Archive for August 2013

Too much half ass web design and digital marketing

Half-Ass Web Design Donkey - nah, Donkey is better than that.In the six months or so that I’ve been working to get Crundwell Digital Marketing up and running I’ve learned one hard fact. There are a lot of web companies who are not very good at what they do.

Let me tell you a story…

It was 1993 or 1994, and it was a snow day at St. Peter’s where I was in high school. While everyone was enjoying a day out of school I usually went down to help shovel the walks. (I lived a block from the school.) After freezing outside salting sidewalks and shoveling snow, I was warming up in the school office when our school principal, Fr. Kennedy asked me to get him a cup of coffee from the cafeteria.

Being the good kid, I wandered downstairs to get him some coffee. I filled the mug and walked back to the office. First thing Fr. Kennedy asked, “Where’s the sugar.”

I replied, “You didn’t ask for sugar.”

His answer, “Never do things half-ass…now go get me some sugar.”

Well, that conversation has stuck with me for years. Whenever I think about taking a shortcut, that story comes to mind.

Over the past few months, I’ve been really surprised at how many companies half ass web design. They aren’t optimized or even carry basic analytics. Yes, there are server logs, but those only go so far.

Here are a few prime examples I’ve encountered in the last couple of months. (I’ve done my best to mask the client to protect the guilty.)

  • A specialty online store that makes no mention in the title, meta description or body copy that they’re an online store.
  • An organization who built a website to tout the benefits of joining their organization. But when you search for the basic questions of “Why should I join…” or “Benefits of joining….” turn up nothing that points to the organization’s website — They spent five figures on development.
  • A potential client was surprised to learn that one of his two websites were being tracked with Google Analytics but had never seen a traffic report.
  • The same client said he received a $600 credit from Google for advertising click fraud, but he’s never seen an AdWords tracking report.
  • Social media posts promoting a brand’s website with no click thru to that website.

For many business people at any level — digital is still a mystery for them. Digital people use a ton of acronyms: SEO, SEM, SMM, HTML, PHP, CSS, PPC, PPA, PSM, TOS and XML, . Those are just the basics if you really want to throw them for a loop use things like XHTML, JSON, TLD, TLS, and CAN-SPAM.

I’ve been in meetings where myself one of my digital team members would rattle off an acronym and my boss would just assume he’d know what we were talking about. My staff developer and executive producer took great joy in geek speaking in front of the boss. Afterward, I’d get pulled aside and be asked to explain what the hell they were just talking about.

On the surface, there’s a percentage of small website developers who are not doing much if anything to educate their clients about the website they built and maintained for them. The problem is, if they did…they’d be out of a job because the client would have moved on to someone who knew what the hell they were doing.

If you’re a small business and are looking to improve your website or overall digital footprint — take the time to educate yourself. We know the big boys like HubSpot don’t half-ass their product. They also provide a lot of great information that can help you ask the right questions to any company to which you’re looking to do business. Don’t let yourself get stuck with a company who gives you half ass web design.

Maybe that should be our motto… Crundwell Digital Marketing — we don’t half-ass it. Simple and to the point. For some reason, I don’t think Fr. Kennedy would necessarily approve that for public consumption.

…oh and for the record, I like my coffee black.