Your Website is NOT a Brochure

Some of you may have different thoughts on this matter, but from a Search Engine Optimization and Marketing standpoint, it’s not a brochure.

The following are my reasons:

  1. A brochure has very general information directing you to either a place of business or website, or even both. A website has more information about your business, more pages, products and services that you’re selling or food that you offer (if you’re a restaurant).
  2. A brochure is made out of paper and is limited in size. Your website is nearly unlimited. You can have thousands of products, or just 10 pages of information about the services you offer.
  3. A brochure is done in CMYK, sent to a printer and you have a limited number of brochures to pass out. Then, you have to do it all over again, even worse if there is a mistake and you have to fix the mistake and have it reprinted. A website has immediate uploads, changes can be done on the fly, and there are multitude of platforms to build your site on, from standard Dreamweaver to WordPress sites (like this one). Changes are made faster on a website. The only thing that results in constraints are current HTML standards such as W3C, HTML 5 and various database platforms.

The other issues that I have seen when websites are built is that everyone wants it to be “pretty” and all about 2.0. Two things – stop thinking ‘pretty’ and start thinking functional and toss that whole. 2.0 idea out. That was so 2005. This is 2010 and things are in “real time.”

Now, for my real issue, other than the fact that your website is NOT a brochure. The way things seem to go is that websites are being given to designers who know ‘pretty’, then over to the programmers who know ‘functional’ with lots of ‘cool’ coding, and the content is then allowed to be written by the marketing and PR departments and then when all is said and done, the SEO/SEM gets a hold of it.

Why is this a problem, you ask? Well, no thought as to how the website should be parsed out into sections was done. Keyword development hasn’t been done yet, either, and the overall navigation hasn’t been set up. Basically, the site was built backwards. The Search Engine Optimization and Marketing person (like me) should be a part of the beginning of the website and be the manager through the entire process of the build of the website. Keyword research is key for the beginning of any website and will usually lend itself to bringing to light what the navigation and silos of information will look like and help with cross-referencing and internal cross-linking.

Once that is all done, then the design and coding processes can be understood within the current standards of web development. While the design and coding is being done, the marketing and PR areas can start in on the content since they will have references to keywords that will be used within the site.

Too many times are websites considered an online brochure which is one of the main factors why websites are built backwards. So, remember, your website is Not a brochure, but rather an extension of your business to gain customer loyalty and recognition.

If you’re stuck in the “brochure rut,” feel free to contact me.

Happy website building!



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