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Lesson Learned

Lesson Learned - Online Marketing StrategiesFollowing years of failure I’ve come to the alarming conclusion that as “talented” as I may be, I’m not a handyman. Somehow, my wife had forgotten who she was married to when she arrived home with three new lighting fixtures. Knowing my own weaknesses, I called in for back up in the form of my brother-in-law. A former electrician himself, he is your typical jack of all trades. To this day, I’m convinced that if Google ever went down, he could sub in and get you your answers almost as fast.

Back to my problem, I figured that he could install fixture #1 showing me the ropes in the process. I could then hopefully install light #2 and perhaps even #3. That night, other than being awarded Guinness’s Slowest Electrician, everything went according to plan.

Fast forward one week to my daughter’s 3rd birthday party. Still feeling quite accomplished with my success, my pride went downhill quickly when I realized our guests were sitting in partial darkness. Another graphic designer turned handyman fail.

The point is sometimes we as business owners need to focus on what we do best.

Marketers are intelligent people; they’ll showcase attractive websites with tag lines along the lines of “No Skills Required” or “Build your Own Website in an Hour”.  Much like my electrical capabilities, today’s DIY enthusiast can be easily convinced that building their own website isn’t all that difficult. Throw together your logo, some pictures, a few lines of text and presto - your very own website!  What those marketers don’t mention are the subpar first impressions, a 1-800 number when trouble finds you and the search engine afterthought you’ve become are a few of the downsides.

Here are a few reasons why having your site professionally developed is worthwhile:

Be an Original
Template sites are designed to sell themselves not your company. This concept is backwards. You don’t want your content dumped into their framework. Rather, your website design should be structured around your message.  A custom site is built to highlight the selling features of your business created for you to stand out, not fit in.

Image is Everything
While I’ve always hated clichés; the fact is many of them have a lot of truth. Kind of like, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Your potential customer is checking you out online, before they ever dial your number or shoot you an email. A well designed website is often the lead figure of your sales team.

Search Engine Results
Much like your professor from days gone by, Google appreciates well written code. There is a standard to how your website should not only be written but also coded. Everybody is looking for first page rankings, there is much more to Google’s algorhythms than meets the eye. Template designers typically focus more on the visual aspects and may not take into account proper coding standards.

Much like the rest of life, websites can develop glitches, fail or have errors. When frustration hits there is nothing more irritating than, “Your call is important to us, please hold for the next available agent...” One of the advantages of a local company is that you can speak or meet directly with the programmers and designers actually working on your project.

Both our world and iPhone screen sizes are changing…quickly. The future of your online life is mobile. Templates may look decent on a desktop computer but do they scale down to not only be pleasing to the eye, but easy to use on whichever device may be in your hands?

In case you were wondering whatever happened to the aforementioned fixture #3. Upon removal of the old fixture, some of the previous electrical work was sparking which presented dangers, even to my experienced brother-in-law. I don’t think I’m going out on a limb to say that had I attempted that installation myself, this article wouldn’t have existed.