Freetimers works with our clients throughout the development of their internet presence, and strategy is a key part of the work, because without it to give the web development a direction, your site may look good, but it's not going anywhere.
For a business that is truly serious about success, it must have direction -- a plan. We can help you with this, not only developing it to begin with, but also modifying when necessary because of what can be learned from your customer's feedback and from knowledge of changes in the website's targeted markets.
We can use this information to help you decide where any prospective change fits in the spectrum between Evolution and Revolution. Of course sometimes it can be both!
For current website owners, the extent of changes you wish to make to your website should always be taken in light of your budget and the expected return, both in terms of monetary gain and in other benefits to your customers and your own organisation and staff.
Sometimes it makes more sense to undertake a slow evolution, rather than scrapping what has gone before and starting again. Freetimers will assist you with our strategic experience and honest advice. Often a site's design is not the problem, and we won't encourage you to update your design if you really don't have to. Functionality can often easily be added to existing designs to bring the site to life and make it work for you and your customers. On the other hand, it might not be a design or functional problem at all -- but a marketing problem (or a structural problem that results in a marketing problem). From our experience and search engine optimisation knowledge, we often find that small, but vitally important changes, can make all the difference. If you are wondering why your site isn't performing as expected, you need us.
Whilst evolution can work well, and save money, occasionally Revolution --starting again from scratch -- is the necessary medicine. The reasons we find where revolution is most often required are the following:
Site designed all in Flash. Search Engines can't find a site where all the relevant information is encapsulated in a picture/movie! Most search engines are not that sophisticated -- they need keyword rich, text content.
Poor Navigation. Do your visitors get lost in your site? Navigation should be clear, easy, always in the same place (to provide the 'comfort factor'), and allow a visitor to go anywhere in the site with one, maybe two clicks, max!
Amateurish Design. If you pay peanuts you tend to get monkeys. Saving money on design by getting a sixteen year old to design your site can have the opposite effect to what you expect! Professional design looks professional, and if that is what your business requires, because that is what its customers expect, then you need to pay for it. We hear from new prospective clients almost everyday who have tried two or three designs from un-sustainably cheap website designers, only to find they haven't done the job required, and 2-3 years down the road they finally decide to do it right.
Zero or Poor Search Engine Relevancy/Optimisation. Basic marketing principles apply to the Internet, however they are affected by the Internet medium and by the search-led environment. Just because someone can design a Flash movie, setup meta tags, make a site look good, or even function well, does not mean it will work to achieve your business goals. You need a marketing plan and serious search engine optimisation may be required.
Inward Looking Design and Content. A problem many businesses have generally with their marketing and product strategy, it can happen just as easily with a website. Many business owners find they can be so close to their business they sometimes can't see the wood from the trees. It's very easy to write about one's products and one's business whilst forgetting that prospective customers are interested in how their needs are met. We can help ensure that your site is targeted at customer needs and expectations, not at yours. We all do it, however, sometimes we need to be reminded the client is not always interested in how, where or by whom a widget is built, only that the widget somehow solves their problem, fulfills their need. This approach can also make a huge difference in how a site's design is specified, and how the site performs on the search engines.
In all these situations and more, we can provide you with honest advice that will help discover why your site may not be working. Then it will be clear whether evolution or revolution is required to get your web presence back on track.
Results Summary at end November 2012
10 of 10 most important phrases in Google Top 10
1 Million page views per month, 17 pages per visit