In today’s marketplace, a company’s website is their first impression with prospects. It’s a rare purchase today that doesn’t begin with some sort of research or due diligence. And as consumers (both B2C and B2B) find themselves more time starved and more web savvy – the research tool of choice is often a Google search.
Long before they’ll set an appointment for a consultation or walk into your retail establishment – they’re scoping you out on the web. It makes sense then, that when it comes to your web presence you’d want to put your best foot forward, doesn’t it?
And yet, if you spend any time on the web – you run into a lot of stale, outdated websites. We just launched a new website for a client and his comment was “phew, now I can actually give people our web address again.” They’d ignored their website for so long – they literally weren’t giving people the URL to avoid embarrassment.
When asked, companies say that they don’t update their website because:
- They don’t have the time to devote to it
- They don’t have the budget
- They don’t want to add interactive elements because they don’t have time to maintain them
- The last redesign was such a painful process, they can’t think of going there again
But letting a stale or static website be your first “how do” to potential customers is more costly than you might imagine.
If you’ve got dated copy or information (many websites make it pretty obvious they haven’t been updated in years…their latest newsletter issue is from 2008 or the last bit of news in their newsroom is from three years ago) what you’re saying to visitors is that you aren’t so hot will follow up and attention to detail.
If your design is tough to navigate (you know…you just keep adding a page here or there, but there’s no organizational structure) you are going to frustrate that potential customer before they can figure out if you have what they want to buy.
Cheaping out by letting your cousin, neighbor or other amateur build your website says that you aren’t a successful business. You don’t have to build the Taj Mahal of websites but you do want something that speaks to your professionalism and functions the way you want it to.
Are you wondering if your website is working as hard for you as it should? See how your site matches up with these stats.
Websites with blogs get 55% more traffic (Are you sharing your expertise and taking advantage of the organic SEO value of that effort?)
Companies who blog get 79% more followers on Twitter (How does your stale website encourage me to connect with you on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and other interactive spots?)
The #1 attribute people want is a websites that is easy to navigate so they can quickly find the exact information they want. They don’t want to have to click 4 times or guess which heading the information is hiding behind.
People want contact information so they can call, write or drop by. This floors me but many companies do not include offline contact options to their web visitors.
Keep the distractions at a minimum. People want to be able to scan your page and figure out what’s there and where to go next. If you pack every bit of space with information, you actually get in their way. Remember, your goal is not to tell them everything so they don’t have to call. Your goal is to tell them enough to make them want to call.
Your website is your introduction to many of your potential customers Is it the way you want to be introduced or is it time to consider a re-do?
Nice post Drew.
Your observations are right on. Today’s fast changing environment brings new requirements and strategic considerations for a website that may have changed dramatically from most people’s last encounter with digital marketing.
It is shocking how many still consider a website a one time event. That is so over!
I have shared my perspective on this important subject here: http://ow.ly/mbXvq
Keep up the good work and best to you!
In addition, with WordPress it’s fairly easy to update your website. At United Way in Cedar Rapids, we update the homepage all the time by designing a new look as a page and then making that page the homepage.
Fairly easy. No coding required.
Thanks for some great statistics and info. I think this is exactly what I need to sway a client into the understanding that re-branding, in his case, is a must.
Hi, Thanks for posting a nice article. Something to really think of. I love this phrase “Your website is your introduction to many of your potential customers Is it the way you want to be introduced or is it time to consider a re-do?”
Nowadays, websites are very helpful on a certain business but would still depend on the way it is handled or tha products offered. It is no surprise why people were in to websites that is very client/user friendly because for all we know we want things done easily. we must take the risk in order to have the good results. Thanks for the insights.
This post really got me thinking, especially some of the statistics you shared. I’m curious about your thoughts/research around video content on a website. Do you consider that a necessity in this day and age?
Thanks for always posting thought-provoking content!
We’re interested in guest bloggers for either of our sites, if you are interested. MyBizTips and MyBizWriters
Great article! We work mostly with nonprofits, but the reasons for not updating are all the same as you listed: not enough time or money, or a horrible experience in the past. But it’s an important investment in a first impression!
You should track your website and find out how long they are staying at your site. If they are leaving right away then something needs to change. If your not getting new users then something needs to change. Thanks for the read!
If it is really necessary to re-design the website for it good, then why not. Everybody will benefit from that. Not just the web owner but also, the readers.