It never fails to surprise me, the number of professional businesses I see with less than professional websites. Unfortunately many companies are still attempting to leverage a website that may be doing them more harm than good without even realizing it. Below are five reasons you may want to consider updating your website.
1. Your Site Hasn’t Changed in Over 3 Years
Three to five years is the typical lifespan of most business IT equipment. According to the US IRS, most IT hardware depreciates completely at the 5 year mark. I could get into Moore’s law and other esoteric theories, but I’ll keep it simple. If you’ve upgraded your phone but haven’t upgraded your corporate website, it’s time. Most companies refresh their hardware every 3-5 years on a fixed schedule, however, the same can’t be said of most business websites. Typical reasons are:
a) Accountability: No one person has ownership or accountability for the the website so major updates fall through the cracks.
b) Budget: It’s not seen as a priority for IT, Operations, or Marketing, so budget is never allocated.
c) Complacency: The “We’ll get to that.” approach is not an effective strategy. Weeks turn into months and months turn into years. Before you know it, your online presence looks ancient by comparison.
Besides, technology moves fast. “Old” Internet technologies and techniques like Flash, image maps, and auto-playing background music, were cutting edge just a few years ago, but now they scream DINOSAUR. Also, links to defunct social media sites like MySpace are a dead giveaway that no one is minding the ship. Today’s sites are mobile friendly, fast loading, and optimized for search engine queries. Keep up with the Jones’ or get left behind.
2. Your Website Is Not Proactively Driving Towards Business Goals
The goal of any marketing tools (websites included) are to add value to the business and assist in driving toward top down business objectives. If the goal of your business is to sell widgets, and your executive leadership can’t articulate how the website is helping the business sell more, something is amiss. Today’s websites have advanced from being just an online brochure to being fully integrated into the customer experience. Common features include problem resolution and customer service via automated message routing and chatbots as well as direct sales through e-commerce and remarketing tactics. Ultimately, your website should work as hard for your business as any employee.
3. Metrics Aren’t Being Tracked or Monitored
With a few lines of code, you can glean mountains of data from your corporate website. Not only can you find out how many visitors your site has over a given period of time, but with Google Analytics, you can also setup dashboards that will tell you where your visitors are located geographically, what marketing campaigns are most effective, where your visitors go when they are on your site, how much time they spend on particular pages, and trending analytical data. You can even automate reporting so you receive updates via email. It’s always a challenge to make data relevant and actionable, but by customizing your workflow to include Internet (and social media) data, you add significant insights for strategic planning. If you don’t have or actively utilize a tool like Google Analytics, you’re navigating the big data ocean without a compass.
4. Your Competitors Outshine You
According to a study conducted by GE Capital, 81% of consumers will research a product online before purchasing it. Also, 47% of global customers will visit a company’s website before making a buying decision according to a recent study by KPMG. If your customers are comparison shopping online, do you feel confident that you can stand toe-to-toe with your closest competitors in a website bake-off? If the answer is no, it may be time to upgrade.
5. Your Website Doesn’t Reflect the Quality of Your Brand or Product
If you have a successful or growing business, there is a good chance you have a quality product or service. If your website isn’t up to par, you’re selling yourself short. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve passed on buying something because the website wasn’t “professional looking”… or didn’t have an SSL cert… or it didn’t load properly on my phone… or the URL redirected to a Facebook page. I’m not saying that everyone makes snap judgements like me when it comes to assessing websites (I’m a snob in that sense), however, I would assume that I’m not the only one. A few simple and low cost fixes could totally transform your online reputation.
I would encourage you to take an honest assessment of your website and see if you measure up to your own expectations. If you need help, give me a call. Website assessments are one of the things we do well (and free of charge). A fresh coat of paint goes a long way when presenting your home to the world.
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