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Marketing Basics: Web Design

Let’s talk about the basics. There are literally dozens of ways that you can market your local business and that can get confusing. We want to spend some time showing local business owners the fundamental marketing assets you need to be focused on. This series will break down what you should be doing, what you should be avoiding, and maybe most importantly WHO you should be avoiding. Strap in folks because this is a gut shot right at the heart of local marketing, the businesses that need it, and the companies that take advantage of their peers.  

So you want to build a website?

I can’t begin to tell you how many business owners I have talked to that tell me their website is “perfect” or “just fine” and about a hundred other ridiculous expressions that all really boil down to “I like the person who built my site and I don’t want you trying to sell me something”. Well, fair enough. But, how much do you like this person? I can’t say in my lifetime I have ever liked someone who sold me something enough to be complacent with that product or service hurting my business. And that is exactly what is happening. Some companies, who claim to be web design experts, are actually hurting local businesses. It isn’t always intentional or malicious, but it definitely does happen. One of the most important things to remember is that companies like Google don’t care how much you like the aesthetics of your website. If something is wrong or missing, they are going to penalize you for it regardless of how nice the present you got from your web designer for Christmas was. 

“Some companies, who claim to be web design experts, are actually hurting local businesses.” 

So, how do we spot this and make sure it isn’t happening to our business? Let’s break down the basics of website design and look at examples of what to do and what not to do. 

1. Stop hiring a web designer because they are “cheap”.

You know that age old saying “you get what you pay for”, there is a reason that it’s an age old saying! Web design is technical, complicated, creative, and many other things. People who are skilled in it are going to require that you pay more for their skill and expertise. Your website is your businesses online brick and mortar location. Would you have customers visit you in a building that was slapped together by the “cheapest” contractor in town? Of course not! You would be worried about the roof collapsing on their head! This isn’t an exaggeration either, the technical foundation and execution of your site determines whether or not Google will serve traffic to it and if Google thinks your digital roof is going to collapse, they definitely aren’t going to send search consumers to it. Focus on hiring a web designer who is going to give you the best product, at the most reasonable price, and is willing to use third party tools to validate the quality of the work they do.

 2. Grow with your community.

If you are the kind of business owner who is “doing just fine” and doesn’t want to grow your business, please do us all a favor and close your doors and become an employee of someone else. This may sound harsh but if you believe you sell a quality product or service, that is needed, and is fair in price and value then you have a responsibility to offer that service to everyone who is looking for it in your community. Stop making excuses and saying that you are paying all the bills and making a decent wage as a way to hide from your obligation to the community that supports you to be available to everyone. Having a great business but a trash website that nobody can find is not only unprofessional but disrespectful to the customers who pay your bills. Your customers want to be able to interact with your business on their terms and on their time and if you aren’t giving them that option then what you are saying is “I am too good and too comfortable to build my business around my patrons. If you want to give me your money you have to do it when and how I say”. It is arrogant and totally unacceptable. Your community loves you and supports you and they deserve the very best version of you. 

3. Your website is an asset, the internet is a marketplace.

How many people are visiting your website each month? How many people are searching for your products or services each month? How much of you monthly revenue can you attribute to online customers? These are all questions that you should know the answers to. If you don’t, chances are you have never worked with a true digital professional. Each and every month you should know how many people have visited your site, what content they engaged with, how many submitted a contact form, how many people called from your website, and impact that has on your finances. Did you know that nearly 10% of the United States GDP (About 2 Trillion Dollars) was transacted online in 2018? Projections show that number could double as quickly as 2022. Market and consumer research shows that in addition to E-Commerce transactions over 60% of all local and retail transactions occurred after a consumer had visited the businesses website. The bottom line is that the internet is shaping the buying behavior of consumers and as a business owner you should be following that trend. 

Is saving $1,500 worth losing $150,000? That’s the risk you take with ‘cheap’ websites.

Most business owners have spent the better part of a lifetime developing the skills, reputation, and network that is required to run a successful company. Yet every day we see thousands of businesses who don’t spend the money or time to convey that experience to online customers. Now more than ever consumers are not just using the internet for their own personal leisure, they are researching, recommending, and validating businesses from their online presence. We can help, Contact Us.

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