent fog until I was in my 30s. If your average customer or client is in the 25-50 year old demographic and making in excess of $100K a year – do you REALLY want “little Johnny” thinking on your behalf about HOW to get your business in front of those people?

Getting true, productive traffic to your website is more “savvy, marketing” and “reverse thought engineering” than it is technical. It is more about recognizing how your customers and clients think and about how and what they might search Google for – than about how to upload files to a server. It is about how to create valuable content on your website that will get your website seen at the top of Google.

If you ask “Johnny” about what he thinks is the best way to market your company, he’ll probably advise you to advertise at the latest Demi Lavoto or Selena Gomez concert – because THAT’S what and who he’s crushing on right now. Ask an internet marketing professional the same question and you’ll probably get some valuable options and suggestions that will pay off in gaining new customer and clients.

When it comes to that “person that you know, who knows someone, who has a son who has built HUNDREDS of really great websites” – get him to clean his damn room and leave the all-important marketing of your company to a professional.

If “Little Johnny” is still living at home, dressing like a bum, driving the vehicle that mom or dad bought him – chances are NONE of those hundreds of sites he built are worth anything more than your single business card.

If you’re interested in a website that will generate new customer and business for your company, then click here – Hire a Website Designer with Proven Results

About Mike Doble

Meet Mike… Owner I have been in the business of advertising and marketing since 1974. I began developing websites in 1995 and subsequently founded AppNet.com in mid 1996. I have developed hundreds of websites personally - mostly in those early years - and guided most all of them to top rankings.Over the following decade I was fortunate to assemble a very talented team of designers, developers, programmers, search engine consultants and support staff who have taken us to the top of our profession. AppNet ranks in the top one-percent nationally for search engine ranking and web design services.The best thing about my job is the fact that I get to speak to brilliant people nearly every day who share their great ideas with me. With very few exceptions, these people exhibit the entrepreneurial spirit that is necessary to succeed in business in these challenging and competitive times.