I have helped many organizations and individuals develop marketing strategy. Most of these relationships have started with the question, "Can you help me develop a Web site?" I always answer with "Yes, I can...but, it's important to integrate a Web site into a complete marketing and PR strategy." Many times the initial response is that of concern about the financial commitment. Organizations and individuals alike, regardless of their reasons for wanting a new or redesigned site, tend to think that merely having an Internet presence will increase their visibility--sort of like the notion from the well-known movie, Field of Dreams, "If you build it, they will come."
In the case of a Web site, I'm sorry to say, building it will not guarantee they will come. Web sites must be designed with the end goal in mind. Much thought must be given to how the design, content, images, copy, links, page URLs, and key words will impact the impression the site will make when launched. The end goal must be definite because every element of the site is carefully designed and built with it in mind.
I do agree that a professionally designed and developed site is the first step in your overall marketing and branding strategy, and I stress the word professionally. I personally have the equipment and capability to design a basic Web site, and it would be in my financial interests to do so, not to mention less expensive for my clients. But, I always strongly advise against it. I have a brilliant Web site developer on my team, working in concert with a professional photographer and best-in-class editor, and they are worth every penny of investment. My clients have a representation of their company or their self that is strong, impressive, and that works.
A quality Web site serves as a springboard then for every other marketing, branding, and PR activity that you do from there. Every press release, blog posting, social media outlet, and advertisement directs the potential customer or interested party back to your site...and it better be good! And it better include any piece of information that the visitor might be seeking.
But, if you only post a Web site, no matter how much of an investment you made in it and how impressive it is, it will do nothing for you if you don't put an equal amount of forethought, time, and monetary investment into a solid PR strategy that will direct people to your site by the thousands. The strategy is written into the architecture of your site. If your Analytics aren't showing an increase in organic visits and page requests every month, then these two series of tasks--Web site development and subsequent PR--either fell short, were not coordinated, or both. And this is only the first step! Not only do you want an increase in visitors, you want the visitors to be valid potential customers who found you through an outlet(s) that spoke directly to them and their needs.
It is a carefully choreographed and well-executed series of actions and activities that begin with a Web site and end with a wildly successful outcome...one that you envisioned when you said, "Can you develop my Web site?"