The other day I met someone and we started talking about our professions and what that means. After I had given him a brief 2 minute explanation of the services we provide under the umbrella of Digital Marketing, the first comment he made was “yeah if a website looks out of date or unprofessional, I usually move on”. I mentioned SEO, PPC, Local SEO, Conversion Optimization, and Social Media Marketing. But he really latched on to conversion optimization and how a bad site really turns him off.
Now, I am in no way diminishing the importance of all of the aspects of digital marketing. Without them, there isn’t really any traffic to your site to convert. But sometimes I think we forget that your website is often times the first and only impression people have of your company and how you do business. And, we forget how important it is to make sure visitors to our site quickly have their most important questions answered on their way down the conversion funnel. After our conversation, I thought about how much of the public this person probably represents. If someone gets a bad impression when visiting a site, there’s a good chance that company has lost the chance to get their business. And it’s a lot harder to repair this reputation than it is to make a good one the first time.
I see this all too often. An established business, big or small, keeps a website looking generally unchanged for way too long. It worked for them when they first put it up, and haven’t given it too much thought since. Or maybe they even do realize that it looks a little dated, but don’t want to mess with revamping it when they consider it “not broken.” Let’s tackle these two mindsets really quick.
The first scenario can be boiled down to ignorance. The decision makers just don’t know any better. This can be simply solved by one simple action – if you’re not an expert in the area, ask someone who is. It’s incredibly easy now-a-days to find someone in the web design or digital marketing space, and ask for their take on your site. You don’t have to do every little thing they say and pay them for their services, but take notes and strongly consider what they say. If for some reason you’re having difficulty with that, ask your customers to give you honest opinions of your website and what they think would help them navigate it easier. It’s a great excuse to increase customer interaction and make them feel like their opinions matter. That builds brand loyalty. You can even give them some sort of discount or gift for helping you out. In fact, it’d be a good idea to do that regardless of whether or not you also talk to a web professional. We strongly suggest doing both.
If It’s Not Broken, Don’t Fix It
To answer the “not broken” or “not a priority” doubts out there, I would say that you probably don’t fully understand the negative impact your outdated site is having. Do you know many of the visitors to your site are actually turning into customers? I mean an exact number and percentage. Do you know how to find out if your answer is ‘no’? Do you know what that number should be for your industry? Do you know the potential traffic you’re losing out on by not getting return visits, and from the search engines preferring more up-to-date and mobile friendly sites? Do you know what the answers to all those questions equal in dollars? If not, then you’re losing this battle to your competition. Even if you have some micro niche or special region you’re in where you don’t have much competition, you’re still losing potential business by not being easier to interact with online. More and more of the buying power in this world is getting younger and going digital. Even the more “seasoned” demographic is moving online. Your old site is probably not mobile friendly, which means that A) it won’t be found as easily as search engines penalize sites that don’t have a mobile version, and B) it probably looks horrible (even more than normal) on a mobile screen. An ever increasing amount of web traffic is occurring on smartphones and tablets. According to multiple studies, we’ve already passed the point where mobile web traffic is greater than desktop web traffic, and statistics show it’s trending more and more that way.
All of this comes to the simple conclusion that every day you keep your old out-of-date site up, you are losing business and influence. If you don’t have the budget for a new site, then you probably don’t need a very complex one. What you really can’t afford is all of the business you’re losing because of your outdated web presence. Simple sites can be made for cheaper than you might think. So at least go find out what it would take. We’re here to help you in that matter and to answer any questions you might have. Let us know how we can help.