I review potential clients’ websites to discover why they don’t work. It’s a great way to introduce business owners to the Worry Free Marketing process for website creation.
By our company standards, a website works when it generates new, organic, and valuable leads that produce sales.
Sometimes, websites require only minor changes to copy or design to work.
Other times, they need a major overhaul.
And then there are sites that make me embarrassed to be part of a digital marketing company.
The Least Trusted Profession In America
I’m going to go through a recent website review I did with you and demonstrate why marketers are amongst the least trusted profession in America, according to Gallup, year after year – only 2 points higher than members of Congress – the lower the number, the less you are trusted. (Image from Gallup.)
Take a look at this website:
As you read the copy, do you feel like you are getting to know this company at all?
It’s pretty stilted, isn’t it?
Any student of Bob Burg will tell you that one of his primary axioms is that
All things being equal, people will do business with and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust.
In this case, the site doesn’t evoke any “know like and trust.” In fact, for me, it repulsed me just a little bit.
It turns out that the “website company” that created this site reuses identical copywriting on every site they create.
Even the testimonials:
This isn’t just bad. It’s borderline criminal. Fake testimonials destroy the reputation of a business if discovered.
Don’t worry, this site isn’t the actual one I evaluated – I randomly chose another site from the hundreds with duplicate content to make my point.
Repeating Content On Multiple Websites
When content is the same across multiple sites, Google cannot rank sites appropriately for related search terms. The people who own these sites, who believed that they were getting a “custom” site that would create business, instead got a site that not only won’t be ranked well by Google, but one that will turn off visitors who could be potential leads.
The people who created these sites are well aware of this fact. Despite this, they keep selling sites to unsuspecting business owners.
Not Just Realtors
I’ve seen this practice across multiple fields. A large website company promotes sites to a certain profession and claims to be “expert” at creating websites specifically for that industry.
I can’t help myself, I have to say it: F*ck them. (And the asterisk was only added after long consideration.)
Signs Your Website Company Will Screw You
Generally, I make a practice of not “knocking the competition.”
But – the people that do this aren’t competition – they’re crooks.
So here are a few warning signs that the marketing company trying so hard to get your business will screw you:
- Overly aggressive pitches. Are you getting multiple calls a day? Several calls a week? Tons of expensive mailings? Guess what – they need to keep selling to stay alive. Customers don’t stick around long and there are refunds to pay.
- Very inexpensive pricing. A real website requires several professionals across technical and artistic disciplines. As an example, our website team for a single website typically is composed of both owners who each play a role in the final product, a designer, a developer or two and a copywriter. Websites aren’t cheap to produce correctly, and they take time to do right.
- Subscription model pricing. How can someone produce a site for $100 – $300 a month for a year or two? They’re hoping you forget that you’re paying them. Meanwhile, they list “Benefits” you will receive monthly from continuing to pay their bills.
- Drastic discounts to retain business. They can do that because you are 100% profit. A developer from India can duplicate a site like the above for almost no money. The main overhead for the marketing company that does this is the sales and telemarketing team.
When Choosing A Website Company
Look at some websites they have produced. Copy a few paragraphs of content and search for it on Google. Does it pop up, word for word or nearly so on a bunch other sites? Run away.
Ask for referrals. Talk to the people who have their sites already. Are they getting leads? Or excuses and more pitches?
When thinking about what you will pay for a site, consider the value of your leads. Plan to pay appropriately.
Alright. Back to work.