Just as there is a wealth of information available to you about websites, there is also a large amount of false information. We’re here to help dispel some of the more common myths concerning websites:
- A website is a commodity
- My business needs a website because every business needs a website
- If I build a website, visitors will come
- All I need on my website is my corporate brochure
- My website’s image should be totally unique from the rest of my marketing efforts
- My secretary’s husband’s nephew, Bob, knows computers. I’ll get him to build our site
- I don’t need a custom website. I’ll just use a template
“A website is a commodity”
All sites are not created equally, and all sites will aim for different goals. Your business’ website is a unique marketing and sales tool, and should be perceived, created and managed as such.
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“My business needs a website because every business needs a website”
This is not always the case. Some businesses simply cannot benefit from the web at this time. Now, this is not to say that their needs will not grow in time to match what a website can provide.
In truth, it is quite rare to find a business that could not benefit in some way from having a website. Some universal applications include email addresses, company contact information, listings of products and services, as well as brand recognition and proliferation. But getting a website just your neighbour has one is definitely the wrong attitude to take. Your needs and goals will be unique and your website should therefore be unique.
“If I build a website, visitors will come”
Sadly, this is not true; at least not very true. It is true that, in time, the major search engines will eventually find your website and index it, but this may not happen for many months and they may not index your site favourably (i.e. visitors searching on your products or services may not be able to find your website).
Active and passive techniques should be employed to bolster the amount of �targeted’ traffic your website receives (�targeted’ traffic consists of visitors who are actually interested in your business and its products and services, as opposed to visitors who wind up on your site by accident or misleading techniques). Apis Design’s complete web strategy approach focuses heavily on garnishing high quality visitors to your website. There is an assortment of different ways to promote your site, and Apis can help you get started, or take your existing strategy to the next level.
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“All I need on my website is my corporate brochure”
While displaying some standard, �corporate’ information on your website can be valuable, the ways in which content is delivered and read online vary greatly from the ways it is presented in print. The content you display needs to be written for the web; in other words, it must be short, to the point, highly organized, and very hierarchical in importance.
Also, a website without goals is a website that won’t achieve any. Simply placing your brochure online is not the answer. You must consider certain factors such as �what do I want my visitors to do on my website’, and �what do I want to tell them’?
“My website’s image should be totally unique from the rest of my marketing efforts”
This is a big mistake. You have invariably spent lots of time and money creating a brand for your business. You have certain fonts, colours, and styles that are already associated with your brand. When someone who knows your company offline visits your website and sees something completely different, they may feel as though they have landed on a different company’s website (who happens to have the same name as your business). This dilutes your brand and can work against your marketing efforts.
Your website should be closely linked and tied in to your other marketing and branding efforts. You need to present a unified front to your customers to be memorable in the marketplace.
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“My secretary’s husband’s nephew, Billy, knows computers. I’ll get him to build our site”
This is probably the single largest and most common mistake people make when having a website built. If you think you are going to save thousands of dollars and receive professional results, you are going to be sorely mistaken. Although Billy may know a little about building basic web pages and manipulating pictures of snowboarders, he will almost certainly miss many important aspects of site design, not to mention site management, promotion, analysis, usability, accessibility, etc. After all, Billy’s in grade 10.
Most businesses who undertake this low cost approach will be sorely disappointed in the results. Their website will typically lack focus, cohesion and direction, and will not have been built for scalability or the changing needs of a business.
You wouldn’t entrust someone with an interest in watching �ER’ to perform your heart surgery, no matter how close of a friend they were or how well they could pronounce ‘angioplasty’. You would trust the professionals � that’s us (not at heart surgery, though – we tend to focus on websites – but we do like ‘ER’).
“I don’t need a custom website. I’ll just use a template”
It is true that using a template or having a junior website firm develop your site for you using a template will save you money. But just keep in mind the age old business adage, �you get what you pay for’.
A template site may in fact be a good starting point to ease your business onto the web, but it is definitely not a tool for taking your online strategy to the next level. Your website should have specific and measurable goals, and these goals will be unique to your business. More often than not, a template will be unable to facilitate meeting those goals. It would be like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole � it’s just not a perfect match.
At Apis each site we design and manage is built to exacting specifications based uniquely on your business and its needs. No templates allowed.