Leveraging your Bottom (On)Line
You can build your own website, we know – there are loads of free software out there to “help” you with this mission. But that doesn’t mean you should. Neither should you hire your friend’s teenage son who is very “tech savvy” to do the job. Really.
Why do we say this? Have a read:
You are not a designer. Neither is the abovementioned tech savvy teenager. (Except if you are; then we apologise – please keep up the good work!) This means, per definition, that you cannot design. Maybe you have talent (yay – we absolutely love talent!), but unrefined talent is still inadequate for the job.
Keep in mind that what people see mostly trumps what they read – if they’ll even go so far as to spend time browsing the text on your site. Your website is the face of your business and if it looks unprofessional (which it will, if created by an amateur), your brand will be associated with this negative quality. In other words, you will lose credibility and thereby clientele, without even knowing it.
Going cheap is an expensive mistake.
Building a website – even an ugly one – takes time and, as mentioned above, continual maintenance. Ain’t nobody got time for that! You have a business to run, remember?
Your focus should not be unnecessarily divided or the quality and growth of your actual business will be affected. Do what you do best, and become even better at it, while your web designers do what they do best, which is taking care of your website!
Most of us are experts at something. Web designers and digital marketers are experts at... weirdly enough: web design and digital marketing. This means they know what is going on in the industry. They have spent much time to gain their skills and still invest a great deal in staying updated with the latest standards and developments in the web world – the type of developments that need to be reflected on your site for it to have cutting-edge credibility. The constant growth of web design platforms (like Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, Go Daddy etc.) renders them increasingly more difficult to master, since there simply are too many new add-ons to keep up with – especially for someone with a different day job!
Moreover, that free, quick-fix, pop-up website you or the tech savvy kid designed will only suffice for so long. The moment you want to add special features or improve the functionality, quality or user experience of your site, you need not-so-free tools. Professional web designers have access to these tools– not to mention the knowledge on what is available and the powers to use them effectively.
It would be unfair to yourself to let your lack of web knowledge make you seem incompetent when you really are a professional.
SEO stands for search engine optimisation (if you did't know that, please spare yourself the pain and just hire a professional already!) and it basically means that when people search on Google for the products or services you offer they will either find you or the competition. SEO is really a science and if you are not skilled at it, chances are very low that you will feature on a search results page. So many lost business opportunities....
A website is not static and creating it not a once-off project. It needs constant attention in terms of updates and upgrades, as well as technical and security issues. When you decide to boldly go DIY, you need to keep in mind that this is a ceaseless little adventure.
Also consider who are you going to call if (or rather when) you run into difficulties. You’ll probably end up spending money on eventually paying a professional, but at a greater price than if you simply had chosen a retainer package from a web design agency to begin with. (And no, that tech savvy kid most probably do not have the specialised expertise to fix all your troubles. Besides, he has homework to do.)
Your website is arguably your most powerful marketing tool. And marketing is not an additional luxury for wealthy companies – it is the thrust of any business. Whatever it is that you sell, it is as good as non-existing if people do not know about and trust it. Not giving your website the professional care it deserves may well cost you your business. Your competitors may not be as good as you are at what you do, but an unbiased potential client would be attracted to the brand that makes the most sense; the one that looks more credible. Let that brand be you!