With all of the different website development platforms available today, it has become more common for business owners to DIY their own websites. Gone are the days when you need to understand the difficult coding techniques surrounding website development. These website-development platforms make it simple for users to sit down without any prior development background and drag-and-drop the design and functionality features they need into their website.
This growing DIY website-building practice is both good and bad. It is great that individuals can take their website design into their own hands for several reasons. The start-up process is often expensive and hiring a designer/developer like myself might not be feasible for someone wanting to start a business. However, the bad accompanying this practice are the growing myths surrounding websites. Many business owners, both new and old, are losing out on an immense amount of revenue due to these common misconceptions surrounding websites.
This blog post is going to outline seven website myths and give you ways you can avoid these common mistakes on your own website.
Myth #1: People will automatically find your website once you hit “Publish.”
FALSE. Pressing “Publish” on your website will not cast some magic spell onto Google and the world to suddenly have everyone landing on your home page. You will have to diligently promote your website across a variety of mediums to get traffic to your website. You can click here to read my blog post on “How to Drive Traffic to Your Website” to get more ideas of how you can gain visitors to your website. Google also will not automatically show your website on page one of the search results. Ranking highly on Google often takes months and sometimes years of optimizing your website to allow Google to read it properly and recognize you as a valuable source of information. This is why it is so important to drive traffic to your website through other methods (mentioned in the blog post linked above).
Myth #2: The Home Page is the only page that really matters.
FALSE. Is the home page important? Of course! But is it the most important page on your website? Not necessarily. Oftentimes, especially if you are using a separate landing page for visitors to gain entry into your site, your home page will not even be the most viewed page. Think about it. Whenever you search for a question on Google, you are usually brought to a blog post with the information/service you are looking for. Most of the time, the only time someone actually enters into your website from the home page is whenever they specifically search out your business on Google or go straight to your domain name. Because of this, you need to make sure you optimize all of your pages for user experience and functionality. In my personal opinion, the service page is my most important page. This is where people can determine exactly what value you provide them, and they can make the actual decision to purchase/invest directly from this page. Make sure you take the time to properly design and strategize every page on your website.
Myth #3: Building a website is too expensive.
FALSE. Can investing in a professional to design and develop your website be expensive? Perhaps. However, it is an investment. Professional website design/development often has a major Return on Investment. Even then, hiring a professional is not always a feasible option. Even if you do not have the budget for a professional, there are an abundance of templates out there to get you started with a sleek-looking website. Most website building/hosting platforms will cost you around $30/month. At this price, you would only have to sell $30 of your product/service for the investment in your website to pay itself off. If you are a business, this should not be a cost you are concerned about.
Myth #4: Publishing a website will make you show up on Google Maps.
FALSE. I have a lot of business owners who come to me confused about why they are not showing up on Google Maps locally. They have been led to believe that publishing a website is the golden ticket to showing up on Google Maps. This, unfortunately, is not how it works. To show up on Google Maps, you need to create a Google My Business account. Once you have created and verified your Google My Business Account, your business will be searchable on Google Maps. It is not an automatic result of publishing a website.
Myth #5: Stock photos are just as good/better than having my own pictures.
FALSE. Some of my clients believe they should only use stock photos on their website because they are professional photographs that look better than any pictures they currently have. While this may be true for the time being, you should get your own professional photographs taken to use on your website. Even if you do not have the budget to hire a professional photographer, you can DIY your photoshoot to get personalized photographs for your website. The camera quality on our cell phones these days is great. You don’t even need a professional camera to get great pictures for your website. Having custom pictures for your website not only shows people you are a real business and increases your credibility, but it also allows people to see your face and become more willing to buy from you.
Myth #6: I need all the cool widgets and features to make my website look good.
FALSE. The old adage “Less is More” is as important as ever when it comes to your website design. There are some amazing features available on websites these days. Technology is quite amazing. However, you do not need to include all of them on your website to increase its effectiveness. In fact, including too many of the cool features and movement makes your website run slower. Every second of a delay in your website load time is lost revenue. Keeping your website simple allows it to load faster, thus increase conversions. Simplicity is also key when it comes to your website design and structure. You don’t want your visitor to be overwhelmed or confused when they visit your website. Create a clear path to where you are wanting them to go and cut out all of the unnecessary bells and whistles. Too many options overwhelm visitors and decrease your likelihood of making a sale.
Myth #7: The about page is all about you.
FALSE. The about page is all about THEM. A little counter-intuitive, right? I know, I know. It seems like you would want to tell the visitor your entire history and background on this page. It is your one chance to stand in the spotlight and shine! The problem is that people don’t want to read about you. That is kind of harsh to say, but it is true. Even when people are reading about you, they are only reading to see how you can help them. It always comes back to “What’s in it for them?” Use your about page to highlight the skills that will allow you to provide your audience with value, and then turn it back onto them. Relate to them on what they are feeling, the problems they are facing, and how they can overcome them. Format the story to make your visitor the hero.
So, what do you think? Are you making any of these common website mistakes on your site right now? If so, now is the perfect time to go in and make some adjustments! As always, if you need help editing your website, drop a comment below to let me know! Until next time friends…
Upward and Onward,
Founder of Honeywave Creative
Founder of Honeywave Creative