Outdated Websites are Killing Business

Posted by on Apr 11, 2017 in BLOG | Comments Off on Outdated Websites are Killing Business

mobile-mistake

Last Saturday, my wife and I planned on going to dinner.  I asked her where she wanted to go, and she immediately pulled out her iPhone and began researching.  First, she pulled up menus, then Yelp reviews.  Finally, she clicked her Facebook app and visited several local restaurant pages.  As she did this, I suggested a place that came to mind.  So, she typed the restaurant name into the Google search bar and found the establishment’s website, which had not been updated in at least six years.  The menu link worked, but she had to zoom in on everything and guess on whether or not the items were still available.  She decided to use Facebook to see if there was a better version of the menu, or at least some mention of specials.  What did she find?  A page with 17 likes which contained six posts…the most recent of which from April 2012.  Sure, we could have called and asked questions, but we probably would not get far as restaurant employees are overloaded at dinner time.  Also, who wants to make a phone call when the information should be readily available at your fingertips?  Needless to say, we went to a place that was more conscious of its target audience, and regularly maintained its online presence.

Operating a business is tough work…I know, I’ve done it.  Most of the time, business owners are concerned about offering a great product and providing superb customer support.  With so many different factors affecting business management, some entrepreneurs forget to place emphasis on online customer engagement.  This sort of oversight can become detrimental to the success of your business, as over 70% of clients research products and services online prior to making purchases.  Are you representing your brand well online?  If not, you’re in danger of alienating a large portion of the population.  In other words, if you’re not well-represented online, you’re likely killing your business.

online_researchIn the past, word-of-mouth was considered the best way to earn business – it still is, but the speaking is now done online through blogging and social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  All of the aforementioned social arenas are utilized to engage clients and drive them to company websites.  A significant chunk of those users are accessing those sites via mobile device – according to Pew Internet, 64% of American adults own a smartphone as of October 2014.

You might be thinking, “I am fine because I already have a website.”  Well, that might be true if your site is responsive (mobile-ready).  If not, you’re company is in dire need of an upgrade because, in April, Google began rating websites based on responsiveness.  The average mobile-device user will leave your site within seconds if it is slow and/or does not immediately acclimate itself to their phone.  If that happens, then you lose out on business solely because we are in the age of instant gratification.  If your site doesn’t work well, someone else’s will and their brand will shine through.  Even if you have better products, the other company with an updated website will prevail because people can easily access their inventory/services.  As for Google’s rating system – yes, that Google, the world’s TOP search engine – potential clients will now be able to see whether or not your site is even worth visiting.  So, even those initial clicks will disappear once people see that the site will not work properly on their phone (If you’re curious about what you have up right now, give the mobile-friendly test a try here).

Look, businesses lose customers; it’s the name of the game.  But, there is no reason to lose a customer before even getting the opportunity to earn his/her business over something as simple as updating your website and Facebook page.  You can convince yourself that you don’t have the time or money; but, just like anything else in life, you only get what you give (New Radicals in all their glory).  Web development companies such as Thought Process Enterprises exist to keep your online presence active so that you can focus on everything else.  Stop killing your business, and start growing it.

 

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