If there is anything small business owners have learned in the “digital pivot” resulting from the COVID-19 shutdowns, it is the importance of a strong online presence. Your website is the hub of your online presence. It is where people go to see who you are, what you do and how they can use your services. Many small business owners have realized they can no longer afford to ignore their websites—it’s time to do it right.
Although your website is a critical piece of building a successful brand, you may be surprised to realize it is not the first step. In a recent post, we compared building your brand to building a house. Your logo is the foundation (step 1), your website is the walls (step 2), and your marketing is the finishes and fixtures (step 3). While each step is important, to reverse the order would be catastrophic. You want to invest in your website after your logo is in place and before you start marketing.
TIP: We recently mapped out how you can build your entire brand in a year by doing your logo first, website second and marketing third. We’ve successfully walked hundreds of small businesses across the country through the same 3-step process and have found it to be the most cost-effective approach to building your brand.
Why It’s Best to Do Your Website AFTER Your Logo
It can be tempting to skip your logo and jump straight to your website. But not so fast. Jumping straight to your website weakens your brand right off the bat and ends up costing you more in the long run. Here’s how:
- Skipping your logo weakens your brand. Your logo design drives your brand colors, fonts and design styling. When you remove the logo from your brand, you have nothing to anchor your website design to. Your website may say all the right things, but it is completely forgettable because it is not visually tied to a brand. While a strong brand builds recognition and business revenue, a weak brand falls flat and makes it hard for people to remember your business.
- Skipping your logo costs you more money in the long run. Let’s say you were in a hurry to get your new website up, so you skipped over your logo, vowing to come back to it once you had the time and money. Fast forward a year and you’re ready to invest in a professionally designed logo. Within a few weeks, you have a logo you love and you can’t wait to use it to start branding your small business. This is where things get expensive. Now you have to update your entire website (and any other business materials) to include your new logo and align with your new brand colors, fonts and design styling. That cost could completely be avoided if you would have simply done your logo before your website.
As much as we’d love to jump right into your website design with you, it is in your long-term best interest to first invest in a professionally logo design.
Why It’s Best to Do Your Website BEFORE You Invest in Marketing
The point of marketing is to drive people to your website or your doorstep. Today, most people will visit your website before they’ll do business with you. If your website does not clearly tell people who you are, what you do and how they can use your services, you’re leaving money on the table. You can have the very best marketing with little to show for it if your website is not designed to receive incoming leads and convert them into paying clients.
Let’s explore just a few commonly used marketing tools that can quickly become a waste of time and money if you don’t have an effective website in place first:
- Social Media Campaigns are designed to lead people to your website. But if your website looks bad or doesn’t have a clear call to action once they get there, they’ll move on. Even though your social media posts do a great job of passing leads to your website, your website keeps fumbling the ball—making the whole exercise pointless.
- Google Ads drive prospective clients to your website. If your website is confusing to someone who lands on it from a Google Ad, they’ll quickly click away to your competitor’s website. Now you’ve just paid Google for a wasted click on your ad and your bounce rate just went up, which can hurt your search engine optimization (SEO).
- Print Materials are more limited in size than your website, so their role is often to communicate enough about your business that someone will visit your website and contact you. Once again, a perfectly designed leave-behind piece may get people to your website all day long. But if they’re confused once they get there, you just have high website traffic and low sales—and what’s the point of that?
TIP: If you’re investing in marketing month after month with no real return on investment, it may be time to take a step back and first invest in your logo and website.
We could bore you with many more examples of marketing tools that can be a waste of time and money if your website is not designed to do its job, but by now you probably get the point. If you’re ready to build your brand the right way, you’ll do your logo, then your website, then your marketing—in that order. It will save you time and money in the long run.
So, if you already have a strong logo in place, congratulations, you’re ready to do your website. On the other hand, if you’re frustrated month after month by marketing efforts that seem to fall flat, you probably need to hit pause on your marketing and invest in an effective website designed to help grow your business. To start the conversation about your website, contact us.