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A good-looking website that no one ever sees

marketingWe were working recently with one potential client who briefly engaged us to redesign her business website. After coming up with a first draft of a new design, she was left torn.

“I like my current design a lot better than the design that you came up with,” she said, acknowledging that the bigger issue for her business is her site’s web traffic, which is abysmal.

(Try less than 20 unique visitors per day, and a Google PageRank of 1/10. Abysmal may not even be the word for it.)

The choice for this client came down to … stick with the current design, which was based on an out-of-the-box template that is near-impossible to work with in terms of back-end search engine optimization, or continue down the path of the new SEO-friendly design with modifications to improve upon the first draft.

The die was cast in favor of going with the current design, which means, well, a website that looks familiar, but also a website that is, in the absence of anything different behind the scenes to improve SEO, is going to continue to get less than 20 unique visitors a day.

You may be stuck in a similar place – pleased with the look of your current website, but frustrated that you’re not getting any business out of it.

A couple of old sayings come to mind here. One, that a tree falling in a forest makes no sound if there’s no one there to hear it. And two, the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

If your website isn’t doing anything for you right now, it doesn’t mean anything if you like the way it looks. Bottom line.

Chris Graham is the president and CEO of Augusta Free Press LLC, a full-service web and graphic-design and marketing firm based in Waynesboro, Va. More online at www.AFPBusiness.com.

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