In the digital era, it is practically impossible to have a successful business without having a website to support digital presence. Websites serve as the “hub” of your company’s information, telling (and showing) your customers who you are, what you are about, and what you have to offer them. They are the heart of your digital media with veins stretching out to the social media world in an attempt to draw your audience in to learn more, engage, build a relationship, buy your products, and become lifelong fans.
That’s a pretty important job. And just like any employee in your organization, websites need to be equipped to do their job well. You must arm them with the tools they need to quickly and easily show your audience what they’re looking for. You must make sure they show up where your audience is. And when they engage with your website, help them have a meaningful and memorable experience that they’ll want to return to time and again. In this type of scenario, they won’t even think about visiting your competitor.
It takes a lot of work to do this, not just on the front end, but on an ongoing basis. It’s not something to be taken lightly. Many companies think they can manage this on their own, but we at Kolbeco are getting more calls today than ever before from businesses realizing that not only is building and managing your digital presence hard – it’s getting more complicated. They’re turning to us for help. Here’s why:
1. Just because you “can” doesn’t mean you should
Technically, you can put together your own website. You can go research templates and choose the one that you think will give you maximum effectiveness. But it doesn’t end with simply clicking a button to pick a template. You must consider how you’ll visually lead your customer where you want them to go. Then, write your copy, take your photos, pick them out, size them, choose appropriate fonts and size them for maximum impact, choose a color scheme created to target your audience, create the brand look at feel you are going for, optimize your SEO, create outbound links, create new content on a regular basis…and then if you don’t see the analytics you like, which I’m certain you are reviewing on a regular basis for maximum impact, you take a guess at adjustments.
Yes, that was one big run-on sentence of stuff you have to consider when building your website. That big run-on sentence is just about as pretty as some of the do-it-yourself websites I’ve seen. They lack flow, have poor photography, are hard to read or not broken out properly due to poor font choices, don’t reflect the brand, honestly the list goes on. If you just slapped it together, trust me, we see that. Your website should help tell a story and lead your audience, and that happens with good graphic design work, a website that is designed for an optimal user experience, and proper SEO.
2. Your existing website from many years ago is likely not what you need to compete today
Ok this is where I’m going to have to have a come-to-Jesus meeting with you. Maybe your site was great back in 2011, but times they are a’changin’ and the web platform is doing just that at lightening speed. So you need to keep up or you and your company might not look as relevant, or credible, as you once did. Outdated design is only part of your problem at this point. Functionality has also become a concern. Your site may not be optimized for mobile users, it can become prone to breaking or hacking, and users may become more confused if you aren’t keeping up with trends to a point, thus making you less appealing. Your website is the 24/7 reflection of your brand, and if it doesn’t look like the story you’re trying to tell, act in an appealing manner, and build the relationship you want with your audience, you’re missing out.
3. It’s worth the investment.
Let’s go back to the do-it-myself model for a moment. Remember that big run-on sentence of stuff to be done? There are two questions to consider. The first one is, do you really know how to do all of those things? Second, now be realistic here, how much time will you spend executing on that list? While the idea of hiring web designers and developers seems to tug at your wallet uncomfortably, the bottom line is we have the knowledge and the plan to be able to execute what you need, and do it well and efficiently. Can you do it cheaper? Maybe. But we do more than just organize your content. We work together to execute it with greater purpose and while at times it might be more expensive on the front end, in the long run it more than pays for itself. And if you have a budget in mind, share it and see where it will get you compared to where you need to be. Maybe you can look at building portions in phases. There are options, but you need to be straightforward and ask!
Just like you are an expert at what YOU do, or knowledgeable about the product you sell, talented folks like me and my web team are experts here to help you create the right branded look and provide the functionality you need to make your website a success. And while I understand you can do it yourself, it is worth investing in professionals to help you and your brand put the best, most marketable, foot forward. In truth, investing in professionals for your website is investing in yourself.