With the plethora of DIY options for building a website now available, you as a business owner may have considered designing and building your own. At first, this may sound like a good idea, but in fact it’s probably the worst thing you could do for your business.
Why Building Your Own Website is a Bad Idea
In psychology, there are four stages of competence.
- Unconscious incompetence. This is the stage in which the individual doesn’t understand how to do something and isn’t necessarily aware they are unable to do it. Before moving to the next stage, the individual must become aware of their incompetence.
- Conscious incompetence. This is the stage where the individual becomes aware of their incompetence, but still does not possess the necessary skills. Much learning and many mistakes must be made before moving to the next level.
- Conscious competence. Now the individual understands or knows how to do something, however it still requires great concentration.
- Unconscious competence. The skill has become second nature and is easily performed.
Unless you as a business owner have a solid background and years of experience in web design, web development (coding), marketing, photography and more, you’re likely sitting at the first stage. You’re unaware of your incompetence and you’re setting yourself and your business up for failure or at the very least a bumpy ride.
In the movie Bee Season, Richard Gere’s character played the violin. Richard decided he wanted to actually play the violin for the role so he asked one of the best violin players in the world to teach him. Richard thought that in a period of only a few months he could actually play the violin on screen. Here’s what he said in an interview for movieweb.com.
“I had this enormous hubris that I could actually pull off playing the violin in three months. [laughs] I had wonderful teachers and I worked really hard. I was really horrible, and it was really painful to the point where my family said, “Please stop.” We went on vacation and I dragged my violin with us, and they said, “You’re ruining our vacation, please stop.”
After three months of diligent practice he was able to finally realize that he was completely incompetent. His violin teacher, or any half-decent musician for that matter could have simply told him that it’s impossible for anyone to become a competent musician in three months. Maybe Richard just needed to learn for himself.
Richard Gere was able to make some awful noises on his violin in the period of a few months just as you as a business owner will get something sub-par online for your business. The real question though, is that good enough? Is that what you want representing your business and more importantly is it worth it?
Hopefully by now I’ve helped you quickly and painlessly move from unconscious incompetence to conscious incompetence in the timeframe of only a few minutes. For many people this process can take months or even years and a lot of falling flat on their face. I sincerely hope this isn’t you.
Why a Professionally Designed Website Matters
As a business owner, what matters most is that your business is making money. That’s probably why you may have considered going the DIY route, to save a few bucks. But will that really save your business money, or will it cost your business money in lost revenue?
There was a study done in 2004 called Trust and Mistrust of Online Health Sites. The study had 15 participants search for different health websites with information that was relevant to them. They were asked to discuss their first impressions of these websites.
94% of the factors which lead to rejection of mistrust of a website were design related. Only 6% were content related.
The specific design problems which lead to rejection or mistrust were:
- Inappropriate name for the website
- Complex, busy layout
- Lack of navigation aids
- Boring web design especially use of colour
- Pop up advertisements
- Slow introductions to site
- Small print
- Too much text
- Corporate look and feel
- Poor search facilities/indexes
People that reject or mistrust your business will not buy from your business. They probably won’t even go as far as requesting information about your products or services. Good design builds credibility and trust. It also communicates with your prospective buyers that you’re the business they should be doing business with.
Here’s a few more facts to consider:
81% of customers do online research before making a buying decision.
In the B2B world, 94% of customers will do online research before making a purchasing decision.
- 77% will do a Google search
- 84.3% will check business websites
- 34% will visit third party websites
- 41% will read user reviews
What does this mean? It means that when a visitor does land on your website, it better look great, be easy to use, look credible, be persuasive and ultimately lead the visitor toward doing business with you company. It can also mean the opposite. If your website doesn’t look credible, is difficult to navigate and isn’t persuasive, your business stands to lose a lot of sales to your competitors.
It’s About More than Just Web Design
Good web designers and design agencies bring much more to the table than just great designs. They understand how online lead and sales generation processes work and can help you get the most out of your online presence.
The line between web design and online marketing has become somewhat blurred as the internet has matured. Design decisions are increasingly made because they will help increase a business’s bottom line. This is how my digital media and digital marketing agency approaches web design. We always ask questions like:
- How will this build credibility?
- How will this make the website easier to navigate?
- How will this increase sales?
- What demographic are we appealing to?
- Is this what the user is looking for?
Why make design choices for no good business reason when you can make design choices that lead to real and measurable positive business results?
One example that comes to mind is sliders. Every website owner seems to want one at the top of their homepage because they look cool. The truth is though that sliders will hurt your conversion rates. According to Unbounce users find them annoying, confusing and in many cases they thought they were ads so didn’t even glance at them.
What’s even worse? Hardly any visitors ever interact with sliders. The Notre Dame University tested a slider on their homepage and only about 1% of their visitors interacted with the slider.
This means that the most important real estate on your website is essentially a waste of space. Most of your users aren’t seeing any content past the first slide if any of the content at all.
All of the most successful business owners I’ve known understand where their expertise starts and ends. They also understand the value that an expert in their field can bring to their business. So, do yourself a favour and hire someone that can bring real value to your business and do what you do best. Your business will thank you and so will your pocketbook.
Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any questions in the comments section.