One of the most common opening lines we hear from business owners is, “I need a website.” In reality, 99% of them need something different than (or additional to) a website, whether it’s strengthening their brand, help communicating with their audience, discovering ways to reach the right people, aligning their internal culture, etc. But even when we do design and develop a website as part of an overall branding and marketing effort, many clients think that the website is going to cure all their problems. The second it launches, everything will run perfectly, and customers will come flocking to their door, right? Wrong.
No matter how good of a designer or agency you hire to build it, your website (or social media, or mobile ads, or any other marketing tactic) is not a silver bullet. Your work is not done the day it goes live. If anything, it’s just starting. After the site launches, there’s testing, debugging, rewriting, design tweaks, additional features, Phase 2, 3, and 4, SEO, marketing, advertising, communicating…you get the point. It’s a constant work in progress. Like many other parts of marketing and branding, your website should be part of a larger puzzle, with lots of pieces fitting together to make a beautiful work of art (or a successful business, in your case). You need a holistic approach and a serious investment of time, money, and effort to make things happen. It’s more risky and difficult than it seems (“It’s a website! How hard can it be?”), but the biggest payoffs usually are.
So, next time you think to yourself, “I need a website” or hear someone else say the same thing, ask, “Why?” Then, ask it again. And again. And again. You’ll probably discover that what you’re trying to accomplish is a whole lot bigger.