I honestly get a kick out of telling people what I do for a living. Once they know that I’m a website and mobile app designer they often assume that my only purpose is to make things look beautiful. Don’t get me wrong, I can do that too. But that is only the tip of the iceberg. They don’t see everything that goes into the process of design and why I make the decisions I do.
I remember the first time I told someone how long a particular website took me to make, and then seeing their eyes grow to the size of grapefruits. Yes, those minimalist designs really took me that long to produce. What they failed to realize was, for every decision I made in that design, brought that business closer to achieving its goals.
Today I want to address some other misconceptions people have about websites. Here are my top five:
1. Business will come your way once you have a website
I’m embarrassed to admit that I once believed that this was all you needed to have a successful business. I published my website for everyone to see, then kicked my feet up and waited for business to come rushing in. I pictured waking up in the morning and visiting an inbox that was flooded with client email about their business websites. Instead, my inbox was flooded with cobwebs.
Why? There is so much more to a website than just designing it and publishing it on the internet. It’s possible to have a beautiful website that converts no one. Its also possible to have a visually displeasing website that still converts. Your website isn’t a one-and-done task you can now check off your to-do list.
You wouldn’t expect a new business owner to purchase some land, build a store front, and instantly get sustainable business simply because he opened a store location. That is where the real work begins in trying to create a business that actually works. Why would you treat your website any differently?
2. Results are not instant
Simply put, your website is a living organism and should be treated as such. Gone are the days when you can put a website up and expect Google to do the marketing and advertising for you. Without marketing your business or finding a way to draw people to your site, regardless of how great the strategy behind your website is, you run the risk of not getting any potential customers to your site at all. If you stop feeding your website with fresh content, your site will become obsolete. I learned this lesson the hard way.
Most importantly, you cant expect instant results. Anything worth having takes time right? The more time you put into maintaining your website, the better your chances are of attracting traffic.
3. My site just needs to look good
Beauty is not all we want (although it’s what we do). We actually want your site to address a business problem and serve as a launch pad for your business. Maybe you want more subscribers, more people to sign up for your courses, download promotional material, etc…. Beauty alone wont get you there. I’ve seen many sites that look great, but other than that, there really is no other reason for someone to stay around.
I cant give just anybody on the street a whistle and expect them to go out and coach a sports team. They would fail miserably. That’s because there is so much more behind the scenes that needs to be understood in order for them to be a great coach. Your website is no different.
The best way to decide if you need a professional’s help or is to assess what your business needs to grow. If the purpose of your website isn’t for creating business, then you probably wont. But if you’re website needs to highlight your unique skill set while establishing your brand and expertise against your competition, then you may want to seek help from a professional.
4. My competitor has a successful website, lets just create something like theirs
I had a discussion with someone who wanted their site to look and sound like a competitor of theirs. Their reasoning made perfect sense; “Well, if it works for him than it will work for me right?”. However, its not how things work. I guarantee that the success your competitor is receiving from their site isn’t because they copied someone else.
Instead, their designer highlighted the company’s unique value proposition which made them stand out from their competition. This certainly wont happen for you if you copy someone else who has an established online presence. I wouldn’t expect you to come out with the exact same product as your competitor and tell people that yours is better. You have to be authentic, be who you are and no one else. Why would someone want to do business with you and not the other person?
People love doing business with people. Your personality can be your greatest asset.
5. Web design is easy
You know, until recently, I thought golf was a pretty easy sport. “You mean all I have to do is grab this club and hit this ball in that direction, and that’s it? Sounds too easy.” I will admit that I have more respect for those guys after trying to do my own golfing out on the green. What once seemed like an easy task simply wasn’t.
Web design is the same way. Often times, people only see the outcome and believe that it can easily be replicated. The amount of time spent to plan, achieve and solve specific business problems is the other 90% you don’t see. Every detail within a site is strategic and used to help that company reach its end goal. It takes a lot of time and thought to craft a website for a specific business that they can then use to market to their audience.
For more helpful tips and actionable advice on growing your business through a website or mobile application, feel free to contact us with any questions. We’d love to hear from you.