Oh no, I thought, not again. As I hung up the phone last week, I realized I’m now currently dealing with four B2B clients who recently unveiled a really pretty new website design (not Mindscape projects), but now realize nobody can find their site in search. Or that it will cost thousands to update and edit content on a regular basis. Or that their site visitors are bouncing off their beautiful new site like its rubber.

Unfortunately, they chose to design their websites first without a clear strategy or plan of how the site would produce ROI, and now must circle back and do more work to the site to be found in key word searches, to encourage site visitors to make a call to action, or even look at migrating the website design to a content management system for easy maintenance.

We have plans in place for each of these clients to help their SEO and website strategy. We can and are helping them. I just wish I could have traveled back in time to tell them that websites are more than a pretty design that complement an organization’s other brand materials. A website should look great, certainly, but it should also be built on a solid foundation with a solid plan. Otherwise, it’s like investing thousands of dollars into a brochure that happens to be accessible on a computer by typing in “w,w,w” first.

A few tips I would have shared with them if time travel were possible:

· First, decide how your website will produce ROI. Will you generate inbound sales leads, RFPs, online sales? Your website is not an expense, it’s a money maker.

· Evaluate how new customers will find you online using Google. What key words need to be incorporated into your website content?

· Finally, consider how often you’ll want to update your website. If you want a lot of flexibility to add and change the content on a regular basis without having to pay a programmer, let’s discuss some options for a content management system.

It’s never too late to have a powerful web presence that impacts your business. It’s just easier, faster and less expensive to launch a new website the “right way” versus fixing it later.