Kick Start Your Business with a New Website
Your businesses website is one of the most important assets you can own. Has it been recently updated? There is a bigger cause for concern if you don't currently have one. We see a lot of outdated websites and more often than not, the business owner doesn’t realise how damaging it is to their brand perception and sales.
Here are our top reasons why you should consider investing in a new website.
Your Website Is the First Contact Point for Prospects
If you are a small to medium business it's likely that your main source of traffic is organic. This is when users visit your site directly through search engines. In this instance, your website will be the first point of contact your prospects have with your brand. Your websites load speed, design and usability are crucial in this case.
If you were searching for a web developer and were met by a 2008 website which loaded slowly, was hard to navigate and used outdated instances of Flash, would you want them to build your site?
Likewise, if your website takes longer than 3 seconds to load then users are likely to boycott and visit a competitor instead. 3 seconds in and of itself is a generous time frame to give a site to load.
Brand perception is one of the most important factors for conversion. If you are trusted, credible or respected, visitors are more likely to convert to customers. As the primary first contact point for your prospects, you need to make a good first impression.
This can be achieved through relevant text, imagery and/or credible articles. However, the main focus will always be on design. When you first visit a new website what are you drawn to? Even if for a few brief seconds, you will scan the page and focus on the design and layout of information. For many businesses, these few seconds can make or break whether or not you obtain a new customer.
Your Website Is Not Mobile Optimised
Mobiles usage continues to increase year after year. The tipping point for mobile was in 2014, where for the first time, the number of global users for mobile overtook desktop usage. From there, mobile usage spans more than half in the vast majority of countries. 61% of the total digital minutes online are spent on mobile in the UK. A massive 91% in Indonesia as of 2017. See Smart insights article here for more in-depth statistics.
The reason these statistics are important is that over half of the users viewing your website will be on mobile. If your website isn't mobile optimised, users probably won't spend the time trying to navigate it. Depending on the size of the phone's screen, it can be near impossible to navigate some websites. Which poses the question: if you wouldn't spend time trying to go through it, why would your customers?
Mobile optimisation has become a huge part of website design. All our designs are built from mobile up. As such it's important to ensure what goes into the desktop designs can be translated over into the mobile. This had become industry standard over the last few years with the jump in mobile usage.
If your website is not mobile optimised, you will lose out on business, no questions asked. Hypothetically, even if your website was as fresh as it could be, if mobile isn't taken into account, you'd be losing on more than half of potential sales.
If you're selling products that don't sell for much then this might not seem like a big impact. However, if you're a service bases B2B company, this can be the make or break factor to earn a substantial sale.
Ensuring your website is mobile optimised 100% warrants a re-design. The further increase in user experience will ensure that prospects stay on the page longer. In turn, this will lower your bounce rate and potentially increase your SEO rankings.
Peace of Mind That Your Website Is Secure
The online space is ever changing. There is great emphasis being placed on online security. Following on from Google's recent October update, sites that aren't running on Https are flagged as not secure to their visitors. Any website can be at risk of attack.
The emphasis here is the damage caused. Since eCommerce websites deal closely with their customers and store personal data, and attack can potentially leak this information. Whilst card details won't be leaked, the attacker obtains each customers credentials. If this happens, the brand in question will suffer a heavy backlash from its customers.
In some instances, this damage cant be reversed. Once you are known for not being trustworthy and insecure it can be incredibly difficult to re-build your brand's reputation.
This doesn't exclude eCommerce websites. Any website is vulnerable to DDOS, ad injections and so on. If your website is running on an outdated content management system this then makes it easier for an attacker to gain access. If the system your website is running on is no longer supported, you are not receiving further security patches. Whilst this may seem like a luxury, security patches are crucial in preventing attacks.
Having an up to date system will also provide peace of mind for your customers. It's not uncommon for visits to boycott their purchase if they believe their details aren't secure.
Whilst you're considering, your competitors are Doing
If your website is currently out of date by more than 2 years, we assure you that one of your competitor's website is up to date. From a visitors perspective, this is huge. Especially if you are selling the same thing. If your website screams 2008 and your competitors 2017, you are more likely to be influenced towards the most recent.
As buyers we instinctively look for whats better and who offers the most value. We are heavily influenced by initial perception. This is also becoming increasingly more apparent as the attention span dwindles. For example, compare two sites with identical content, without reading anything you are likely to give the better site the most of your attention.
This can be looked at from another perspective as well. Instead of trying to catch up to your competitors, set the example. If you notice that there is no clear moment in your industry or local competition, that could be your opening to make the change. If you are that business with the best-looking website, it's highly likely that you will receive a lot more traffic above your competitors for the reasons above.
Focus on Your Future as a Company
As a business, your focus is primarily on how to influence conversion and what tactics you can use to earn more traffic. Rarely is the focus on the people that actually work for the business. When you expand and it comes to hiring, what is the first thing an applicant will look at? Your website.
Brand perception is always important, regardless of who your service or product is aimed at. brand image will always reflect your assets. If a potential employee sees an outdated website they are likely to think "They aren't investing in their website, so why would they invest in their employees"
On the same lines, perception opens up many opportunities. You may be a business with 5 employees but if your website creates the perception that you're ever growing then you are likely to attract applicants with the intention to grow with you.
Less Expensive Than Some Forms of Advertising
Your website could be one of your strongest assets for your business. Having such a powerful marketing tool that can be left to passively function on its own is unrivalled. The same costs can be used for advertising, social ads and so on. These can only run for a certain amount of time and are not guaranteed to have the desired effect. Whilst the same can be said about your website, the underlying point is that your website isn't going anywhere.
Advertising can range to incredible amounts, as any marketer knows. In this instance, we are referring to methods such as newspaper ads, billboard and bus ads. You can also go a step further and aim at radio/TV ads. These are advertising methods that might, in some cases, yield strong results.
The only downside is that, as mentioned above, they can only run for a limited amount of time which further depends on your budget. If you are a small to medium business, chances are that these sort of methods are way out of your budget. This then further justifies the amount spent on a new website which could then have a bigger impact than said advertising.
As with any form of marketing, it's best to experiment with what works for your business. Methods like SEO and Ad words are crucial to getting a foothold in the online space. More often then not, these methods don't set you back much in terms of costs. That being said, there isn't much reason to focus on SEO and ads if visitors are just going to leave your website.
These methods rely on a strong end game. You can have the most engaging ads, yet, If there is nothing to grab their attention once they have clicked, was the money well spent? SEO/Ad words go hand in hand with a well-designed website. Having your site placed high in the rankings will always boost traffic. Having an engaging, well-designed website will then take advantage of that & help increase conversions.
As a business, you should always be focusing on where your money is best spent. In terms of conversion, your website should be in the number 1 spot.
Your Current Website Does Not Represent Your Brand
This is one of the most important to understand. Your website could've been designed brilliantly previously and truly reflected how your business. The difference being that was back then and not now. It's like looking back on old photos and realising how much you have changed.
For a business, it goes beyond personal attachment. If you have implemented new services, hired new employees or changed brand values, your website must reflect this. Your website should be parallel with what you are telling your customers. When we are speaking about redesigns, we often come across business owners who say "oh we actually don't offer that anymore" or "our brand colours have changed" or "they no longer work here, ignore that". The biggest question to follow from this is always "well, why is it still on your website?"
Not only does this look bad on you if a customer calls to ask about something you no longer sell, but it also reflects your brand badly. Referring back to an outdated design, this falls on the same principle. If your design, content and visuals no longer match who you are as a business and brand, you should really be considering a re-design.
Provides an Opportunity to Begin a Relationship with a Web Developer
This is the most important reason and why we are putting it as our closing. When having a website built, you will be working closely with your developer. During this time, you will get to understand them and their capabilities. They will also begin to learn about you and your business.
When we have our first meeting with our clients, we spend this time learning about you and your business/clients in great depth. This enables us to fully understand what is required from your website before talks about design even take place.
The reason this relationship is important is that this then enables you to have the developer on hand if you wish to make changes in the future. Once a project has finished, we offer a support and maintenance service to our clients. This lets them request changes to their site at any point.
This also means that if you require a re-design in the future, you have direct access to the developers you know and trust. This can often lead to a quicker process and more trust within the project. If you are an ever-growing business, this support is invaluable.
Leaving your website outdated can only have negative effects on the business. Whether this be brand perception or if the website isn't fully functioning - sales. Your website should be one of your biggest investments and as a result, net you the most ROI. You can save a bit of money by not adapting, however, this avenue won't increase your profits in the future.
Consider the points above and take a long look at your website. Is it the best it can be? Does it tell your visitors who you are and convey your brand image? If you have a negative thought about your website, now might be the time to say goodbye to the old site and welcome a new, improved version.
If you are unsure about your current website and need some direction on improvement, or you are looking to stand out and invest in a new site contact us on 01332 477575 and we'll be happy to go through it with you