Should I have a custom-designed website built or use a template?
If you do not have any plans to expand your business or it is more of a hobby than a commercial enterprise, then a template might suffice. However, if you run a proper business and want to see the business move forward, then the only option is to have a proper website built by a professional.
It may be that your current website was custom built, and rather than needing a new website, your current one just needs to be properly optimised in terms of its structure and content. This is a service provided by digital marketing agencies, and one where the returns on investment in terms of traffic and conversions can be enormous.
Is it true you can get banned from Google?
Yes, it is true, although the terminology used is ‘delisted’. This occurs if Google analyses your website and detects that you are using ‘black-hat’ SEO techniques to try and game their search engine rankings. These include, but are not limited to, using link farms to build backlinks, cloaking content, scraping content, and keyword stuffing.
To avoid delisting, and to ensure that your SEO is both effective, and in line with Google’s guidelines, it is always best to use the services of a digital marketing agency, who can plan, create and implement your entire SEO campaign.