When it comes to your business, first impressions are everything. You only have one chance to get it right. This is especially true when it comes to your online presence.
What do you think happens when a potential client lands on your website and it looks like it hasn’t been updated in the last 5 years? It’s unfortunate to say, but it’s an immediate negative first impression. It may sound harsh, but it’s true.
Is that really the association you want people to make when they think of your business? Probably not, but so many businesses don’t think twice about it. They think once a website is up, it doesn’t need any updating or maintenance. Let’s look at the 9 ways an outdated website is hurting your business.
People will think you’re out of business
A website that hasn’t been touched in years will make people wonder if you’re even still in business. An outdated site with no new content is almost like putting an “out of business” sign up in your window. That’s what people are going to think, anyway.
You want to make it as easy as possible for people to buy from you. That means that you need to be posting regular content on your site to let people know exactly what actions to take next. If it’s not intuitive, they’re going to be clicking the “x” in the top left corner, never to return.
You’re leaving the door open for assumptions
Put yourself in your potential customers’ shoes. You’re looking to buy a product or service and you check out some of the brands that were recommended. You get to the website and you notice it’s old, outdated, and visually unappealing. What are you going to think? If you’re like most people, you’re going to make assumptions. One of those assumptions is going to be that business isn’t booming. Surely if the company was doing well, they’d have money to invest in a new site, or at least keep it up to date.
You’re leaving the door wide open for your competitors
If a potential customer lands on your website and isn’t impressed with what they see, what do you think they’re going to do? Just because they don’t purchase from you, doesn’t mean they’re still not looking for a product or service you offer. They’re simply going to go look elsewhere to find what they need. Your competitors won’t even have to do much to look good, because you’ll have already done that for them. If they have a clean, updated and good-looking site, they’ll already be well ahead of you, even if their product is inferior to yours. The customer will automatically assume that the company that cares is the one that has the better product.
It gives the impression that you just don’t care
Customers are always looking for the best experience. They want to feel heard and cared for. Your job is to provide a solution to their problem. You’ll never even get the opportunity to get that far because an outdated website will make them think that you don’t care about your business, which to them will mean that you don’t care about your customers. Why would they want to spend money on doing business with a company that doesn’t care?
It’ll scare off potential employees
When a new position at a company becomes available, one of the first things potential employees do is go visit the company’s website to gather information. When they land on your site, and they see it’s outdated, they’ll think twice about whether or not you’re a business they want to work for or be affiliated with. If your site is neglected, they’ll wonder if that’s how you treat your staff. There’s no way for them to be sure, so they may decide it is not worth their time to explore the opportunity.
It’s hurting your SEO rankings
A website that is left untouched isn’t going to be climbing the search engine ranks anytime soon. To increase your rankings, you need to put some tender love and care into your site. It requires regular maintenance, routine checks for bugs and loading times, and new content. These things will help build your reputation within search engines and help boost your overall rankings. Think…if you’re offering your customers plumbing services in New York City and they search “plumbers NYC” a list of search results are going to come up. The sites that are updated, maintained and provide relevant content are the ones that are going to come up in the search. Your business will be nowhere to be found or at least buried at the bottom of page 15.
It may have limited reach
An outdated website might mean that your website isn’t mobile-friendly. If this is the case, you’re losing out on a significant amount of traffic. More and more people are taking care of their online needs via their phones. If they go to your site from their phone and it isn’t mobile-friendly, they won’t bother going to a computer to look you up. It becomes an automatic lost opportunity. A simple update would solve this problem and open up your target audience significantly.
It’s creating “busy” work
If a customer can get past your outdated website, lack of content, and visual appeal, you’ll still be dealing with issues. They won’t be able to find the answers to their questions on your site, so instead, they’ll be calling you or emailing you to ask them. This is time better spent on other tasks. Especially when your website could be answering all these questions already.
It’s limiting your growth opportunities
Business boils down to numbers. The more people who buy from you the more money you make. If potential customers coming to your site are leaving within the first few seconds, it’s safe to say they aren’t making the purchase. That means that you’re making a conscious decision to limit your business’ growth by not updating your website. It’s like you’re saying you’re fine with mediocrity. Your website is like having a salesperson working 24/7. Even when you’re sleeping, potential customers could be navigating your site. Make it as enticing as possible so you can lock down those sales.
Many businesses think they can take a set it and forget it approach to websites, but that simply isn’t the case. If you want to use your website as a tool to grow your business, keeping it fresh and up to date is going to be vital to your success.
If your business is guilty of having an outdated site, then hiring a professional website design company is definitely the way to go. They’ll be able to update your site or make it over completely. This isn’t the kind of thing you DIY. That’ll just lead to a whole other host of problems.
You’ll be surprised what a difference it can make. Imagine a potential customer landing on your website and being impressed with what they see. That positive first impression can lead them to make that first purchase. Your product or service hasn’t changed in quality, but your potential customer’s opinion of you has now changed. Based on what they’re seeing, they’re now willing to buy from you. That’s a huge accomplishment considering they weren’t prepared to do that prior to the revamp.
We live in a world where impressions matter. If you want to make a good one and you’re looking for a reputable NY web design company, then do the proper research and contact agencies that fit your style and budget.