Your website can be a complex and often misunderstood aspect of your digital branding strategy. In this article, I intend to dispel some of the more common myths that we encounter in our conversations with our clients.
Myth #1: Your Website Is *for* Your Organization
A lot of work goes into the planning of a website, and sometimes during that planning process it is easy to think about what you want out of your website. While knowing your business goals are important, and accounting for that throughout the design process is crucial, it’s also vital to realize that your website is not necessarily for you, it’s for the people who know nothing about you.
In a lot of cases a customer's first contact with your business is through your website. Knowing that it’s important to always keep in the back of your mind what the customer is looking for when they get there? Working with a reputable firm to help you determine visitor intent will allow you to create a content strategy geared towards moving a user through the buying cycle.
Myth #2: Once It's Built, It's Done
This is unfortunately something that we see happen all to often. A client will go through the process of having a website redesigned, and then once it’s launched that’s it, it’s done. This could not be further from the truth. While getting a website launched can take a lot of work, the work doesn’t stop once it’s live. Performing updates to the underlying architecture, evaluating and tweaking the layout and content strategy and optimizing for search engines and long tail keywords are some examples of things that should be worked on after the site launch. Think of your website as a living organism that must constantly adapt and evolve to stay relevant.
Myth #3: It's Cheaper to Build It Yourself
For those more technically inclined, it is tempting to think that it will be easier to build a website yourself then to have a firm do it. While you will most definitely save money, it takes a lot more than simply technical expertise to build a website. I say this because what determines the success of a website happens well before a single line of code is written. The website discovery process involves analyzing your current site’s weaknesses in usability, architecture and SEO. It also involves sitting down with a firm and determining user personas, what they intend to get out of the website, and how you can design the site to help with that. It involves knowing what the industry best practices are, understanding how the users use the web and formulating a plan to increase your sites conversion rate. Every conversion lost is money lost to your business and so while you may save some upfront cost on your website build, you will most definitely lose out long term when it comes to your company’s bottom line. Even worse
Myth #4: Ranking #1 Is Important
This is a common myth that we hear all the time regarding SEO. While, the number one listing will get the highest CTR (click through rate), a bigger thing to focus on is ranking for keywords that accurately describe visitor intent. To help describe this, let’s use the LightSky site as an example.
If you search for “LightSky” in google, we show up. Not totally unexpected considering if you are searching for “LightSky” we would be the most relevant result. But let’s take a moment to think about who would be searching for “LightSky”. For the most part, it would be people who already know about us. Since we don’t do any major form of advertising, this likely means our existing customers or people that we work with normally.
While we enjoy having our customers come to our website, what we are trying to do with organic SEO is to bring leads to our site for people who may not know of us. Because of this we target keywords like “Web Design Madison” or “Wisconsin SEO Consultant”. These keywords better reflect searcher intent and are more likely to result in a website conversion.
Myth #5: You Should Use a Templated Solution
There is no argument to the fact that websites are expensive, and so it’s easy to see the allure of using a firm that offers a templated solution. Why is this a bad idea? Well, for starters, your website, like your business, should be unique. Keep in mind that for a lot of your customers, your website is your first impression and so it is important that you are able to quickly articulate what your business does, and provide the user with the information they are seeking.
In addition to answering the user’s question, “What am I looking for?” a custom theme allows for the ability to really target conversions in a way that is often times limited by a template. Having a custom theme means that you are going to be able to really dictate what the user sees as they navigate your businesses sales funnel.
So what do you think about those myths? Are there any that I missed or that you feel should be listed? Leave a comment below!