10 questions to realign unrealistic website expectations

Kevin Mullins

At Atomivox, we start every inbound marketing project with a site and strategy audit. Just like an architect performs a site survey, draws blueprints, and requests planning permission, we need to understand your goals before we design your new business website. We call this The Lab. Our clients love it, and it helps expose unrealistic website expectations before they cause any damage.

Occasionally, (it doesn’t happen very often), a customer comes to us with their digital marketing in a total mess. Instead of our usual planning and wireframing process to design something new and beautiful, we’re forced to put on masks and capes and spring into hero mode — to save what we can and rescue a broken web design.

two women discussing unrealistic website expectations
Photo by mentatdgt from Pexels

A sad tale of unrealistic website expectations

One time, during a customer onboarding session, a prospective customer brought us a freshly designed business website, created by another agency. After months of waiting for her e-commerce website, she was eager to sell. She couldn’t pinpoint why, but she wasn’t satisfied with the results. She felt the website wouldn’t do what she expected it to do, but she just didn’t know why. She came to Atomivox for a second option. It wasn’t pretty.

She had a nice brand and a clean and modern website. But that’s where the advantages stopped. She had paid for e-commerce website design and development, but her new site was lacking fundamental e-commerce elements. It was missing critical elements that every successful online shop has — no calls to action, no item descriptions, a broken Woocommerce implementation, no sales funnel, or UX strategy. The other web design agency had failed to do anything to encourage a buyer to, you know, buy

The more we reviewed her broken website, the angrier we got. Our customer didn’t understand the basics of website design, especially more advanced options like Woocommerce, Stripe integrations, and security and privacy. Why should she? That was the web design agency’s responsibility. Perhaps she should have stayed with something more manageable, like Shopify. Maybe she should have hired someone internally to manage the commerce side of her businesses. But it was too late for that.

It wasn’t until she was staring at a fully designed, but useless, website that she realized: her website and business expectations were worlds apart.

Our audit revealed a basic mistake that many business owners make. She bought into a design concept, not a business tool. On paper, everything she discussed with the previous agency sounded great. She got carried away with launching her new online store. However, she didn’t know enough about web design and digital marketing to ask the right questions. Sadly, the other agency failed in their duty to explain these things.

Somehow, that the site should sell never came up. It was a total expectation mismatch — an expensive website that provided no strategic value to her business. Why did this happen?

Here, the agency delivered what she wanted, but our client never articulated what she needed. She didn’t know how. It wasn’t until she was staring at a fully designed, but useless, website that she realized: her website and business expectations were worlds apart.

Photo by PhotoMIX Company from Pexels

10 Questions To Realign Expectations

Is your company’s website meeting your business expectations? Are you getting leads, contact requests, visits, comments, and conversions? If not, why not? Are you expecting something from your site it was never designed to give? (even if it is beautiful!) 

If your website isn’t performing the way you expect it to, you may need to realign expectations. 

Here are 10 simple questions to ask to realign your website goals better. How you answer will determine whether the tools you have are what your business needs to grow. Open your website on your internet browser. Grab a pen and paper. Here we go:

  1. What do I expect my website to achieve for my company?
  2. Do I have clear, measurable written goals? What are they?
  3. Am I using the proper digital marketing tools (like HubSpot) to track goals and measure success?
  4. Are my digital assets, e.g., brand, website, and corporate collateral, helping or hindering our success? Do we need to rebrand?
  5. Would an unknown visitor to our website, unfamiliar with my company, understand what I do in 5 seconds or less?
  6. Does my website explain what I do so that even a 12-year old could understand?
  7. Does my current site design lead visitors to do what I expect them to do when they visit?
  8. Is it easy for someone to get in contact with me? Find me? Or access the information vital to them?
  9. Is my site easy to navigate regardless of the device my visitors are using?
  10. Does my site’s design, content, or navigation keep visitors from getting what they want?

Taking the next step

If your site isn’t performing to your expectations, it may be time to redefine what you want. Depending on your answers, you may need to start fresh with a new website and marketing strategy. That’s not automatically a bad thing. Sometimes starting over is the key to unlocking growth.

Remember, you get out of your website and inbound marketing strategy what you put in. Use these ten questions to reframe what you want from your digital tools and then adjust accordingly. Need a website to get you where you want to go? We know the right questions to ask. Contact our team and let’s start the conversation.

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