Weighing the Costs: Why a Custom Website is Worth the Investment
Ages and ages ago, in a time called “the early ‘90s”, finding goods and services was a chore. You had to consult a massive text called a “phonebook”, sift through the pages, call a few different numbers to get quotes, and losing an entire afternoon in the process. We assume people were eating giant turkey legs and tending to their kingdoms during this time, too.
It’s funny because while this may not feel like long ago for most, the world has drastically changed in that time. A phonebook listing used to be a valuable resource for businesses – springing for the logo image next to your name if you were real fancy. But in the digital age, this doesn’t cut it anymore. The new phonebook is the Internet and your website is your fancy logo image listing. And while the Internet has democratized and leveled the playing field in many ways that never existed before, it’s also made business more competitive than ever. Your website is now your phonebook listing, your business card, and sometimes even the front door of your business.
That’s why it needs to be a priority investment for your company. You may have a website up now, but is it up to snuff? Websites can be costly affairs, but it can hurt even more if you’re behind the competition. Here are few factors you need to consider to tell if your website is making the cut or if it needs a makeover.
You shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but you can certainly tell a lot about a business by their homepage. We don’t mean to get superficial here. However, you can certainly see how much work a business has put into their web presence after just a few moments on their website. You have a short timeframe to hook in your web visitors – typically less than 15 seconds – so you need to make that count. If your website looks like something from the dawn of the Internet, people either or going to assume you haven’t been active since 1999 or that you simply don’t care about keeping modern. The same can be said about having a website that’s clearly built off of a free template.
That second point is crucial. In today’s web-centric world, your digital presence is simply something you need to be thinking about. We know that not everyone gets as excited about the latest web design trends as we do, but it can make a difference in your business. Your customers have a discerning eye. People are spending more and more of their time online, whether it’s on a desktop computer or on their phone, so they can spot a website that’s been rushed together very easily.
Beyond the negativity of having a poor website, your page is also a chance to flaunt what you do best. It’s a chance to stand out from your competition and reinforce your brand. You need to create a website that people will want to stay on and explore; one that’s clearly organized, fresh, original, and with an easy user experience. You simply can’t get that from a template.
The Behind-the-Scenes of Your Website
Now, looks aren’t everything. Your website can’t skirt by on flashy images and kitschy widgets. It’s like having a brand new Tesla, but under the hood is just a bunch of AA batteries. You need a website that doesn’t just have aesthetic appeal, but one that also will function properly and give a great user experience. This means building with an understanding of all platforms.
Whether a lead is coming to your website through a desktop, tablet, or mobile device, your website is going to look different. This isn’t always a good thing. You’ll understand this if you’ve ever opened a website on your phone only to find all the navigation buttons and images are squished together and you can properly do basics functions like clicking on a link. An expert web designer and developer will help you optimize your website for mobile. This means creating a responsive site that adjusts with the size of the window.
You’ll also want to consider how searchable your site is. Search engine optimization (SEO) has become more important than ever. Most people are going to find your website through a Google or Bing search. This means you need a website that’s going to show up high in search rankings. While some may think of web design and SEO as two different concepts, we see them as directly intertwined. When we’re building a website, we also do all the technical adjustments for meta tags, meta titles, site maps, and keyword optimization so your business has the best chance of getting seen by Google.
Even more than what’s on the surface or what’s underneath the hood of your website, there’s one facet that will matter most to you: the return on invest (ROI). As you’ve probably guessed, both of the concepts we’ve talked about so far play into the results you’ll see. To get leads to your site, you’re going to need the traffic brought in through SEO. To get those leads to convert, you need a website that’s built to give you better retention. Great web design will encourage your leads through the sales cycle. With clear calls-to-action and visible value to your potential customers, you’ll have a prized marketing tool at your disposal.
How to Make It Happen
Maybe you understand why you should have a custom website, but aren’t sure you have the funds to pay for it or the time to do it yourself. After all, websites are known to be costly affairs. Way back in 2013, Forbes cited websites costing upwards of $100,000. Factoring in inflation, that alone can be enough to drive people away.
However, all hope is not lost. You don’t have to settle for your site as is or throw something together in one of those easy website builders you heard about on TV. N2Q can build you a website for $3,000 – no fine print. You won’t have to lift a finger and can reap all the benefits that come with a custom site. Find out more about our web design services and how we can turn your website into a lead generator. When you’re ready to make the leap, give us a call and we’ll get you started.