You nave a small business and want want a website. Or you have a site that’s just not doing the job. Here are 7 things to not do when getting a website.
I’m going to talk about building a site yourself, SEO, mobile responsiveness, “free” website services, not over complicating design, security, and maintenance.
So here are 7 things to not do when getting a website.
Do it yourself
Yes there are plenty of website builders out there, all promising you that you can design beautiful and functional websites with no experience. They have plenty of templates, but if you look closely you’ll see that it’s actually only a few designs repeated over and over again.
What you wind up with is at best a mediocre website that looks like everyone else’s.
And what you wind up paying for the privilege of doing all the work yourself is usually just slightly more than what a professional web developer/designer would charge.
Use a “free” website service
The free services are there for two reasons.
Number one is to entice you to use a paid service. They dangle a small amount of design and functionality out there, but give them money and you can get so much more.
Number two is like the saying goes: If you’re not paying for a product, you are the product. The little bit they give you is a small cost for the ability to market your data to companies that will pay for it.
Plus many times the free sites have their ads on your page.
A professional web developer/designer (the good ones at least) doesn’t hang freebies in front of you in order to get your business. They will tell you up front what services they will offer for what price. And they will never sell your data to anyone.
Not Taking SEO Seriously
A website does no good if people can’t find it. SEO is super important when building a website. If you don’t know what SEO is, that’s a prime reason to not build the site yourself.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Optimizing a website so people can find you when they need you. If you’re a plumber who offers water heater replacement, you want your website to come up when someone in your area searches for “water heater replacement near me”.
If you’re an attorney in Atlanta who specializes in criminal law, you really don’t have a need to show up in someone who’s in Memphis’ search for “divorce lawyers in my area”.
That’s where SEO comes in. A professional web developer/designer will ensure that the right keywords are there to enable you to show up in the search results for the potential customers you want to target.
They can also research your competition to see what search terms they are ranking for.
Many times people want too many bells and whistles on their page. What they need to realize is that the visitor isn’t there to look at the pretty pictures and crazy animations, they are there looking for information.
Yes, design is important. People are attracted to a nicely designed and eye-catching website, but don’t let the eye candy overwhelm the message.
A professional web designer knows what works and what doesn’t. And while they will be willing to do anything you want on your site, they are also there to advise you to not pay for things you don’t need, and can actually harm your SEO.
Content like animations and video can slow your site down, and Google can downrank a site if it’s too slow.
These days, a large percentage of websites are accessed with mobile devices, with the vast majority of those being phones. Tablets make up a very small part of mobile devices.
A website that looks good on a desktop, but lacks good design on mobile can drive visitors away.
Plus mobile speed is just as important as desktop speed, maybe more important.
Professional website developers/designers will make sure that the site they build is responsive on all devices.
Not Focusing On Security
Website security matters now more than ever. Not paying attention to your website security can damage your business’ reputation if someone were to hack into it and make changes.
Now, no web developer can guarantee that a site is hack proof, but a good one will implement the same level of security that they have on their own site.
Many people think that once a website is finished, the job is done.
On the contrary, website maintenance is an ongoing thing. From updating content, to performing updates to the software that runs a site, to making sure security stays current.
A professional web developer will focus on all of these items in order to keep your site running at its full potential.
Getting a website is a big step to a business. And a good looking and responsive site can show potential customers that you are a professional business.
If your website is ugly, slow, out of date, and buggy, what kind of signal does that send to the visitor?
If you’re a small business with no website, or a site that just doesn’t make the cut, South Metro Web can help.
Email me at Larry@southmetroweb.com, or fill out our contact form here.