We all know the sayings. Time is money, nothing worth doing is easy, let the experts be the experts. As a business owner, you may have romanticized about the idea of spending all of your time doing what you love. Spending coffee-filled mornings on the laptop answering emails. The truth is that there is very little time for coffee or emails; you must wear many different hats in a day, especially when you are running a small business – and unfortunately, none of these hats can be silly. You are your own marketing, accountant, PR, secretary, account manager, project manager, etc. This leaves very little time to actually do the thing that got you into starting your own business in the first place! As business owners, we become obsessed with the need to do everything ourselves, to be able to wear all of those hats proudly and with confidence. We strive to save money and do a great job all at the same time.
This also becomes a cycle that begins taking more and more time away from the actual “business” part of the business. It eats into hours of potential productive time while we learn that new role, or try and accomplish a task that someone who is an expert in their field would take a fraction of the time doing.
Sometimes, it’s better to hire someone to wear that hat for us.
We’ve been bombarded with services that offer the “do it yourself website.” It costs next to nothing and you get a website. I already talk about treating your website as the biggest marketing tool you have, but beyond this, not hiring a professional website builder to build your business’ website may be costing you some serious money.
Here are some costly mistakes,
How easy it is to make them,
... and how we can help!
1. No Call to Action
It’s simply incredible the amount of websites out there that serve to get potential customers to purchase a product or service without actually asking that potential customer to purchase the product or service. Not telling a visitor of your website what you would like them to do can leave a customer looking elsewhere when they were ready to make a decision. On top of this, a large portion of small businesses do not even list their contact information on the front page. These businesses are turning people away at the door.
2. No Ongoing Support
Chewie Media has changed our preferred method of building sites to a monthly plan instead of a lump sum in large part because it keeps the websites updated and maintained. Have you ever visited a site and had the link go to a completely different page or domain? This is the result of that website being hijacked – and with no trained professional to prevent it, that website is down and inflicting damage on the company’s brand and credibility. If this hijacked website gets too out of hand, Google may even choose to “de-list” the website, making it difficult to get that website back on search engines without costly emergency support.
Preventative care costs a mere fraction of what it would cost to fix once something has happened.
3. Set it and Forget it
Similar to number 2, most businesses have a “set it” and “forget it” mentality to their website. They get it online, breathe a sigh of relief, and then let it sit for a year. A stagnant website is a dead website and if visitors never see activity, they are quick to move to the next site which does have activity. With so much to choose from, they can be as picky as they want. Which brings us to…
4. Poorly Designed and Developed Websites
A properly designed website can give you the confidence to bite off more than you thought you could chew… and that’s really what we’re about here.
This is a big one. There are so many websites out there now that it is imperative to at the very least look as good as your competitors, and ideally set yourself apart from competitors. Website design influences the first feelings a person will ever have about your company.
*cue warm and fuzzy music*
This is your storefront.
This is what will inspire confidence in your future customers.
This will set the tone for your entire relationship with them.
Yes it sounds daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. A properly built and designed website can have you handing out business cards and dropping your domain name with confidence. A properly designed website can give you the confidence to bite off more than you thought you could chew… and that’s really what we’re about here.
Have some honest friends and colleagues look at your existing site through the lens of a first time customer. What does your site say about your business? Does it say what you want it to say?
5. Doing it yourself
Cheap website solutions and do it yourself options are attractive to the checkbook at first, but spending evenings and weekends figuring out how to use whichever special form of “drag and drop” the website service is using and then getting everything to sit just the way you like it can add up quickly. Time that could have been better spent on the business. On top of this, every update further adds to this tally. Unfortunately, all of that hard work still doesn’t hold a candle to websites designed and developed by professional website builders – and if your competition is using one, they are going to be the ones that stand out, not you.
6. No Analytics/No Metrics
How many people visited your site yesterday? How did they find you? Where did they find you? What did they do on your site?
These are import questions that you should be armed with when making changes to your website. Activity on your site can tell you what pages are popular and effective, as well as what pages may be causing people to leave and why. Finding out where your customers are coming from can inform your marketing decisions by focusing on certain areas, or even keywords. This can also help inform if you should run a sale on a specific product. Say 50% of your customers are coming to your site in search of widgets, you would know that a sale on your most popular widget might increase sales.
It is amazing how many businesses do not have this information. A properly built website can provide this information and more – making your website begin working for you.
7. No Mobile Optimization
More and more traffic is now being delivered by mobile devices. 38% of our visitors are using smart phones to find us. Despite this trend, a very large portion of websites, and especially small business websites, do not have the capability to display properly on a phone or tablet.
There are more pitfalls than this for a business looking to build their website, but this is a great start and a good starting point. As with most things in life, you get back what you put in – put in the effort with your website and it will become your best marketing tool and amazing storefront.
I genuinely care about your web presence and about making it the best it can be. Leave a message in the comments below if you have any questions, or contact us with your exiting project or questions if you would like to know more about what we can do to make your website exactly what you want it to be
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About the Author
Owner and Lead Developer
Jeremy Kasdorf created this company with the idea of helping small businesses grow with the help of their strong, impactful online presence. With a Bachelor of Science in Interactive Design, Jeremy is able to turn dreams into a beautiful vision of reality. He is able to translate that into developing meaningful user experiences on websites that save time, increase productivity and expand the reach of his clients. Through websites, SEO, SEM, and hosting, Jeremy is able to offer his clients a full range of solutions.