Katherine Andes is a Web copywriter who specializes in
SEO copywriting - especially in the
home improvement market. You can contact her at
or visit her website
Three reasons why websites don't get better - Pass the elephant, please.
Author's Note: The article below reflects my experience with both flooring companies and other companies with respect to their website marketing and traffic issues. Please forgive the rant nature of the piece. My concerns reflect not just my opinion but also conversations I've had with others in my field. We are frustrated because we see so many missed opportunities for businesses to be more successful with their websites.
REASON #1: IT Guys and Computer Geeks
I've about had it with IT guys and computer geeks who diss my services!
I have experienced this with all sizes of companies large and small.
For example, I might be speaking with a prospect and demonstrating to him how his company isn't optimizing a page properly for keywords and sales conversion. He seems to understand, but because it's all new to him, he's unsure of himself and decides to run it by his IT guy.
IT guys are notoriously busy and they seem to half-listen at best to the concerns of web optimization specialists like me. They almost always tell their bosses something like, "We've got that covered."
No they don't!
Half the time these companies are not doing well in very basic tasks like showing up on search results pages for very common terms in their industry or geographic locations!
I really cringe when I hear they've hired some firm that will do virtually useless and outdated strategies like submitting sitemaps to search engines or writing H1 and H2 tags.
Can you tell how frustrated I am? Here's more.
The worse thing I get from IT guys is that "we can get content cheap." They are referring to outsourcing overseas or from some poor Joe who says he'll write for ten bucks an hour.
Now you can get decent cheap design and web building overseas, but not good content. Not unless you get extremely lucky and find someone like me who has decided to move to Mumbai. And that's pretty rare.
And the ten bucks an hour guy? If there's any chance he's good at all - and there's not - he won't last more than a minute. If he's really good, he'll raise his rates faster than you can say "Hello."
Good content requires someone who is enmeshed in the culture here and steeped in the language and local trends. He or she also needs to know the particulars of good web writing - it does have it's own set of rules that are different from traditional copywriting.
REASON #2: Marketing Departments
The next big problem in most companies is the marketing department. Honestly, you would think these guys would get it. But, no, I see them treating a web page like a print ad or a place to experiment with the latest techno gadget.
But the marketing people are a lot easier to talk to. They at least get the concept of the value of a page designed and written to drive traffic to a page and then to convert a prospect into a buyer.
They simply haven't been brought up to speed yet with how web pages are different from traditional media. And they are usually too overworked to take the time.
So they phone their IT guy!
REASON #3: Eating the Elephant
The third problem is the "overwhelmingness" of websites. There really is a lot to do in order to have maximum success. And it does require a significant investment.
Like the proverbial phrase, the elephant seems too big to eat.
So companies put website work off.
But elephants can be eaten... one bite at a time.
And websites can be made effective... one key page at a time.
Companies that understand the power and future of website marketing are "eating the elephant." In fact, this year they are literally moving billions out of traditional media and into online media.
These are the companies that will survive the recession and trounce their competitors - who will then be struggling to play catch-up.
How about you?
Edited by Admin 8/9/2009
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