People think that web design and website marketing are two different things. There’s a misconception here. It presupposes that while web design doesn’t have to be about selling something, website marketing is somehow free from its rules.
In reality, it makes all the difference and recently, no site gives a better example than Healthcare.gov.
It’s not about whether you support Obamacare but even Obama himself has been quoted that there is no sugarcoating the problem. Bad web design leads to bad marketing. They may not be talking business regarding Healthcare.gov but the bad rep it’s been giving supporters is something every B2B marketer should have a panic button for. It’s easy to see the same following tragedy crash in on their own businesses.
So what exactly where the mistakes made and how are they something that every B2B online marketer could avoid?
- Poor testing – You don’t roll out any website prior to testing. Worse still, you don’t roll out despite knowing that there were still problems to be fixed even during the testing phase. No matter how fast you want to take your campaign off the ground, you need to make sure that not a single link or a single contact form winds up as an error.
- Bad coding – Just because your site looks good on the outside doesn’t mean it is inside. And no, it’s not because you’re no IT expert either. It’s about making sure the pieces are in place. It doesn’t matter whether you outsourced your coding work or know enough to do it yourself. You need proper coding in place to make sure the site is really a working machine. It seems that even a government site is not immunity to technical flaws.
- Unjustified budget – The implications of a government site failing doesn’t even need the actual figure being mentioned (allegedly $400 million). It’s taxpayer money right? But more importantly, you’ll have the same losses with your money if your own website fails despite an immense budget allocated to it.
- Load times – Naturally, you can’t ignore the ever present obstacle of loading time. This is a problem for both customers and marketers. How do you expect your prospects to learn more when the information they’re looking for takes too long to present? Loading periods also contribute significantly to bounce rates so never ignore this, whether you’re making a government website or a website aimed at accounting professionals.
- Lack of offline support – Now while the website itself was faulty, sources are saying that Obamacare itself has been faring well, particularly those who decided to use a phone for signing up. Sadly, that doesn’t stop the site’s faultiness from overshadowing it with bad press. You can avoid the same mess with your website if you direct equal attention to offline support. If you have to, outsource a call center (and these are especially hand when your own website is currently experiencing difficulties).
The failure of the site must surely be disappointing for many Obamacare supporters. That doesn’t change the facts and the facts say even an average online marketer would know better than to make such mistakes with their website.