Every business, big or small, well-established or startup, needs a professionally designed website. Having a well-designed website gives you an edge in your field that will help you succeed. It’s common to see businesses that don’t pursue professional website design or take into account how vital their website is for their marketing strategy. As a result, these businesses will see less traffic on their site and potential customers could get a negative impression and leave for a competitor who can successfully tell a more compelling story.
One of the main reasons professional websites stand out is because of the overall design process. The right resources, time, and quality work dedicated to the process will allow your business to see the return on this investment.
You Get What You Pay For
While it’s understandable that most businesses want to keep their costs low, opting for cheap web design will do more harm and ultimately lead to wasted time and money. In fact, cheap websites have been shown to hurt your business’ brand and will end up costing you more in the end because you will need to find a way to recover and salvage your reputation.
Align Your Website with Your Business Goals
Your business goals should drive how your site is designed and how it works. If your website does not support your goals, you could experience negative results such as a loss of potential sales or decrease in overall site traffic. A well-designed site should showcase compelling content that is aligned to your business objectives so that potential customers are engaged, captivated, and ultimately persuaded by your product offerings.
Optimize Your Business for Search Engines
If you care about your business’ longevity, then driving traffic to your website should be a priority. Having a well-designed and SEO-optimized website will help your customers find you amongst the millions of other websites out there. When your website is properly SEO-optimized, you will increase your Google search ranking, traffic to your site, and your potential to land a sale or new lead.
Avoid Unclear Communication & Hard-To-Find Information
As some books are judged by their cover, your business may be judged for having a poor website. If a company’s website lacks user-friendly navigation, has poorly written content, or features unintriguing posts and videos, potential customers will have a less-than-great user experience. If a customer can’t easily find the information they need (or doesn’t find any of it useful), they may leave your website for a competitor’s. This costs a business greatly through loss of sales, diminished brand value, and decreased customer loyalty.
Don’t Devalue Your Brand
Cheaply designed websites have been proven to be harmful for a business’ reputation. If your website experience is lackluster for the reasons mentioned above, you are contributing to your business’ bad reputation. Prospective customers will not return and will likely migrate to a competitor who delivers a better experience, and your brand will suffer as a result.
Low Return on Your Investment
Many businesses assume inexpensive website design will save them money and the results will be comparable to a high-budget service. However, opting for a cheaper web design service may leave you at a loss in areas such as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and SEO that doesn’t convert. While you may get the short-term results you want, you won’t get the long-term results you need, and you will end up spending more money trying to rebuild and regain your reputation.
Additional Costs to Redesign and Rebuild the Site
Choosing a cheap website design may come with the risk of having to redesign your website to meet the needs of your company. I recently worked with a business owner who operates a window covering company and was wondering why he hardly acquired any leads through his website. He had already spent about $2,000 on website design, SEO, and PPC advertising. With one look at his site, I could pinpoint a couple of issues: The site looked cheap, links were broken, the content lacked quality, and images were low-resolution and did not accurately represent the products he sold. In addition to the cost of his first project, this business owner now had to address these issues to ensure he didn’t lose any more sales or customers.
Why Professional Website Design Costs More
Understanding exactly why a good website requires a bigger budget may help you decide who to hire to build your website. Starting with a strong, informed strategy that considers and incorporates the following points will help you create a website that’s best for your business.
Your Marketing Strategy
You’ll need to put together a marketing strategy that is in line with your business goals. Focus on search engine optimization, email marketing, PPC marketing, and social media marketing to gain more traffic, convert leads, and close sales for your business.
Your Goal for the Website (Awareness, Conversions, Sales)
Your website should do so much more than act as a digital brochure for your business. Set conversion goals and identify clear call-to-action priorities that site visitors can easily find. Determine what goals you want your website to achieve: Is its purpose to inform, sell products, or earn more email list subscriptions?
There is no alternative to high-quality, relevant content. Great content engages your audience and is a vital tool for lead generation. Your site visitors and potential customers want concise and valuable information. Your writing should connect personally with your target customers to capture their attention. It should be fresh, relevant, and unique to increase the likelihood visitors will return to your site.
Your Site Speed
No matter how visually attractive your website may be, if it’s slow-loading because of dead links and broken images, then users will leave almost immediately. As a business, you want to provide your customers with the best possible user experience so that they remain engaged, captivated, and more likely to become a new lead.
Search Engine Optimization
Every website should be optimized for search to help you get found online. Search engine optimization requires keyword research and a knowledgeable writer who knows how to properly link. With strong writing and search engine strategy, you can use SEO to get your website to rank high in search engines (ie., show up first on page one of Google) and receive more website traffic.
Your navigation menu should be easy to understand and use. You want a user to arrive on your website and know exactly where to find the information they want and need without a struggle. The easier it is for people to use and navigate your site, the longer they are likely to stay on the page. Further, clear site navigation also helps search engines index your website pages.
If you’re searching for the right company to build your website, make sure you consider all of the factors and implications, not just the cost. As with anything, you will get what you pay for. An eye-catching design is great, but websites are built for people to navigate and search engines to consume, so make sure your site does more than just look good. A company promising a great website for $500 will be able to put up a site quickly, but won’t excel at all of the items I’ve listed above. Work with a company that understands your goals and has the ability to create a site that delivers on them.