Why Website Projects Often Become a Nightmare

I’m being asked regularly “can you find me a person to do my website?”
 
I’m also witnessing many businesses messing up their websites and/or online strategy.
 
It’s also worth noting the dynamics of SEO this year has greatly changed when Google released RankBrain.  RankBrain the artificial intelligence of Google. It is the 3rd most important signal that Google considers in evaluating websites for search results (ranks). SEO is not about increasing traffic and ranking for keywords anymore. It is about optimizing for user behavior and user experience.
 
In larger businesses we have in-house TEAMS (or outsource to a total solution agency). Who develop and constantly evolve our websites.
 
Small and medium businesses have a challenge.
 
Some of us are using Offshore teams.  With an average wage of about $120 a week this resource allows many businesses to develop more affordable solutions.
 

Watching the trends and issues – these are my conclusions:

 
1.Websites are NOT a “project”, in that there’s no “end”.  Websites need constant, ongoing development – changes.
 
So engaging anyone to “build” with no ongoing solution – makes no sense.
 
2. If the website is for a business (which means it has an important goal i.e. lead generation, brand marketing, or sales). I suggest that FOUR key skills (definitely NOT in one brain) are required to develop and keep refreshing a website:
 
  • SEO Manager/Webmaster — an individual who is savvy in both digital marketing and technical specifications of a healthy and code standard compliant website. Must be analytical and understands the importance of “user experience” (UX).
  • Designer — an individual who is savvy in marketing collateral designs. Web content designs and “user interface” (UI).
  • Writer — better if this person knows how to write SEO articles but if not, the SEO manager is sufficient to guide this person on what and how to write content.
  • Coder/developer — the one who will make all the designs and functions turn into reality to serve the ultimate objective of the website.

Stop thinking ONE person.

3.The people (or service) engaged to develop (initially and ongoing) your website MUST FULLY UNDERSTAND what you sell, to who, with all the nuances. They must understand the market and customers, how they act, what they see and expect etc. It takes time to teach / transfer your knowledge to these people.
Rarely do I see anything other than a token attempt to teach the web providers.  This is the most common fail point.
 
4. As the website and the business grow bigger, the team should grow too. Websites of big companies take a lot of man-hours to widen the marketing reach. To ensure the health/compliance, and control reputation.
 
When you combine the above factors with the “part time” need of small or micro businesses you can see why there’s issues in developing and maintaining websites.
 
A quick comment about onshore or offshore resources.  They BOTH face the same issues.
 
Guys – please please stop asking for “a person to do my website”. It’s NOT one person AND whoever you engage needs to be FULLY briefed. They need to understand your services or products and markets.
 
NOTE Similar issues occur with “Social Media” – more than one person + they need to know YOUR market.
 
Mike O’Hagan is a practicing Serial Entrepreneur.  He’s possibly best known for his Australian MiniMovers business – less known is that, he today lives in the Philippines where he TEACHES Western Businesses HOW TO Offshore.  What structures work best, the do’s and don’ts.  You can contact Him at www.MikesBusinessTours.com