11/16/2016 Joe Jensen

How a DIY Website Dream Can Become an Online Marketing Nightmare

Have you seen an ad for a DIY website service – the kind that promises a professional and fully-functional web presence that lets you just plug in your own content for just a few dollars – and wondered whether you really need to pay a professional web design company?

It’s OK, you can admit it. We won’t hold it against you. Everybody loves to save money, and web design does look easy in the ads they put up.

What we would remind you, though, is that it’s easy for your DIY website dream to become an online marketing nightmare. That’s because there are a lot of steps involved in the process of building a strong website and finding customers online that they don’t show you on the billboards and commercials. To help you understand why those steps matter so much, here are a few things you should know…

Web Design is the Easy Part

With modern web design software being what it is, creating a set of webpages that look good is actually the simplest part of what we do. The real work happens long before that, when we spend two or three weeks getting to know each client, evaluating their unique selling proposition, putting together a marketing plan that will appeal to their customers, and figuring out how the site will be promoted after it’s been launched. It’s taken us years and years of experience to learn how to do that well. Actually putting pixels into layouts is fun, but it’s not the part of the process that really pays off.

Competitive Analysis Matters

Your website won’t ever exist in a vacuum, just as your company doesn’t. That’s why competitive analysis is at the very heart of our web design and online marketing approach. It’s not enough to know your own business and customers – you also have to understand who your competitors are, why they appeal to some buyers, and what you can do to differentiate yourself and stand out online. You won’t get that kind of advice from an online template, and it can make or break your business.

Where Will Your Conversions Come From?

A website that doesn’t generate leads or sales doesn’t really have all that much value to your business. But, DIY websites and templates are made to look good, not create conversions. So, while they may have sleek aesthetics, there isn’t going to be any sales funnel in place that guides potential buyers from an initial visit to a finished sale or consultation. And again, this isn’t an area where you’re going to get any support for a low monthly fee.

Launching a DIY website means going it alone, or a live chat box with someone in India. In a marketing environment where it’s crucial to stand out on Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, and a dozen other platforms, you need an integrated marketing plan that’s going to create revenue, not just a set of pages that fit a generic profile.

We can certainly understand the temptation to build your own website using an online tool or template service. Be careful, though – the money you save in the process probably won’t ever add up to what you’ll lose by not beginning with the right research and knowledge in the first place.

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