Digital Marketing Blog

Are Website Templates Bad For Business?

  • By Brad Poirier
  • 18 Dec, 2017

The Pro’s & Con’s of using a template for your small business website

Sometimes a potential client will ask us : “Do you use templates to build your websites?”, or also “What do you [platform] use to build your websites”.

The answers are : Yes/No and Whatever works for your business!

First of all, we are a Duda Pro partner, they cater to design agencies, and we primarily use them for our website development. We can use Wordpress,  but it will likely cost you 3x the price . We also recently starting using another design-agency-specific platform called Webflow.

Again, we use whatever it takes to build a performance based website that fits both your budget and your goal.

Do we recommend the use of templates?

We said Yes and No to whether we use templates for our website designs or not. Here’s the only instances where we think it’s a good idea to use a template for your website design:
  1. Budget constraints: While we offer custom designed websites , both the needs and the budget for a website will be different for every business. If you have a smaller budget to work with, customizing a templated website would be a better choice for you. Notice, I mentioned customizing a templated website. We offer customized, templated website design for under $700. Check out our full pricing .
  2. Working with a pro: If you’re working with a pro designer, and they will be customizing the template you picked out – fine. If you’re working with a ‘pro’ designer, and they’re just taking the run of the mill SquareSpace template that has large pretty photos and big headlines – your final website will look nothing like that, and if it does, it will look like you bought a nice picture frame and never replaced out the stock photo that it came with. Tacky.
  3. Efficiency: No, it doesn’t always take 6 months to a year to develop a website. Sure, there are cases where that’s the timeline, but again, not every business is looking for that level of detail. In reality, you’re probably just saying: “Hey, I just need to get some leads from my site.” A customized template website has a much shorter development time. In fact, we can get your complete site done in as little as two weeks .
To reiterate, if you’re working with some budget constraints, and you’re working with a professional designer – choosing to start with a template can be a great way to get your website up and running. If you’re on time constraints, templated websites work great for that as well.

When you should not use a template for your website

Here’s how set your website up for failure, using a website template:

  1. Straight Outta The Box: If you want your website to fail, don’t customize it – at all. In fact, keep all of the terrible stock imagery it comes with, which provides zero context to the stock headlines and paragraphs the site builders use. Not only is this bad for conveying your message, it’s also bad for SEO. Google likes unique content  that is relevant to the keywords you’re targeting.
  2. Because it looks cool: So you found a template that has a full screen image, with some catchy headline to it, and it’s using big images everywhere. Great. Does that speak to your target audience? Trust me, “cool” websites might win a pat on the back, but they typically are following a trend – not performance. Does your target client want to go straight to purchasing from you? Consuming content first? Filling out a form? All of these audiences have different browsing habits.
  3. You just “need something”: True, having something is indeed better than having nothing. However, do you want to go through any process more than once? A lot of my website design clients came from once using a template - either on their own, or some other agency that used one. So that’s a lot of extra time, and money to do this again.
  4. It’s cheap, real cheap: You might be shocked to learn that you can pay someone to build a website for you, as low as $300. There is a high cost to a cheap website . A cheap website is a falsified sense of hope. Hope that your website will attract new visitors. Hope that your website will convert your traffic into leads or customers. Templated websites that aren’t customized, really aren’t focused on conversion. So you’re left with a very basic website, that is effectively an online brochure – a bad one at that.

Template Website or Custom Website?

I really think it boils down to your business goals. Budgeting aside, how much can your business afford to not be competitive in your industry? Take a look at your competition and their website. Better yet, let us take a look at your competition. We can prepare an in-depth marketing analysis of you and your competition – compared side-by-side.

Does this mean we intend to copy what they are doing? Absolutely not. However, we can learn a lot from their failures and successes.

Let’s say you’re a restauranteur, take a look at three of your competitors within driving distance that serve the same type of food or offer the same features (entertainment, etc)

  1. What’s your first impression of their website?
  2. Can you find a link to their menu within seconds of arriving?
  3. Can you find a link to their menu within seconds of arriving?
  4. Is it mobile friendly?
  5. Do they offer online reservations?
  6. Can you order online?
  7. Are there original photos of their food, or using obvious stock ones?

These are just a few of the questions we will research and answer for you, based on your business type of course. It stands to reason though: if your business is slow, but you see your competition seems to keep busy, and their website has a professional appearance – isn’t it about time you looked at your online presence seriously?

Breeze Digital Media News & Resources

By Brad Poirier 18 Dec, 2017

Sometimes a potential client will ask us : “Do you use templates to build your websites?”, or also “What do you [platform] use to build your websites”.

The answers are : Yes/No and Whatever works for your business!

First of all, we are a Duda Pro partner, they cater to design agencies, and we primarily use them for our website development. We can use Wordpress,  but it will likely cost you 3x the price . We also recently starting using another design-agency-specific platform called Webflow.

Again, we use whatever it takes to build a performance based website that fits both your budget and your goal.

By Brad Poirier 22 Nov, 2017

Offline Advertising + Marketing Automation go together like PB&J (Jelly or Jam, whatever your fancy is)

If you’re like me, then you my friend, are a data junkie.

Even if you’re not a data junkie, you can still appreciate measuring your ROI (return on investment)

What I’m saying here, is that while the world is going (has gone) digital, you can still make excellent use of offline marketing campaigns and advertising. Let me explain.

Suppose you are advertising on traditional media, such as print, radio, TV – or even something as simple as handing out 500 flyers around town. Those media formats are excellent for reaching wide audiences, and yes, they CAN be tracked. There’s several ways to track offline advertising. We’re going to discuss tracking offline advertising using automation methods.

By Brad Poirier 18 Oct, 2017

Deadlines. Employees. Networking. Accounting. Advertising. HR. – The Party Planning Committee.

As a small business owner, you likely wear many hats.

“Wait, now I have to wear a marketing hat also?”

Well the short answer is no, you don’t have to. It really depends on how competitive you want to be in your industry.

Your big competitors invest lots of time and money into marketing their business, but that doesn’t mean you have to. Outsourcing your digital marketing to a digital marketing agency can both improve your lead quality and improve your overall ROI.

Let me explain.

By Brad Poirier 15 Aug, 2017
We are a visual society, so you should be using at least one of these options on your website.

Just like website design ranges from no use of images to the overuse of them, same is true with icons today. More than ever, some webpages are being cluttered with icons, that often add no context to the page or just add nothing to the user experience.

When is it good to use an icon on your website? Here's a few criteria I follow plus some resources for putting icons on your website.
By Brad Poirier 13 Jul, 2017
What’s more important to you: A shiny trophy for being number one on Google or a boat load of new clients coming your way.

Yes, we have said before that the number one position on Google gets 33% of the traffic for that keyword, but what do you see coming up as number one now-a-days?

Local Directories come up first. Do a quick Google search for anything local business related, for instance "restaurants near me". I did this search, and not one result on the first page was from a local business website. ALL of the first 10 results were local review sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor and OpenTable.

Now to be fair, there were three local results that appeared first, in what we call the Google Snack Pack. Before the website results, Google displays three locations from Google Maps, which is also very important. For websites though, it was all local directories.
By Brad Poirier 18 May, 2017
There's pros and cons to this type of Facebook post. The pro, well, you're making an attempt to create business. The cons? How do you set an expiration date on that? Even if you indicate one in the post, there could be that customer that just says "oh, I didn't see that". Further, how do you keep track of it? Are you going to write down on a sheet of paper every time someone comes in and says "Hey, I saw this post on Facebook". Also, not everyone wants to mention that. People want to present coupons and get a deal, they don't want to announce that they're getting a deal.

There is a much better way to accomplish what you are trying to do. You may have seen it, used it, tried it, but here's how to get the most out of the post type called "Offer". Watch the video below to see an example or read below.
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