It’s the age of the self-made. People are reclaiming and reusing all sorts of materials. The DIY movement is in full swing and shows no sign of slowing down. It has gone from reclaiming wooden pallets to redesigning your home and now we are all the way into “Start your own business.”
What comes with that territory is creating a logo and a website. Seems easy enough too! You draw yourself a logo, plug that into your new site that you made all yourself then sit back, ready for the flood of new customers.
(Except thats not the way it works.)
“Why not?” you might ask. After all, everyone else does it and it looks so easy.
Because everyone else is doing it! It’s time to stand out!
If you don’t know the basics of CSS or HTML, the basic plug-and-play website will not serve you very well. Not only that, but photo editing and personalization of the templated styles need to be done in order to stay true to your brand. Unless you are skilled in User Experience Design, your site might not actually be as streamlined and user friendly as it needs to be. Potential clients and buyers are fickle. If a website isn’t easy to use and they aren’t immediately pulled in, they are gonna bounce.
Lack of Perspective
When you are the seller of a product, it is easy to get lost and forget that you need to design your website with your customer in mind. It might be difficult to come from their mindset, understanding their pain points, and provide a clean cut answer for them. It’s all about knowing the customer. Which you do! You know them better than anyone. But the job of the web developer and designer is to take what you know and craft a perfect roadmap for them through your website with calls to action, strategically placed statistics, and reviews for your product. They need to know how to find you, and a clear message about what you will do for them. Unfortunately the in-person sales pitch doesn’t always transfer over to an online platform. What matters when it comes to a website?
how it looks
how it makes you feel
how it calls you to act
the experience you have
the message communicated
Knowing the Competition
Your competitors are out there. And what happens if they have a completely optimized website? How do you know you will stand out when you come head to head with them in the online world? Professionals know how to research the competition and find ways to make you stand out. Not only that, but make you look like you have all the answers they are looking for, unlike JoeShmoe.com. Even if they are professionally designed, they might have huge faults in the design and site navigation that can play to your advantage.
SEO and Analytics
My guess is that the average DIY site maker doesn’t have a good handle on what SEO does or how important it is. The analytics are and overwhelming set of numbers and terms that don’t really help you when it comes to understanding which pages are doing well and where your customers are checking out (and not in a good way). You might not be showing up in searches where you need to be because of this. Some other points that might not be too familiar:
404 error pages
DA and PA
A Lack of Tools
When it comes to building websites, I use a handful of tools. And not all of them are free and easy to use.
InDesign / Acrobat
Technical Audit Tools
Rank Tracking Software
Competitor analysis software
Email Marketing tools
Landing page software
It can be intimidating to think about. When you are trying to get a business off the ground, its stressful enough to think about all the boxes you need to check just for that. Your business is your baby. The wisest thing you can do is invest in good branding and a strong website.
In the end, it is your decision whether you want to set aside a budget for design and marketing. But I will say, there are quite a few statistics on why you should. (Did you know that 73 companies in the billion dollar startup club put design first?)
A quick formula for calculating a budget is 10 percent of your gross sales for the year on marketing each new product or service, or 20 percent of the new service's sales and revenue target.
If you want to start getting an edge on the competition,
take the first step by contacting me to discuss a game plan.
Now, a question for you, dear reader!
Do you know how frequently you need to be updating your site?