- You should redesign your website every 3-5 years. Perhaps this was once true, but no more. The old notion of redesigning your website every few years just doesn't cut it anymore... trust me, I know. And if you're not adding fresh new content weekly (or at a minimum several times a month) you are almost certainly losing ground to your competition and likely slipping in your search engine rankings.
- It is important to employ the latest (coolest) design concepts in order to remain fresh and relevant. Okay, this one is a bit trickier, because the expectations of consumers certainly have and will continue to evolve, so your website needs to, at a minimum, not put off visitors by being completely obsolete in its design. That being said, the latest in "cool" too often doesn't translate to higher conversion rates and higher seach engine rankings. Don't be deceived by the latest cool design thing. If being seen as cool is critical to your company's brand, there's an argument that can be made for this being a priority. If not though, focus on fast, easy access to relevant information that your customers crave, and leave the cool stuff to web design firms and ad agencies that just can't control themselves.
- It is crazy expensive to redesign a website. This one isn't just a simple misconception—it's simply the wrong way to think about it. Changing the oil in your car, for example, may seem expensive these days, but it's nowhere near as expensive as replacing the engine or buying a new car. In today's fast-paced, highly mobile, constantly changing world, at a time when your website is your biggest marketing asset, your website should be as fluid and effective as you can make it. Through growth driven design techniques, you can get websites up faster at a lower cost, and experience a much higher ROI through constant improvement.
- My website doesn't really need a blog. If you haven't bought into content marketing and inbound marketing then you might still be struggling with why you need a blog. The simple truth is that you need a blog and/or a serious committment to constantly update and add pages to your website if you hope to drive new business. Blogging has a very positive impact on your ability to be found by search engines, and it gives you something to constantly promote within your social media. Best of all, it allows you to refine your unique story, and amplify that which differentiates you from your competitors in the marketplace.
- Drop-down/pop-out menus are everywhere, so they must be the way to go. The first part of this is certainly true—you can find these things everywhere. Candidly, we occasionally employ them when our clients insist upon them, but we try to steer them away whenever we can. If you have a ton of content, consider using mega-menus instead. Almost every usability study ever done shows that drop-down/pop-out menus are hard for people to navigate. If you have ever chased one of these multi-level things just to accidentally misqueue and have to start all over again, you know that they are not just a bad idea, but depending upon your dexterity, they can be infuriating.
- Mobile isn't important for my audience. I can't say definitively that this is a misconception for every line of business, but I honestly cannot think of one that is the exception. If you need a website, you need a mobile-friendly website. The percentage of mobile viewership of websites is growing at a staggering pace. While we rarely develop purely mobile websites these days, virtually all of our web development is "responsive" (which means that it works equally well for desktop, tablet, and mobile). Even if your audience is older or old-school, mobile is increasingly the way your visitors are viewing your website. If your website isn't mobile-friendly, you're not only losing business, you're likely to soon lose search engine ranking too, as Google is hard-over on mobile-friendly.
- I need a mobile app. Given that the pace at which consumers are downloading new apps is at a virtual standstill, if you have a compelling reason to create unique, value-added tool, you'd probably be well-advised to think about a web application instead of a mobile app. A web app is an application that is accessible from your website and doesn't require the visitor to download an app from the app store. While web apps require internet access, these days that's rarely an obstacle. And heck, you are then essentially building an application that will work on all mobile platforms as well as desktop computers, so it makes better financial sense.
Because the field is evolving rapidly and consumers' expectations are evolving at the same pace, it is important to understand how to avoid some of the pitfalls and misconceptions that may be hindering your marketing success. To find out more about any of these topics, please sign up for our blog or contact us for a free consultation. We'd love to hear from you!