Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. If you’re looking for a restaurant, plumber, car dealer, piece of furniture, or an awesome web design agency (😇) the first touchpoint is quite often the company website after a Google search.
It’s also likely you will have more than one website open when deciding on who to ring or get in touch with. The question you need to ask is “why this company?”
The final choice can be very easily persuaded by how the website makes the users feel. Below is a checklist of areas to think about and to ensure you’re the preferred choice.
First Impressions Matter
As I said, your website is often the first touchpoint a potential customer has with your business. Outdated content on your website may give the impression that your business is outdated, has not progressed since the last update you made or you simply don’t care about your image. If you’re a business offering a service, this could be seen as reflective of the way your business operates. As well as the text on your website, think about images, pricing, service offerings, contact details etc.
Finally, the aesthetics of your website need to be updated too. Does your site look 10 years old (which is a lifetime in our world)? If it is, the perception of your company is instantly diminished. You need to ensure your online presence reflects your overall company image and keeps up with current design trends and user expectations.
DHD’s original website vs our new website
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Google loves websites that regularly update their content. Fresh and relevant content can improve your search engine rankings, making it easier for potential customers to find your site. It also brings added value for returning customers and cements your position as an industry leader. The easiest way to ensure you have fresh, relevant content on your website regularly is to create a blog and schedule posts to go out every 2-4 weeks.
Top tip: If you decide to have a blog on your website, stay committed to it as a blog that’s not kept up to date can have a negative impact on SEO value and there may be other or better-suited ways to keep your site performing organically.
We’ve talked a lot about content/imagery and overall look – but from a more technical side, it’s worth mentioning that outdated websites are more vulnerable to security threats. Regularly updating plugins, core CMS versions and PHP versions help protect your website from potential cyberattacks and hacking attempts.
User Behaviours and Expectations
I hate to use the dreaded “C” word (C-O-V-I-D) but ever since then, users want to carry out more tasks online than ever before. This brought a heightened level of user expectations and a range of new behaviours from a variety of individuals who were not as internet savvy as we were used to.
Ask yourself; does your website help your customers and help you as a business owner or is it just “there”? The more your site can offer your customers, the more likely you are to get an additional lead, inquiry, booking, or sale. This doesn’t mean you need a new website but your website may need adapted to meet user demands.
We all know the speed that technology has evolved over the past 10 years, and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. This includes things such as new browser restrictions, device compatibility, and accessibility standards. If your site has stood still for more than 3 years, it likely isn’t optimised for recent browsers or screen sizes, or that important accessibility standards are not being met.
If your website is linked to your social media, regular updates can help maintain a seamless integration. This ensures that visitors can easily share your content and stay connected through social media channels and instead of it being an “either/or” they combine to increase your online presence.
In summary, a well-maintained, aesthetically pleasing and updated website is not only crucial for attracting and retaining visitors but also for optimising security, staying competitive, and adapting to the evolving landscape of the online world. Regular updates contribute to a positive user experience, which is essential for the success of your online presence.