A recent survey reports that only one in six small businesses think that they have a website that they can be proud of. What about you? Are you proud of your website? You need to be, after all, in this increasingly web-driven world, your website can and probably will be the first impression you make on a client.
As I said earlier this week, people today don’t just go to your website to get your contact information, if they did the Yellow Pages would still be a vital moneymaker for AT&T, not something they are selling off. Today, people go to your website to determine the credibility of your company. They want to know if you are serious about what you do and your website is their first glimpse of you, your professionalism, and your attitude towards your business.
That’s why it is in your best interests to make sure your site looks GOOD. Your website doesn’t have to be flashy or cost a ton of money to be achieve that, but it does need to be easy to navigate, have some nice design elements, a balance of white space, functionality, good copy, and a smart layout.
I recently read through The Marketing Zen Group a statement I couldn’t agree with more, “If your site looks like you signed up for Geocities in 1996 and haven’t touched it since, you’re probably doing yourself more harm than good.”
Beeping, flashing, and outdated design or broken functionality elements can be the end of any hopes you may have using your website as a business tool. Same can be said for a bunch of crazy banner ads.
Start with a professional. Have them build it, work with the layout, design, and functionality, and adapt it for mobile use. If you want something you can be a part of, ask them to start with a WordPress theme, or something you can use, so it can meet your future content and other update needs.
Yes, many people go with a template, through companies like GoDaddy or Vista Print, and while it might make good financial sense in the beginning, be ready up front for it to not have the functionality you may need to expand at a later date. I know this from first hand experience. In addition, a template isn’t uniquely yours – and good be used by a plumber, an electrician, or esthetician in the same zip code.
A little bit of money up front can give you the professional edge you need to compete in today’s market, and trust me on this, it is always money well spent.