No Cost and Cheap Website Myths
The world is full of no-cost and cheap websites. Some work, but most don’t. Not because the technology is wrong, but because the basic principles of creating and maintaining the marketing tool of the website, are either not known or forgotten. Too often websites are hammers, where spanners are needed.
1. Everything’s social these days so why bother!
Increasingly large brands are directing their clients and prospects to Facebook or other social media rather than their website. Why? Because they know that whatever the web property, it is all about communication and conversation.
That’s why building a website and then not touching it, is like going out into the Forest of Dean and shouting loudly; and going back a year later and expecting to hear the echoes or finding people waiting to talk! The difference between websites and social media is purely conceptual. It is not a choice for most businesses of either/or, but both with a conversion strategy.
2. All web designers are the same!
Not true. All websites must be designed in order to achieve their objectives. Choosing a people carrier won’t win you a F1 grand prix! Turning up in the racecar is perhaps not the right image for a plumber or management consultant! Designer has at least 4 meanings for websites:
· The graphic designer. What does it look like- colours, layout, font?
· The IT techie. How does it work- if the user clicks this what happens?
· The marketing adviser. What does it want the viewer to do next?
· The marketing consultant. How does this fit with the brand and the other sales and marketing materials?
3. Why pay for hosting and domains?
No-cost hosting usually means no fee hosting. Your web-space can be shared with various unconnected advertising diluting your message so that the hosting company can generate revenue. For some businesses at the start, this might be a cost worth paying. Not so your domain, as the costs are so minimal, while advantages on being found and protecting your identity are significant. If you hold the domain registration, you control your site.
4. Content is King and Killer
Site content is governed by contradictory ‘rules’. The ever-changing Google Game sets which pages are found by those who search. Others are set by the target audience who either like reams of words. Or very few. Content can be static (core web pages) or fast-moving (blogs/news).
Without content there is no site. But content is equally killer as king. It’s a killer because for most of us it is difficult to know what to write, so is a painful task; or we copy someone else and get hit; or we tell everyone how brilliant we are so even our closest family read it through gritted teeth!
Most people think of content as only words. But people scan webpages, they don’t read them so using an image is usually essential. An image is anything including photos, diagrams, sketches, drawings, videos and words. Yes the last one is correct- most logos are images of words.
5. Website Done-Tick
Effort and money about to be thrown away- tick. As the customers you serve and the market you operate in evolves so should your website. Regularly adding fresh content aids the communication with those in your sales funnel. How much, how often or what can be tracked through various tools, which should lead back to your business objective eg make 10% more sales.
So let me be open with my aim in writing this blog. If you want to know more about building website basics, then come along to one of the negligible cost half day workshops run by the Forest of Dean Entrepreneurs. For details or to book. http://www.fodentrepreneurs.co.uk/fode-events/forest-of-dean-entrepreneurs-events-calendar/
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