5 ROADBLOCKS IN Web Design & HOW TO AVOID THEM
Let’s say you have started a new business and everyone tells you that you are nothing unless you are on the web –
You happen to be referred to me… and our first meeting is exciting… You find a domain name – right there in the coffee shop and we sign you up to a hosting company. We talk about the design, we talk about your business, your hopes, your dreams and the next five years.
It’s exciting… You are going to be out there on the World Wide Web! I may give you a little homework like to find sites with the same kind of business and forward me the links. We plan to talk again. You go away energized and happy.
Then something happens…. You glitch! Roadblock! You talk to people… They may say…
1. Why did you do that? You can build your own website easy! By the way … Is that the right domain name? Or…
2. You shouldn’t use XYZ Hosting company… they’re crooks! Or…
3. You are mesmerized by the competition’s websites… they’re razzle dazzle, etc. but their design company is very expensive… you can’t afford it with your new business. Or…
4. You are overwhelmed by the acronyms the abbreviations, the jargon, like SEO, optimization, flat design, conversions, analytics, etc. etc. Where do you start? Someone told you they can get you to the “top of the page” and if the web designer can’t promise that, then she is not worth it. Or…
5. Your nephew or your aunt says that they can build you a site for free… After 2 weeks, they are on vacation and won’t be back for a month…. And you are not sure they are coming back. Now you are nervous. Shouldn’t it be done already? You don’t know whether to call me… you don’t even know if you can look me in the eye!
You know what I say? Call me! Most likely by this time, I have called you.
1. Yes, you can build your own website.
It may or may not be easy. I had one client who came to me for form work. He had built his own website… It took him 50 hours. If you have the time, the energy then I say “Go for it!” It probably wouldn’t take that long for a professional designer. Plus, they will most likely know the latest, greatest trends and have the tools to implement solid design and add-ons like sliders, forms, shopping carts, and ways to make your site move faster. Even if you value your time at $20 and hour- that is $2,000.00 you are out. You have to count the loss of income from the 50 hours you weren’t working at your own business.
2. Maybe you shouldn’t use XYZ company and maybe it doesn’t matter.
I have most of the information on valid hosting companies. Why? Because it is my business to have that information or at least know how to find the information. I can help you.
3. Mesmerized by the competition?
Yes, your competition’s website may be awesome, and that is fine. We can learn from our competition. We can learn from their mistakes and their successes. You can have an awesome website too – and you don’t have to copy-cat them – just learn from them. The great thing about the web is it is all out there for the viewing. And, anyway – you want a website that represents your unique qualities, not their website. My prices are reasonable… we can work out a plan!
4. Overwhelmed by the jargon? Don’t be intimidated.
You can Google some things… and then you can talk to me. It is my business as a web designer to know these things. You don’t have to know everything. Maybe, someone told you that you have to be “above the fold.” So you are obsessing on that… this is one theory on design. A good thing to do is talk about it… you and I. We analyze if your business is the kind of business that benefits from being above the fold or will be more suited to a one-page scrolling website. What is best for your business? That is the question. We will collaborate, share ideas, and come up with the right design for you.
5. Everyone has a nephew or an aunt or a sister who does web design. That is fine. If they are serious then that is great. You might want to compensate them for the work, as well. However, if they don’t show up for the meetings… or make excuses and take a 2-month vacation in Cancun…Well, they’re family. What can you do? Find a professional web designer.
Here! Call me.
5 SIMPLE TIPS TO GET YOU STARTED ON THE SOCIAL MEDIA TRACK ~ FOR BEGINNERS
Start In Your Own Backyard!
First – do a little research. Find out what Social Network resonates with you. If you are already on Facebook… use it. Or perhaps you like Instagram, then use Instagram. Take one step at a time.
Ask your customers to “like” you on your FaceBook Page – have them write a little testimonial. People want local – they want to support their community.
Create a “Call to Action
Make sure you tell your site visitors what you want them to do! Ask them to “like” your FaceBook page. Ask them to follow you on Twitter or pin something on your Pinterest page!
Sharing is Caring
Put share buttons on your website… content is King! Your content can help another person and will send the right message out there.
If you have a WordPress site, explore the plugins like the WordPress Easy Social Share Buttons https://wordpress.org/plugins/easy-social-share-buttons/
5 SERIOUS MISTAKES PEOPLE MAKE ON THEIR WEBSITES & HOW TO FIX THEM
1. PUTTING TOO MUCH ON YOUR SITE
Too much on your site sends your potential client into overwhelm. You have a video… maybe three videos, your menu is chock full of items, and you have a slide show. The second your potential client arrives, they are blasted by music/sound effects. It is an information overload and they are out of there!
Suggestion: Determine who your ideal client is and how you can help them and simplify. Give them 3 pieces of information at most. If you are wanting to present yourself and you do many things… create another website or even more than one.
2. NOT BEING CLEAR ON WHO YOU ARE & WHAT YOU ARE OFFERING
Nothing is more off-putting than to land on a website after a Google search and not know what the site is offering. When I am looking for something specific and I don’t see it after a few seconds or I am not clear on where to click, I am out of there. You have lost a potential client.
If you are selling a high tech service, your clientele may be tech savvy and you talk to them in their language. That is appropriate. However, if you want to sell to the general public, if they have to Google “Big Data” to find out that it just means lots and lots of data… they may be intimidated and maybe it is just too much work. Speak to your ideal client and put your information in clear laymen language.
3. NOT KEEPING YOUR WEBSITE UP-TO-DATE
After a while, websites need refreshing. This is especially true for WordPress sites that require periodic updates. Also, links break, links change, themes and plugins need updating, and information expands or becomes outdated.
Suggestion: Learn how to update your site or hire someone to do it for you. Browse through your own site and check out the links. I recently came across one that was broken. Unfortunately it was supposed to lead to a shopping cart – the result was a loss in sales for the business owner.
4. NO OFFERS, AND NO CALLS TO ACTION ON THE SITE
You may have a beautiful site BUT if you have no offers for your potential client… the client has nothing to do and you might lose them. If you simply want a site to present information about you and and if you are doing a lot of offline marketing this may work but not optimally work for you.
Suggestion: To help your website WORK for you, offer free stuff and discount services that are of value to your potential client. Put information on your site that is helpful to your current clients and update it as your business grows.
5. NOT BEING EASY TO REACH
If you want to be perceived as available, professional and transparent, have an email, phone number and mailing address on your site. This gives your potential clients the feeling of confidence in doing business with you and cuts down the fear of doing business. If you have a home based business and don’t want your home address on your site then get a post office box.
STAY TUNED FOR MORE WEBSITE TIPS!