I have designer friends who would dispute the above headline furiously!
You see, most designers would choose “pretty” over “profitable” any day. They simply can’t view the world without the filter of design. In truth, I wish I were a little more that way inclined. Instead, I see what is sustainable and what is not. That’s why I advocate keeping your website focused – and not becoming distracted by fancy design and flashing banners, etc.
After all, you don’t want to walk the path of the many businesses that spend thousands and tens-of-thousands of dollars building websites that LOOK great… I mean drool-worthy and awesome… and yet, these websites generate no sales. These websites are rarely even set up to capture leads (i.e. grab visitors’ names and emails).
Spending Big on Website Design is Okay… sometimes:
I should note that there is definitely a case for amazing design. If, for example, you are an artist or a graphic designer or perhaps a “big brand” business (competing on brand), then you’ll need all the design muscle you can muster. Also, if your website is an interactive OR application-based site, then obviously your design needs to facilitate ease, speed and accuracy of use.
That said, even an artist or photographer can get away with a “clean and simple” WordPress installation (no graphic design required!). This allows visitors eyes to focus on the artwork and images on display.
So, if You’re Not Paying for Website Design, What ARE You Getting?
I have encountered a few small business owners who think that a website is just an online brochure. Nothing could be further from the truth. Actually, if that’s the state of your current website, you need to get it fixed ASAP.
I’m not sure where this information came from, but I read this quote this morning. It was posted inside a marketing forum that I belong to. Here’s what it said:
‘According to a recent study, more than 60% of websites lack the proper web programming to be ranked properly by Internet search engines.
According to the Front Page Public Relations report, websites, in many cases, do not contain the necessary titles, descriptions, keywords and other Meta tags required to be read and indexed properly by leading search engines, nor do they include the beneficial language in search results to entice customers to click through to their websites. ‘
And that’s precisely why a website is more than just “design”. If your website is nothing more than an online brochure, then it will NOT be indexed by Search Engines like Google.
When I build your website, I make sure you get:
- design: a simple, effective, attractive design (basic or from a template).
- SEO: the right SEO “Search Engine Optimization” components (titles, descriptions, keywords, etc) to ensure your site gets its place in Google.
- keywords: a researched Keyword list that is based on consumer search levels for each particular keyword.
- copywriting: highly effective, emotionally charged content and headlines to make sure your visitors call you, buy from you, or email you (whatever you want them to do).
- lead capture: although optional, I’ll also encourage you to have me build a lead-capture device into your website. This harvests your prospects’ names and email addresses by offering a free report or free consultation in exchange for their details. You’ll then have their contact info to follow up and make the sale.
Think of Your Website as a Lead Generation System, Not Just a Brochure