Does your website need updating? And why is this important?
Most small business owners are not familiar with what constitutes good web design however they still need to make important decisions about whether or not their website needs updating, refreshing or redesigning.
As a small business, your website is the most important element of your online marketing arsenal and it needs to be top-notch.
When it comes to marketing businesses online we hear all sorts of reasons from many business owners why they think their business is unique and therefore they needn’t worry about a strong web presence. Here are some of their reasons:
• Our target market doesn’t buy products online.
• Our products don’t sell online.
• We haven’t needed a website so far. Why should we get one now?
• The website we had built 5 years ago is just fine thank you very much!
Unfortunately, this mindset is costing you business. Whether you believe it or not, your target market will research you and your product online. They will look at your website vs your competitors and make a comparison. New players in your market will come along and be ahead of you when it comes to technology. First impressions do count in real life and even more so online. You have to keep ahead of the game.
For us, there is only one reason you should update or replace your existing website and that is for increased returns.
There are a range of reasons why websites fail to provide adequate returns. Here are a few that we commonly encounter:
1. The website doesn’t adjust for smart phones or mini tablets.
This is vital. Recent figures show that 80% of people who have mobile devices that can access the internet ONLY use those devices to do so. This means that if your site doesn’t adjust for mobile use, there is a good chance these people will bounce from your site straight to your competitor, who just happens to have an up-to-date site that DOES adjust and will provide a better experience for the user.
2. Information overload or starkly barren?
Older websites seem to either have no content or have too much content, badly displayed. This usually means customers can’t find what they are looking for. Clean, simple site structure, with the emphasis on good content is the Holy Grail here.
A weak message delivered well is still a weak message. A strong message delivered poorly is still a strong message. A strong message delivered well is a compelling message.
Too often excessive time is given to presentation and not to the message itself.
3. Look and Feel.
When you are browsing, do the websites you visit have more graphical flair than yours? Are they more visually appealing than your site? Older sites tend to not be uniformly laid out and have graphics that detract from content rather than graphics that draw attention to content. In addition, any calls to action need to be easily seen. Site visitors may not be sure what to do. Make it easy for them to do what you want them to do i.e. buy your products!
4. Outdated functionality.
Technologies are changing all the time. If your website was built more than 5 years ago, there is a pretty good chance it needs replacing. You wouldn’t dream of using other technologies that are more than 5 years old so your main business marketing channel shouldn’t be any different.
Why is updating your website so important?
Many business owners don’t realise how important their website is, or could be. Often this is linked to budget concerns. However, many web designers offer varying payment options to small businesses so you should check these out.
Your website is vital to your business for the following reasons:
• TRUST – Your visitors need to feel that they can trust you. A well-cared for, pleasant website experience makes you more trustworthy in your visitor’s eyes. They will only want to do business with you if they can trust you.
• EXPERIENCE – Give your visitors an experience they won’t forget and be streets ahead of your competition. Old websites have a tendency to serve site visitors poorly. Current web design offers the best possible experience for your customers so they won’t want to go anywhere else.
• FRUSTRATION - Bad design, no obvious calls to action, no information, all lead to a frustrated visitor. They won’t be back!
• SATISFACTION - A well designed, effective website markets your business to its full potential. If your visitors can find what they need; the information contained there makes them want to come back for more; they have a good impression of you and your business after their visit, then your website has done it job!
Your website is your online presence, your digital high street shop. Make it efficient, look good and easy to navigate and it WILL work for you.
If you are unhappy with your website, be sure to plan your changes or replacement based on the returns you expect to get from your revamped or new site. If you don’t know what returns you can expect, then you should think twice before investing hard earned cash or you should contact us. We specialise in quantifying what returns websites should provide clients with.