Every company these days know they need a website but what most companies don’t know is when their website needs an update or when they need a new website. The fact is, times change very quickly these days and with it, customer expectations. While it’s easier to notice when your office needs a refresh than notice when your website is out of date, having a dated website can be detrimental to your business – just like having shabby, old furniture in a messy, dirty office. Whether your website is still made in Flash, resembles an old printed newsletter or just doesn’t appeal to your target market, companies need to keep their websites updated every few years to stay relevant to the times and adjusted to new customer expectations. To keep growing, keep modern and have a professional image you need to regularly update your site and your site design. If you met someone you were looking to do business with and they handed you the first business card below what would you think of them? Dated, behind the times may not be aware of the latest and trending processes. You may question their success and skill set. Or you might not even look at the card – it’s very possible you’d discard it immediately. If you met someone with the second card you are more inclined to think professional, cutting edge and could help you out with your needs. Remember all your customer-facing media builds trust amongst your customers, and makes them feel like you know their stuff.
The same goes with websites, however, it’s much harder to portray that feeling. Your existing clients may say “I know you guys are great at what you do, it doesn’t matter what your website looks like” or “I know what you guys do, even if it doesn’t say it on your website” (every business loves their loyal customers who don’t care what anyone else says or thinks!). But what do your other potential visitors say, and the “swinging voters” who like to shop around? If you visit an online store and it looks like the first site here what would you think? Unsecured, will my details be safe if I buy from them, is this fraudulent, I can’t find where I need to go, do they have what I need, can I buy online? However, if you looked at the second site you’d think clean, modern, sleek and trustworthy as it looks more credible. They’ve also improved the navigation, giving customers a more user-friendly experience. You’d feel comfortable buying from it and yet they are the same brand only a few years apart. It’s amazing how much perception and customer expectations change over time.
Taking the time and developing your website to reflect the professionalism of your company is just as important as making sure your salespeople don’t wear sweatpants to meetings. First impressions are everything. I believe websites are among the three most important customer-facing medians these days. So make sure yours is up to scratch!
Now for our 5 signs your site needs some love:
1. Your current website is developed in Flash – Flash was a great technology of its time, it looked great, was consistent on all browsers and worked. Nowadays this is not the case, the two biggest issues are first that you cannot deep link to an internal Flash page. For example, if Google was built in Flash you could not link to www.google.com/contact-us. Second is that it is not Apple-friendly; you cannot load a Flash site on your iPhone or iPad as well as many other mobile devices. With 30% of all web traffic now coming from mobiles (and growing!) why would you prevent these potential customers from reaching you?
2. Your website is not optimised for mobile devices – Almost as bad as having a flash site is having a non-optimised website. Users expect websites to adjust to their screen size and if they have to pinch and scroll everywhere to try and find what they want you can almost guarantee you’ve lost a new customer. Let’s reiterate again that 30% (and growing!) of all web traffic now comes from mobile devices. Make your business mobile, today.
3. Your website hasn’t changed with your business – As times change, your business services change. Maybe when you began you did personal tax returns but now you focus on company audits. Maybe you now target a different segment or more segments than you did one or five years ago. Or maybe (and quite possibly), the market you were targeting now thinks, acts and expects differently from what they did one, five or ten years ago. If your website doesn’t reflect these changes, how will you gain new customers through your website? Or keep your current ones.
4. No one knows what to do when they land on your website – When you land on a website you need a “Call To Action” to convert a visitor to a customer. Look at the front page of our site, the big green button is the most clicked button on the site; we say who we are and provide a way for us to begin working with our visitors. If someone cannot figure out how to begin engaging with you in 10 seconds then your site isn’t doing its job. You have 10 seconds to make a visitor stay with your site. Make sure you make the most of those 10 seconds. Would you hire a salesperson who didn’t make a sale? Then don’t let your website get away with it either.
5. Your website design does not match the era – I rarely preach website appearance as a reason to update your website but if it looks like it was made in Microsoft Paint then you are doing yourself an injustice. You aren’t updating your site to have a stylish piece of customer-facing media, you are updating it to build trust in your business. As with the Dell old/new website example above, your website needs to reflect the quality your customers expect. Be honest and open-minded when you review your website (it’s easy to get caught in the trap of “I love my business, and therefore my website is the best”). Consider it from your customer’s eyes. Think about what they want to see, and what they’re looking for. Then think about how your website offers this to them, if at all.
While there are a multitude of signs that you need a new website, that’s our top 5 signs tips. If you think you may fall into one of these categories and would like to have a chat about your business, what your website needs and what we can do to help, feel free to contact us
or call us on (03) 9090 7070.