We have a lot of inquiries from the community in reference to the free website builders that are available through websites like Wix, Weebly, and Godaddy. I always reply to the community with a short answer because there is really a lot to explain; So, I wanted to take a moment to really explain why these builders are frowned upon, by both search engines such as Google and potential clients. So, let’s talk about website builders – both the free website builders as well as the website templates that are a monthly or yearly fee. Here are just some of the few reasons why you should choose a custom website design over a website builder.
Horrible For SEO
The website builders are not contructed to provide search engine optimization. Basically, the website builders produce a bunch of code that does not contain the elements that the top search engines such as Google are looking for. Since SEO is the key website traffic, this means you will probably never rank in Google, Yahoo, or Bing search engine results. One of the only ways a site would be seen is for the owner to seek their clients and provide a direct link to the potential client. Why even have a website when you have to search for clients via social media and classified ads? The purpose of a website is to attract customers to your business. A quality website with SEO brings customers to you. It shouldn’t be the other way around. You should never have to manually bring clients to your breeder website. Your website should naturally bring you unique, first time visitors and also repeat visitors through legitimate SEO practices and tactics.
It Just Doesn’t Look Professional
Website Design is a skill and a talent often taken for granted. Design and content placement is not something the average person can just learn overnight. Most attend college to learn design and development, others have dedicated a good chunk of their time to learning it. Learning design is definitely not an easy thing to want to do if you are also running a business. Also, there are some aspects of design that will decide whether your website is optimized properly. Design issues can cause your website to slow down tremendously, causing optimization issues and high bounce rates. So what the user will be left with is viewing a slow website that doesn’t look professional; then they leave.
You Don’t Own Your Breeder Website
Yep, how is that for a shocker? The website you are building for free is never owned by you. You find this out when you try to migrate it and you are not able to migrate a site created with a website builder. You don’t own your website. If you try to move it, you cannot. The website builder company owns your website. Unfortanately, most will not find this out until they have created a website and they have not seen any results in traffic and customer inquiries. Then an attempt is made to have it made professionally, and the domain name and content cannot be moved. It doesn’t belong to you.
Your Domain Name is Not A Real Domain Name
Most of these builders will contain their company name within the domain, example: www.weebly.com/yourwebsitename or www.wix.yourwebsitename.com. This actually hurts your brand. Google will never see your kennel as a brand. The likelihood that anyone would contact you via your business website is low. Owning your own domain name is what sets you apart from other breeders. It allows you to build backlinks to your domain increasing the traffic and customers. If you have a .wix, .weebly, or any other subdomain, the backlinks you build are actually building up traffic and brand for Wix, Weebly, etc., not your domain. Not your business.
Tacky Is The First Impression
Your website has ads popping up, and a link for others to build their own website for free. Clients who are looking to spend money with a good breeder are wondering why a quality breeder did not invest in a quality business site. Ads and references to free website builders are tacky, and that is the first impression a potential buyer has for your business. The website has no professional appearance and no professional feel. This devalues your website and brand, and creates a lack of trust from a potential customer.
High Bounce Rate
The term bounce rate means the number of visitors to a specific website who end up navigating away from the site after viewing only one page for just a few seconds. It is proven fact that websites with ads and made with free website builders have an enourmous bounce rate, as high as 70-90%! This means 7 to 9 of every ten visitors to your Wix, Weebly, or similar site leave and only after a few seconds. People don’t want to deal with popup ads, or ads placed over sections that will inadvertently be clicked. Most are also looking for a more professional business, regardless of the industry. Potential customers bounce, and they don’t come back. Instead they go to your competitor.
The Cost of Professional Breeder Website Design Pays For Itself
Some website builders charge as much as $300 a year for the life of the website if you want your site be ad free, have more options, or be more than one page in size. (Assuming both breeders had quality puppies and are what the customer is looking for) if a potential puppy owner had the choice in contacting a breeder via professionally made website and a cheap, poorly designed website, which would they choose?