Even you’ve noticed by now. Everyone has a website, from pop stars to politicians to your neighbor’s dog. It’s the new expectation. The new way to do business. So being the proactive person you are, you hired someone to make your website. However, just like babies, websites don’t come with manuals. You made some mistakes along the way, big mistakes, and now the buyer’s remorse is setting in.
If you could do it all over again you’d do it so differently. You’d know what to look for, what to expect, and the common pitfalls of purchasing websites. If you only knew from the beginning you’d avoid all that frustration and wasted money. Let’s take a look at some of the common pitfalls of buying new websites and how to avoid them.
You don’t have a website just to have one. It serves a very specific purpose - to bring you business. But business through a website comes in a variety of forms. Maybe the website encourages visitors to pick up the phone and call, maybe it provides a means of requesting a quote through an email form, or maybe it simply helps people find your store hours and location. In all cases, there should be a clear call to action. Ask yourself what are the expectations of your visitors and what are you hoping to get from them.
Before the "call to action" comes genuine usefulness. If a visitor can’t find the services that you provide then what good is giving your phone number to schedule an appointment? The information you present needs to be genuinely helpful, otherwise visitors are just sorting through a bunch of fluff. They’ll move on without remorse. Because if you don’t provide what your visitors are looking for you’re wasting their valuable time, and thanks to google there are always dozens of other options just a click away. You have less than ten seconds to point a visitor to the right place, otherwise you’ll become just another search result.
Take the time to plan the flow of content on your website, it will pay dividends. Hire a professional to plan out what you need to say, then have them write it. Ever notice how some people can say more in two sentences than you can say in two pages? Use a copywriter’s expertise to craft the words on your site to engage the readers as quickly and concisely as possible. (Note: A copywriter is someone who writes copy, or text) This all may seem obvious, but oversight in the planning of how your visitors interact with your website is so common, despite the dire implications. Getting the planning right will make or break the effectiveness of your website. Great websites work for their users, not the other way around.
A good website provides more than utility. It engages the visitors through beautiful and effective design to project an air of professionalism, instilling them with confidence that you’re the right company for the job. It can be your “well-dressed, perfect hair, warm smile, firm handshake” if you let it, all through an anonymous click. But so many websites fall short of their potential with bad design.
Good design is an intangible quality that is integral to generating trust in your clients. It reassures them that your business is a professional and high quality establishment. Out of these two designs, which one are you more likely to give your business to?
A graphic designer is a website’s best friend. They’ll give your website that special touch. But they can’t do it alone. Beautiful design usually needs beautiful images.
Engage your audience with stunning photography. Falling short in this department could cost you the job. Often times the difference between good and bad design is the photo that was used. Take the following design, completely identical spare the photo used.
Hire a professional photographer to take beautiful pictures of your business, it will make all the difference. Let them mess with the apertures, shutter speeds, and post-processing. Believe me, your iphone won’t cut it. If a photographer isn’t an option, try stock photography from one of the many online resources. There are sites that provide cheap (Shutterstock) and even free stock photos like Pixels, Pixabay, and Unsplash..
Still have info about the company holiday party up on your homepage in July? Having outdated information not only makes your website feel irrelevant, it looks unprofessional. The problem that so many people encounter is that once their website is created they have a very difficult time keeping it updated. It’s not their fault though, the software they use (like Wordpress) is not user-friendly, and it can be expensive to hire a webmaster.
Website builders like wordpress don’t make it easy - switching back and forth between editing and preview mode makes your head spin. So you procrastinate. And before you know it your website is inaccurate, lacking critical information, and a waste of your visitor’s time. An effective business has a web platform that makes updating content a snap. Something both quick and easy so you have more valuable time to spend on things you’re actually good at.
Having a website builder that is easy to use is paramount to keeping your website up to date. We’d recommend using Leiout, an easy-to-use, drag-and-drop website builder. Easily tweak existing pages and create new ones with a snap. One major advantage to using Leiout over Wordpress is that you can easily control the layout. With Wordpress you’re stuck within the rigid confines of pre-built unmodifiable templates, but Leiout gives you total freedom to how the content is displayed.
Remember, a great website has genuinely useful information, a call to action, beautiful design, and up to date content. Don’t trust just any company to provide all that, it could be an expensive mistake. Leave it to the professionals. Trolley Web is a forward-thinking web design company in the heart of Trolley Square in Wilmington, Delaware. Our holistic approach to web design will assure your business performs at optimal potential by building not just any website, but a website that works for your business. We have a team of professionals to take photographs, engineer your copy, and create unique designs. And of course, we use Leiout on all our websites so that you can keep your content up to date.