Did you know nearly 2 million businesses in the UK do not have a website? That’s crazy I know, but the question is should your business go on to some of the free website builders like Wix or Squarespace, and really start off your website journey with one of those platforms? It depends.
Hey guys, Darren Taylor of thebigmarketer.co.uk here giving you tips, insight and opinion on all things marketing. If that’s up your street, you should consider subscribing to my channel.
Today we’re looking at the free website builders out there, you know who I mean like Wix and Squarespace and plethora others out there, who provide a website building service for free for small businesses, weigh the number of caveats. Now, the question is should your business take this website kind of builder as the first step towards getting a website for your business? As I said in the introduction, it completely depends.
2 million businesses in the UK not having a website to me is unacceptable. It’s 2018, we should be able to have a more digitized business landscape in the UK if we want to be forward-thinking technologically speaking like the USA is for example.
Now, here’s the question: using a website builder like Wix or like Weebly or things like that, have a massive disadvantage in a lot of cases to an actual manually built website, but we’ll go into those later in the video. The question is, should you get on these websites in the first instance when starting a business? I would say yes. If you haven’t got a website yet, then it’s definitely something you should do just to get online, to get used to having web presence, and to be able to share your business’s success stories, to share your customer testimonials, to share your kind of USPs and selling points across different people you speak to.
When networking, it’s absolutely crucial you have somewhere to point somebody, to make sure they know where your website is and give you more details about your business. The number one barrier to entry when it comes to getting a new website for any business is of course the cost. Now the cost is going to be something that’s going to be one of the main determining factors as to whether your business has a website or not, hence the free website builders coming in. Having a good start with the free builders is great, but there are a lot of disadvantages to that. Let’s row through the disadvantages of a free builder website.
The first thing is you have to co-brand with them, so for example if you build a website for your plumbing business in the UK, and you use a website service like Wix or Weebly or Squarespace with their free package, you are going to have to advertise for them too. What I mean by that is in the footer you’ll probably have a website footer that says “Web designed by Wix or web designed by Weebly.” Whatever it might be and that’s going to be a really, really hard part to get across to your customers, to show authenticity when another company’s branding is all over your website as well. It’s not as authentic and it’s not as powerful for a prospective customer.
The second thing which is even more of a worry for small businesses using these services, is that more often than not you will have to use their domain for your website. If your business is Bob the plumber and you want to have a website that’s bobtheplumber.com, quite often on these free builders you’re not allowed. You have to take on the free builders business name in your web domain, so it might be wix.com/bobtheplumber or bobtheplumber.wix.com. These are some examples of what you’d have to put up with potentially using a free website builder.
Again not good for branding, and not good for your prospective customers when you want to share a domain that’s memorable, and get it out there for business.
Finally, the third thing and probably the most important thing for the longevity of your business from an online web perspective, is SEO it’s nearly impossible with a free package for these website builders. The code sucks, the layouts suck, the options suck. Everything in terms of SEO on page wise absolutely sucks. You can’t customize it how you like it, specifically tagging-wise you can’t do a lot of things that would enable on-page SEO to hit the full, and make sure your business hits the right foot forward when coming to SEO as well.
For example, it might be really difficult to customize your title and description when using these kind of website builder platforms, and that can be a problem for SEO. In addition to that, your URL structure is also very difficult to customize, and URL structure and also what your URL says in terms of keywords within there are really important when it comes to SEO as well. Quite often, your URLs can be quite messy with these systems. These are all barriers for SEO progress and success.
Looking back at what I’ve said at this video is very difficult to justify using a free package with an online website builder like Wix or Weebly, but saying that if it’s your first step to getting online and actually doing something about your online profile, then go ahead and do it.
The long term vision is you don’t want to use a website builder, you want to get a website built customized for purpose, knowing what your business goals are, and getting a web designer to build you exactly what you want, because long-term it’s really going to benefit your business. It’s going to make things a lot easier, it’s going to give you more flexibility and more profit of course as well when your website works for your business.
Overall, start off with it if you have to, but in the end, get yourself a website. It’s one of the best investments you can make for your business.
Thanks for watching this video. If you liked this video please leave me a like below. Let me know in the comments if you’ve had any experience using any of these website builders, and any of the issues you’ve run into when using them. If you’re a marketer working on a SEO using these website builders, what have you advised your clients who are using them? I’d be really interested to hear that myself as well, and more important than that, don’t forget to subscribe and I’ll see you guys on my next video.