If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?
It was hall of fame basketball coach, John Wooden, who once said “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?” This sentiment rings especially true in the world of small business owners, and even more so when it comes to building their websites. In this day and age, having an effective and impactful web presence is basically a requirement to build a successful business, large or small. In fact, according to a Kinesis, Inc. study, 75% of consumers admit to making judgements on a company’s credibility based on the company’s website.
As a cost-saving measure, small business owners often decide to handle the design, build, and maintenance of their website themselves. With a number of user-friendly, drag-and-drop website builder tools available, this is certainly an option, but is it really the best option for you and your business? It is easy to build a website that looks good on the surface, but ultimately lacks the functionality, usability, performance, and underlying features that drive customers to your business, engage them while they are there, and keep them coming back for more. Here are some key factors and common pitfalls to keep in mind when making your decision to build your website in-house or work with an experienced designer, and “get it done right the first time”:
One of the most important considerations when building your website, is the user experience. According to Inside Design, 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience. A bad experience can be the result of wide range of factors from visual appeal to site performance. A 2017 Adobe survey found that 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content and/or layout is unattractive, and 39% will stop engaging if images won’t load or take too long to load. Things like image type and size, browser incompatibility, and too many or un-optimized plugins can adversely affect both the visual appeal and performance of your site. One of the biggest downfalls of a business website; however, is the lack of mobile-friendly content and functionality, as we examine below.
It should come as no surprise in an era where most of us are inseparably attached to our mobile phones, that having a mobile-friendly website is critical. According to Inside Design, 85% of adults think that a company’s website, when viewed on a mobile device, should be as good or better than its desktop website. If your website is not optimized for use on mobile devices, it will be hard to read, difficult to navigate, slow to load, and ultimately will drive customers away from your business. According to Google, 61% of users are unlikely to return to a site on mobile if they had trouble accessing it and 40% will visit a competitor’s site instead.
Now that your site is optimized for mobile devices, your customers have to be able to find it. That is where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes into play. SEO is a complex and confusing endeavor that is often not given the proper attention or is completely overlooked by DIY website builders. There is a laundry list of factors that impact where your business and website rank in search engine results. Google, for example, uses over 200 factors in their search indexing algorithm. Some of the key factors include, your domain name, page titles and descriptions, page load speed, keyword usage, site content update frequency, and outbound links, just to name a few. While SEO may be an intimidating task, it’s value can’t be understated, especially for local businesses with brick and mortar locations. In fact, according to Word Stream, 72% of consumers who did a local business search visited a store within five miles.
So, what does all of this mean? While it may seem easy to build your own site, even one that looks good, it can be a fairly complex undertaking to build a site that effectively meets your needs as a business owner as well as the needs of your customers. And with most small business owners already working 60 or more hours per week to keep things running smoothly, finding the time to build an average website, let alone a great one, can be daunting. Taking a page from Coach Wooden’s playbook, finding an experienced and trusted designer who can help you build your ideal website right the first time will ensure you don’t find yourself dreading a do-over.