I’ve been guiding people to create websites since 2014, and the biggest mistake people make is not investing in their website. You should always hire a website designer, not do it yourself, for the reasons I’m going to state below.
This blog will be blunt, and some people may not agree with me.
Would you build your store, warehouse or office? No, you wouldn’t. So why do businesses insist on building a free website? Your website is your online business storefront. If you’re not serious about your business and making money, then, by all means, do it yourself. Otherwise, hire a website designer to do your website properly.
In 2020 with everything going on and more people turning to online buying, it’s more important than ever for businesses to have a website presence that reflects their brand.
So why aren’t you treating it that way and investing in something that represents your business and your balance sheet?
Sometimes DIY Websites Are Best
Before I go any further about the reasons you should invest in your website – I will readily admit that there are some circumstances where DIY websites are the perfect choice for some:
- New Business – no money & not making online sales
- Unfunded start-up
- Unproven Concept – testing
- Small Non-Profits
For those on the list, doing a DIY website is the logical choice if you have the time to invest in doing one.
Paying for a website should pay for itself (ROI). If you don’t have money and don’t make any money from the website, then a DIY website makes sense.
Now for those that need a website for their business to make sales, these are the reasons why you need to put aside the budget to invest in a website designed by professionals, not you, the guy next door or your teenager.
Yes, it will be an investment. A website will run anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000, but you’ll have a website that functions from day one and starts doing the job it was created for.
Website Builder Limitations
With website builders like GoDaddy, Wix and Weebly, there are limitations to what you can do with them. You’re locked into using their platform, and you don’t own your website. You’re renting it. That means that if you want to move your website, you need to start from the beginning and rebuild it.
Website builders like these have limitations on design and technical options they support, which causes user experience issues and loss of traffic. Your site also looks like everyone else’s, as free website templates can’t be truly customized.
Some of these site builders will also have advertisements they place on your site (this site was built by xxx) or domain names (yourcompanyname.xxx.com) that make your business look cheap and unprofessional.
Most business owners think building a website is easy. And ads from Wix, Weebly and GoDaddy sure make it seem that way. They have great marketing to get you to buy into that hype.
The reality is that it’s NOT. Website development takes skill and experience. We see too many business owners (and so-called developers who built one site and believe they can now build you one) build a website geared for them with low-quality content and technical issues. The message is about their business and how great it is. Customers don’t care! They want a website that speaks directly to them. They want your site to tell them how your product or service will benefit them and function correctly to find what they are looking for and purchase seamlessly.
A professional web design firm will take the time to understand your business and design a website that resonates with your target audience and does the job it was designed for. It works to achieve the goals you have. It will function properly, look professional and relay the right message.
It’s the first impression anyone has these days about your business, so it needs to be professional, and it needs to function. This will determine the success or failure of your website.
A website is not just the pretty front pages you see when you go to your URL address. It has a job to do, and it should be doing it. We see too many businesses that don’t have any automation built into their website. When someone doesn’t complete a purchase, do you follow up with an email sequence to remind them? When they join your mailing list, where is their contact information going? Do you have an automation sequence that leads them through your sales funnel?
A professional website design firm is trained in conversion principles to generate sales. They will ensure that the front end attracts your ideal customer and gets them to perform the desired action, i.e., subscribe, download, purchase or contact.
They understand that good website content follows the human-centric approach. The website needs to speak to your customers, not at them. I can’t stress this point enough. Too many websites only talk about the business and features of their product or service. You need to clearly understand who your customer is and what they need from you and cater your messaging to address those needs.
Many businesses are either scared to do SEO or don’t understand the value, so their DIY website is not optimized for search engines. SEO is a skill that takes time to learn, but its benefits are far-reaching and long term. SEO is not magical. You won’t see results overnight. It’s also not like an ad. An ad brings immediate results, but once the ad stops, the results generally start to decline. SEO is a long-term plan that provides long-term results.
Marketing agencies typically have an SEO expert that provides valuable technical optimizations, including load speed, security, structured data and tagging. A professional website developer will include these optimizations as part of their website development package with options for you to purchase more in-depth SEO services. There’s no point in having a beautiful website if nobody can find it.
Keyword research and content optimization is another fundamental strength that an agency provides. A marketing agency generally provides other services like social media management, link building, content writing services and ad campaigns. If your goal is to drive traffic to your website, then an agency is the option to choose every time.
You get higher quality work from a professional web design company. These companies have developed the necessary skills to create successful websites. An e-commerce shop should create loyal customers. The site needs to be user-friendly, bug-free and security conscious. It needs to make an impression on your target audience that inspires them to keep coming back. Your product descriptions and images need to be well thought out. Getting optimal performance from your website is their job. That is what you get when you hire a professional.
Not only will a professional web design agency deliver high-quality work, but they also have the expertise and experience to customize your website, so it’s unique to your brand. Beginners and amateurs won’t know that many features such as payment buttons, well-placed hyperlinks, lost cart and sales funnel automation, engaging emoticons, etc. are possible.
A professional web design company will know where to place features like your shopping cart or payment button without compromising the website’s overall design and functionality. The skills and techniques that go into building a website make it stand out and gain attention.
Website trends are always changing to keep up with customer demands. One of the latest trends is flat design. It means that it’s a clean and simple design with minimal images and no videos. Websites with a lot of imagery or videos have slow site speeds, which frustrate mobile customers, and Google penalizes them in search rankings.
Another trend is dark mode, which is a low-light user interface using dark colours. It usually has a black or dark grey background. Even Google gives you the option to change to dark mode for your Gmail account, and Facebook for the new page feed design rolled out last month.
Your website is the converging point for all your online marketing efforts. It’s the starting and endpoint for all your marketing strategies. When you run a FB, Google or Pinterest ad, the goal is to get your target audience to land on your website and perform the action you want them to take. You want to have an eye-catching website for them to land on, content that informs and speaks directly to them and a website that’s easy to use to take the next steps to convert.
Save Time & Money
Another reason to use a professional designer is time. Small business owners wear a lot of hats. Do you want to add a website design to the list? How much is your time worth? Or your staff’s time? Let’s say you get the guy in the office to make your website, and you pay him $20/hour, and it takes him 100 hours to make the site. You’ve now spent $2,000 in wages. You lost him from doing the work in your business you hired him for, and you end up with a website that wasn’t professionally built.
You’ll end up scrapping that website within six months to a year, realizing it’s not functioning the way you need it to. You’ll then spend $3,000 or more to get a new one appropriately designed.
Instead, you could have invested in a $5,000 website that works the first time perfectly.
Not only that, how many sales did you lose because your website didn’t function properly? Could you have made that $5,000 or more during that time frame with the sales you lost to have paid for a professional website from the beginning?
No one cares more about your company’s success than my team and me at Zealous Social. Our top priority is to make sure you grow. When you grow, we grow. If you’d like to set up a free consultation, we’d love to talk to you.