| Digital, Opinion
This is what your old website is costing your business
Getting a new website isn’t fast or easy. You need to find someone to design and build it, and you need buy in from the rest of the business.
But if your business needs a new website, it’s worth sorting now. You’re only delaying the inevitable, and your old website is losing you orders in the meantime.
Marketing and business managers have similar concerns when it comes to website projects. Many of these are misconceptions. We put their minds at ease by explaining all the ways a new website will benefit their business. But we also tell them what their old website is costing them in the long run!
Think you can ‘make do’ with an old website?
Get the truth behind the common misconceptions…
“It’s a bit dated, but it works okay and will do for now”
In reality: Your website is deterring new customers
It takes 0.05 seconds – 50 milliseconds – for someone to form an opinion of your website (Sweor.com).
Every time someone lands on your website, they make a snap judgement about your business, and your products and services. They decide if your business is worth their time or not.
Slow, dated, boring, busy, plain. The niggling issues you have with your website are noticed by visitors and put people off straight away. When people search for something the need, they are presented with a plethora of results. Why would they choose a less appealing option?
Think about going to a new restaurant. You arrive and find dirty menus, a sticky table, grimy cutlery, and poor décor. You might stick it out if you’ve heard good things from a trusted friend. But if the restaurant is new to you, you’ll get out of there as quickly as possible.
“Most of our customers are referrals and call us direct. Our website doesn’t matter.”
The reality: Your search prospects are going to competitor sites
Your business might have loyal customers who refer you. But relying on this alone ignores the long-term picture. People leave businesses, companies close, target markets change over time. And purchasing is increasingly online, whatever industry you’re in.
Your website needs to be set up to target people searching for your products and services. If not, those people are going directly to your competition. Investing in your website means you’re ready to be found by people online, even if they’ve never heard of your business before.
“We don’t have the budget.”
The reality: You might be able to get funding
Budget restrictions are a real barrier. But consider whether you can afford not to invest in a new website. What are new customers worth to you? Do you have another way of reaching them? Even if you do, these people will visit your website at some point. What they see will impact their decision to buy.
When budget is tight, explore digital growth vouchers. There are schemes (such as Digital Enterprise) providing funding to help SMEs invest in their growth and new websites. You could get thousands of pounds to fund your website and, in turn, the future success of your business.
“The business is too busy. We don’t have the time for the project right now.”
The reality: You don’t need to be as involved as you think
It’s great when your business is busy. But this shouldn’t hinder progress. Working with the right website design agency means you won’t need to be hands on. You’re paying the experts, so your input only needs to be advisory and mainly during the initial stages. It won’t consume your time.
“When it breaks, we’ll get a new one.”
The reality: Your business’s domain authority will be wiped out
When your old website breaks, you lose your content, search rankings, and your domain authority. You won’t be able to redirect urls and every link back to your website will be broken! A new website would have to start from scratch, and your business would be without a website while its created.
“Our customers say it’s fine.”
The reality: You’re limiting your audience
Your current customers know and trust your brand. Your website doesn’t matter to them apart from functionally to access services. Relying on the opinions of a handful of happy customers is biased and neglects to consider the huge pool of prospects who’ll use your website to suss you out.
Whatever industry you’re in and whatever you sell, people use your website to form an opinion of your business. What they see needs to match the quality of your products and services, or they may go elsewhere before giving you a chance.
“I like the way it looks! So does my partner, his mum, her neighbour, and the milkman.”
The reality: Your brand integrity is at stake
Are you a graphic designer? A web designer? Is SEO your primary occupation?
If not, your personal preferences should be put aside. The look and feel of a website are subjective, and anyone can have an opinion. But it doesn’t mean this opinion is based on evidence or experience. Your brand identity should be managed by graphic designers.
The performance of your website is measured in terms of analytics; how many people find you; and how many of these people become leads. Having an emotional attachment to your website isn’t helpful unless it’s getting you the results you need.
How do you think your old website is doing?
Your website may have been the envy of your competition at one point. But websites age, your audience change, and competitors advance ahead. If you are sticking with an old website and find yourself reaching for any of the above justifications, think for a moment. Is this delaying the inevitable? Could a new website help push the business forward this year?
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