Advice for My Clients: Don’t Be Google.
Increasingly, Google is handling a lot of the basics that customers used to rely on websites for. That frees us up to do more with our websites.
YOU’RE NOT GOOGLE. DON’T BE GOOGLE
Google is amazing. It used to be that if your business didn’t have a website, your business didn’t exist. Now, even without a website, it’s eerie how much information is available about your business because Google is so good at unearthing it. Have you ever gone to create a new Google My Business account/page only to find out that it basically already exists because Google and its network somehow did it for you and you just have to claim it. Creepy.
They are so good at what they do, in fact, that there’s really no need to break our backs trying duplicate their efforts in anyway.
We tell clients:
For example, we recently had a healthcare client who wanted to invest pretty heavily in a custom clinic finder map experience, the kind of thing that is doable and cool, but would use a lot of the budget. The designer in me salivated at the prospect of designing the best map interface the world had ever seen, but the more we formulated our recommendations internally the more we felt like it was overkill. As enticing as the design project might be, it’s also our responsibility to help the client decide whether the “juice is worth the squeeze.” In other words, is the effort and money that it would take, worth the impact it would have.
Our opinion was that it was not worth it. Not because we didn’t think location information, hours, and contact info weren’t important (on the contrary those basics are fundamental to the customer and Google results and would absolutely be on the site). We pushed back because the solution seemed like overkill considering the customer would likely use Google for that information anyway. The location data should absolutely exist on the website in some way, just not to the extent the client was dreaming about.
MORAL OF THE STORY
We made a very practical argument in this case. It was admittedly not the most inspiring recommendation, unless of course you’re the person in charge of the marketing budget. In that case, you probably appreciate avoiding an unnecessary budget sinkhole. What’s more, with Google taking care of the basics, you’re free to find other ways to add value.
~Andrew Brynjulson is a Sioux Falls-based freelance designer and art director specializing in logo, web and brand design. He often writes about art, design, marketing and business. Share your thoughts, @BrenniFresh.