In the last five years we’ve seen a huge influx in the number of web design companies springing up across the country. In Phoenix, Arizona alone, there were close to 30 new companies offering web design services that opened their doors in 2016. Many of those companies initially looked to be legitimate competitors for Aeon at first glance. The good news (for Aeon, that is) is that upon close inspection of the field, the products and services these companies offered, as well as random testing of client services, concludes that very few of these companies understand how to compete for business, locally and nationally.
We’ve all heard the phrase: “Do it right, or don’t do it at all”, yet we see way too many companies calling themselves experts, or “gurus”, without having earned that position. Where this is mostly good news for Aeon, incompetence has a way of muddying the field and decreasing trust of web companies, in general. The lack of faith does make the road ahead more difficult for the customer and those in the field itself, but the process is slowly weeding out the “amateur dabblers”.
Google’s online dictionary defines an “Expert” as: A person who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of or skill in a particular area. When we break things down, we see that there are very few true experts. One Aeon client described the process of choosing a web company, as a “crap shoot”. The general consensus among small business owners confirms this. Most seem to feel that that it is indeed a roll of the dice, especially considering how little your common business owner knows of web design in general.
How will any business owner truly know if the company they choose will deliver the best products and services for THEIR particular business, even with positive reviews? How does a business owner determine risk to reward? Therein lies the difficulty. We can clearly see that the general population has a skewed perception of what makes any web design company an expert in their field. And where I am not here to toot our own horn, I will tell you what to look for when making a decision regarding the image of your business, practice, or firm and attempt to guide you in the right direction.
When it’s time to choose the right company for YOUR business, we must begin with (at least) an adequate understanding of what separates a 500.00 website from one that costs four to five times more, simply for the fact that most focus on price first, with the intention of saving money. Without a basic knowledge, one company can appear to be very much like the other. The confusion in this area is usually settled by the first sales rep who convinces the business owner to choose his, or her company and not a competitor. While some truly have up-to-date knowledge of web, most do not. How will the business owner know if what he or she is being told, is true? That’s the rub.
The problem with trusting the first person who seems to know what they’re talking about, is risky. You’ve seen the advertisements for “Websites – 500.00” and have probably wondered why there is such a huge disparity from one company to the next. You want to believe what you’re told, in that a company that offers a website for a super low price is no different than those that charge more, but you’re just not sure how to compare the two, or three, or more. Does this sound about right?
When I speak with business owners regarding web design services, 90%, or more have a very limited knowledge of web development and what makes any web company competent. It’s understandable, since when it comes to something like carpentry, I know very little. Mistakes were made when finding the best carpenter for my needs. In fact I focused on price and was extremely disappointed with the end result. Many business owners are under the impression that if you build it (a website), they will come. The majority also seem to think that appearance is the most important factor in showcasing their business on the web, so they tend to focus on aesthetics, colors, photos, etc, almost totally ignoring the actual purpose of the website itself. Honestly, I can’t think of a bigger waste of money for a business owner than trusting any old schmoe with the image of their business, and for a website that will be there for the next two to three years, once completed. Miscalculation in this area can cost a business dearly.
That being said, functionality is always senior to design and aesthetics. In other words, The “Oooooh’s” and “Ahhhhhh’s” heard when people look at a particular website mean very little when we get right down to it. A website needs to COMPEL the visitor to TAKE ACTION. Very much like a department store, a website should be designed to keep the interest of the visitor, to get them to begin looking around, clicking on items of interest; ultimately making the call to your business, or placing an order, right then and there. At the very least your website should make your visitor curious about what you do and what you have to offer. Unfortunately, the vast majority of web designers in the world, the self-proclaimed expert’s and gurus consistently fall short of the mark. Why? Once again, they focus on how pretty the site is, and lose visitors because they are not creating compelling designs with the main focus on functionality. The vast majority also utilize “Out-of-the-box” common templates, which they tend to charge a premium for. It is important to note that EVERY East Indian / Indonesian company I have come across, along with the vast majority of companies based here in the states took less than four hours to create a 500.00 site by utilizing website templates. Instead of creating hand coded custom websites with attention on faster load times and only necessary code, developers take the easy way out and then collect their check from you, the business owner. With website templates, the framework is already done! Think of this as a house that is framed, but without wiring, dry wall, sheetrock, or plumbing. The cheap and fast developer then simply slaps together a common site that looks like so many others on the block.
A great website acts as an employee that works for you, with no breaks, no vacations and relentlessly promotes your business, 24/7. Amateur (usually less costly) web companies also tend to have limited knowledge of this concept; of the marketing knowledge it takes to create the best possible experience for visitors. Web developers and designers typically are NOT marketers! Couple this with the fact that we only get ONE chance to make a first impression, and we have a recipe for disaster. Your website either says: “We’re like everyone else who sells widgets”, “We really don’t care about our image”, or it instills confidence in the visitor and essentially tells them what to do when they arrive. And if you’re content with mediocrity, that’s probably what you’ll get, unless you understand how important it is to gain a basic knowledge of what is best for YOUR business, practice, or firm. If you truly want to stand out, your website MUST convert visitors to prospects and customers / clients / patients. The axiom is: If you don’t tell your visitors what makes you so good, or great, they will assume you are not any different from the next company offering the same, or similar products and services. So it’s a very important decision. Wix, as an example is complete garbage for small business owners, but all business owners see, is the price tag.
Custom web design focuses on marketing, conversions and what is most friendly to search engines. Custom, hand coded, mobile responsive websites also load faster because the framework is not filled with bloated code necessary to making a one-size-fits-all template. Faster load times equate to better rankings. With Aeon, only necessary code is used. On a side note, we find that even those who may be considered to be our competitors, are literally one to two years behind in the industry. I’m not kidding. Our developers constantly hone and polish their skills with the most up to date training and marketing know-how available in the industry today. The proof is right there in our work and with the results our clients boast about every day. Best of all, Aeon will walk you through the process of better understanding and help you make the best choice for your business. And where Aeon may not always be the best choice for your particular business, practice, or firm, you’ll know exactly where you stand. We’ll not only help to minimize the risk in your decision making process, we’ll remain a friend, just a phone call and e-mail away, who cares about your success. We’ve seen that offering “unconditional help” is a key to our success and yours. So if you’re struggling with the “who” and “what”, call us. If you don’t know where to begin, call us. If web is just one big confusion for you, we want to help. We also have free goodies for all business owners. Many of these can help you become more visible to those who seek your services and products with no out of pocket cost. We support small business because we’re a small business that honestly believes “too big to fail” corps are ruining this country to a greater, or lesser degree.
How important is YOUR image to you? If you said: “Very important!” we’d love to speak with you.
Until next time, we hope you flourish and prosper beyond your dreams. Thanks for stopping by!