That headline is considered controversial in the digital world. The truth is that anyone can pay for an OK-looking DIY website using SquareSpace or Wix or Shopify or GoDaddy or Weebly or WordPress. And a web designer will undoubtedly develop a gorgeous, fully functional website.
So, what’s the problem?
Typical web designers have mastered only one area of their profession: websites. If marketing is a dinner table, the website is the centerpiece that sets the tone of your marketing, keeps your audience coming back for more and actively generates new leads. The best website for a small to midsize business should accomplish three marketing goals:
- Attract your audience
- Engage your audience
- Delight your audience
They don’t understand marketing
If you ever interview potential web designers, take note of the types of questions they ask. Most likely these questions will center around design, colors, fonts, photos and even functionality.
Those are tremendously important for creating an attractive website, but what about how they plan to make a website that generates leads? Like many small to midsize businesses, you probably want to increase revenue. While the design of the website is important, it’s incidental when it comes to achieving your goals.
They don’t understand your audience
A web designer without marketing expertise will plan for the “About Us,” “Services” and “Contact” pages, but they’ll fail to plan for areas of the website that speak directly to your audience. Do they know your ideal customer profile — demographics, personality, behavior, pain points?
Websites were such powerful marketing tools in the past because there were fewer of them. Initially, websites easily generated huge audiences that placed a lot of faith and trust on the Internet. Fast forward, the Internet today is widely recognized as a space occupied by scammers and predators.
Don’t read that wrong. Websites are essential marketing tools. But in an age of skepticism, your online presence has to build trust and expert status for your web visitors to feel safe enough to give you their information. The competition for attention is fierce. How will your website stand out?
Affordable website design with a process that works for you.
There is only one (sometimes two)
Web designers that purport to be anything more than the two-person operation they are most likely don’t have the capabilities or experience to build the marketing website that you need to attract new customers for your business.
An inbound marketing agency with a full-time, part-time or even remote staff can produce a full-bodied website that exceeds your expectations. Why? Their websites are thoroughly planned out, designed and developed using:
- Business goals, challenges and plans
- Target audience demographics and pain points
- Objectives to reach the audience
- Content Marketing
Web designers understand the technology, but do they understand how to reach your audience with targeted marketing? Websites for businesses should include comprehensive content marketing — quality information for the intended audience that addresses their challenges and offers solutions with blog articles, ebooks, videos, photos/graphics and chatbots. Will a web developer alone have the experience and knowledge to offer such out-of-the-box solutions?
They set it and leave it
It’s a no-brainer that in order to make money, you have to spend money on marketing. Successful marketing today requires more than a website; it requires content marketing strategy, consistent social media presence, email marketing, pay per click ad campaigns, etc. A website that is not well marketed could be as useless as a massive billboard erected in the middle of a desert or an ocean.
It’s an unfortunate and common practice for web designers in Bluffton SC and Savannah GA to give you the keys to your new website and never to be heard from again. As the heart of your marketing, the website needs constant care, maintenance and attention.
A better choice is a full-service inbound marketing agency that understands your marketing needs, location and brand awareness. A marketing agency can provide comprehensive counsel on branding and digital marketing. They will include an ongoing digital marketing plan as part of the set-up of your website.