In the Web Design and Graphic Design business we are constantly having to justify the costs for our work since the things we create are not tangible. Our clients are not able to see all the work and knowledge required to build a top quality website.
When a person says they just want a 1 page website, my first question to them is, "what are your offline marketing plans for your business, because a 1 page website will not get much search engine traffic?" For some they are thrown off by this remark, and give me a look of question, almost like I insulted them. I do this sometimes to verbally shake the person so they will better understand my explanation to come.
Google or any search engine's job is to index content so people can search it. With the millions of websites online, why would a search engine waste its time with a 1 page website? It obviously can't be that important if there is only 1 page dedicated to that subject, so yes the search engine will index that 1 page but you will not have someone find it unless they type in your company name directly.
If you were looking to have a storefront built for your business, and you were getting a bid from a contractor to do the work and said to them, I just want a small simple building, you might get a box with 4 walls and a roof.
That is how you must think about your website. For most, this is there first impression of your business. It is the job of your website to convey the true value of your business.
Is this starting to make more sense?
Do you want new potential clients to see a 1 page website, is 1 page enough to tell the story about your company? Whether you are a new company or you have been around for years, there is no way 1 page of text can tell the whole story about what you have to offer them.
Building a quality website requires a balance between being easy to read, and not writing a novel for each page of your website. If you offer a lot of different services, like we offer Web Design, Graphic Design, Web Hosting, and Printing, don't try and make all that fit on one page, dedicate one page for each service. This has 2 benefits, the first is, it is easier to read, secondly a dedicated page to each service will help it rank higher in search engine results for that service.
Ok so you have your services on dedicated pages, now it is time to really show your potential new clients you know what you are talking about. Let's face it when someone visits your website they don't know you from Adam, so what can you do on your website to show you know your business?...that's easy, you need to Blog. I know ugh, I am a plumber, not a writer, or I am a landscaper, why do I need to write? Again this is an easy question to answer, if you write articles on your website you are showing people you know your business inside and out.
Say someone is looking online for an easy way to clean the drain in their shower, and on your plumbing service site you write a blog post, about using common household items to remove hair clogging a shower drain, you have accomplished 2 things. You have passed along a small part of your experience which makes that person see you in a new light, they say to themselves, this person really knows about plumbing. Believe it or not, you have also taking a tiny leap into search engine marketing.
The key to search engine marketing is to not only have a search engine drive traffic to your home page but every page of your site. Writing blog posts on certain subjects in your field creates more entry points to your website. Maybe your next post is about fixing a leaking faucet, someone searching for this finds your post, and again, there is another potential client.
I know you are probably saying, well why would I want to give away all my secrets? I put the time and work in to learn this. I am not saying you give away all your knowledge, you write to show you know your business, and just because you tell someone how to do something doesn't always mean they can do your job.
I can build just about anything out of wood. I have also been around people that can weld. I have watched them and I understand what needs to be done but I still can not weld.
I could write an article about how to use Photoshop to design a business card, it doesn't mean everyone can do it.
Ok so what have we learned so far? Your website is the first thing people see about your company, you have your services on their own pages and you have a bunch of quality blog posts, that tells your visitors you know your stuff. Now can you see how there is no value in a simple small website?
Having a well constructed website also has the same effect, as the difference between a person having the high school diploma and someone that just got their GED. Having a diploma shows people you can commit to something and complete it. Having a strong web presence adds strength to your brand, it tells people you put the leg work in because you care about your brand.
Some small websites give people an uneasy feeling like you might be a fly-by-night company. You know you have been in business for the past 15 years but a tiny site doesn't say that.
Now your next thought might be, "oh you are telling me to build a bigger site so you can charge me more", and you couldn't be farther from the truth.
I write this just like the blog posts I mentioned earlier. I am sharing my 12 years of experience with you on how to create a successful website, and just like you, I want to produce quality work. The success of your website is the success of my company. If I build a site that doesn't produce, you tell your friends, that they shouldn't use us to build their website because the one we built for you didn't get you any new business. I would much rather build a site that doubles your business, and you tell your friends, if you need a website you have to contact Graphic Web Design!!! Our only goal is to help your business grow.