Holly, working on a laptop, on the sofa with her dogs next to her.

If you have a small business or want to sell or represent yourself online you’re going to need a website. But which website? And do you really need one? Can’t you just sell off Social Media?Websites have been around for a long time now and there are a lot of myths floating around about them.

Here are 7 popular website myths which just aren’t true. 

Build it and they will come 

There’s been a lot of talk of ‘build it and they will come’ recently. If you’d like to experience distress, feelings of failure and suffer from massive imposter syndrome then try this. 

If you’d like a website you’re proud of, that’s completely aligned to you and a part of a digital marketing plan to launch your new product or service into the world then you’re going to need to do some research as well as collaborate with: 

➡️ a branding specialist 

➡️ a copywriter

➡️ a website designer 

You’ll often hear me comparing websites to houses and in the same way you wouldn’t just start building a house on a semi-level bit of ground, you shouldn’t just choose a website template and think you’re good to go. Websites need mapping out, they need to be built on a good foundation  and they need the same specialist skills as your house needed when it was built. So in the same way you wouldn’t build your own house, it’s not the greatest idea to build your own website. 

You don’t need to use a designer/you can build it yourself. 

I get it. The messages are confusing. There are all these adverts by companies like SquareSpace, Wix and Shopify saying ‘jump on board, we have the tools for you to build your site, ditch the designer and let’s go 🚀’. On the one hand, they have great marketing and marketing budgets to get that message out. 

The reality of building your own website on one of these platforms is: 

The resources are usually video tutorials and pdf documents. This means you have to know the terminology to search the issue you’re having. If you’re not a website designer, you’re unlikely to know the terminology. 

Unless you’re on one of the higher paid plans, there isn’t any live support (with a human at the other end) expect to deal with a lot of bots on live chat and support tickets to have at least 24 hour turnaround periods. If you’re on a ‘free’ plan it’s unlikely you’ll be able to submit a support ticket. 

You have no access to the back-end or server so the performance of your website is limited. 

Some design elements/styling is really complicated and takes a lot of experience and knowledge to pull off. 

It doesn’t have to cost £££s 

No website has to cost a lot but a great website should be considered an investment. Stop for a minute and think of the reasons you want a website in the first place: 

💥 Somewhere for your customers to learn more about you. 

💥 To showcase your products and services. 

💥 Generate leads which start conversations with potential customers. 

💥 Make sales. 

💥 Grow your business.

Now imagine you’re trying to pull all of this off without investing in it at all. Essentially you’re just winging it but in return, you’re expecting people to part with their hard earned cash, invest in you and believe in your services (or product). How can they do that when you’re not prepared to invest in it yourself? 

Brilliant websites are a synergy of: 

⭐️ Brilliant branding 

⭐️ Captivating copy

⭐️ Dazzling design

These are 3 separate skills and to have all 3 combine and make your website brilliant, you are going to need to invest in 3 different professionals to make it happen. 

Build something you like (after all, you’re the one who has to look at it) 

When we’re investing a lot of time, money and energy into something it’s natural that we’re going to want it to be aesthetically pleasing. The problem is, you’re not trying to sell to you, you’re trying to sell to your customers and if they don’t have the same thoughts on what looks good, you’re going to have a problem. 

The best way to go about this is do some research on your competitors designs. What do you like about them? What would you do differently? How would you have your website stand out without it being the polar opposite of other websites in the same industry? 

You don’t have to answer all these questions yourself, that’s what your branding specialist and website designer are there for. But do remember the website is there to ultimately make you sales, generate leads and grow your business. You don’t have to love the design, you just have to like it. As long as your customers are clicking on it, you know you’re on the right track. 

SEO’s a scam 

Search Engine Optimisation is dependent on a number of factors combined to have your website chosen by the search engines when someone types in a search term. Have a website which doesn’t have any SEO on it and it simply won’t be chosen by Google. The problem with this is it means that every single customer who comes to your website is going to have to be driven there by you. And that’s pretty exhausting. If you do your website SEO then a lot of your website visitors will be coming through Google searches and this can happen at any time of the day or night, not just when you hit publish on a Social Media post that links back to your website. 

A website is just a shop front. 

People like to sell from Social Media because there are a lot of people all in one place so some of the sales will happen accidentally - someone’s scrolling, sees your product or they’ve been following you for a while and your appearing in their feed at the right time, results in a sale. This strategy can cause people to view their website as a shop front for their real business; which is appearing in Instagram and Facebook feeds.  

However, the people who are finding you through a Google search are much more likely to be in a position to engage with your service and buy, than the person who purchases through scrolling. I can understand you thinking ‘so what? both cases result in sales’ but…. the one through Social Media is just a temporary/one off thing whereas the one via your website has a lot more substance and ultimately, we like to create relationships and remain loyal to a brand/person. So the better your website is, the more likely people are to seek you out/stay with you after the purchase than the accidental purchase of the social media scrollers. And people who stay with you tend to bring others’ to you and you get repeat business from them. 

You don’t need a website, just set up a Facebook page/Instagram account. 

Out of all the myths this is the worst. A few years ago people could setup a Facebook page or an IG shop, write some compelling posts and success would follow. That ship has most definitely sailed now and it’s a really risky strategy because: 

😳 Social Media channels can take down your posts/ban you/delete your account without any notice or your permission. 

😳 Your audience doesn’t belong to you, it belongs to the platform your account is on, meaning your followers can be removed at any time. 

😳 You don’t get to style it as you, you just have to create your branding to fit in with their framework. 

Couple this with people have changed how they spend money. The cost of living crisis and increase in energy bills and Royal Mail fees mean people are being more and more choosy about where they spend their money and what investments they make. Not many people are willing to make an investment based on an Instagram bio and some Social Media posts, they’re going to want to check out your website, learn more about who you are and why you are the right match for them. 

The best thing you can do for your website, and your business, is recognise your website to be an investment in representing and growing your business. Whilst Social Media is always going to play an important role in your digital marketing strategy, it must begin and end with your website. If Social Media went away tomorrow, your website is what still stands. Make sure that what the user sees when they land on your site is the best representation and version of you out there.

If you would like to have a chat about either improving your existing website or a new website project, you can book a 20 minute, complementary call with me, via the button below.