Because we work with small businesses, many with limited funds or a personal stake in creating marketing that works, we are often asked about how they can extend their marketing dollars. This question usually follows with a question about the value of hiring a professional web developer or designer. I think “value” is the keyword here. For some types of businesses/organizations, there isn’t any value, but for many, it is a waste if their website isn’t working hard for them every day.
This week’s question:
When do I need a web expert?
Here are 9 reasons to use a professional website designer and developer on an ongoing basis to create your working website and keep it fresh. If you read no further than the first reason, that should be enough for you to explore working with a professional.
1. Messaging: The process of developing a website is more than just posting a few pages to a Wix or Squarespace site. This can be a great first entry into the digital world for small nonprofits. The process really begins with identifying your key differentiator, also known as your value statement, single net impression, or your competitive advantage. This process is best done with a professional to help you get out of your head and look at your product or service from the audiences’ point of view.
Every professional marketer has a way of helping you flesh out your unique value to your audience. We use a branding tool called the brand blueprint which takes into account many emotional reasons people should work with you.
Messaging on the website is so important because it is the basis for all other outreach in digital channels. Your social media will connect to your site as will any advertising and certainly search engine listings.
2. Work with your business Customer Journey: A effective website will fit into your overall customer journey. At the beginning of the customer journey is awareness and consideration, two of the main reasons for a website. Additionally, your hard-working site can help with delivery and even advocacy. This page has a sample journey map and more explanation of what it is and how you can benefit from using a journey map approach.
3. Make sure the site works (technology-wise): Especially with CMS sites such as WordPress, many technical glitches can make your site simply not work. This is probably the biggest turnoff for a new site visitor. It isn’t uncommon, for instance, to find images that don’t load properly.
Accessibility for a range of visitors is also important and a professional website developer can guide you on the correct design and contrast to ensure it is compliant.
Also, websites can, become infected with viruses or malware. There are many reasons why this happens but a professional web developer will make sure that there are zero technical glitches with the site. They will also perform the necessary tests to ensure that your site is working perfectly on all browsers.
4. A Lasting First Impression: Your website visitor will form an opinion of your company/organization in the first .05 seconds on your site. According to Adobe Creative, 38% of visitors will leave your site if the layout is unattractive and not user friendly. A professional can make sure this doesn’t happen.