We’ve been working with some fairly small companies to upgrade their web presence and have come across a lot of common myths about web design. Sometimes the views expressed were true a few years ago, other times it’s based on misinformation put about by less scrupulous operators, and sometimes people have ideas that are just plain wacky!
It’s time to bust a few myths.
Myth 1: You shouldn’t have too much content on your website.
What they say: I don’t want too much info on there, I don’t want to overwhelm people.
Reality: No-one is sitting there going through your website page by page, feeling overwhelmed. It’s more likely they’ll google some info and come in through one of your content pages to get the answer they need. Having all the relevant and quality info you can get onto your site is the best way to attract the right traffic to your site.
Myth 2: All our web visitors are googling our company name or our specific product.
What they say: We are coming top of the ranking when people Google our name, we don’t need more SEO.
Reality: Unless you’re trying to hide, customers looking for you specifically are likely to find you. But what about all the customers who aren’t searching for any specific company? In reality, before people buy products they will search for answers to questions, solutions to problems and various other background info. You need content on your site that answers these questions.
Myth 3: All our visitors are ready to buy now or never.
What they say: We have a contact form and get good queries from it, that’s all we need.
Reality: But what about all the visitors who are interested in your products, and may buy them one day, but don’t need them today and have no need to contact you? In reality, if you’re not capturing these people you’re missing out on a huge chunk of business. You need to offer something of value to these visitors, such as a free email newsletter (with useful content!) in return for their details.
Myth 4: SEO is the be all and end all, getting top ranking for our keyword is all that matters.
What they say: Since we signed up with XYZ company, our traffic has increased by 100 per cent!
Reality: But what about your sales? You don’t need junk traffic, you need qualified traffic that leads to actual sales.
Myth 5: Design doesn’t matter.
What they say: We’re just a small business, we don’t want to look too fancy.
Reality: If your website is unprofessional, it will create a perception of unprofessionalism with your customers. Even if you are a tiny company and your customers like that, no-one wants to deal with a sloppy, disorganised or unprofessional company.
Myth 6: You need to be a web programmer to update a website.
What they say: We’ve been waiting two weeks for our web guy to update some of the text on our site.
Reality: Content management software is now simple, cheap and everywhere. Even the smallest company with the most basic website can and should have the ability to log-in via the site on the web and edit the text with as much ease as sending an email or writing a word document.
Myth 7: Once a website is created, the content is locked in and can’t be changed for years.
What they say: We need to work out every word and every page before we can even think about working on a new website, we don’t want to end up with another out-of-date site again.
Reality: As with the previous myth, this is solved by a modern content management system. A website can be a living, growing thing that can and should be easily updated whenever it’s needed.
If you’ve found yourself believing any of these myths, or worse being told any of these myths by a service provider, let me know.