WOLFBITES - Issue 28

Must reading for anyone who is considering
a website makeover

Rusting abandoned car, presented to remind small business owners of how their online presence is viewed when they ignore their website, web marketing and online advertising.
Web makeovers that focus only on design (or redesign) are as pointless as
a new paint job for this car.

The only thing worse than a failed website is a failed website makeover.  Yet it happens again and again.  Corporations, small family businesses, manufacturers, professionals, retailers, business to business companies – they all make the same mistakes.  Worse still, they are not even asking the right questions. 

What’s needed is a little education on the dos and don’ts of a website makeover and here it is:

  •  Do insist that your supplier of a website makeover has a proven track record of creating websites that generate leads and sales.
  • Don’t settle for a website make over that does nothing except change the look of your website.  That is like ordering a paint job for a car with mechanical problems.  
  • Do look for the sure signs that the website developer has little or no copywriting expertise:  say-nothing headlines (“Welcome to our website”) and  phony enthusiasm (“We are so excited” or “We are pleased”).
  •  Don’t accept the all-too-common design mistakes that kill readership:  column widths extending the full width of the page; insufficient line spacing; text that is so small it is virtually unreadable.
  •  Do look for copywriters who understand the difference between a hard sell that repels a prospect and story telling that engages a prospect.
  •  Don’t accept web content with countless sentences that start with the words “We” or “Our”.  This virtually guarantees that the website will not generate response.  It is also a clear indication that the copywriter has no professional training.  
  •  Do insist that the content in your website does “double duty”.   That means it is written by a copywriter who understands how to write web content that simultaneously attracts the search engines and seduces the customer.  Warning:  Search engine optimization companies now claim to employ professional copywriters, but don’t be fooled.  Their output doesn’t pass any of the copywriting tests listed above.
  •  Don’t proceed with any website makeover until the following questions have been raised and answered:  Who is the prime prospect?  What messages will prompt a response from the prime prospect?  Should the design be male or female skewed?  What elements of the website will make it different (and better) than any competing website?
  •  Do make a fair comparison of estimates by recognizing that a quote for a website redesign is not the same thing as a quote for a complete makeover including website redesign and  marketing strategy, professional copywriting and search engine optimization.

Want a professional opinion on your existing website?  Ready to proceed with a website makeover, but unhappy with your existing proposals?  Get a fresh view by giving us a call (905-940-6610) or contact us online.

Read Wolfgang's latest marketing blog.

Wolfgang Franke is President & Creative Director of Words at Work Advertising & Marketing, a full service communications company established in 1988. Our growing list of valued clients are found throughout our local market, Markham and the Greater Toronto area, across Canada in cities such as London, Ontario, and Edmonton, Alberta, and an expanding list of international locations ranging from The Big Apple in New York to Kanturk, Ireland.

Take our 60-second web makeover quiz

  1. Why do male clients always insist that the primary colors of a website should be red and black?
  2. What would happen if your website featured red and black colors and the primary audience was women?
  3. What is the vitally important missing element in 90% of websites?
  4. What is a “wall of type” and why does it kill readership?
  5. Why does the typical website makeover proposal not even mention readership?
  6. Why do many website makeovers exclude the editorial element that drives readership?
  7. What happens when the first word on a web page is “we” or “our”?
  8. When is search engine optimization a complete waste of money?
  9. What is more likely to generate response:  in-depth explanations of product features, short explanations of product benefits.
  10. Why is a “free” website ultimately the most expensive option?

Want the answers?  You won’t get them from the typical website makeover company or search engine optimization companies (including those who regularly lift content from this website).    So why wait?  Get in touch with us today by phone (905-940-6610) or online.

Proven advertising and marketing results – delivered by project, outsourcing or retainer.
Prices: less than you would expect.   Results: more than you can imagine

Words at Work Advertising & Marketing Inc.
19 Lockridge Avenue, Unionville, Ontario, Canada L3R 7S6
Telephone: 905-940-6610     Toll-Free Outside Toronto: 1-877-940-6610

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