Blame it on Don Burke, but over the years Australians have developed an obsession with DIY. From our television screens to dinner parties, it’s all about the “reno.” And so we wait with bated breath until the big reveal.
When it comes to websites, however, it’s not necessarily a case of “if you build it, they will come.” In fact, there is nothing more damaging for a small business than a poorly developed DIY website. That’s why we thought we’d share the 7 benefits of using a web designer to get your brand online.
First things first, if you don’t have a website – GET ONE! As was reported in The Huffington Post Australia, when customers go online, businesses must follow. Go Daddy told The Huffington Post:
“We’re seeing it time and time again. There’s evidence to suggest that once small businesses have that website up and running they are seeing a greater return on investment in terms of their productivity, their customer base and growth in its entirety.”
We’ve said it. Forbes have said it. First impressions matter in this game. And if you’ve never made a website, your business is not the place to start experimenting. Sure, you may unearth a hidden talent, but if you don’t, you may be giving potential customers the wrong impression that yours is a sloppy or unprofessional outfit.
Instead, leave the job to the experts (friends take heed – this motto is equally applicable in house moving situations – removalists exist for a reason!).
As Ante Meridien Design point out, a web designer will look at your brand holistically, creating one coherent image, into which are distilled all the vital elements of your brand.
With this design consistent across your social media networks and website, you will become more recognisable to your clients and thus, more memorable.
Web designers have the capability to build pretty much whatever you need and understand the tools that will help to drive business your way. These tools are all aimed at enhancing the User Experience (UX), and producing a site which is easy and enticing for visitors to use, thus keeping them there long enough to commit to hiring or purchasing from you.
For instance, if you have a restaurant, your web designer could incorporate a booking system into your site, rather than just listing your contact details. Remember there are some millennials who have probably never made a phone call and may be too shy to do so. You don’t want to be missing that business.
It is worth noting many of these tools would not, however, be available to you if you were to build your own website.
With visitors arriving at your web site from a range of browsers, on a range of devices, it is essential that your website looks good and works on all of them. A web designer will ensure that your site is compatible with Mozilla, Chrome and Explorer, whether accessed on a smart phone, tablet or desktop.
The thing about beauty is that people are drawn to it. And so too with websites. My Ink Blog note that a professionally designed and beautiful website will increase traffic. There a number of reasons for this including that your site:
- Could be chosen for inclusion in a CSS Gallery;
- Will likely have cleaner code and, therefore, rank higher on search engine responses; and
- May be featured on a number of other sites, with links back to your own.
Most small businesses, especially in the start-up phase, are often understaffed and time-poor. So it makes sense then for you to hire a professional to create a fully functioning and beautiful website, which makes you look professional, trustworthy and credible.
In the meantime, you can get on with expertly serving your customers.
Which web designer should your small business choose?
Whilst you are going to be constrained by budget, don’t just jump at the cheapest offer. By the same token, the flashy designer who has worked with the world’s largest brands may not be the right choice for your business either. You need someone who perfectly understands the SME operating environment; your needs, your constraints and your target market.
Also, while there are a number of faceless entities out there who can throw something together without even meeting you, the chances of them thoroughly understanding your brand are small. Instead, why not pick someone local and meet to discuss how to “translate ideas into webpages.”
So, if you’re based in Fitzroy for instance, simply Google “web designers inner Melbourne” and… oh wait… we’re web designers in Collingwood, just next door! Fancy that for a bit of cheeky self-promotion.