It’s tempting, isn’t it? Building your own website… The thought of the money you’d save. And it can’t be that hard, surely? You’ve messed about in Paint and there’s plenty of free web building tools and templates available now. You can always ask your tech savvy 15-year-old nephew for a hand…. But take a moment to consider the consequences.
Your website isn’t just a website, it’s so much more! It’s your virtual shop front. It’s your online presence, driving your brand and sales; leading customers to your door. It’s your business’ future! It will determine not just your existence, but your survival.
Still not convinced? Let’s consider it from a different point of view. Picture this… You need to purchase a washing machine and you need it NOW! You’re standing on Main Street in front of two shops. Both shops sell washing machines, but that’s where the similarity stops. One shop is freshly painted white and has a huge awning and sign out the front that boldly shouts in clear, blue letters “Reliable Ralph’s Washing Machines”. The windows are translucent, sparkling clean. There are 8 beautiful straight rows of washing machines perfectly lined up inside, brightly lit and glistening white. The sign on the door reads “20 Years In Local Business, All Brands, All Models, All Sizes, 3 Year Warranties, Same Day Delivery & Installation, Price Matching Welcome, Come Inside and Chat With Ralph!”
A door to your right bursts open with a thunderous roar making you turn your head sharply to remember the other shop. Despite the garish yellow and red bricks demanding someone enter, the windows are less insistent. A decade’s worth of dust and dirt stains the glass and you squint, straining to see inside. You can just make out the words above the door “Cheap Jerry’s Washing Machines”. And before the man steps out of the darkness you hear his throaty voice bark, “Hey, need a washing machine? We’ve got plenty, they’re cheap, dirt cheap!” Dirt cheap rings in your ears. You like cheap, you want cheap, but not like this. Anyway it’s too late the vulgar colours, the grimy windows, the dated signage cast a gloom over you that can only be paralleled by the lack of light inside the dingy shop and the frown on Jerry’s forehead. You turn back to the Ralph’s clean, white, honest shop, whispering promises of service and quality and without hesitation you step inside.
Your website is your virtual shop front. In much the same way as a physical shop front either entices or deters a customer, your website will either welcome a buyer to read on, encouraging them and informing them to make a decision that will benefit them, or it will turn them off in a flash and lead to a quick retreat. With one simple click your customer’s journey will be leading straight to your competitors.
So, now that we’ve considered why it’s important that your website looks and sends the right message rather than just providing you with a web presence, let’s discuss the eight main reasons why you absolutely shouldn’t build your own website.
1. Design & Branding Is Important for Success
Simply having a web presence won’t guarantee your success. In fact having a web presence that’s not well designed could do quite the opposite. And the overabundance of websites on the internet now means that your website will need to be designed professionally for you to even reach your target audience.
Did you know that over a third of people will stop using a website if its layout and content is poorly designed and unattractive? And with close to 50% of people feeling a website’s design is the most important factor in deciding the credibility of a business, the integrity and success of your business relies on professional branding and web design. A web designer will design a website for you that is unique for your brand and will set your business apart from your competition.
Do-It-Yourself web building platforms are template driven, doing away with design for the sake of usability and ease of build. But it’s the design that will draw the customer in, keep them reading, influence their perception of your business and give you integrity.
2. Professional Tools & Experience
So you’ve been thinking that a web building tool could be all you need to whip your website up. But don’t be fooled into thinking that any website building tool you can use won’t be limited and result in a sub-standard layout, by eliminating design for the sake of ease of build. It goes without saying that a trained web designer will have the professional tools, skills and experience to produce a truly remarkable website for you.
Professional design tools like Photoshop & Illustrator can take years to successfully master. And then there’s the technical web expertise needed for dealing with conflicts and errors between browsers and platforms which can render your website inaccessible to customers. Don’t forget that your site needs to be mobile responsive, which altogether adds a new dimension of necessity for skill and expertise.
The idea is to make it as simple as possible for a customer to leave you a review – this link takes the users directly to the review entry window so they don’t have to fuss around searching for your Google Business profile.
3. Search Engine Optimisation Knowledge (SEO) & Performance
SEO is a constantly changing strategy that requires an expert, so unless you’re trained in SEO, it would make sense to leave this to a specialist. A professional web designer will build your site based on SEO best practice principles. And with regular optimisation of any website resulting in 113% jump in visits and 117% increase in clicks on that site, it’s definitely worth ensuring your site is optimised correctly.
4. Security & Support
Securing a website and protecting it from hackers can be challenging. Every time your website goes down you don’t just lose credibility as a business, but you also lose your virtual business presence and potential sales. Vulnerable scripts and plug-ins can present a backdoor for hackers, so having an expert to reduce this risk is imperative. From time to time you will need a bit of technical support anyway, so unless you speak geek then a good website designer is a necessity.
5. Your Competitor’s Websites Were Built by Professional Designers
If you’re not convinced and are still considering using an easy website building tool to build your own website, then consider the fact that your competition has used a professional to design and build their website. If you want to be on a level playing field with your competition, then you also need to present the customer with the same professional quality website. If they have an expert designing and building their layout and content for functionality and aesthetics, as well as doing their SEO then you’ll need to have the same as well.
6. To Increase Sales
If your website design, structure, and user experience both encourages the right behaviours and meets your audience’s needs, this will result in a better customer experience and a better conversion rate for you. Bearing in mind that the design of your website has a direct impact on the customer journey, then you’ll need a web designer to structure this to eliminate the risk of buyers dropping off your website at any point and, with a simple click, moving on to your competitor. Improving page load speed is crucial to ensuring customers stay on your site, as nearly 50% of consumers expect a webpage to load in less than 2 seconds or less.
8. Efficiency – Focus on Building Your Business
Without a doubt you are the best person to build your business, so focus on doing that. Don’t waste your time learning how to build a mediocre, at best, website and spend your time more efficiently working on your business. Make the most of specialisation, it’s a wonderful thing!
So there’s 8 solid reasons why you shouldn’t even consider building your own website. And if it’s results that you’re after, such as increased sales and brand awareness, then a website that’s been built and crafted professionally will undoubtedly provide your best chance of success.
If you’d like to find out more about having your website designed and built professionally contact practiceedge.