There are a lot of choices when it comes to getting a professional website and many times a small business with a tight budget will opt for a do-it-yourself website or a template instead of working with a web design agency. A professionally designed website is almost always a better choice than DIY. Getting a website that costs a little more will bring in rewards not available with those DIY sites. Not only will a professional website look and feel customized for your business, but it also comes with the team of knowledgeable people you will need to keep it updated, serviced and running smoothly.
Having a great new website, done well, will often pay for itself within a year.
It establishes credibility and trust
What kind of impression does your website make when it looks like you made it yourself? What message you sending to your customers?
If your website looks homemade, here are some of the messages your customers may receive when they land there:
- your business can’t afford to have a professional website
- you aren’t invested in your business enough to work on your online presence
- you don’t believe in your services or products enough to showcase them at their best
- you take shortcuts to reduce overhead
Having a professional website provides detailed information about your business and lets your potential clients know your business is stable. You can provide a clear picture of your business and the vision you share. If your website looks high-end, then your business looks high-end too.
One of the biggest mistakes I see businesses make are ignoring their website in favor of other areas of marketing, such as billboard or flyers. And while using traditional marketing isn’t a bad idea, approximately 80% of customers research a business online before making the first contact. If they get to your website and it looks dated or like you haven’t spent much time, effort or money on it, what impression does that make?
This is particularly important if you work an industry that provides pretty expensive services, such as home remodeling, contracting, medical services and legal services.
Having an unprofessional website will not establish trust between your potential customer and you. If your website looks bad, they may leave your website and go to the next in the list. If your competitor’s website is better, then you may have lost a sale.
Don’t lose business to your competitors because they paid for a great website and you made one yourself.
A professional website targets your audience and increases traffic
One of the biggest benefits of having a professionally designed website is that professionals understand how people use websites and can tailor your website to your target audience. A DIYer is likely to think of their website as an online business card rather than a marketing tool. Your website is NOT a business card. They think that since can import a template, upload a few pictures, write a brief bio and include their phone number, then they are done and that’s all they need.
But a professional knows better. They know how to leverage their knowledge of website use along with your expert knowledge of your industry to create a website that is not only attractive and functional, but one that converts visitors into real leads.
A professional website will be working for you when you’re out working for your customers. And that’s the real goal of any online campaign.
The only advantage of building your own website is when it comes to initial cost
It’s true, making your own website will save you money in the short term. And if you’re a new business owner or looking to keep costs down, it’s understand that you’d be looking for a more affordable option.
But the reason that business owners often find themselves looking for cheaper options is because they don’t understand the value of having a professional website. They don’t realize how important that first online impression is that they are making with their potential customer.
Putting your best foot forward with your website is one of the best investments you can make for your business.
Ask yourself this – how many customers would you have to get as a result of having a great new website to make the investment worthwhile? How many would you need in one year? And how many more each year would you need to make the website pay for itself? And in three years, will that investment have made you a profit? If your DIY website can’t do that, then you may be wasting your own time doing your website which could better be spent running your business.
In the short term, a DIY website will save you money. But a professional website will make you money in the long term. The return on investment for a strategically designed website can have long lasting rewards.
Caring for a professional website
If you want your website to grow your business, then you have to take care of it. And that means you can’t just let it sit unattended. There are a lot of things you can and should be doing to make sure that your website is always working for you.
- Reevaluating and updating your content. Words get stale too, so think about your message and what you’re trying to say to the customer who visits your website.
- Keeping your software up to date. Out of date software is a risk for being hacked and there isn’t a worse message to send to potential customers than a hacked website.
- Updating your photos. Old content looks stale, but old photos look staler. If you’re regularly doing work that people should see, take photos and post them!
Remember, your website can be working for you 24/7, it’s a living advertisement for your business. Don’t underestimate the power having a professional website can be for your business.
You’re an expert at your business, let us be the experts at your website. Contact us today for a free quote on a new professional website.
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