This week we take a look at 8 of the most common myths and mistakes, regularly made by businesses when it comes to their website. Hopefully this list will help you avoid them, saving you time and money!
1. Having any website is better than no website
Your website is the first impression that most people will get of your business. You have about 3-5 secs to make the right impression, if it’s not right for them, you’ve lost them for good! So firing up any old website “just for the moment” or “just to have something there” is not the answer. The loss of customers will doubtless cost you more than the money you think you are saving and you are more likely to lose potential long-term customers than actually gain them. Take down that crappy website, now is the time to invest in something simple but professional!
2. Design and colours don’t matter!
Oh yes, design and colours do matter! When someone comes onto your site, you control the first impression and the emotion you want them to feel. Your brand is unique to your business and you want to come across to your customer your way; that way may be fun, professional, serious, medical sector, health and wellness etc. You may want your customers to feel excited (yellow, orange), passionate (red), informed (blue), relaxed (purple, brown)...whatever your business is about. The way the website is laid out and the colours used in its design will help convey this message and get your customer in the right mood to buy from you.
3. Don’t have time to get a website done!
Well if you try and do it all yourself, then that’s to be expected. However if you are using a professional agency, you should only have a few hours work on your hands to get your website created. Plus they can supply a content writer, to reduce your work even more. These days, your customer is going to search for your product on their phone and call the first modern, mobile-friendly, professional website they find in the search results. If that’s not you, you are giving them to your competitor - not ideal :(
4. Websites are too expensive!
Well, that depends on your situation and your point of view :) Maybe think about the following:
- Compared to opening another retail premises, with the rent, rates, staff, signage, utilities etc. etc. I bet it’s a lot more cost effective…
- Spending €150 on a website that gets you €0 return is very expensive!
- Spending €3000 on a professional website that gets you €30,000 return is not expensive at all!
It all depends on how you look at things and that you measure your return accurately :)
5. My friend / family member will do my website and it’ll be great!
This is a classic mistake that a lot of startup businesses make, someone they know who is handy with a computer offers to sort out their website for a very low cost (it’s curious that most people wouldn’t let their friend finalise their accounts or be their solicitor, but their website, which is often the main source of income, is fine!). While this may seem attractive, the catch comes when you least need it, a few months down the line when you are now busy and suddenly you need to update or change something on your website. The original person is uncontactable / off travelling / working full-time and you get stuck. Now it’s costing you money! The solution is to avoid this altogether, get a professional to do a professional job and provide a reliable ongoing service contract for your business.
6. I’ll just use Facebook
Facebook is fantastic! It allows you to keep in contact with your customers, update them about your business, market and advertise to them and collect data. Brilliant. However, there are a few reasons why it is not sufficient on its own:
- You don’t own it. So you have no control. If Facebook changes the rules in the morning regarding your industry and takes your page down there is little you can do quickly about it.
- A lot (and I mean a lot) of people will not buy from a business that does not have a website in addition to their Facebook page. This is because anyone can set up a Facebook page and pretend to be a business and there is no regulation. People need to have confidence in your business, they need to see you have invested in your business and take it seriously, and having a website gives them that confidence.
The website is your anchor, which you own and control. Your social media channels should attract clients and funnel them to your website, where you sell to them. It’s that simple.
7. I’ll build my website myself!
Again, on the surface, very attractive solution. Cheap and easy right? That’s what all the ads for DIY websites say, one click and you are online at a fraction of the cost of hiring a professional! Except, unfortunately for the business, it rarely works out that way. Most business people should be running their businesses, not learning how to become a web designer. When you add up the time involved in learning the basic skills, making mistakes, contacting support, as well as missing out on standard business features which a professional will know about, the cost will easily go higher than getting the website created professionally in the first place. Time and again we have seen second and third year businesses start a marketing campaign and then realising that they have no data from their website, or no list of contacts from their email form to work with. All because some simple corners were cut at the start of the business. Don’t be that business!
8. Build it and they will come!
Afraid not :) Best example? If you went out and got beautiful business cards designed, printed on lovely thick card, and then put them in your drawer instead of giving them to people, would you expect them to bring you business? Thought not! Your website is a tool to sell your products. You need to do the job of bringing people to the website. And that means putting the address on your stationary, promoting your website whenever you get a chance, online marketing with social media, content marketing with your blog, advertising with Facebook and Google Adwords etc. etc. Ideally you would do all of the above, but if you are tight on time / money, at least start one of them and take it from there. Don’t spend all your budget on a beautiful website and then leave nothing for promoting it.
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