Lets begin with two definitions (we’ll come back to the photo in a moment): *
- Holistic: Emphasizing the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its parts.
- A Holistic Website is one which is designed for all of the functions which a modern website must offer, and then built to provide these functions as needed. The list of these functions includes:
- The basic website – be it brochureware, or a complex e-commerce site with huge catalog and international order-taking process.
- Tools to help with SEO to enable it to be found by organic searchers and to keep being found. This includes a CMS with sophisticated SEO controls built-in so that post writers can set up the SEO tags: titles, alt texts, headings, anchor text, canonical tags, etc.
- Sales and Marketing Automation to help engage people’s interest when they do visit, convert this to a preference for your solution, nurture and develop this interest until the prospects are ready to buy, and then assist the sales team as they close the deals to turn these people into clients.
- Various components to facilitate (2) and (3). These range from well-crafted copy to thought-leading content to convince them of your industry leadership, webinars, videos, etc.
- Tools and processes to help you run your Social Media Marketing campaigns, such as blogging, monitoring, etc.
Both WordPress and HubSpot are moving their product offerings in these directions, and it’s a safe bet to assume that although your site doesn’t do all this now, you are adding, or contemplating adding, many of these tools and techniques to your existing site. How well will it cope with all this? How much will you have to renovate it to make it work well as an Inbound Marketing powerhouse? And perhaps the most important but seldom asked question of all: “Will the site’s new performance justify the money we’re about to spend on it, or will it still underperform?”
Now for that enigmatic photo which started this post. Years ago, Porsche ran an ad for the 944 Turbo. It claimed that other manufacturers simply bolted a Turbo onto the base model of their car to produce a turbocharged version. Porsche, on the other hand, added more than 100 parts to the standard car. To quote the ad’s copy: “The theory is that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts… that a change in one component can profoundly affect the performance of the others…”
There’s a lesson in this for all website owners.
We recently published a blog about Designing SEO-Friendly websites before you renovate or build them. Seems like this is a hot topic for us. And it is. Why? Because we meet so many people who flat-out don’t get this. They tell us that they are anxious to get involved in Inbound Marketing Automation and that they are all excited about getting some SEO help, “but first we want to update or renovate our website”. And when we say NO – wrong thing to be doing first – they think we’re selling them on our services instead of the right way to do things.
And we’re not alone. Our partner and good friend over at SEOWizardry, has been finding the same thing. So much so, that we collectively formed a LinkedIn group called “Holistic Website Performance” to promote the concept. In its first three days of existence, it has attracted close to 150 people from companies around the world, all engaged in helping their clients with at least one and often several of the functions listed above as part of a holistic website. And all of these people are enthusiastic about three things:
- Their work – no doubt about it, we’re all passionate about providing an excellent service to our clients. But we’re all faced with the same problem: our clients keep asking us to turn their VW Bugs into Porsches by simply bolting on some parts.
- The idea that to really do a great job, we need to know in the upfront design stage, what the website requirements will be over its life.
- The understanding that we need to get this message out more effectively because most people don’t seem to believe it.
We’re building a website which will both promote the concept and become a wealth of information concerning holistic websites. Putting our money where our mouth is, we’re designing it well upfront, and only when we’ve figured out all of its parts, will we launch it and invite you to explore… Our blog posts on Holistic Websites. Our answers to your questions in the forums, our how-to guides and tips, and in short, the space we’re about to create on the web which will become the definitive destination for information regarding the world’s most powerful websites. Websites whose design did not limit their SEO or automation potential and websites which truly do achieve their owner’s goals.
In the meantime, while you’re waiting, if you have some ideas about Holistic Websites and would like to contribute, why don’t you join our group on LinkedIn? Obviously you have to be a member of LinkedIn, and then just search for Holistic Website Performance.
Watch this space for more news, or follow us on Twitter for the announcement concerning the site’s publication.
* Our thanks to Jon at 944Turbo.net for his help in locating Porsche’s ad. The print advertisement is copyright Dr. Ing. h.c.F. Porsche AG and Porsche Cars North America. All Rights Reserved. It is used solely for educational purposes and should not be considered representative of Dr. Ing. h.c.F. Porsche AG of Porsche Cars North America.