For some people, having a website seems to be the answer to all their problems. It is a common misconception that simply by creating a website and being present online, you will miraculously grow your audience and see your sales increase right before your eyes.
Unfortunately, the reality is anything but. We have taken a close look at some of the most prevalent website myths and have put them through a reality check. If any of these sound familiar, be assured that you are not the only one who has fallen for them.
All websites attract visitors
Wouldn’t that be fantastic? All you have to do is create a website, get it online, then sit back and watch the numbers of daily visitors grow by the day. In fact, there are plenty of business owners out there who are startled by the fact that leads are not generated as soon as their website goes public. After all, they have just spent a fortune on creating their online presence according to the latest standards. So what is going on?
As with anything in life, you need to continuously work for your success. Having a website is only the starting point. Generating leads and turning online users into purchasing customers requires a lot of time, effort and skill. You need to consider things such as search engine optimization (SEO), customer interaction, paid advertisement and blogging.
A website should only be part of a wider digital marketing strategy. The more refined that strategy is and the more knowledge you have about SEO, the more likely you will see traffic to your website increase. But it does take quite a bit of patience.
Websites are only for eCommerce
Often, business owners who run a “bricks and mortar” store do not see why they should bother investing in having an online presence. They solely rely on word of mouth and street traffic. However, the fact is that a website can add plenty of value to any store. Our experience with lockdowns due to Covid-19 has shown this. One local business lost all their walk-in trade overnight but their online shop gained an 1800% increase in sales during the lockdown period.
Without a website, you will eventually lose out to your competition that has gone digital. Websites are not only important to generate leads and traffic on the internet. They are also a vital tool when it comes to customer interaction, satisfaction and building relationships with your audience.
More than ever, people use the internet to look up any kind of business, whether it is an online shop or a local plumber. They use Google Maps to search for companies nearby, read Google Reviews to see how trustworthy they are and check out opening hours, menus and more.
A well-designed website brings more sales
Yes, the overall design of your website will definitely have an impact on how users perceive your business, and a visually appealing website usually creates more trust and the perception of expertise and reliability. However, the overall performance of your business does not solely rely on what colours, fonts or media you are displaying online.
While these factors certainly make for a better user experience, in the end, it comes down to the quality of the products and services that you offer. Your customers are more likely to spread the word about being disappointed by whatever they purchased from you than telling their mates about that awesome video you posted on your blog last week.
The purpose of your website should always be to add value for your visitors rather than focusing too much on looks. Sooner or later, your audience will see through the facade.
More features make better websites
Similar to the above, more is not always better. Unless the features you add actually add value to your website, they might very likely result in the opposite: overloading and confusing your visitors who are no longer able to work out what the actual purpose of your website is.
Your website can look simple and still be fully functional and appealing. Rather than focusing on too much bling, think about the content you are providing and how you are helping your visitors to solve a problem or answer their questions.
A website is a website is a website
One of the most common myths is that once your website is online, the job is done. It looks good, it has all the information that your customers need, so what else is there to do? In fact, there is plenty more. Regular upkeep and maintenance of your website are essential if you want to benefit in the long term.
That includes regularly updating keywords and staying on top of ever-changing SEO requirements. You also need to make sure you have the latest versions of any software you are using including protection from spyware, malware and your content management systems as well as remembering to renew domain registrations.
Overnight success is guaranteed
No matter how perfect you think your website might be, one of the most common myths is that people think they will shoot straight to the top of Google search rankings just because their website ticks all the boxes. Search engine optimization is a very complicated matter and the rules change all the time.
If your website shows up on the first page in Google search results, you can count yourself lucky. You have done a good job. Getting to the top will require ongoing work and effort. You will need to work on your keywords, identify which ones work for you, regularly produce meaningful content, establish yourself as an expert in your field and show Google that you deserve to be number one.
Free (or cheap) will do
A website doesn’t have to cost a fortune, but if you are looking for an effective professional online presence for your business, you should consider how much you really want it to succeed. Sure, there are plenty of products and services around that will help you create a good-looking website, but the devil is in the detail.
Think about getting the domain you want, having ongoing support and maintenance and being protected from cyber attacks. If you are serious about creating a website that will attract visitors and ultimately convert them into buying customers, then you need to be realistic about your budget. A website you built using an online website builder is unlikely to ever outrank a custom-built website with equal emphasis on SEO.
If you would like more information and support with designing your website or would like someone to check out an existing one and see if you are maximizing its potential, contact the friendly team at Energise Web today. We are highly experienced in building, designing and maintaining websites and helping our clients boost their SEO rankings.