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Is using a web site template a mistake?

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in Office Technology

It seems like “everybody” is using templates. They’re easy and affordable, but do they help or hurt your business's image? We asked Daimon Caulk, principal with Modal, Inc. and an expert in social media and the user experience and design of web sites. Here’s his answer:

“In this economy, you can't afford to trust your web presence to a template-based design. Sure, you can find templates for verticals such as Real Estate Agents, CPAs and the like, but they say nothing about you. Simply changing the logo, colors and adding text does not make a site right for your specific business or the way you want users to experience you and your business. The one site attribute that decides if users (aka potential customers) will pick up the phone or e-mail you is credibility.”

According to Caulk, there are three key traits of a credible site, and templates fall short on them all:

1. Design: Templates can give you a clean, professional design, but they won’t reflect your unique value proposition or differentiate you. Plus, a template looks like a template so it can make you seem less credible.

2. Usability: With a template, you get generic navigation. This might not be the right navigation to take customers through the unique way you do business or answer their specific questions about you, your services, price points and other information. Often, the rigid setup of a template means users have to scroll and scroll. And if your web site is hard to work with, the message users get is that you may be hard to work with, too.

3. Content:
Fresh content makes you more credible with search engines and prospects. Templates, however, often go “stale.” You complete the basic About, Services and other pages, and that’s that. You need a site that makes it easy to add new content regularly.

Bottom line: Web users today are savvy, and they can spot a template a mile away. It’s worth it to invest the extra money upfront for a web site that differentiates you, is aligned with your goals and works hard to convert prospects into customers.

Want to talk more about the strength of your site? Contact Caulk directly at www.modalinc.com.

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