Construction Websites : How NOT to Build One

The Story Behind Our Video:

This summer, The Brand Constructors created a fun little in-house video to shed light on common website mistakes costing businesses time, money and sales. The video spoofs the whole website building process and offers up tips the experts WON’T tell you from a fictitious company we called Websites from Hell. If you’re about to start working on a new website, watch the short video and then read below for a further “website insights.”

1. Tell your web designer you want your site to look exactly like your competitor’s. Standing out is for show offs.

Many companies will show a designer a website they love and say “make us look like that.” Some marketing companies or designers will just give the company what they ask for without telling them that they’re killing their own brand. You might as well scream to the masses that you are interchangeable with another company and have no value of your own.


2. Treat your website like a brochure.

Some people believe that a great website should be an evolving experience with a constant flow of content that keeps your target market coming back to discover more. What do they know?

When websites were first invented, they were treated like brochures. We put the same information that was in the company brochures into the website, launched them, and, poof, we were done! While this plan may have worked in 2000, today it is a recipe for online failure. With billions of people doing research and online purchasing, your website has to be a living, breathing, constantly improving and changing thing. Even if your image/graphics aren’t being updated yearly, your content must.


3. Who needs to look unique? Use a template. Don’t reinvent the wheel.

We use templates when we have to get a temporary website up in a day or two, but the challenges with templates are many.

  1. They don’t let you stand out from your competition.
  2. They are typically not exactly what you need so you end up with things you don’t want or can’t use.
  3. Editing content and images in templates can be a real nightmare, eating up hours of your time.
  4. We can’t count the number of times we’ve had to bail out companies who’ve had templates installed incorrectly, and, when they tried to update it, ALL of their customizations were gone and major parts of their websites lost. Don’t let this happen to you.


4. Skimp on web design, strategy, and Search Engine Optimization a.k.a. SEO.

Who cares if you have to build your next website sooner than you thought? You’re a success. You can afford it!

Companies who choose to skimp on strategy or SEO find that their savings are short lived. What inevitably happens is one of two things: 1. The company becomes frustrated because their website isn’t generating business and they think that online is a bad investment (this is a huge problem for a million reasons) or 2. The company now has to pay another marketing group to do surgery to their website, based on a SEO and marketing strategy.


5. Don’t listen to those who insist your site be user-friendly, easy-to-navigate, responsive, interactive, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Building a website is like ordering a hamburger. Have it your way!

We wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t make sites easy to navigate. You don’t want a website design and marketing firms who just stands back and nods “yes” to every idea you suggest. We’re here to make sure your site easily leads your prospects to the information they need and then funnel them through your sales process.


6. When it comes to text, more is more. People love to read small type – especially on mobile.

When you serve up a ton of content to mobile users, it takes them longer to wade through your site and find the info they are looking for. The longer it takes a mobile user to find what they really want, the odds increase that they will click back to Google search and look at the next company’s info.


7. Forget about Search Engine Optimization. Google Schmugal.

So what if people are searching for specific words – if Google doesn’t know how to index “SHAZBOT?”

Fans of the TV show Mork and Mindy will remember that “Shazbot” was one of Mork’s alien words. While using words like “Shazbot” on your website may sound fun and innovative, Google won’t know how to index it until it becomes very popular. If a word like “Shazbot” is in your article title, the problem is compounded. Also, people won’t be searching for the word “Shazbot” when looking online for their next product or service.


8. Insist on going with the font you like and make it as big or as small as you like.

If people really want to read it, they can use that little magnifying glass thing in the tool bar. That’s what it’s there for, right?

Fonts are a strange beast on the web. They change from machine to machine – even if we tell your computer to use Times New Roman Bold, if you don’t have it then you will see a different font. And some companies really push the limit on font choice. For instance, some people really like Apple Chancery, and so they will decide that it is a great font for their website too. Apple Chancery is darn hard to read in paragraph form and it make the reader work to read the text.

And too many companies are using fonts that are too small and the average user really can’t read them. After a while, people will stop trying out of frustration. Yes, there is a magnifying glass tool but you don’t want to make your readers use it.


9. Don’t pay for a mobile design as well as a desktop design. Nobody looks at websites on phones or tablets these days.

There is a plethora of websites out there that have not been updated to include a mobile option. For those websites, Google thinks you are living in the dark ages and will send less people to your pages. Good luck when that happens.


10. Don’t invest in tools that can tell you exactly who is visiting your site and how long they’re spending on each page. Embrace the darkness.

Embrace the darkness indeed! Google Analytics will only take you so far into looking at your audience and maximizing your website traffic. There are many tools (your competition has been using them for years) that can help generate more business and really make your online marketing pay off.


We hope you enjoyed these Website Insights from Websites from Hell. Look for our next video: “Branding is for Cows.” Coming soon!


Note: After creating our video, we discovered that there is actually a company out there called Websites from Hell that spotlights bad websites. Watch our video and then go check it out.