Articles by Noble Wordsmiths and associates
It really is irksome to see countless adverts for 3rd party web building sites telling you, “You don’t need a web-designer, you can make it yourself.” Sure you can, but there’s more to it than simply picking an impersonal template and then attempting to write the content yourself.
There’s no doubt you will be able to build a good looking website, but how effective is it going to be? 90% of all homemade sites are going to fail because they are not constructed professionally. They may look professional, but it takes years to understand the true nature of web-building and their development – and how it all fits in with your Social Media strategy.
Nobody gets anything worthwhile for free. Most 3rd party web-builders will offer a website without cost. But, these people are not in the business of giving away websites. They give you just enough to learn the software; by then you’re happy to cough up some cash to continue your new found interest in building your own website.
If you’re happy to have a 5-page website for your small business, then you’ll get away with a free website. But what about a decent domain name (website address?) Are you going to stick with the weak one you got for free with your site? Or are you going to buy yourself a .com.; it’s just so tempting, isn’t it?
Then, of course, as soon as you want to expand your site, which many of us do, like adding photos or videos, etc., then you’re paying out for online hosting fees, and other add-ons and tools you’re led to believe you need to run your business. There’s just no such thing as FREE in the world of online marketing. Even when you’re signing up for your free account, you’re handing over your email address!
Let’s say you’re happy to stick with a 5-page free website, with hardly any photos and a terrible web-address. The most basic sites contain a ‘Homepage’, ‘Services,’ or ‘Online Store,’ an ‘About Me,’ a ‘Gallery,’ and a ‘Contact’ Page though this can vary.
Most literate people, if they haven’t pilfered from a similar site, can string together, what appears to be, a decent homepage welcome. You’d be surprised how many people get it wrong. I’ve been told by clients they simply want to steal the written content from other websites, which creates bad SEO for their site, and who’s to say the content being pilfered is any good in the first place?
Professional copywriters are trained to write content that actively encourages your visitors to react. Whether to buy, sell, sign up, pledge money, download something or whatever. Most people, no matter how clever they are, do not have the skills to write effective content, which is why there is a job that exists for Copywriters because they know how to get someone’s juices flowing.
Probably the most important page on your website is the ‘About Me’ page. This is the personal side of your site. The page that lets people know who you are and what you’re all about. Get this wrong, and you fall straight into the 90% category of websites that fail to wow their prospects. This again takes a certain amount of selling power that only copywriters can offer. Sell yourself to your customers, and you have won 3 quarters of the battle in getting them to take some action.
When a website is built it’s static; it just sits there waiting for people to come in. If a new restaurant opens on your local high-street, a few individuals may pop in from time to time. But, if the manager actively goes out onto the street and starts interacting with people and encouraging them to come inside and buy something; that’s when large visitor numbers begin to make a difference.
Your site is no different; website development is one of the most important aspects of building a decent following or traffic flow. This is where Social Media is slowly overtaking SEO. More and more people are finding their way onto websites not through search engines but through the pages they like on Social Media. Say you spot an interesting article on Facebook; you click on it to read it and bam, you’re on the website, which you probably wouldn’t have gone searching for, or found on an online search anyway!
Developing your website takes time and requires fresh new content, new pages, social media interaction, regular blog posts and regular link checks and maintenance. This is what builds successful websites. Not homemade internet sites, but well thought out digital adverts by professional, experienced web-designers. So yes you can build a website over the weekend, but it takes years to gain the skills to create a proper internet site.
People don’t realise what goes into creating a successful website when they sign up for a free account looking to have their little piece of the internet. There’s so much more to it than simply knocking-out a template website with weak content, or poorly thought out structural design that doesn’t flow effortlessly keeping people on your site for as long as possible. After all, the longer they stick around; the more likely they will buy something.
Properly designed websites are built on a hierarchal system with the most relevant pages at the top that then filter down to the secondary pages. All these need to be linked together and should be readily available from any page of the website. Proper link building is imperative to maintain good SEO.
SEO is becoming increasingly difficult to get right because there’s simply too much information out there and getting a new website anywhere near the top of search ranking is becoming harder with each passing year. This has led to the rise of professional article marketing that allows people to access your site, not through the homepage but via a backdoor route of blog posts and useful articles, all of which have been written using certain SEO techniques that are ever changing.
If you want to spend time learning to build your website then, great, make it your hobby, but don’t be bamboozled into thinking you can create a top-class website for free. It’s easy to build a website, but it’s not easy to create a successful, functioning one.
However, 3rd party web-builders are the future. They are easy to use and eliminate the need for learning high-level HTML coding. But you will not build a decent website without some serious dedication and endless weekends trying to perfect your site. As outlined above: there’s so much more to it than templates and homemade content.