Website Client Expectations

Managing expectations of clients is something we have written about before – see our recent post about what some website clients expect and how to manage that expectation. The following sample conversation demonstrates what happens if you don’t manage expectations correctly and a client believes their website will be more popular from day one. Websites aren’t automatically popular and successful they need maintenance, hard work and promotion constantly to keep them moving upwards.

[Website Client]When I first sat down with the website project manager to discuss the site, I was looking to try and generate business from the site.

One year on, I am quite disappointed that despite a few enquiries at the start I now get very few enquiries from the site. Perhaps my expectations of building a site to enable 20 enquiries a month was too ambitious.

You will understand that having paid for the website plus over £1000 to change my company name to assist in SEO, I am thinking, why am I likely to get a better response in year 2. Please do not think I am blaming you, but am now thinking that it is unrealistic to expect the site to generate business, especially as we have had a year of SEO. With regard to the web hosting, could it be easier if I re-open my old website hosting account, as it is paid and seems better for us instead of keep getting you to make email changes.

I have calculated that from the 2000 visitors, I have had enquires from 9 people, I have had 5 from unbiased, two from Aviva and 15 ads for SEO or gibberish on the enquiry form.

After a years SEO, if that is the ratio of business I am likely to get from the site, even if I conducted a blog and paid out loads to attract say 50000 visitors a year to the site, this would correspond to 50 enquiries a year. (I appreciate these are all stats). This is not viable for me to invest time or money in the site.

I am going to re-open my hosting account, so I can take care of email addresses, even though I know I can do that currently with my cpanel.

[Website Designers] Yes this is the year up already, time flies for sure. Even though you told us to stop the SEO before we got started and do the blog and begin the PPC project for the site I have been monitoring your site stats for some time now and I too am slightly disappointed with the website visitor numbers, you site seems to be slightly losing visitors at the moment but since the site went online you have had just over 2000 visitors to the site. The loss of site visitor numbers may be due to you not completing the steps we agreed for you to promote your own site as I see none have been completed.

Now that its a year old I think you get a bit more ‘Google trust’ added to your rankings, you have recently be upgraded to Google Page Rank 2 and noticed the recent updates to your rankings, have moved you up to the top 4 for some competitive search terms.

Don’t know why your mortgages search term is so low in comparison and would suggest that one link to your site using the term ‘mortgage’ would make this ranking improve considerably.

Its possible that we are guilty of giving you too high hopes of generating business through the website and even though other businesses that we have created websites for and promoted are getting lots of leads and business, its obvious the same cant be said for your website at the moment. Different business sectors clearly ‘convert’ website visitors to clients easier than the financial sector, although we do have Accountants as clients who are doing very well and they are expanding their websites and updating it every month (via blog and site additions / updates and changes).

I would say that to have come this far and now to stop work / promotion would be a false economy, if you have the time and inclination that a blog would be very beneficial to you and via Pay per click (google adwords) you can feature for more ‘niche’ searches. Would say that the small additional cost would be beneficial to you.

On reflection on looking at your website stats, the improvement in visitor numbers and SEO of the webite we believe that the root cause of the lack of business is your ‘competitive sector’ indeed without localisation in a search term (essex, stanford, thurrock) I think its unlikely that you can compete for financial search terms but believe the search results above show that you are very much going in the right direction after such a short space of time. Ok so what can you do? I think that you can start posting on forums and blogs about financial advice and use you website in all of your profile links and directly link to any of your pages as often as you can, the chart below shows the links of your site compared with other sites that also target the search terms we agreed upon.

If you have any website owning friends you can swap links with them and we will add these to your site for you to ensure your site gets as many links to it as possible, this is easier said than done I know! If you are willing for us to add more links to your site then am happy to try for you and will definitely be able to add some links to your site if you give links to other sites (these will only be sites where I know the owner personally and they are relevant to your business sector).

if you don’t want to continue the blog / adwords then I can stop both these continuing and then you owe us only the renewal for domains and adwords / ppc cost so far. These can be started at a later date , ideally before your second year renewal date so we have time to move you to a different hosting package, to enable databases / php to be used on your site. The cost of the blog can be reduced if you don’t want an integrated one (one that looks just like your site) and as you know im flexible and happy to do what it takes to ensure you are happy.

If you want to move the domains to another hosting platform then thats ok but its a bit late for this year and think its more cost-effective and efficient to let us manage these for you.

I can see that by viewing this short term it doesn’t look good at all, I personally think the website visitors and conversions must increase in the next year, the website positions for certain search terms are now pretty good but out of 2000 only 2 enquiries is terrible without a doubt.

Happy for you to do anything you want with your sites but why do you want to go back to your old hosting account. Thinking about this, your account will give you servers based in Germany, will not give you as much choice / flexibility as the hosting account I am proposing. I can give you more email accounts with no extra cost and sure this will be your better / cheaper option.

Also moving hosting accounts is a bit of a stress and you will need to reconfigure email accounts and ftp accounts and re-upload and configure your website and you will need to ensure your hosting account supports php and the correct version of it as your site uses php, your email form is also updated to new versions when the forms are updated (this happens about every 2 months)

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