Recently I was asked what I thought of the various tools for building your own site that many companies are offering today as a way to make a quick quid. I have seen a range of these tools available over the internet and as store bought packages, and these are heavily advertised online, on T.V and in the press.
There are pros and cons of using these DIY site builders. The main benefit being you can easily set up a website in minutes, and it’s cheap to do. Simply sign up with your card details, choose a design, drop in your logo, customise the text and there you have it – your very own website.
The idea of a DIY website is very appealing at a time when businesses are cutting costs, especially to start-ups and small enterprises that can’t afford to splash out on their marketing. But you only have to read the online reviews about bad customer service, contracts that are hard to get out of, and add-ons that you didn’t know you were paying for, and the great idea of a low-cost website quickly turns sour.
In my opinion the designs that are being offered tend to be dull and generally un-engaging. This poses a major problem in an age where 80% of your potential customers will check out your business online before contacting you directly. Even if you’re a well-presented, professional company in person, if you’re website is not up to scratch this will deter visitors and leave them running to your competitors.
By investing in a bespoke website, you are paying for something that is truly tailored to your business and your target audience. A well-designed website that incorporates interesting features and engaging content will generate a much better response from visitors than a simple template website that has been set up in a day.
The best marketing companies will take the time to research your company, and really understand what you offer, in order to create fresh and exciting designs that persuade the visitor to make the first step in contacting you. They will also make sure the copy has a healthy balance of key search terms and phrases to help visitors find you online in the first place.
If the copy on your website has numerous errors and spelling mistakes throughout, search engines such as Google and Bing will not consider your site as being very authoritative or professional. This could mean that you may not achieve the rankings in search results you would have hoped for.
As with template sites, there are cons to bespoke websites as well, the main problem being the cost. But whilst it is true these types of websites can be expensive depending on the features included, the most important question to ask is: Am I getting my money’s worth?
If you pay for a cheap DIY website, you most probably won’t see an amazing response. Instead, you should invest your money into a professional marketing company that will be able to build and maintain your website to ensure it stays fresh and relevant to your target audience, as well as maintaining a high position on Google’s search rankings.