Web designers are passionate. I’m willing to bet that if you’re reading this, you probably love what you do and enjoy sharing it with others. It seems to go hand in hand with such a creative career.
Plus, that positive energy can be contagious. When you’re excited about a project, you inspire others to be as well – including clients.
But there are cases when the good feelings are not transferred. This usually happens after the website is launched and the creative process ends. Suddenly, a client who was so relaxed pays much less attention to what is going on.
This is part of the natural timing and flow of a project. However, it is also a major reason why a website may deteriorate over time. Lack of attention means less emphasis on improvements. As a result, there could be a mess to clear the road.
How can we get clients to take care of their website in the long term? The solution is to keep them engaged.
A Web Address is a New Beginning
The design and construction processes get all the glory – and for good reason. Although they can provide plenty of challenges, they are also often fun. Everyone involved enjoys working together with a client to achieve a goal.
But in some ways, it’s just launching a website. After the launch is when you start to see that the hard work pays off. It’s time to measure the impact of the design and functionality decisions you’ve made.
But not every client will see it that way. For them, a website project may be just another thing on their to-do list. In their eyes, when the site goes online, the work is done. Some people may not understand the complexity of keeping their site secure and running smoothly.
Successful websites develop. And not just for those with frequently changing content. Even minor changes to improve the user experience (UX) can make a difference.
For web designers, it’s all about communicating what comes after send.
How to Keep Clients Engaged
By engaging with clients, you can keep them interested in how their website is doing. This may sound simple, but it is not always easy.
For example, you could send monthly or quarterly analysis reports. Although they contain plenty of useful data, a busy client may not take the time to dig into the numbers. It’s like handing out business flyers to strangers. Some might take a look, but they are more likely to throw it in the recycling bin.
Sometimes there is more to it how you present such information. Rather than sending an email with little or no explanation, it’s important to provide some context.
In our analysis example, you might cite one or two stand-out points from the report. If bounce rates are high or a significant number of visitors are coming from new referrals, these are worth pointing out. It could be just the thing to spark your client’s interest.
If you notice something negative (like those bounce rates), suggest offering a possible solution. This will encourage them to take action based on your analysis.
When put together, an email might look like this:
Your quarterly website analytics report is enclosed. I reviewed it and found a few items of interest:
- The bounce rate on your home page is up 25% on the last report. We might want to look at that new hero field we added. I think there is some room for improvement.
- Your organic search results from Google are up quite a bit – the SEO stuff we did seems to be working!
If you have any questions or would like to discuss this further, I would be happy to set up a call.
Your Web Designer
The advantage of this is that the letter is short and sweet – but still gives an insight into what is happening. Some clients may not take you up on the consulting offer. But you’ll probably get more answers overall.
This same strategy can be applied to other aspects of the site as well. For example, new features in the client’s content management system (CMS) or plugin could be noticed. Mentioning a change that needs to be made or how a feature will benefit their organization could start a dialogue.
Why Is This
On the surface, it might seem like shouting into the void. After all, why should we care if a client ignores their website? Why go to all the trouble?
There may not be much to achieve in the short term. But over time, there are some benefits to making an effort to keep your clients interested.
First, it will hopefully encourage them to think of their website as an ongoing part of their business – one that needs attention. Letting it sit there and collect virtual dust is a missed opportunity.
In addition, you will stay in touch with your clients. This helps build a stronger working relationship. When it’s time for a redesign, you’ll probably have a better chance of keeping them.
There is also plenty of knowledge to gain. Every client is unique. Therefore, engagement may require different approaches. Going forward, you will have a better understanding of how to work effectively with different personalities.
The only downside is that a particular client may not be interested. That’s okay, because you can always move on to someone else and try again. Your hard work will pay off in time.