Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of TV and Facebook ads for Do-It-Yourself Website Builders. These are software companies that enable you to click, drag and drop design elements and build your own website without any coding knowledge. On the face of it they seem very appealing. They allow non techy people to get online quickly and without having to pay a professional to build it for them. Pay a monthly fee and you’ll have a website set up in no time.
If you are launching a new business and you don’t have money to invest in a new website or it’s for a hobby then a do-it-yourself website can be a great low cost tool. We are lucky to live in a generation where modern technology allows us to reach so many people very cheaply. These tools make it fairly easy to knock up a website within a few days and get you online quickly.
However, as much as these tools are great for getting you online, they aren’t a long term business solution.
In this article I am going to outline three reasons why DIY websites are bad for business and should only be used as a short term fix.
1). DIY website builders are typically terrible for your Google Ranking
Launching a business in 2021 typically requires you to think about your online presence and how you are going to reach your customers. For Chimney sweeps, installers and retailers this involves getting and then increasing the visibility of your business on search engines like Google.
Google is pushing more and more for websites to be unique. It rewards businesses that offer a unique user-friendly website with better search rankings. Therefore, downgrading those that don’t. If you are using a DIY website builder the design, structure and code of the website will be very similar to thousands of other business websites and Google will take this into account when working out where to rank your website.
Also, Search Engine Optimisation (the ability to get more visibility on Google and rank higher) is a skill that takes years to master and the majority of DIYers aren’t going to know how to use their content as well as have the technical skills necessary to improve their search ranking and get more website visitors.
2). DIY websites don’t persuade your customers to buy
With a Website Builder the ability to design a website is easy. However, the ability to design a website that persuades people to buy something is hard. The capacity to persuade someone to take an action is at the heart of what marketing is all about. Powerful marketing techniques that persuade people to act is a skill that is refined over years of learning the craft. Just as fitting a stove to a high standard cannot be taught in an afternoon, neither can designing a website that persuades people to buy or get in contact.
You can use a website builder to build your website and you’ll get a website. But, if you’re not a professional at creating headlines, sub headings, body text and call to actions then you’re leaving money on the table. The website will convince some to get in touch but they’ll be many others who leave because the content hasn’t been designed in a way that grabs their attention and appeals to their particular problems.
It takes more than being able to design a website to persuade a customer that you are the right company to do business with.
3). If you’re building your website you aren’t building your business
I see a lot of people in the industry sharing photos of bad DIY stove installs and some are truly crazy! We all have a good laugh at them and say how did they think that was ok and why didn’t they think they needed a professional?
I feel the same way about most DIY websites I see. Imagine a poor stove installation you’ve recently seen, got one in mind? Well that’s how a lot of people are going to see your website if you’ve attempted to do it yourself.
Just like someone installing a stove themselves, the build suffers from a lack of time and skill. Most people in the industry are out there working really hard, often for long hours of the day. Building their website becomes a hassle: it never fully gets completed, hardly ever gets updated, contains outdated information, parts of the design don’t look right, content isn’t structured or appealing and often contains blank sections or pages that lead nowhere. I know this will resonate with some of you because I see it all the time.
Your time is much better suited to doing things you enjoy, building your business, engaging with customers and for some, being on the tools.
It’s better for you, your business and your customers if someone with the time, passion and skills in the techy stuff does the techy stuff for you.
A website builder may look like a cost effective way of building a website but in the long run it will cost you more money that it saves. Instead of building up your local visibility on Google you will remain static and be at risk of losing your ranking if a competitor comes along who is doing a better job of SEO than you. Instead of convincing more people to leave enquires you will be letting potential jobs fall through your finger tips, and instead of having more time to do things you enjoy you’ll be left feeling frustrated by your website or simply neglect it entirely.
My advice is to use website builders sparingly. In most cases, it is going to be a far wiser approach to get a marketing professional to build you a website as soon as you can spare the cash.
For a longer read on finding a web designer that you can trust with your business you should find my blog post ‘Why your website shouldn’t be designed by an IT Guy’ an interesting read.
I hope you found the article interesting and there was a little nugget or two that resonated with you. As always, any feedback is greatly appreciated or if you want to talk to me about how we can help your business you can use the contact form on our website here.
All the best,
Chris R Boyd
Managing Director, Upspark Digital
Ps. You can also take our two minute online scorecard to discover how good your website is at representing your business in a way that makes people want to do business with you.