DIY or Professional Design: When Your Credibility Is on the Line

November 3, 2015

Professional Web Design

Of all the ways to save money with a small business, skimping on web design and search engine optimization (SEO) shouldn’t be one of them. Unless you already have a background in web design, SEO or another skill needed to create a professional website, don’t try it.

It might be tempting when you hear that platforms like WordPress make it easy for anyone to build a website. It’s definitely easier, but WordPress can’t gift you with an eye for design or the latest knowledge about SEO to make sure the site is both attractive and functional.

Of course, a DIY approach is perfectly fine for some websites: A personal blog, an online portfolio for a school project and a wedding website are a few examples. You don’t care if these websites get a lot of organic traffic because they’re either just for you or for a very limited audience who will be given the link. Otherwise, you need to go pro.

Starting from the Beginning

Shockingly, many small businesses still don’t have websites. This, of course, includes mom-and-pop joints like little restaurants, dry cleaners and the like. However, many are playing catchup as they realize local SEO and hyperlocal SEO are directing their customers elsewhere. If you have a business ― a sole proprietorship, freelancing or contracting ― you don’t just need a website, you need a quality website that’s favorably ranked in Google search results and shows potential customers your personality.

That’s a pretty tall order for a DIY website. A common mistake is for a small business to self-design a website as a holding place. It’s more challenging to improve SEO rankings rather than do it right from the beginning. Just keep in mind that you never really know who’s checking out that placeholder site. Even if you announce what your business does on the homepage or other landing page, you’ve already left a bad impression in the eyes of what could have been your best customer.

Choosing an Expert

Now that you’re leaning toward a professional design, the real work starts. You can find thousands of so-called experts online, many of whom might be in your town and others who work with clients all over the world. Decide if you’d rather work with someone local whom you can meet in person, or if you’re open to hiring an expert for a digitally based relationship. Pore over portfolios and pick out the designs you like. Make sure to ask them if they incorporate SEO elements and if so, how.

If the galleries are overwhelming, it might be easier to create a bullet point list of your ideal website. Maybe you have particular color schemes in place or images you want to use. Share this when collecting bids, and quality designers will show you the work that best matches what you want. Finally, make sure that the arrangement is transparent and that you have ambitious but reasonable deadlines.

Head straight to one of the most reputable design teams around by contacting Be Locally SEO, and tick one more item off your to-do list.


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