Have you ever heard of the phrase “Mutton dressed as Lamb?

It normally refers to someone pretending to be much more desirable than they really are. Well, there is a good chance your website is actually the opposite. Most websites out there are “Lambs” that delivers great value for your clients, however, on the front end, they look like an unappealing “Mutton.”

It means that once someone enquires with you and experiences your offering, they are going to be pleasantly surprised. But this can also set you back because a lot of people won’t even consider doing business with you if your website looks like it hasn’t been updated since 1997. In a moment I’m will share with you a few ways you can fix this right away. And after I do that, I’m going to talk to you about how these fixes can make a massive difference to your business.

If your site is a Lamb dressed as Mutton, this can actually be a good thing.

Strategy 1: Download a website template and modify it

These days, there are many templates online that look reasonably decent. The way they work is that you pay anywhere from $10 to $200+ for a template, upload it to your server and adjust the words to suit your business. Website templates can be great if you find one that you like the look of. All you have to do is then change the text and you’re good to go.

The challenge with this strategy is that a lot of the time, the template doesn’t quite suit your business. There may be an extra image in there that you don’t want. Or there may be a long string of text when you want a short string of text. Sometimes you like the template but don’t like the colour scheme. When you use a website template and want to make changes, it can start to get really expensive. Some templates are just not developer friendly.

So with this strategy, the best way forward is to use the template if it is perfect for your business, otherwise move to one of the other strategies.

 

Strategy 2: Use a website hosting platform

If the idea of downloading a template, putting it on a server and messing around with HTML code sounds daunting, there is another solution. There are now a number of providers who will host your website for you and provide pre-built landing pages. A landing page provider is great if you’re looking for a bare-bones, simple “business card” website that looks clean and professional. They are reasonably affordable, starting at around $100 per month, and you can edit the website yourself.

Again, there are a couple of drawbacks. Most of these landing page providers give you fixed templates to work with which aren’t flexible. So if you want to make any major design changes, you’re normally stuck. They are also quite rigid in terms of functionality. Your website is limited to the functionality they provide. They also have a similar look and feel to the thousands of other websites using the same platform. So there is a chance you will have exactly the same website as other businesses, just different text.

If you’re the kind of business that wants a website that is uniquely YOU – the best option to go with is to go with strategy 3.

 

Strategy 3: Use a website developer

With a website developer, you can sit down with them, explain EXACTLY what you want the site to do, and they will implement your directions. If you have design styling preferences, and want to integrate your site with all of your accounting, email and CRM systems, they will do that.

A good website developer would have previously designed hundreds of other sites. Often they can give you advice on what has worked well for other clients, and this can shorten the learning curve.

The challenges with using a website developer is obviously cost. It’s more expensive to have a site custom designed than it is to use a template. Some web developers unfortunately use proprietary technology that means only THEY can update the site, not you…..which is a common frustration for business owners. And finally, many web developers have no idea about online marketing. So they may be able to build you a site that looks pretty, but nobody ever visits it and even when they do visit, they don’t turn into a customer.

If you’ve read this far, it means you’re probably interested in dramatically improving your online presence and results. If you would like a free “roadmapping session” with our senior online strategists, where we put a plan in place to ramp up your online presence, click here and we’ll get a time scheduled.

So what’s next?

As you can see, a “band-aid” fix of just making your website look prettier can actually set off a bunch of future problems down the track.

 

You’re probably wondering, what’s the best solution?

I’ll give you a hint….it involves a solution that incorporates both web development AND online marketing. Note: If you’ve read enough already and would like a free “roadmapping session” with our senior online strategists, where we put a plan in place to ramp up your online presence, click here and we’ll get a time scheduled.

But before I get to the solution, I want to tell you a quick story about my client Michael from Jobtag. About 12 months ago, Michael had a vision to build a job board that was completely different. He wanted to give control back to job seekers so that they can see where their CV is going. The job seeker can also see a personal video from the hiring manager, so they know exactly what the company requirements are, without the “Chinese Whispers” of a recruitment agent in the middle.

For their first attempt at building this platform, they engaged a web developer who was recommended to them. This particular web developer “robbed them blind” AND stole their source code! Unbelievable!!!! They then tried an overseas outsourced developer. Once this developer was half way through the project, they held Michael to ransom by saying the price is now three times the original quote. Michael clearly didn’t have the budget for this, and additional months and thousands of dollars were wasted again.

A third developer came along and actually turned out to be a social psychopath. They should have done a background check! Unsurprisingly, Michael came to me and said

“Kevin…. we’re going insane. Every time we hire a developer we get completely screwed.”

We felt Michael’s pain. To make it easier for him, we said that we would build him a brand new custom site from scratch, and also act as his Chief Technology Officer. He was still hesitant because he had been screwed already three times!

To reduce his risk, we decided to provide him with invoice terms, so he would only pay instalments as we reached certain milestones. We also utilised our Agile web development methodology. We agreed to weekly development “sprints.” Each sprint went for one week, where specific work had to be completed and ready for Michael’s review and signoff. Our use of agile web development methodology meant there were no delays. There was never any surprises for Michael as we built out his website because he had weekly reviews and feedback.

In just ten short weeks, we launched the new platform. Remember, this is not just a simple one page “business card” website. This was a complex job board with databases and a marketplace. The great news is that within 12 weeks, the client cracked six figures of revenue, and are now moving to stage two. This will involve best practice User Experience, additional social media integration and ability to accept online payments.

Why did this project work so well?

The Jobtag project has been a huge success. The reason it’s worked so well is because our team at Techwitty is an integrated web development and marketing agency. When we build a new site, we don’t just think about the look and feel. We take a holistic approach. The site has to deliver commercial outcomes. That’s right. Enquiries and sales. So we always build the site with the objective clearly in mind to deliver a massive increase in enquiries and sales.

I’d love to say that every site we have created has been a resounding success, but that’s not the case. Once we had a client in the Education sector, who despite our very best efforts, ended up going into liquidation because their underlying business model was not profitable.  It’s important to note that we will get your online presence up to best practice, but we are not miracle makers. You still need to have a solid, profitable underlying business model to be successful.