The Insane Case AGAINST Having a Web Site
Considering one of the top services of Vision Advertising is web site design and development, you’d think I’d universally promote and endorse everyone having a web site, right? Seems logical… except that it isn’t a clear cut answer for everyone.
Over the last few days, I’ve been conversing with a referral from California about a new web site for their brand new business. This is what I know about their situation:
- are starting a photography business
- will need a really “bells and whistles” kind of web site that really SELLS that imagery
- have startup investment of $500-$600 for the web site
- want a web site/blog combo
- want to be able to maintain the web site themselves
- can’t afford to do web site’s SEO right now, but would like it
- would like their web site appear on the first page of Google for a few specific search terms
- the partners have day jobs and this is a side gig
Well, I know the truth. I know what web sites cost in both time and money. I’m getting the sense that there may be a general impossibility in terms of time to commit – and also financial resources. Combined, that will equal them spending money on a web site that will just sit out there on the web and do a whole lot of nothing, and certainly not pay for itself any time soon. Ideally, these two points are how I would have preferred the web site situation to be so I knew they would reap returns from their efforts and be happy in the long run:
- have startup investment of $1500- $3000
- (Just a side note for my readers curious about pricing, it’s not that people need to spend that much on a web site to get it to function and perform really well, but for a properly setup photo-centric web site, this is an appropriate cost estimation for many companies)
- can either afford to hire someone to do the web site’s SEO work for them on an ongoing basis
– OR –
can afford the time to learn to do it, and dedicate the time on an ongoing basis to do it themselves
Unfortunately, I know that neither of those circumstances is likely to suddenly become possible, and they may have to wait until it is. Especially if they subscribe to my philosophy (do it right or don’t do it at all). This happens a lot. So what do they do? Do they get the web site they can afford in the interim? Do they just do without the web site? Do they try and figure how to build a web site themselves?
As someone that doesn’t want to just take what little budget they do have and run away with it, knowing full well it won’t produce the kind of end result they’re hoping for, I gave them a really unconventional answer. I don’t know how they’re going to respond; I only sent it a little while ago. We shall see. Here is the advice I gave them:
- Create a Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php
- Once you have 25 fans, visit www.facebook.com/username and secure a short URL
- Log into your domain registrar and point/forward the domain you bought to that new URL you just set up on Facebook
- Upload pictures into your albums, organizing them as you see fit
- Design a fancy banner
- Use the wall as your “blog” and use the notes tab too.
- Get business cards made up with your domain on it, that auto-points to the FB page. You’ll accumulate fans, and will save a lot of money, all the while building a really nice portfolio.
- This is all FREE and will help you save money so when the time comes, you CAN do it right.
- Facebook has almost a billion users and absurd amounts of traffic. Google is more likely to rank an active Facebook page with the appropriate keywords on it than a new no-reputation web site.
As weird as it is, there is sound logic to the argument. It’s really an “in between” web solution that’s designed to do a few things:
- Allow for money to be saved so it can be invested to its best and highest use later on, on the ideal web site
- Help to build a Facebook fan base (which is hard enough for photographers – and this will really help)
- Get the domain out there NOW and onto printed materials without waiting for the web site to be done
- Immediately open a channel of communication between potential customers and the business owners
- Allow for photo sharing more regularly, and in an instant-gratification environment where the general populace LOVES and responds best to photos, thereby also getting the owners in the practice of posting new content regularly
- Provide a solution that isn’t as time intensive as SEO, but will get them in the practice of checking on something regularly
I’m sure there are more benefits, but these were the intended effects off the top. Now, what do they do when they’re really ready to do the web site project fully?
- Get the web site they REALLY want, with all the features it needs to perform at its best
- Invest in SEO services, SEO training, or SEO research – and then go forth. The SEO efforts really help web sites rank better.
- And of course, keep up with Facebook.
What do you think? Have I lost my marbles? Would you advise the same web site solution, given the evidence presented? Share your opinions in the comments section below! I respond to every comment on my blog personally.