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The road to an ineffective website is paved with ‘good’ business decisions.

All good business leaders, from small local folks to Fortune 500 CEOs, have one thing in common. They are good at making decisions. And when it comes to the web, this is where things begin to go wrong.

I don’t mean to suggest that business leaders are doing anything wrong. To the contrary, they’re doing exactly what they are supposed to do: make decisions.

The problem is that most web shops are simply misrepresenting the problems and asking the wrong questions.

We covered 5 easy way to run your website like a boss earlier, so, as a follow-up, I’ve put together a list of questions that you, as a business leader, should refuse to answer for your web team. I realize this may be hard for the type “A” personalities, but this is what’s best for your business. If your web team doesn’t know the answers to these questions, you need a better team.

  1. What’s your budget range? – On the surface, it seems like an honest question. But it’s only honest if you’re looking to spend as little as possible, and if you don’t expect any real returns from the investment. Your team should be telling you what it’s going to cost to make your website work. Telling them what you’re willing to spend is just letting them know how much to charge you.
  2. What features do you want? – The old ‘how can we help you’ routine. If your team is looking to you for ideas, you’re going to struggle. With people willing to try anything you can dream up, you’ll be long on bad web apps and short on cash. Your website’s requirements should be based on the needs of the users. Your web team’s job is to identify those needs and determine the features you need to succeed.
  3. What are your style preferences? – This question means that they are designing the website to appeal to you. This may help them get your money, but it does nothing to ensure that your site visitors have a good experience. A good team will bring you well thought out design options to choose from based on how people will use the site.
  4. Who needs to be trained on updating the website? – Uh oh. This one is huge. They’re trying to up-sell you a maintenance package, or leave it up to you to keep the site up to date. Tell them you expect unlimited updates and a 12-month proactive publishing plan. Find a new team immediately if they can’t deliver. Because the number one reason websites fail is neglect, and you and your staff already have enough to do.
  5. Do you want SEO, ads, or interactive forms? – These things are not options. Never ever. Your team should be telling you what the SEO, ads, and conversion strategy is. It’s just that simple.
  6. What pages should be on your website, and what should they say? – A good team will gather up everything you have on hand that’s ever been said about your company, and propose what pages you need and what they should say.
  7. Do you want a Facebook or Twitter page? – Just like number five, these are not options. And just like number one, your team should be telling you what it’s going to take to make your website work, including social networking.

At JackPot Interactive, we pride ourselves on empowering our clients to make great business decisions. We do this by owning the technical decisions and presenting only business decisions to business decisions makers. Contact us and turn your website into a stronger business asset.

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