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Looking Below the Surface

An interesting 24 hours related to web development and marketing.

First, we’ve begun remaking four websites for a client, which haven’t been modified in many years. The old sites have contact forms that don’t work and search engine optimization (SEO) that doesn’t exist. For every company, SEO is vital to being found online. But if you search the industry categories for this client’s businesses, you will NOT find these companies unless you type in their company name in the search bar. This website redesign is a big project, but until the past 24 hours, we couldn’t even access the full back-end enough to know that the platforms on which they’re built are, well, archaic. They’re not just old, they’re almost prehistoric.

We determined it wasn’t worth trying to “upgrade” to a newer version (there have been about 25 versions in between their platform to the current level), since it likely would take longer to fix all the problems than just starting with a clean slate. So we needed to have a conversation with the client that the scope of work needed to change. To not take care of the foundational issues meant complications for making the sites mobile, for upcoming E-commerce, for security issues, for long-term needs.

Now, the second side of the story. Within the same day, an emailed invitation arrived for a free seminar to be presented at a local Chamber of Commerce. The topics to be covered: the importance of SEO and how mobile websites are vital to a company. That caught my eye, since we were in the thick of this for the first portion of this story! So, in clicking through the link to see more about the Albuquerque company giving the seminar (a company we weren’t familiar with), here’s what we noticed:

  • There is no information about the company or its principals (like their names, their experience or the company location) and no portfolio of work on their site;
  • Their own company website is built on a "website in an hour" site.
  • Video marketing is listed as a service they provide. The link to YouTube shows one video only, heavy with graphics and ominous music. It doesn’t sell their own company well.

It all boils down to this: how do you know who to work with? Sometimes, a very thorough inspection below the surface is needed. Likewise, a very thorough inspection of a vendor company should happen before you commit your website to someone to design it, to make its SEO pertinent, to build an online marketing campaign, or produce a web video.

So, back to the four websites: we met with the client to talk about the deeper level of work needed. His response? "Got it. I agree. Fix the problems. Make it right. I know you’ll be fair." And I thought: many companies would just do the simple thing: make a website in an hour. Even when they might know, "It’ll have problems, it might not be the right thing."

In the scope of life here at Ad House Advertising, we’ll do our very best, every time, to give you the best service at the best price. But we also promise we won’t cut corners or quality. Your online presence is too important.

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