The decision to build or update your website is a big one. Make sure you thoughtfully consider all of your many options first.
The most common question I get from those who are thinking about utilizing marketing services is whether or not I can build a website for them. The answer, obviously, is yes, but before you and I dive into a project together, you should be asking yourself some key questions about the website and customer experience you’re seeking to provide for those looking for your products or services. It’s very easy to put up a website; it’s much harder to make that website a marketing tool that does what you need it to do.
It’s all about trust
I’ll admit, a new website is generally the first step for any business or organization wanting to level up. It’s just not for the reasons most people think. A new website probably isn’t going to send waves of people to your door, begging to work with or buy from you. At least, not quickly. If you think updating your web presence is going to suddenly result in a bunch of new business or leads, you are very likely going to be disappointed.
Rather, an updated, modern, responsive website is most notable for what it doesn’t do: it doesn’t give people a reason to pass on you. When customers or clients are considering their options these days, there’s a whole laundry list of things that could get you dropped from consideration. A poor website is one of those. A modern, professional website is a minimum requirement, not a bonus feature. In marketing there is the concept of “trust signaling” whereby businesses and organizations attempt to explicitly portray their expertise and trustworthiness to visitors and potential customers. A professional website is a key trust signal. Sure, you can succeed simply with a Facebook page or other channel perceived as “less” professional, but a proper website with your own web address checks a box in the minds of those who might want to do business with you. Help them trust you!
Additionally, your own website is a great way to build, foster, and grow your business network. It’s very easy to collect email addresses from your site, and then send mailings to your list. It’s very easy to set up contact forms, or even live chat, so visitors have a variety of ways to contact you. You can even set up communities or develop useful tools and utilities for your customers, adding real value to their experience and locking them into a relationship with you. Really the sky’s the limit with what your website can do! It just can’t do any of that if it’s stuck in the 00s, or worse, doesn’t exist at all.
Help me help you
Another thing to consider when thinking about a new website is what you will be providing to help assist in the construction of the site. When I say I can build a website for people, what I mean is that I will take your existing content – written copy, images, logos, graphics, videos, etc. – and build a site that displays and presents them in ways that I know from experience and best practices results in visitors doing what you want them to while they are on your site. Unfortunately, there is usually a gap in understanding between what I mean and what a potential client means.
In my experience, when people ask if I can build them a website, they usually mean can I create all the content too. Which, yes obviously I can do this, but there is a cost involved just with content creation that is independent from site construction. So prices for that type of site building will be higher than if I’m just repurposing your existing content. Although I try my very best to affordably price my services, especially for local clients and specific types of businesses, this can lead to some level of sticker shock if a potential client is not prepared. Luckily, in today’s world there are very simple and easy ways to generate some basic content that is generally good enough to meet all the objectives of a client, but the best content is always going to require someone with time and knowledge to refine it. As a business owner, you’re paying for that in either your time or money.
The last thing to consider is price, and by that I mean both time and money. I realize that this will likely be the first consideration for people once they decide to update their site, which is why I’ve put it at the end of this article. The aforementioned considerations should be thought about and discussed before you even do any cost comparisons.
On price, you have your time and your money to consider. It’s no issue to pay for a cheap DIY website service like Wix or Squarespace and build your own site. For many, I might even recommend that first before making a bigger investment in a professionally designed site! It’s a transferable, professional skill after all, which might be important depending on who you are and where you are in your career. However what you save up front in cost, you pay for on the backend with your time.
How experienced are you with any of the low-cost website building platforms? If you’re not, do you have the time to learn? If the answer there is also no, it might just be worthwhile for you to pay a little more to have someone else worry about it! That’s the entire concept of professional services really; your time is valuable and you should be spending it on what you like and what returns the most value. If it’s not a specialty or an interest for you, find someone for whom it is! As owners, a valuable lesson to learn is that you’re going to pay for it one way or another, so you might as well do it right the first time.
I hope this is useful for you as you think about the next steps for your business or organization. Please feel free to reach out to discuss these and many more options that are available to you in today’s ever expanding martech universe.