6 Reasons to Avoid DIY Website Builders

If you clicked on this link, it’s very likely you are…

  • A new business in need of “web presence” (not to be confused with a website)
  • An existing business with outdated, “I hate mobile” website coding.
  • Have an OK website, but need an increase in “Web Presence” to get a leg up on competitors.

The Online DIY Website Builders spend millions on advertising (Wix and SquareSpace spent over $10 million during Super Bowl 50). Don’t get lured in…

Here are 6 reasons to avoid DIY website builders

  • You can’t change templates. So you built a nice little Wix site yourself. Congratulations! You wrote all the content, uploaded all the images and videos, logos, etc. You spent a few nights slapping it all together, only to show it to someone who was subsequently, less than impressed. You looked through some other templates and saw a better one. Think you can use that without starting all over again? Think again. You can’t. Every time you change the look of your website, you need to start from the very beginning. Back to Square One. That frustration is one of the best reasons to avoid DIY website builders.  
  • They advertise how easy it is, yet many give up, which is why Wix (and others) offer professional help for a “low fee”. You can find one of the Wix “approved designers” HERE. Please tell me you clicked, because if that is a professional site, I am now the world’s leading brain surgeon. Look, if you are going to pay someone, do it right the first time.
  • “If it’s not on Google, it doesn’t exist” is a quote from Jimmy Wales (a guy who founded a little site called Wikipedia) and it’s true. That Go-Daddy site with all the great pictures of your food, or images of you servicing vehicles, or videos of your pet grooming business? They don’t exist. Why? Go-Daddy actively blocks Google from indexing anything other than text. Hint: Any web designer/builder worth a buying a beer for, embeds the three important things Google looks for in a picture; title, alternate info and description, so they can index it (and link it on the web to your business) for search. That’s one of the big reasons to avoid DIY Website Builders, you’re really not on the web, you are on their domain. Let that sink in.
  • Ali vs Frazier, the Jets and the Patriots, Google and Wix. History has given us a long list of great rivalries, and you can add Google/Wix to the mix. Google has a very tough time indexing Wix sites. So tough that Wix advises you to wait 90 days before you are indexed by Google. Reality Check: In the past, it could take Google up to 4 weeks to list your site. Much, much faster now. Someone tell Wix it’s 2016. If it takes 3 months for Google to crawl a Wix site, something is likely very, very wrong. And there is… just last fall, after an algorithm update, all the Wix-built sites vanished from Google. It got fixed (by Google), and no other real websites were affected, but it shows that Google Search has some real troubles with WIX. Wix tells you how much Google likes them though. Right. Sure they do. It’s also a very good reason to avoid DIY website builders.
  • They all own your website and all the content, images, logos… One reason to avoid DYI website builders is they all own your website. Read the fine print. Here is a simple fact; If you hire someone to build a website, when it’s done, it’s yours free and clear. You can host it wherever you want. You can take it to someone else down the road for an overhaul…it’s yours. Not so with any DIY website. They own it, they can change it whenever they like (think about the changes over the years on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, etc.). You pay for the website for as long as you have it, and when you stop, it’s gone (think cable TV subscription). In reality, that’s not how it works, but as a caged rat, you do help them pay for Super Bowl ads….
  • There’s this little thing that has exploded called content marketing. In a recent B2B survey, Content Marketing  was named as one of the top 3 business strategies by over 2/3 of business owners. You are locked out of Content Marketing. Why? Proper content marketing is heavily contingent on you having a blog/news/updates page on your domain as a subdomain, which is not possible on any DIY website builder.

The very biggest reason to avoid DIY website builders is because with all the work you put into it, not only is the SEO blocked, not only are there serious indexing issues, not only does the site look like it’s homemade, shopping cart limitations would take a whole new post, it’s not even that you don’t own the site…

The Biggest Reason to avoid DIY website builders?

It’s just a website. (and a bad one at that)

It’s just a website and that may have worked in the past, but in 2016, if you want to grow your online presence, you need to employ social media, SEO and most of all, inbound content marketing so you can truly tell your story directly to your target audience. Or embrace Wix, SquareSpace, Go-Daddy and all the rest; where SEO is stone-age, the websites look no better than what was common in AOL days, and they firmly lock you out of digital marketing efforts such as content marketing.

And that my friends, is the very biggest reason to avoid DIY website builders. They do absolutely nothing to increase your online web presence.

Video is Not Enough: 6 Ways to Drive In-Person Visits with Digital Marketing

Many designers are hopping on the SEO Video trend in 2017 and their clients take their word as the gospel truth and put all their marketing dollars into that basket without considering what the real effects are of ignoring other key items and options they should be taking advantage of.  Video has it’s place in digital marketing for sure, but with the rise of personal assistants such as OK Google, Siri, Alexa and the like Voice Search and Artificial Intelligence are going to be the key motivator for helping in-person sales when one can simply ask the assistant “What is available for family fun’ in ‘insert your town here’ or ‘Where’s the best place to eat’ in ‘insert your location here’ … ask and be told what you want to know.

It’s no secret that in-store traffic is valuable for most businesses. In fact, while the average website conversion rate is 2.35% across industries, for in-store traffic the average conversion rate is 33%. That is to say – if you can move that website visitor to knock on your door, there is roughly a 1 in 3 chance they will make a purchase. So how can you make that happen?

Here are six ways you can use digital marketing to drive in-person visits to your business location:

1. Optimize Your Website

Did you know that your user’s experience begins before a prospect even visits your page? User experience begins wherever on the web prospects find you. Everyday consumers turn to search engines like Google to find answers to what they are looking for. Some experts say that as much as 30% of all searches queries have local intent.

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, uses a knowledge of search engines and how they work to update and tweak your website to make sure you are easier to find in the search engine results pages. A secondary impact of a well-optimized site is a better user experience on your page. This is because when determining your page rank (where you land on the search results page), search engines account for everything from navigation, to page load times, fresh relevant content, images, media, and more.

In addition to a strong SEO strategy, a few things to consider for your website that can help increase in-store visits:

  • Online appointment scheduling – Appointments can be scheduled after-hours!
  • Calls to action – Make it clear what the next steps are. Ex: Visit us today!
  • Print-at-home and mobile couponsThat can only be redeemed in-store

2. Take Advantage of Paid Search

For searches with high commercial intent, paid listings still reign supreme. They receive preferred placement at the top of the search engine results page across Google, Yahoo, and Bing. We’ve already talked about local intent and how important it is to rank for these searches. How can you optimize your PPC campaign to be competitive for these searches and increase in-store visits?

Here are a few things to consider:

3. Get Smart About Social

Social media marketing yields hard-to-measure results. And with all the other aspects of your business that need to be managed, Twitter or Facebook may be last on your list. However, if you are not taking advantage of social media at all, you could be missing out on opportunities to drive in-store visits.

Facebook is a great place to start – it hosts a wide demographic of users in every geography and is relatively simple to use. You don’t need to post daily to be successful, but you do need to have a presence.  Here are a few easy ways to encourage in-person visits using Facebook:

  • Optimize your profile
  • Make certain your business information is accurate (including location address and hours)
  • Showcase positive customer experiences
  • Promote sales or store events with Facebook Ads
  • Share pictures of goods and/or services

4. Harness the Power of Mobile

With the advent of the smartphone, today’s world is smaller than ever. We are always connected; even while we dream. A recent study found that 71% of people sleep with their smartphones. You can take advantage of the amount of screen time prospects spend on their phones and tablets with mobile advertising. Geofencing is a cost-effective way to get in front of your local prospects while they are on the go. Whether you want to target a radius around your store, or even target local competitors directly, your brand can appear on the screen of users just steps from your door. And it presents you with another perfect opportunity to entice them with coupons or specials.

5. Don’t Forget Current Customers

When putting together a marketing plan designed to drive in-person visits, you cannot neglect your loyal customers. Returning customers are the most valuable segment of your business. They keep coming back to use your services time and again – increasing their lifetime value. And they also become brand ambassadors and influencers, recommending you to family, friends, and colleagues. Because returning site visitors are often already customers, retargeting is a great way to get in front of them again. Tailor your message for these ads to your repeat customers. Make sure it is seasonally appropriate and related to goods or services they may need in the near term. And don’t forget a call to action!

6. Claim Your Local Listings

Prospects often turn to the internet for directions and general business information. These are common searches before an in-store visit takes place. While your business information may be front and center on your web page, a prospect might not look any further than your map listing. Don’t make your customers and prospects jump through hoops to get to you. Remember your competition is at every turn trying to distract them. Loyal customers are less susceptible, but first-timers can be easily deterred by something as simple as not finding your store location the moment they need it. Make sure that you have claimed and verified your local listings. Focus on big hitters like Google My Business or Yelp. But don’t forget industry-specific listings such as Angie’s List, Home Advisor, ZocDoc, or ApartmentRatings.

Website traffic is important – and should still be a metric that you consider when evaluating the effectiveness of your marketing strategy. But in many industries, conversions or purchases are still made offline. That means if you focus your marketing on driving website traffic, you might not get the results you need. By taking advantage of the strategies listed here, you can drive more in-store traffic and watch your business grow.