Most new business start ups are looking to save as much money as they can. Ideally, they want to minimise their risk and the best way to do this is start the business with as little cash outlay as possible.
One of the best ways they can trim their start up budget is with their website. The logic behind this is why should they spend thousands of dollars getting a website designed and built by a professional design agency when they can get a free WIX, Squarespace, Weebly or WordPress template?
Free websites are for the most part; great looking, easy to use and will suffice for your customers. The popularity of these free websites shows exactly how many business owners behave when it comes to their website.
But, this is where the real problems and issues begin because like anything provided free of charge, there are some nasty repercussions and this blog will highlight the serious nature and problems of getting a free website for your business.
Let me be perfectly clear about this….taking a DIY approach to your website is a really bad idea. Here’s why….
I have noticed the rising trend in the amount of phone calls I have been receiving lately from people saying things like: I got a free website template and I hate it or I have tried to update the website and can’t figure out what to do, or the website has been live for 12 months and I can’t find it on Google, or my website doesn’t work, its not bringing in the business I expected.
These complaints are common and they are all down to one thing; their free websites don’t perform as expected.
a) Lack of any sense of design.
These sites all look the same. There is nothing unique of different. A drop and drag approach to design is not enough to stand out in the digital space today. Your site needs personality, a creative flair to get the customers ringing. Plus these sites have little thought to the user experience or site architecture. It’s all about making things as easy as possible for the DIY web builders. This unfortunately, means that the sites are all homogenous, dangerously similar looking, and overwhelming lacking in any design flair.
b) How’s your image editing skills?
You need great looking photos, images and graphics on your website. The consumer expects this. If you use a free template and your photoshop and image editing skills are poor, your website will look really bad. To keep people on your website and enticing them to buy or inquire from it, will all depend on the user experience. Free DIY websites are notorious from really low customer conversion rates. This has the rapid flow on effect of a lack of sales leads, poor revenues and eventually closing the business OR looking at starting again. You can see the pattern emerging here. Lack of design combined with a less than satisfactory user experience can possible lead to radically reduced business leads. So the dollars you save at the beginning, could end up costing your dearly.
c) If you rely on Google, DIY websites are the death of your rankings.
These websites are infected with malware. I’m not just saying this lightly but we get heaps of calls from people that have had malware and viruses put into their website as they are very easy targets. Google detects this and this has nasty consequences for your SEO.
Also, if you try to DIY your website and implement all your ‘on page’ content, titles and descriptions, how do you know you are doing it correctly/ So many people can’t understand why their site is on page 10 of Google and when I look at their SEO attempts I see why. Put simply, it is very unlikely that a website built with a generic website template can ever hope to out perform a competitor’s website at on page 1 of Google, who have had their website professionally built with a strong focus on SEO.
The chances are next to nothing and if Google is important to the survival of your business, this point alone should be ringing alarm bells. Don’t try to implement your own SEO thinking that just because you could figure out how to launch your own site, that your SEO will be as easy. It won’t and you will end up in all sorts of issues with Google. If you don’t believe me try it out and see for yourself.
For Google to rank a website the coding must be pristine and all the on page SEO must be immaculate. Templates do not deliver this outcome.
You might like to try a DIY patio, or outdoor decking, but when it comes to your website and it’s digital marketing you have to leave it to the experts.