Gardens and Web Design

or “Who gets blamed when SEO goes bad?”

Really. You, as the business client are paying good, hard earned money and expect results. Your web developer wants to provide good results but often needs things like images, information and news updates for the website.

In order to avoid a bunch of technical terms that will make your eyes glaze over, this is a lot like paying a gardener to work in your garden.

Was It Your Fault As The Business Owner?

Have you been treating your website like a garden? If you have ignored the gardener’s advic or interfered in the process then you can’t fault the gardener when the garden doesn’t produce.

Business owners are very, very busy people and don’t always do what someone else says is important for them to do. It’s understandable and perhaps even difficult to do your end of the leg work when you have other pressing things to take care of. Did you do your part or did you ignore their requests for information? Did you fail to have new information added to your website periodically?

If you had done as the gardener suggested in the way they said to do it, you probably would have had a good result for your business website.

Now, it can also be the case that you are getting the best results possible for the money you are paying. In some industries, the big companies are paying millions to advertise digitally and it can be hard to compete against that.

It takes time to gather and create content that suits your business. You can’t just copy and paste from another website, so providing information and pictures to your web developer is a money saving activity for you. If you expect them to gather all the information then you should realistically expect to be paying tens of thousands of dollars to get results.

Was It The Web Developer?

It might be. One day, you will call your web person and demand to know why you aren’t ranking for some keyword. Do they know why?

Did your web person describe to you what they needed in order to rank your website for that term? If they failed to ask for what you needed for your website then the fault lies with them. Can they show a history of requesting the information? Did they push you for it and then warn you that your results are in jeopardy?

Your website can’t rank for something that doesn’t appear or is only briefly mentioned. A page has to be significantly dedicated to a narrow phrase to rank well.

Do you understand how the web works? If you do, you know you will probably never rank for the term “gardens” but you might rank for the term “Smith’s hanging garden baskets” with the right information on that web page. Every good web page is a landing page for a specific phrase; there is no ‘home’ page that people will always visit first on your site.

And your web developer should also know that updating your website periodically should be considered mandatory. No changes to your website over months makes search engines think the site is abandoned or dead. Your web person should have offered an option for periodic updates or a maintenance contract for changes and updates.

Let’s also address that, sure, sometimes a web gardener is lazy or a digital disaster comes through. These things happen just like sometimes businesses can’t (or refuse to) pay for the service they received – but if you did your part then it was up to the web person to do theirs.


As a business owner, maybe you’ve paid to have a website done for you and were not happy with it or its results. Before creating a new site or upgrading your old one, a web professional should be able to tell you why the old website did not perform and what can be done about it. They won’t use terms like fertilizer and seeds

Now, you can choose to use Impersonal services like Yellow Pages or Godaddy’s Website Tonight. The garden isn’t going to be properly prepared, the plants aren’t watered and no one tends the website.

As a side note, this is why SEO and involvement with your website can be very successful. Those that put the effort in will usually see results, which build on themselves as time goes on.

Treat your website like a garden. You need to prepare the soil, plant the seed and then make time to tend to it. It will take a lot of work on your part (and far more on the website designer’s part) to have a lush, long lasting garden and the results will be better from the soil to the fruits.