Deciding if Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, and Other DIY Platforms Will Work For You
A business website is an asset for your business. According to that definition, your website should create value for your company and should also be able to be sold for a profit if the company is sold.
How to Avoid Pitfalls in Website Development
Recently a client came through our doors wanting to increase the amount of product they sold through their website. Our company does a uniquely fantastic job at driving traffic to websites through a combination of search engine optimization, social media marketing, and other tools, so it was pretty simple to say “sure we can help you out!”
After taking a look at the client’s website, it became clear that their current setup was going to create some major problems with improving their ranking in search engines and getting customers to their website. Why? During their business start up, the company had decided to save some money by using a do-it-yourself website builder. The DIY website scene is not always a bad option for start-ups, and I do not want to spend a lot of time talking about what’s wrong with them, in fact, many times the WIX, Weebly, and other sites can be great options for certain folks. In the particular instance of the client in question, they had two domain names, one of which was their business name, and one was their “.squarespace” domain name. The major problem came in when we were deciding which domain name to focus on for marketing efforts. Clearly the “businessname.com” domain would be preferred, but that domain had only a one page document which forwarded to the .squarespace site. As you can imagine, having two domain names can create confusion not only in link building, but also on social media, advertisements, and business listings. Here are a few reasons why the forwarding domain on a DIY platform can be a problem:
1. Click-Through-Rate (CTR) – The first impression is often the most important, and many times, the first impression is all we as advertisers get. Your chances of keeping a customer interested go down with every action you require them to take before buying your product. In other words, requiring your customer to take extra steps in order to get to your actual website, reduces the number of people that get to your site.
2. Search Engines and SEO – The basis for getting more traffic to a website is having links from different sources which point back to the website. These links raise the value of a website and also make it move up in search results. Obviously the further up a site is in search results, the more visitors it will receive. Having two domain names, means that your SEO efforts will be diffused and will have significantly less effect than if all of the resources were being directed toward one domain name alone. There is a lot more that could go into this discussion regarding which domain contains the content, keywords, and other SEO factors, but diffusion is the simplest way to explain the result.
3. Professionalism and Simplicity – Even if you choose to use the non-DIY domain name “businessname.com” for your advertising, you will not be able to avoid the “.doityourself” domain name being dispersed throughout the web. In terms of professional image, your customers will see your business as something less if they see a long, complicated domain name attached to your website. You will often see in search results companies having multiple domain names that come up, creating confusion as to which is the actual website. Note that there are some DIY website builders that allow you to use your own domain name without forwarding to the “.doityourself” but you need to do your research.
4. Future Needs and Website Growing With Your Business – For many start-ups, budgets can be tight, and this is probably the main reason DIY website builders exist. One issue we run into with companies that started down the do-it-yourself road is that the company has out-grown the phase, and turning back is difficult. No matter how easy drag and drop functionality can be for laying out a site, there will always be limitations. There will come a time as a company grows that changes to the website will be limited by the features provided by the content management system. Most of the time, the only solution is to start from scratch. The best way to avoid the scenario of starting over is to make a detailed list of all the things you currently want your site to do, and then try to imagine where your business will be 5 or 10 years from now. Imagine what changes might need to be done, and ensure that the website builder you are using will be able to keep up. If you are not sure about what kinds of things your website should provide, feel free to contact us and get some guidance.
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