Should I delete my website when I’m too busy?

Posted on April 2, 2019

 

This may sound like the most ridiculous question you could ever ask, but it’s something I saw debated in a web designers’ Facebook group this last week. It’s also something I’ve come across before with some of Engage Web’s clients wanting their websites removed because they can’t take on any more work.

Let’s look at the issue

An Australian web designer posted in a group, asking for advice from the community, on how to deal with their client’s request to have their website removed. The web designer had achieved excellent local geographical rankings for their client in Google, meaning they were top three for their particular service.

They were a trade, by the way. The web designer didn’t elaborate on which type of trade.

The only websites above them were directories, meaning they were the top ranked business for their area. This represents excellent work from the web designer, and she was wholly congratulated for their work in achieving this.

The client had asked the web designer to take their website down for a few months as they were fully booked, and they didn’t want to receive any more enquiries (emails or calls) as they couldn’t cope with them at the moment.

The web designer was asking what she should do, as she had already told them she believed this to be a bad idea.

So, why exactly is this a bad idea?

First off, SEO isn’t something you can just ‘switch on’. To achieve a first page listing for a particular search term is difficult. To become the top Google-ranked business in your industry, in your area, is very difficult. They are in an enviable position with their website and taking it for granted and switching it off will lose their rankings, obviously. There will be no website to rank in the first place, so Google will remove it.

This does not mean it will necessarily return when they’re ready for it to be switched back on. It may never return.

Any websites linking to them, and there will be websites linking to them, may well remove those links when they see the website no longer exists. This will also affect their rankings when they’re ready for the site to return.

Any existing customers who Google them will see their website is gone. This will make it seem as though they have gone out of business, and their customers will look elsewhere. This could also apply to any work they’re currently working on, or have planned over the next few months. They could well find they’re suddenly not as busy as they first thought.

So, in short, they’ll lose their rankings and may never get them back, and they’ll lose customers (future and present) who believe they’re out of business.

The suggestions?

So what should they do instead? How about simply adding a message to the website saying they’re fully booked, and won’t be accepting new jobs for a couple of months? This ensures they don’t lose any search engine rankings, existing customers see they’re still operating and it announces that they’re so good at what they do, they’re fully booked.

Rather than negatively impact their customer confidence, this enhances it.

If they’re really worried about still receiving calls and emails, they can remove the phone number and have an auto response on their email and contact form stating the same message. They could even add a mailing list sign up so people can be notified when they are accepting new business, thus ensuring they have a pipeline for the future.

Doing this will turn a negative into a positive for their company image.

There are more options open to them as well, which could see them increase their profitability and grow their business.

They could increase their prices. If they’re fully booked for months, why are they working so hard? Increasing the prices allows them to do the same work for more money, or less work for the same money. If they’re fully booked, they clearly have the capacity to earn more for the work they’re already doing.

Of course, the biggest issue with their business is their limited time. If they really are booked up for months in advance, they can’t do any more work because there is no more time left in which to do it. People who sell their time are limited in their growth potential.

This means they can’t expand their business… unless they take on more staff, pass on leads to someone else or outsource the business to another firm.

If they pass the work onto someone else, they can still get paid a commission, or residual, for the work being done without doing it themselves. With their rankings being so strong, they’re obviously getting enquiries coming in, so why stop those when you can earn money from them without even doing the work yourself?

As mentioned previously, I have seen this bizarre issue arise previously, so it’s not exclusive to a company operating in Australia. Many trades, who are great at what they do, aren’t great at running a business. They don’t see the opportunities for growth that a really strong online marketing partner could suggest for them.

Are you struggling with too much business? Are you considering switching off your website as you don’t have time to deal with the enquiries? Please speak with us first, as there are ways you can grow your business without it taking up more of your time.

And whatever you do, under any circumstances, do not delete your website. Ever!

Darren Jamieson

Technical Director at Engage Web
Darren is Technical Director at Engage Web, as well as being a co-founder of the company. He takes a hands-on approach to SEO and web design, helped by more than 15 years’ experience in these fields.

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