The Website: 5 Myths That Your Business Still Believes (and How it Holds You Back)
We hear it time and time again from businesses….
“I don’t need to have a fancy website.”
“A website is too expensive and I don’t think it’s worth that much".”
“I can make a website by myself.”
And the list goes on and on.
This is particularly true for small and medium sized businesses who are doing pretty good work, have a handful of clients, and really don’t want to make the investment in getting a brand new website created.
I once sat in on a meeting where the Chief Operating Officer (COO) told the entire company that they didn’t have the budget for a new website and besides, business is seemingly good so they don’t need it. A week later, a client came to visit the company to make sure that their company was real, because he couldn’t tell based on the website alone!
Your website is your sole storefront to the world. You’re either going to invest in your store front, or let it decay.
Alarming - I know!
The even more alarming part is that the United States Small Business Administration’s initiative, called SCORE, did a recent study where they found 46% of small businesses still don’t have a website.
In our digital age with tech savvy customers - why are small businesses not investing in websites?
Let’s take a closer look at 5 myths that your business still believes about websites and how it holds you back from growing….
“Our customers come from word-of-mouth so we don’t need a website.”
Word-of-mouth is the strongest marketing tactic, but like a snow leopard, they aren’t visible, happen sporadically, and can’t be measured well with a key performance indicator (KPI). This leads a lot of businesses to think that their website doesn’t play a role in word-of-mouth. However, this thinking couldn’t be further from the truth.
Just think about the way you shop…. You’re friend/neighbor/sibling tells you about a cool new kitchen gadget. They rave all about it. What do you do? You go online and check out their website. It has tons of content, images, videos, recipes on there. You decide to check out some of their social media pages, reviews on Google, and even see if you can find a sweet deal on Amazon or a coupon code.
Now think about your business. Your client tells another client that they love your product/service. That person gets excited, goes on your website and finds…. a poorly executed website, the logo looks really old, links are broken, there are no blogs or interesting content for them. They go on Google — no reviews, and your social media is light on the content.
This particular person is skeptical all because your client did the right thing by throwing the ball in your court, but you weren’t ready to catch.
“Redoing our website won’t give immediate ROI.”
Getting immediate ROI is a fantasy. Why would you set yourself up like that?
Instead, your website is like a physical store or office. The homepage is the curb appeal, and the web pages are like interior rooms with their own unique ways of bringing value.
Having a nice office or store is an excellent way to immerse your customers and employees. A website is similar to that and people will make immediate assumptions about your business based on your website. Make a great impression and tell your story with your website. Bring value to them on your web pages with great content, downloadable freebies, and videos.
Also, don’t confuse your Sales with Marketing. Sales is concerned about daily, weekly, monthly ROI related to sales. Marketing is about long term investments - 3 to 6 months, 1 year from now, etc.
“Websites are easy, we can make one on our own somehow.”
Creating a great website requires art direction, coding and development, data analytics, software integration knowledge, excellent copywriting, user interface and experience direction, and a cohesive creative vision to wrap it all up with images, videos, shapes, and more.
At any one time, there are at least 3 or more creative professionals working to concept and actually create a fully functioning website. This can range anywhere from 3 to 6 months or more depending on the size of the website.
Furthermore, after the website successfully launches and bugs are fixed, it must be regularly updated with fresh content. If you run an online store, sell digital products, or have downloadable content then you may need to update this even more.
There are plenty of off-the-shelf options for websites like Wix and Squarespace but even those need some level of customization in order for it to look uniquely yours.
Now tell me…. how are you going to create your own website?
Saying that “websites are easy” is like saying you’re going to fix your car’s engine yourself. It’s like saying that you can easily paint a Monet.
“Design and Marketing agencies charge too much for websites.”
Some marketing agencies are expensive. Some marketing agencies are more affordable. A lot of freelancers are out there who can absolutely make a beautiful website, and that is an investment too.
Let’s talk numbers though to understand what “too much” is.
The average website ranges anywhere from $500 to $500 million. Seriously, the U.S. Government paid $500 million for their Healthcare.gov website. It was the most expensive website ever made in 2013.
Now, $500 million is crazy expensive by any means.
A typical small to medium sized business can expect to pay between $5,000 to $30,000+ for a website. The more custom, robust, and integrated the website is, the higher the cost. Prices will also vary depending on the creative agency size and expertise.
If you don’t have the budget, then you don’t have the budget. But it doesn’t mean you should put it off. Branding and websites build a sense of professionalism, cohesiveness, and stability for customers and employee morale. Put a price tag on that…
“People don’t buy our product/service because of our website alone.”
How do you know? Are you currently tracking where all sales are coming from? Do you have a good idea of who your customers are, where they come from, and why they are buying your stuff at all?
If you’re on the fence about making a website, then you’re probably guessing or taking a shot in the dark.
On average, it takes between five to seven touch points before a sale is made.
Your website plays a major role in one of those touch points - if not one of the most important. It’s your customer’s first interaction with you that is completely controlled through your own effort and vision. Why miss the opportunity to wow them? Not doing so would only cut you short of your true potential.