Whether you’re blatantly throwing money away on bad ideas or losing potential revenue by failing to capitalize on good ones, here are some surefire ways to make the least out of your investment.
When was the last time someone offered you a valuable product or service and you said, “No thanks, I’d rather have that other really crummy one over there“?
You may not realize it, but it could be the last time you talked about your website. Before you spend another cent on something you didn’t need, want or expect, take a moment to reflect on this stupid idea and make sure it doesn’t apply to you.
Stupid Idea 1: Hire Someone To Do It “Cheap”.
Somewhere along the way our mothers told us that there’s “no such thing as a free lunch”. Somewhere along the way our fathers warned that “you get what you pay for”. But somewhere along the way we conveniently forget or ignore that advice and convince ourselves that we’re going to be smart enough/frugal enough/business savvy enough to get something of great value for much less than the other guy paid.
Sure you can have a website built for $500. You can sign up for a search marketing program for $19.99. But what you can’t get for $19 or $500 is quality.
What you can get “cheap” is a website that isn’t standards-compliant. One that may or may not work in different browsers so that when your customers go to check out your services or buy your product they won’t be able to.
What you can get cheap is a contact form that may not work, or may send through nothing but spam and empty fields. You can get a shopping cart that may fail, be too slow or too cumbersome for customers to use, or simply not be able to accommodate the way you want to sell your products and force you to sacrifice or compromise the way you do business.
What you can get cheap are graphics that may not load, load too slowly or weigh negatively on your site’s search listings. Or graphics that look “fuzzy” and unprofessional. Or look like the generic, cliché, overused stock art/photography that they are.
What you can get cheap is a navigation nightmare so your customers never really find the valuable information you want to share or may not even bother to try.
What you can get cheap is poor search optimization so you won’t be listed well in search engines, sacrificing exposure, leads, sales and ultimately business.
What you can get cheap is a site that looks like ten million others, with the same layout, the same “man-in-business-suit” photo and no interesting or credible content to persuade visitors to become customers.
What you can get cheap is a site that has no true relevance or value to your business, churned out in a couple of hours with little or no input from you.
Instead of throwing even a few hundred dollars away on “cheap”, here’s some conventional wisdom you can live with: do it right the first time. If you want a quality site you need someone who has the experience, knowledge and expertise to build one.
You need someone who understands the importance of web standards and optimization techniques and knows how to use them. You need someone who understands how your web site relates to your business and how to make it a valuable part of your business and not just an online billboard that just looks… cheap.
When you “buy” your web site, you’re buying more than a couple of HTML pages and a few Photoshop graphics. You’re buying a stake in your own business and hopefully you’ve hired someone who knows how to make your site an integral part of that business.
Hopefully you’ve hired someone who is willing and able to invest the many hours, days and even weeks that it takes to understand your business, develop a web strategy, build a good site and make it work as part of your total marketing plan.
So sure, you can get a cheap web site. But if you care about your business and how your site reflects on it and supports it, be prepared to consider that money lost, because chances are you’re going to be starting all over again when you finally reacquaint yourself with an old, maybe cliché, but always relevant truth: whether it’s a car, a kitchen table or a web site, you do get what you pay for.
Have you ever tried the “cheap” route only to regret it later?
Read More In The “How To Waste Your Money” Series
- Stupid Idea 1: Hire someone to do it “cheap”
- Stupid Idea 2: Fabricate an FAQ section
- Stupid Idea 3: Just start building the site
- Stupid Idea 4: Worry about search optimization “later”
- Stupid Idea 5: Believe the person who tells you they can “get your site to be number one in Google”
- Stupid Idea 6: Don’t pay attention to your domain name, where it’s registered or when it expires
- Stupid Idea 7: Get the cheapest hosting you can find
- Stupid Idea 8: Write the copy yourself
- Stupid Idea 9: Don’t worry about whether your site or database is being backed up
- Stupid Idea 10: Insist on a news section or blog
- Stupid Idea 11: Brush off social marketing as something that’s too hard/not relevant for your business
- Stupid Idea 12: Be too busy to study your analytics and decide it doesn’t really matter anyway
- Stupid Idea 14: Say “I don’t know” a lot
- Stupid Idea 15: Launch the site, breathe a sigh of relief and cross it off your to-do list