There was a time when building a website or landing page for your business required pesky webmasters, expensive agencies, and potentially months of creative agony – now you just have to log in, go. drag, drop and publish. Codeless drag and drop web page builders have empowered entrepreneurs like never before. But with so many sleek software presentations, it’s hard to determine what’s trendy and what will actually help your business thrive in the long run.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Madeline Blasberg is Director of Marketing at Leadpages
Whether you are testing a new business idea, switching to an online income stream, or expanding an existing business, the software you choose to get you online and grow your business is an essential choice. Not to mention the costs of change are high: learning a new platform takes time (and patience), and migrating from a platform is rarely automated and often turbulent.
So when you start (or start over), how do you choose? It’s all about filtering out the noise and figuring out what you need, what’s nice to have, and what to avoid. Let’s see what it looks like.
1. Define your most important measure of success
How will you know your website is working? Just getting published and looking polished isn’t enough to keep your business afloat. Your website is probably your one and only business. It has to turn anonymous web traffic into leads and sales or your business will not survive.
Set your most important metric and rate any website or landing page builder for the feature that supports your primary goal.
2. Rethink your requirements
Every business needs a website, right? Uh, not necessarily.
Introducing your brand, collecting leads, and selling products can be done with a lot less real estate and a lot less resources than you might think. A 25-page website is fine, but what if a micro-site or single-scroll landing page could deliver the same or better results (for a fraction of the cost)?
The most disjointed and successful entrepreneurs are those who test their hypotheses and let their clients lead the way. Once you’ve established the viability of your business idea and the requirements of your customer journey, then you’ll know what content you need. Until then, focus on conversions and keep it simple.
3. Create a consistent customer journey
There is a marketing saying that goes: when you confuse people, you lose people.
And nothing is more confusing (or suspicious) than an inconsistent customer journey.
You want to create a seamless and consistent experience in everything your customer will engage with: from advertising to the landing page, to the website and beyond. And while you can try to DIY a website here, a pop-up plugin there, and landing pages elsewhere, there will always be inconsistencies. By keeping your key web content publication under one roof, you’ll minimize your monthly software subscription costs and reduce the number of platforms you need to master, you’ll also create a smooth journey with a consistent branding of the point. A to Z.
4. Look for “everything you need” vs. “all-in-one”
That being said, the appeal of the “all-in-one” solution may backfire. As email platforms transform into website builders and ad managers, the danger becomes of having half a dozen mediocre tools put together.
Instead, focus on understanding the core skill of each platform, and don’t stray too far from that center. Is a platform based on excellence in email marketing? Count on it for that. Is a platform built on high converting web content? Count on it for that.
The platform’s feature sets will all try to blow your mind with bells and whistles like heat mapping, dynamic text replacement, and converting destructive interactive content. Avoid being sold in flashy features that you’ll pay for every month and maybe never use.
5. Find out the details
So, with your larger goals and your customer journey in mind, what else do you need to consider? This is where you can explore the more specific things you will need.
Testing and monitoring: If you want to improve the performance of your site or pages, you will need to be able to perform A / B testing or multivariate testing. This essentially means making small changes to a page and testing it (or testing them, if there are several things you want to test) against the original to see what helps your conversion rate versus what. can harm it.
While many build platforms offer this, some are limited in what you can test or how many tests you can run in a billing cycle. So make sure that all the limitations match your testing needs.
Mobile responsiveness: This is a non-negotiable item for any website or landing page. Recent data suggests that over 60% of web traffic comes from mobile devices. Look for a builder that delivers mobile responsiveness right out of the box and requires minimal additional refinement (if any) before release.
Many software platforms promise “mobile responsiveness” out of the box, but actually require a lot of manual tweaking. Spend time evaluating this feature before committing to a platform, and look for a platform that offers device-specific display options so you can have more granular control when needed.
Page load speed: Page load speed is one of the most important characteristics of a builder, especially with ad platforms prioritizing things like ad ranking and overall user experience. Updating Google Web Vitals means it’s a ranking factor in SEO as well. But perhaps more importantly, every fraction of a second of page load speed impacts your conversion rate.
In fact, website conversion rates drop an average of 4.42% with every additional second of load time (between 0-5 seconds).
Third-party integrations: Are you using an email automation service or a payment processing platform? Make sure the platform you choose works well with the tools you already use. This will allow you to easily manage your mailing lists for contacting prospects and, of course, accepting payments online.
Customer service: Every platform says they offer good customer service, but so few actually deliver on that promise. To find out the truth, test various customer service channels during the free trial period and read third-party review sites like TrustPilot or Capterra to learn from the experiences of other users.
Price model: Website and landing page builders most often base their prices on access to different features, placing limits on how much of a feature you can use during a billing period, and charging a commission in addition to e-commerce transactions. What is most important to fully understand hidden charges or potential overruns and to consider is how well a platform’s pricing model aligns with your most important metric.
So, are there other things you need to consider? Sure. But as a small business owner, you should focus on finding the features that will help you create the best user experience possible and easily convert clicks into customers. Remember, at the end of the day, you’re not building a website, you’re building a business.