Remember the tale of The Elves and the Shoemaker? If not, here’s a quick recap: There once was a tired, poor shoemaker who was down to his last piece of leather. Unsure of his future, he set to work all day to make his last pair of shoes but, he was too tired to finish them. He regretfully went to bed unsure of how his business would survive. During the night, elves came to his workshop and finished the shoes for him. In the morning, the surprised shoemaker took the shoes to the market and was able to earn enough money to buy leather for 3 more shoes. Again, he cut the leather and left it overnight. And again, the elves came and made 3 more shoes. Each night, the elves would come, help the shoemaker make more shoes until the shoemaker was making a profit and no longer worried about his financial stability.
How does this apply to you? When you sleep at night (or live your personal life), your website should be a tireless little elf, working hard to grow your business. Is web design something you as a business owner or manager should tackle on your own?
DIY: Why Not?
There are a lot of website tools out there that claim to be user-friendly. But the learning curve can be quite time-consuming. It also takes technical ability and a sizeable investment of time to get your website to rank well on search engines. Your time and energy are much better spent doing what you do best – giving attention to your business – and allowing a professional to skillfully create and execute your website design and search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
True, it may be cheaper to design a website yourself. But don’t view your website as an expense – see it is an investment. A quality website is designed to make you money. Here’s what a quality site will achieve:
- Your prospects should be able to find you easily,
- visitors will find your layout appealing,
- potential customers are converted into paying customers.
Your Website: First Impressions
It’s human nature: our minds are immediately judgemental. You know the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.’ But people do judge books by their covers. And that principle applies to your website. If you want people to stay and browse relevant pages, then your site must be attractive, clutter-free, and easy to navigate.
If visitors can’t see how your services or products benefit them within the first few seconds, then you have lost their attention and they will be off, browsing your competitors’ sites. What good is a website that makes a bad impression?
What is Your “Professional” Site Developer Doing for You?
So perhaps you should consider a professional website designer/developer. It’s important to remember that not all website developers are created equal.
As a digital marketer, I review a lot of websites and have seen the work of many generic website developers who charge their clients several hundred dollars a month to simply plug a business name and logo into an unattractive, pre-designed template with the sole purpose of ranking high on a Google search engine. This makes a poor first impression.
Your website should reflect your company’s values and culture through its appearance and phrasing – generic writing can’t accomplish that. Most people choose a business over another because they feel something, not just because it’s the first listing on a Google search. A professional website designer will give you the best of both worlds: well-written SEO and a beautiful, motivating web design that reflects your business vision well.
Web Design that Misses the Mark
If you want your website to work like an elf, then you must provide your visitors with a way to connect with your business – whether it’s by collecting contact information, providing a link to make a sale, or scheduling an appointment or consultation.
Imagine for a moment that you need to find a new dentist. You do a Google search of “dentists in my area.” You click on the first one listed, you like their site, what they are offering, and you want to make an appointment. But there is no link to do that. You find their phone number so you can call, but you have to wait till morning. Then you close the browser, thinking, “I’ll just pull this site up again tomorrow.” But what really happens on Monday morning? If you are like me, your kids miss the bus, you’re late for work, and your coffee spills all over your phone. Time passes and you forget which dentist you found and what the website was, and you end up calling someone completely different.
Don’t let your website fail you. Give your customers a way to take immediate action to reach out to your business. A professional web designer can incorporate the best tools for your business on your website so that it works like that tireless little elf we mentioned.
A Site that Always Works Hard for You
What would have happened to the poor old shoemaker without the help of the elves? He was clearly headed toward business catastrophe. Investing in a website is like hiring a PR representative, administrator, personal assistant, salesperson, and sometimes even a cashier who will work for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Consider the cost of those salaries and compare them to the cost of a professional website. A great design with quality SEO is worth the investment.
In short, help is extremely valuable. I have no doubt that the shoemaker would see the value in having a professionally designed website that is appealing, easy to find, and ready to convert visitors into customers.