How an outdated website is hurting your business

Do any of these sound familiar?

You haven’t updated your website since the early-mid 2000’s

Your company has evolved

Your audience has evolved

How people use the internet has changed (fundamentally!)

If you don’t understand how an outdated website is hurting your business, you could be leaving money on the table (or driving it straight to your competitors).

In many cases, your website is your first point of contact with prospects and it is being used to shape the perception of value and quality you offer. Your website is being used as a tool to form assumptions on you, your company, your products and services before deciding whether or not to take the next step whether that be a phone call, request for quote or purchase.

Let’s look at how an outdated site might be hurting not only your business, but your reputation and credibility (ouch!).

Complacency is a killer

When you land on a site that looks like it hasn’t been touched in 5+ years, you assume some things.

“Business must be slow for these guys. It doesn’t look like they’ve touched their site in 5 years.”

“I wonder if they’re still in business?”

or…

“It doesn’t seem like these guys would be in-the-know”

And before you know it, they’ve hit BACK and you’ve lost the sale.

It takes less than 4 seconds for site visitors to form a first impression about your business and, once that impression is made they will either stay and explore what you have to offer, or they will leave and take their business straight to your competitors. It happens that quickly.

Hands up who’s exited a website before it’s even had time to load 🙋. Add to this a horribly out of date website design and things aren’t looking so good for your credibility.

When your website looks ignored, is out of date or looks like it hasn’t been updated since the 90’s (the box design, cliche or pixelated images and fonts are a dead giveaway), it sends a message to your visitors.

People want to buy from businesses that know how to deliver the goods or service in the best way possible. Your outdated site may not only make you look like you are out of touch with advancements in your industry, but that you simply don’t care. And that’s not the impression you want to give when you’re working tirelessly behind the scenes to continue to drive the dollar and have a profitable business to one day hand over, or sell.

We get it, some businesses (especially those who may be less tech-savvy) find it easier to provide quality customer service in-person, but with the ever increasing rate of searches taking place online (and predominantly via mobile), it is vital your online experience is just as good as the experience they will receive offline – otherwise there is a clear disconnect.

With a vast array of screen sizes from phones to laptops and tablets, it’s important to make sure that your site is adaptive and responsive to all devices. There’s nothing more annoying for a customer than to have to continually stretch, pinch or scroll a screen simply to see content or worse, get no response when they try to navigate between pages or make contact with your business. Add to this a 4 second chance to make a good impression (as we just spoke about) and Google’s mobile first index and you’re suddenly wondering how you even get any traffic (let alone enquiries) at all!

If you’re wanting people to find you online, then ensure they can do this seamlessly on any device. To see how responsive your website is, enter your URL in to this handy tool: http://ami.responsivedesign.is/

Simply put, a responsive web design leads to a good user experience, and you will also earn Google’s favour which will lead to greater rewards (and higher rankings).

Another key identifier of your site being out of date, is that it falls in to the ‘pretty brochure of information’ type of website. Remember, people are looking for solutions to their problems – it’s how they’ve come to land on your website in the first place. When you neglect something as important as your website, your visitors may be thinking that you neglect other areas of your business. Instead, use your website as a tool to empathise with your audience, find the pain points that trouble your average customer and clearly demonstrate how your business will remove them.

If the information customers want isn’t available on your site, they’ll go elsewhere. If however, you can move them by speaking their language, chances are you’ll move them a step closer to becoming a long-term customer.

So how do you know if you have an outdated website?

If your website features any of the following, it might be time to think about investing in a new website:

  • Your website uses Flash
  • Is not responsive or mobile friendly
  • No current way to edit or manage the admin
  • You don’t have Google Analytics installed
  • Excessive or obvious use of stock photography (i.e. lady with headset or handshake stock photos)
  • Box design that puts all your content above the fold
  • Pixelated or blurry images
  • Huge uncompressed image files
  • Low word counts on key pages
  • No clear call to action
  • Out of date products, services or no recent examples of work
  • Former employees still listed (or new employees not yet listed)
  • Too many sidebars or widgets
  • Unnecessary page clutter
  • Auto-play videos
  • Background music
  • Huge uncompressed image files
  • Excessive image borders
  • Broken links, images or logo

If you’ve let things fall to the wayside and think it’s time to invest in your business for the future, read our handy post 5 Things To Think About Before Doing A Website Redesign here.

Final thought.

An outdated website limits your ability to reach and engage with your audience. An updated site is secure, displays text and pictures easily, loads across platforms and designed to generate more traffic and leads. If you’re not getting the traffic or conversion your business requires, let’s talk about how we can fix that.