Posted by Chris Mackie 05-07-2017
A website provides an incredible host of opportunities to build awareness and generate sales for a small business, as it provides a "face" for the business while operating on the Web. However, developing a website can be extremely difficult if one does not possess the correct understanding of Web technologies or best practices in Web development. A clunky, unattractive website has the potential to actually harm the brand of a small business. That's why it's very important to leave the development and launch to the experts; this article will share those all-important reasons why small business owners should avoid building their own websites.
Many small business owners rush to the online market with their website but remain stuck in the mindset that its purpose is that of a brochure. The worst offenders of this action take a screen shot and slap it up as a single Web page. This does absolutely nothing for the visitor, as they do not have the ability to interact. Additionally, these static picturesque-type websites fail to perform well in search rankings, as search engines have no text data to use as reference in their indexing. Other websites failing to meet the bare essentials often fail to properly set a site structure so visitors have trouble navigating to the important information they desire. Likewise, these types of sites often strip contact methods and vital trust features, which prevent visitors from getting in touch with the small business. A proper small business website should be interactive in design, take full advantage of text and other media formats, remove any barriers for potential customers to get in contact, and have the ability to expand the small business's authority in their market through added content, promotions, and online shopping.
Web design and development has matured. With it comes a host of best practices on the back and front-end of the website. Unless the small business owner or the employees have design and development knowledge, it's very likely that the end product will come out clunky, outdated, and downright frustrating for the visitors. Development best practices detail the proper structure of code and how it is implemented throughout the entirety of the website; the goal for developers is to maximise every line of code to allow the website to behave with optimal performance and the ability to stay flexible for future revisions. Design best practices include a whole gamut of elements such as colour theory, media placement, browser and device compatibility, user experience, conversion tactics, content presentation, functionality, and dozens more. Small business owners that rush to the Web will often utilise web development programs that produce code that is not fully optimised and a design layout that fits the palate of the owner rather than that of the ideal visitor. The clunky, ugly website deters individuals from doing business with the company because it fails to present a professional appearance.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a critical element of Web development that begins on the basic levels of the site's code. SEO is what improves a website's ability to reach higher search rankings through the proper usage of relevant keywords and its injection within specific code. Social media is another element that should be implemented into the website as it provides a free and open method for visitors and customers to interact with the business. However, many small business owners forget to include such social media accounts or completely fail to build their social media presence, which creates a clash in branding and ultimately becomes worthless to both parties. A website that will perform extremely well in search and social will start from the ground up. The code behind-the-scenes should be formed to maximise each web page for its keywords and target. Social elements should be prevalent throughout the site to increase the chances of visitors interacting with the brand on these open networks. Additionally, a content strategy should be formed during the initial brainstorming process so the business can fully utilise business blogging and other content marketing methods to bring valuable information to their community, increase their traffic through organic search, and create a hub for employees to reference during customer support inquiries.
Small business owners have the best intentions when developing a website for their business but the reality is that failing to understand what's "underneath the hood" of a website, how to properly launch, and maximise its potential for search & social placement can become a disastrous affair. That's more than enough reason to go with the experts.