Can "Do It Your Self" Replace A Web Developer?

  • By mysticmediadc
  • 05 Dec, 2017

A Set of Tools Does Not a Web Developer Make

An excellent question and as a web development company, one that garners some of our company’s attention.

The “build it yourself in under and hour” website builders have had a small impact on our business. Some small clients and prospects have peeled off and moved to the Do-It-Yourself  (DIY) model. Those particular clients and prospects were driven by the potential cost savings and did not place value on the benefits of working with a professional development team. And for some businesses,  the DIY model is the better option.

For those business that see beyond the seemingly easy “I need a website and at the lowest possible cost” offered by the DIY solution, the investment in the counsel and technical capabilities of a knowledgeable and up-to-date web professional is wise. Those same clients are likely to see that there are lost opportunity costs to consider when weighing their web development options.

The following list of questions and their answers may be valuable in determining which path a business should follow when moving toward developing a website:

Is Search Engine Optimization important to your website’s mission?

- If no, do it yourself may work
- If yes, seek a professional

If the website will include eCommerce, is conversion optimization important?

- If no, do it yourself may work
- If yes, seek a professional

Is your web development budget more than $500.00?

- If no, do it yourself may work
- If yes, seek a professional

Do you, or someone on your staff, have the time and ability to keep the website’s content updated and fresh?

- If yes, do it yourself may work
- If no, seek a professional

Would your website benefit from interfacing with third party marketing and other tools?

- If no, do it yourself may work
- If yes, seek a professional

Is understanding and leveraging the latest in cyber security important to your website?

- If no, do it yourself may work
- If yes, seek a professional

Is it important that your website have a clearly defined mission and have its success measured against definable goals?

- If no, do it yourself may work
- If yes, seek a professional

Is having your website completed quickly and cheaply the most important consideration in its development?

- If yes, do it yourself may work
- If no, seek a professional

The list is not exhaustive regarding the number and kind of benefits that a professional web developer can provide to a web development project, however, if any of the questions are answered yes, it indicates that taking to 2 or more professionals and requesting proposals from each will likely be valuable to the web development decision.

Will DIY website solutions be able to replace web developers?

Yes, the “do it yourself” model will replace some web developers. It will not, however, supplant those web marketing professionals dedicated to delivering to their clients value beyond simple "build it and forget it" web development.


Adapted from a Quora answer 

Will websites like Wix be able to replace web developers?


Mystic Media Digital Success Blog

By Jim Moore 08 Dec, 2017

Adapt through Adopting

Adopting the strategies of the prevailing market to the degree that they fit your business's mission can be helpful. As an example, if your business is a brick and mortar retailer, you could move into eCommerce by developing a proprietary website, and/or move into selling your products on the Amazon marketplace via the Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) program.

Adopting main stream strategies and technologies effectively answers the question of “How will my customers buy from me in the face of dramatic changes” by keeping your business aligned with the current business models with which you customers are familiar.

Blaze Unique New Trails Through Differentiation

Differentiation, on the other hand, means developing and effectively marketing the factors that differentiate your business from others, and may result in establishing a niche’ or specialty market that is intentionally less influenced by the current of main stream retail commerce.

Developing, organizing and communicating differentiation could be summarized as creating and marketing your business's Unique Selling (or Value) Proposition   (USP or UVP). There are several online tools and guides to assist with the development of a USP, one of which is here:

Differentiation effectively answers the question of “Why will my customers buy from me in the face of dramatic changes”

Lastly, stay abreast of current trends and take time to think in terms of “What will my vertical be like in 5 years, in 10 years?”. Looking forward and organizing your business planning around well-informed expectations for the future may eliminate the need to play catch-up.

By mysticmediadc 05 Dec, 2017

An excellent question and as a web development company, one that garners some of our company’s attention.

The “build it yourself in under and hour” website builders have had a small impact on our business. Some small clients and prospects have peeled off and moved to the Do-It-Yourself  (DIY) model. Those particular clients and prospects were driven by the potential cost savings and did not place value on the benefits of working with a professional development team. And for some businesses,  the DIY model is the better option.

For those business that see beyond the seemingly easy “I need a website and at the lowest possible cost” offered by the DIY solution, the investment in the counsel and technical capabilities of a knowledgeable and up-to-date web professional is wise. Those same clients are likely to see that there are lost opportunity costs to consider when weighing their web development options.

The following list of questions and their answers may be valuable in determining which path a business should follow when moving toward developing a website:

Is Search Engine Optimization important to your website’s mission?

- If no, do it yourself may work
- If yes, seek a professional

If the website will include eCommerce, is conversion optimization important?

- If no, do it yourself may work
- If yes, seek a professional

Is your web development budget more than $500.00?

- If no, do it yourself may work
- If yes, seek a professional

Do you, or someone on your staff, have the time and ability to keep the website’s content updated and fresh?

- If yes, do it yourself may work
- If no, seek a professional

Would your website benefit from interfacing with third party marketing and other tools?

- If no, do it yourself may work
- If yes, seek a professional

Is understanding and leveraging the latest in cyber security important to your website?

- If no, do it yourself may work
- If yes, seek a professional

Is it important that your website have a clearly defined mission and have its success measured against definable goals?

- If no, do it yourself may work
- If yes, seek a professional

Is having your website completed quickly and cheaply the most important consideration in its development?

- If yes, do it yourself may work
- If no, seek a professional

The list is not exhaustive regarding the number and kind of benefits that a professional web developer can provide to a web development project, however, if any of the questions are answered yes, it indicates that taking to 2 or more professionals and requesting proposals from each will likely be valuable to the web development decision.

Will DIY website solutions be able to replace web developers?

Yes, the “do it yourself” model will replace some web developers. It will not, however, supplant those web marketing professionals dedicated to delivering to their clients value beyond simple "build it and forget it" web development.


Adapted from a Quora answer 

Will websites like Wix be able to replace web developers?


By mysticmediadc 01 Dec, 2017
Google Adwords can be one of the most powerful tools in your business's digital marketing arsenal.  No advertising platform has the potential to reach an audience as wide and as deep as does Google Adwords.  The potentially immense exposure offered by Adwords is a double-edged sword.  Used effectively it can help you  build your business.  Used inefficiently it can cost you thousands of wasted dollars by putting your ad in front of non-buying searchers.

                                                 "The potentially immense exposure offered by Adwords is a double-edged sword"

Understanding the differences between, and the proper use of,  Adwords match types is a critical factor in effectively harnessing the power of Google Adwords.  Match types are one of the criteria by which Google determines to whom your ad will be displayed and it is a basic setting in the process of creating an Adwords campaign.  The three match type options are:

  1. Broad match
  2. Phrase match
  3. Exact Match
Broad match, when selected, results (potentially) in your ad being displayed to the widest audience of  Google searchers.  Importantly, broad match is the default setting and the most likely to result in wasted money if selected unintentionally.   Phrase match results in your ad being displayed to the second widest audience, and Exact match is the most restrictive option and results in display to the smallest audience. 

How Match Types Work

                                 "If your intention is to sell running shoes, the barefoot runner is not the audience you hope to reach."

Broad match
selection tells Google to display your ad to anyone searching using your keywords regardless of their specified order and combination.  For example, if your keywords are " running shoes ", broad match selection could result in your ad being displayed to searchers using the search query "Should I try running without shoes ?"  As may be obvious, if your intention is to sell running shoes, the barefoot runner is not the audience you hope to reach.

Phrase Match selection tells Google to display your ad to anyone searching using your keywords, but only if the keywords are in the specific order  you have designated.  In the previous example, the search query "Should I try running without shoes ?" would not result in the ad being displayed under Phrase match criteria because the keywords " running " and " shoes " were not in the specified order of " running shoes ".    The ad could, however be displayed to someone searching with: "the history of running shoes for horses".  Though broad match helps eliminate Adwords spend on some non-buying searchers, it may still result in some ineffective spending.

Exact Match selection tells Google to display your ad only to those who use your specific keywords, in their specified order and not in combination with any other word.  In the example of " running shoes " the ad would be shown only to those searchers using the specific search term "running shoes" and those words only.   Barefoot runners and horse racing historian searchers would not be shown your ad.  Exact match provides you the greatest control over to whom your ad will be displayed.

There are many other factors that determine how and when your Adwords ad will be displayed on Google's Search Engine Results Page (SERP), some are subtle and some are difficult to control, however, selecting the right match type is a strong influencer on how well Adwords will work for you.  To learn more about match types visit Google's Adwords Help Page .





 
By mysticmediadc 30 Nov, 2017

A recent statistic indicates that 82% of companies use an email marketing automation platform  of some kind (ie Constant Contact, etc). That statistics does not indicate the specific size of the businesses it includes, but it is easy to imagine that 82% includes many small and medium business.

What are the barriers that prohibit more businesses from utilizing email marketing? From my experience, the following are ranked in order of the most often heard reasons:

  1. Do know how to start
  2. Don’t have the time
  3. Don’t have the money
  4. What’s Email Marketing ?

In terms of formal statistics regarding barriers to email marketing, According to DMA, 25% of marketers have trouble getting content for their email marketing campaigns .

As you may know, the process of an email marketing campaign, from obtaining and organizing contacts through creative/content tasks, testing, sending and analyzing the results can be daunting. Especially so for an owner operated business for which the campaign competes with the dozen other tasks that require daily attention.

Perhaps if non-email engaged businesses were aware that according to Monetate “Email marketing drives more conversions than any other marketing channel, including search and social.” they would be more likely to invest the time and resources necessary to be successful with email marketing.

The Essence of “Why Not”

If we were to distill the essence of the most often heard reasons for not using email marketing we might arrive at the conclusion that some businesses do not recognize that email marketing may be a great tool to help them span their satisfaction gap  (the space between where they are and where they desire to be).

That lack of recognition falls under two categories:

  1. No awareness of email marketing
  2. Aware of email marketing, but do not understand it

The solution to the “why not” is the availability of easily accessible and effective exposure and education in the potential of the email marketing channel.

Fortunately, for those small businesses whose email marketing we manage, they are generally satisfied with both having the process off their responsibility list and with the results that their campaigns produce.


By mysticmediadc 22 Nov, 2017
Recently a good friend of mine and a long time client of Mysticmedia.com provided to me via email a list of "Do's and Dont's" for social media marketing and asked for my thoughts on each of the items.  He also provided the list to 2 other members of his business's marketing team and asked the same from them.  Of special value was the opportunity to see how each of the recipients replied to the items on the list.  3 marketing professionals all dedicated, skilled and successful in their respective business and each with unique thoughts on a basic list of social media marketing "Do's and Dont's".

Based on the experience, I am sharing the list and my thoughts  with an eye toward the post being a catalyst for thought and perhaps for an exchange of ideas.  Where the other respondents' thoughts were different than mine I have included them in Bold Italics.

✓ Do: Post frequently, ideally, at least once a day on most platforms.

My Thoughts:  Agreed - I recommend at least twice a day as a minimum, including re-posting others content that you believe to be valuable to your audience.

Others' Thoughts - The other respondents thought it wise to post at most once a day or less

-----------------------------------------------------

✓ Do: Use each platform for their best use, e.g., LinkedIn for business networking, Facebook for social engagement, etc.

My thoughts:  Agreed. The top tier of Social Media platforms each has their unique intended use. An optimal campaign will leverage the differences.  LinkedIn, for example is the wrong place for funny memes and office party pics.

-----------------------------------------------------

✓ Do: Mostly post content that your audience cares about: your community, your people, your customers and solutions to common problems.

My thoughts:  Agreed

-----------------------------------------------------

✓ Do: Use a ‘posting formula’ that emphasizes posting personal stories and items of human interest over self-promotion.

My Thoughts: Interesting suggestion. We recommend 80% valuable information (soft marketing) and 20% hard marketing (and test the results). Personal stories can be valuable to businesses with specific personas. For some business to business professional services clients I recommend that the persona by emphasized in the style of the posts rather than via personal stories.  

Others' Thoughts:  No posts should utilize hard marketing

-----------------------------------------------------

✓ Do: Post images and video frequently.

My Thoughts:  Agreed

-----------------------------------------------------

✓ Do: Be ‘authentic.’

My Thoughts:  ABSOLUTELY!

-----------------------------------------------------

✓ Do: Attempt to engage your audience, occasionally asking questions or seeking opinions.

My Thoughts:  AGREED. As you may note from my blog stories and Quora responses, testing, including asking for audience feedback is crucial to a well planned and optimally delivered campaign. In addition, engagement communicates trust in your audience's thoughts and warmth in your relationship with them.

-----------------------------------------------------

✓ Do: Commit to engaging on other people’s posts, e.g., liking, sharing, commenting.

My Thoughts:  Agreed. The company you keep, including what you like and share, is a demonstration of your values.

-----------------------------------------------------

✓ Do: Re-purpose and re-share previous popular content. Change it enough to keep it fresh.

My Thoughts:   Agreed

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✓ Do: Respond immediately and positively if you get a negative comment on a social site.

My Thoughts:  Immediately without question, what qualifies a "positively" may be subjective. This article over on Linkedin explains my thoughts on how to respond to negative feedback:   https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-should-our-business-react-negative-feedback-social-jim-moore/

-----------------------------------------------------

✓ Do: Make sure that whoever posts for you fully understands and represents your brand and values.

My Thoughts: Agreed

-----------------------------------------------------

✓ Do: Save time by using a social media scheduling app.

My Thoughts: Agreed! I like Buffer the best of the application with which I have experimented. My daily task schedule directs me to buffer first thing in the morning :-)

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✓ Do: Consider using a ‘social media budget’ that allows you to test various forms of paid advertising and ‘boosting’ of popular posts. (Note: most marketers report a progressive decline in the reach of non-paid, organic posts on Facebook.)

My Thoughts:  Agreed

-----------------------------------------------------

✓ Do: Experiment with existing and emerging features that you haven’t tried before, e.g., live video, etc.

My Thoughts:  Agreed

-----------------------------------------------------

✘ Do NOT: Use social media to ‘sell.’ That’s not why your followers are on social platforms.

My Thoughts:  Somewhat agree. As mentioned above, I recommend not exceeding 20% hard marketing in SM postings. This another case where testing may reveal the optimum mix of hard/soft marketing (and it is all marketing) for a specific business. I recently asked a medical equipment client: "Do you intend to provide your audience value with your SM Posts?" He answered "Yes". I responded to him with the question "Do you believe that your goods and services provide value"?

Others Thoughts:   Agreed with the "Do NOT" and never utilize Social Media posts for selling.

-----------------------------------------------------

✘ Do NOT: Try to trick your audience.

My Thoughts:  ABSOLUTELY 

-----------------------------------------------------

✘ Do NOT: Set unrealistic expectations about getting new business or selling more insurance from social media.

My Thoughts:  Intend to provide value in every action including your social media activities :-)


Credits: The original "Do's and Dont's" list was written by Agency Revolution - a great independent insurance agency marketing platform.



By mysticmediadc 07 Nov, 2017

A good starting point is “engagement”, however, with the proliferation of robots and auto-engagement programs available, some engagement may not indicate “happiness”, but rather represent your content meeting certain algorithmic criteria. Retweets and likes in particular can be the result of mechanical interactions that have nothing to do with a human response to your content. I read recently that as many as 60% of twitter accounts may not even belong to an actual person, but are instead made up of bots and other programs.

Engagement in terms of responses and comments is a good source of data for determining your audience’s feelings about your content. Are people commenting on your posts? Are they responding to your return comments? Is the tone of the comments and responses positive?

Additionally, the effectiveness of your content in successfully fulfilling its mission is a good indicator. For example, if your posts are designed to drive traffic to a particular page on your website, or toward a specific sales funnel and your metrics indicate that they are meeting your expectations for success, it is likely that your audience’s has had a positive emotional response to it.

As an additional method for assessing your audiences feelings remember that social media is, well, social . Ask your audience what feelings they have about your content. The question can be asked casually in a specific tweet conversation or formally through a poll or survey.

It is a good idea to be constantly testing all of your marketing efforts and your twitter activity is no exception. Plan, implement, test, test and test to optimize your effectiveness and maximize your success.

By mysticmediadc 03 Nov, 2017

Before any action is taken, evaluating your comfort level with replacing the word “react” with “respond” may reveal that some attention provided to the attitude behind your action will be beneficial.

As an action starting point, the question “How would I respond to this if the comment had been made in person” may be valuable. The point being, that the feedback was left on social media should be taken out of the equation and therewith eliminating the potential for responding as if you are anonymous and for the conversation to become depersonalized.

Secondly, the question “what is my goal in responding?” may be of value. The answer may include multiple goals such as:

  • Saving and improving a relationship with the person offering the review
  • Protecting your organization's reputation
  • Learning more about the circumstance the proceeded the negative feedback
  • Receiving the information necessary to correct a challenge in your organization’s processes.

A goal that should be questioned if it surfaces is:

  • To prove the reviewer wrong and to win an argument

Once the goal(s) of the response is determined, next steps might include:

  • Creating a draft of a response
  • Start the draft with an apology for the negative experience and gratitude for the opportunity to respond to, and learn from, the feedback
  • Take full responsibility for the circumstance being reviewed
  • End the draft with an apology for the negative experience and an invitation to any questions the reviewer may have. Consider offering the reviewer a form of compensation for the experience and for taking the time to let you know about it.
  • Evaluate the draft and optimize it to meet the goals
  • Ask a team member read the response and provide feedback.

In our business(es) our responses often include:

“We are very sorry for the disappointment that resulted from ...please feel assured that we will use your feedback to improve our…”

By _dm_templates 09 Oct, 2017
#1  It is your opportunity to shape the conversation

Your website, social media profiles and other digital assets are a conversation between your business and your prospects and customers.  Not a general conversation with a total stranger, but a conversation between a prospects who has a specific reasons for conversing with you and your business which has a specific mission (you are in business for a reason, right?)  

Because the conversation has a purpose it needs a strategy to be effective in accomplishing that purpose and your blog is a bright opportunity to activate that strategy.

#2  Blogging is a way to move information quickly and widely

As a business owner or executive you are likely bombarded with questions on a daily basis.  Questions about your products and services, questions about customer service, and questions as simple as "what are your hours?"  Your blog is an opportunity to provide the specific answers to frequent questions to a wide audience.  Now, will your blog stop all questions about when you are open and where you can be found? No.  It may, however, reduce the calls for your attention.

#3  It is your opportunity to show what you know

There is something unique about your business.  It is very likely true that you know something about the goods or services you offer that no other person knows.  That knowledge can be the reason consumers do business with you and not with the next business offering similar goods or services.  Your blog is your opportunity to display that knowledge and let the world know why your business is unique.   Blogging is a long format option in a 140 character world, and allows you to expand, explain and illustrate ideas.  

Blogging can be one of your business's most powerful digital marketing tools and it will be most effective when you love the process of creating, publishing and promoting its content.
By _dm_templates 01 Oct, 2017
Just because you have a snazzy Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat campaign doesn’t mean you’re covered.
By _dm_templates 06 Sep, 2017
If  we have ever had the opportunity to enjoy a conversation with you it is likely that you heard us mention our SES approach to digital marketing and communication.  In a nutshell, SES is a comprehensive strategy around which we plan, implement and monitor the work we do for our clients.
 
The Pre-Proposal Interview

SES starts with a thorough client interview during which we seek the fullest possible answers to 3 key questions:

  1. In terms of our campaign's audience, who are we talking with?  
  2.  What were our audience members doing just prior to directly engaging with us?  
  3. What specifically do we want our audience to do once they have granted us their attention? What do we consider a Successful Engagement?
The questions are design to identify our target audience, identify the need  or interest that motivated them to seek us out and finally to define what action we would like our audience to take once we have engaged them.  

The Proposal

With that information in hand we then create a through and unique project proposal that organize the information from the interview, suggests the specific strategies and technologies we will use to encourage the specific action desired and metrics and tools we will use to monitor and measure our success.  

The proposal, after a thorough discussion of its content and the completion of any modifications, becomes the blue print for our work on behalf of our client.  It is the what, why and how of our client's project.  It guides are action and sets the goals to which we can be held accountable.

SES For Every Project

From a complete website development project to a small social media management project, we utilize the SES process to assure transparency, clarity, direction and accountability.

We maintain a relationship with many clients that are across the country from us.  We have never physically shaken hands with some of the people who we serve.  We find that the SES process eliminates surprises and builds trust even in relationships that endure the challenges of long distance logistics.  

We know that majority of high school seniors can build a website and tweet -  and we applaud the specialized skills that coders, social media masters and designers have.  We could not be successful without them.  Our goal is deliver to our clients something tangible, something unique, something measurable, something that contributes significantly to their business success and that something flows from our SES process.  






 


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