Machine Learning Authors: William Schmarzo, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Jnan Dash

Related Topics: Machine Learning

Machine Learning : Blog Feed Post

Have a Seat Mr. Website Owner, It’s Time for a Little Introspection

What does your website currently do well? What does it currently do poorly?

When a client signs a contract with me for a web design, the first thing I do is send them a three page questionnaire and request they answer as many questions as they deem appropriate. This questionnaire helps me get inside their heads and it helps me better understand their marketing objectives, the opinion of their existing website, and their overall view of internet marketing.

I ask a lot of questions about the current and future state of their sales process and marketing programs. While these questions are informative, I definitely have a few questions that are my favorites. In particular, this would be four questions focused on their current website. I like this set of questions because they’re very informative and they are “raw”. I can tell many clients write the first thing that comes to their minds, which is priceless. Some answers have me laughing out loud. I don’t mean the LOL kind of laugh; I mean the tears coming out of my eyes kind of laugh.

I believe my clients’ candid responses are representative of most small business owners and how they feel about their outdated and lackluster websites. While most small businesses owners don’t spend their day thinking or talking about their websites, when asked, they will provide feedback. Unfortunately the feedback is usually far from positive.

Tell Me What You Don’t Like About Yourself

To illustrate my above statements, I thought I’d return to my questionnaires and pull a few client responses. You’ll see the average small business owner does not have a whole lot of admiration for their website and their current internet marketing presence.

Below are a few candid responses from real clients:

1. What does your website currently do well?

  • There is lots of information and it does convey our brand.
  • Well it is doing something right, because we are getting business from it. Other than that, there isn’t anything I am particularly proud of.

2. What does your website currently do poorly?

  • Doesn’t engage visitors, there are no differentiators, and it doesn’t clearly describe our products.
  • The e-store has never generated revenue.
  • It is basic and comes across basic.
  • Lacks traffic.
  • It looks like I did it myself and I did.

3. Are there any aspects of your website that you love?

  • Love might be strong.
  • Not really.
  • No.

4. Are there any aspects of your website that you hate?

  • It is out of date and information is difficult to find.
  • Yes, but can’t point to one specific thing.
  • Not necessarily, I think we just need a facelift and a more optimized site.
  • All of it.

If you read through the responses, you’ll notice no one is overly excited about what they have presently and no one provided anything really positive about their existing website. The one client who said he just needed a “facelift” received a completely new website and it is actually one of my favorite web design projects because the before and after was so dramatic.

I Love You and Hate You All at the Same Time

As much as I love small business owners, I hate them at the same time. I love working with this segment, because they need me and they like me. They really really like me, as Sally Field would say. They like me because I’m opinionate and I’m not just a web designer. I’m a marketer and a salesperson and an SEO consultant and a WordPress geek all wrapped up in one. I like the companies who need a lot of help, because I like to help. It’s why I quit my real marketing job and started my own firm.

On the flip side, I hate small business owners because so many of them live in a bubble of self-denial. This is even true of my good friend Jason, who is a small business owner here in Michigan. He’s weathered through the rough period and will make it through, because he is smart and he is a good man. But he is in denial. Jason doesn’t put his website’s URL on his business card, because he says the website is so bad. His wife, Megan, regularly makes fun of it and we all laugh about it over Friday night drinks.

But the real problem is Jason needs a new website. He desperately needs a new website and I’m almost to the point of designing one for free because his is so bad. His wife and I have talked about hacking his current website and just surprising him with a brand new WordPress website.

Jason says no one goes to his website, so he doesn’t need a new one. Really? Jason I love you, but no one goes to your current website because it is ghastly and it isn’t optimized for search engines, visitors, or anything else. And let us not forget you are ashamed of it, so you don’t even tell anyone it exists. Jason doesn’t know the potential results a new website could bring, because he is living in 1975. A time when half of America didn’t use the internet to research and buy things. Just for the record, he is only 36 and he should not be stuck in 1975. I could prove to him that real ROI is possible, but to do that I’d have to put down my beer and have a real heart to heart with him. And quite frankly, he isn’t ready for it yet.

If you are a small business owner, take a moment and look back at the list of comments from my clients. No traffic, no revenue, out of date information, and lack of information are all symptoms of old websites or poorly designed websites.

If you are still reading this blog post, you know in your heart, your website is also bad. It may not be as bad as my friend Jason’s website, but you know you have problems. So sit back and take a good look at your website, your current marketing efforts, and your overall internet marketing presence. After doing so, you can tell me what you don’t like about yourself and I can tell you what I can do to help.

If you’re on Twitter, feel free to drop me a tweet with your thoughts at @WebSavvyMrkting.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Rebecca Gill

Founder and President of Web Savvy Marketing, a Michigan based internet marketing firm that specializes in website design, organic SEO, social media marketing, and WordPress consulting.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

@CloudExpo Stories
"Infoblox does DNS, DHCP and IP address management for not only enterprise networks but cloud networks as well. Customers are looking for a single platform that can extend not only in their private enterprise environment but private cloud, public cloud, tracking all the IP space and everything that is going on in that environment," explained Steve Salo, Principal Systems Engineer at Infoblox, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventio...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
The question before companies today is not whether to become intelligent, it’s a question of how and how fast. The key is to adopt and deploy an intelligent application strategy while simultaneously preparing to scale that intelligence. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sangeeta Chakraborty, Chief Customer Officer at Ayasdi, provided a tactical framework to become a truly intelligent enterprise, including how to identify the right applications for AI, how to build a Center of Excellence to oper...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, James Henry, Co-CEO/CTO of Calgary Scientific Inc., introduced you to the challenges, solutions and benefits of training AI systems to solve visual problems with an emphasis on improving AIs with continuous training in the field. He explored applications in several industries and discussed technologies that allow the deployment of advanced visualization solutions to the cloud.
Agile has finally jumped the technology shark, expanding outside the software world. Enterprises are now increasingly adopting Agile practices across their organizations in order to successfully navigate the disruptive waters that threaten to drown them. In our quest for establishing change as a core competency in our organizations, this business-centric notion of Agile is an essential component of Agile Digital Transformation. In the years since the publication of the Agile Manifesto, the conn...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"ZeroStack is a startup in Silicon Valley. We're solving a very interesting problem around bringing public cloud convenience with private cloud control for enterprises and mid-size companies," explained Kamesh Pemmaraju, VP of Product Management at ZeroStack, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. Thi...
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Codigm is based on the cloud and we are here to explore marketing opportunities in America. Our mission is to make an ecosystem of the SW environment that anyone can understand, learn, teach, and develop the SW on the cloud," explained Sung Tae Ryu, CEO of Codigm, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
High-velocity engineering teams are applying not only continuous delivery processes, but also lessons in experimentation from established leaders like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. These companies have made experimentation a foundation for their release processes, allowing them to try out major feature releases and redesigns within smaller groups before making them broadly available. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Lucas, Senior Staff Engineer at Optimizely, discussed how by using ne...
Vulnerability management is vital for large companies that need to secure containers across thousands of hosts, but many struggle to understand how exposed they are when they discover a new high security vulnerability. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, John Morello, CTO of Twistlock, addressed this pressing concern by introducing the concept of the “Vulnerability Risk Tree API,” which brings all the data together in a simple REST endpoint, allowing companies to easily grasp the severity of the ...
While some developers care passionately about how data centers and clouds are architected, for most, it is only the end result that matters. To the majority of companies, technology exists to solve a business problem, and only delivers value when it is solving that problem. 2017 brings the mainstream adoption of containers for production workloads. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben McCormack, VP of Operations at Evernote, discussed how data centers of the future will be managed, how the p...
"NetApp is known as a data management leader but we do a lot more than just data management on-prem with the data centers of our customers. We're also big in the hybrid cloud," explained Wes Talbert, Principal Architect at NetApp, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"We're focused on how to get some of the attributes that you would expect from an Amazon, Azure, Google, and doing that on-prem. We believe today that you can actually get those types of things done with certain architectures available in the market today," explained Steve Conner, VP of Sales at Cloudistics, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.