01 Jul You Can’t Avoid Your Website Forever
Stop Telling Me I Need to Update My Website!
You have good, sound reasons why you haven’t updated your website lately:
1. It’s going to cost you a few thousand dollars
2. You get most of your business from “word-of-mouth”
3. You’re too busy
Web designers and SEO companies keep calling and emailing to tell you that if you don’t update and optimize your site, you’ll never be found in Search results, you’ll lose business, your competition will outdistance you.
But you don’t care about Search results, you have plenty of business, and your competition’s website looks just as bad as yours.
Sounds like you can continue to avoid your website forever if you want to, doesn’t it? Well, it depends on what you think of your business.
“No one has a greater asset for his business than a man’s pride in his work.” Hosea Ballou
Your website will often be the first, second or third exposure a person has to your business. If a client were to walk into your office, shop, practice – whatever – what would they think about your business? Is it clean and orderly? Is it aesthetically pleasing or is the paint fading, the furniture dated and the ceiling stained? When I try to open the door, does it stick and jam? If I try to talk to someone, do they ignore me?
I once had an electrician show up to my house to quote me on a job. Seemed like a good guy and a good electrician. But as I walked him outside I saw inside his truck and it was a total shambles with fittings and tools and gear all over the place. It was a mess. And it was enough of a sign to me that he probably wasn’t the guy for the job. Doesn’t matter if my judgment was right, he still didn’t get the job.
1. How much pride do you take in your business?
2. What do you wear to the office or to the jobsite?
3. What code of conduct do you require of your employees while working?
4. Is your sign crisp, clean, and well-lit?
If you answered those four questions with pride, then why does your website look the equivalent of orange and shag carpeting, employees cursing and smoking on the worksite, and your sign blinking with missing bulbs and misspelled words? Why should you take any less pride in your website than you do in the rest of your business presence?
The Only Two Reasons to Update Your Website
“If your customers are made to feel as if they are outsiders, they will eventually find a competitor who makes them feel better about doing business with them.” Shep Hyken, Author
So here are the reasons why you are going to update your website before the year is over:
1. You take pride in every aspect of your business and your website represents your business.
2. You respect your customers.
What do I mean by “You respect your customers”? Quite simply, ever try to navigate an out-of-date website on your phone? The text is unreadable without zooming. You have to keep scrolling left to right. Every time you try to click on a tab you open the wrong one because the buttons are all too close together. That causes frustration and annoyance and your customers lose valuable time dealing with your outdated website.
I’m sure you respect your customers face-to-face. I’m sure you respect them by doing a great job for them. But just like you wouldn’t waste their time with unnecessary meetings or incomprehensible documents, you shouldn’t be wasting their time with your website. Make the moment count for them.
Your Five Fixes and Why
“Future is mobile computing — smartphones and tablets are just elements of it. The industry is on the verge of a whole new paradigm.” Thorstein Heins
So here are the first five fixes to apply to your website:
1. Make it mobile friendly! If I’m sitting at my daughter’s soccer practice, I’m using my phone to look at your site. If I’m watching TV at night and a sudden question pops into my head about something you said, I’m using my phone to find the answer on your website. But if your site isn’t mobile friendly, then the text is too small to read without constantly zooming and scrolling horizontally. I can’t even press the right link because the buttons are too close together. So make it easier for me or I’ll find the answers elsewhere.
2. Make it faster! I don’t have time to wait for your website to keep loading every time I click to another page. Sure, I’m impatient. But the traffic light is going to turn. Get rid of Flash and the goofy graphics that looked high-tech five years ago because they slow down your loading time.
3. Make it findable! I can’t always remember your website address or even your company name. My buddy referred you for the job and I know you’re local and if I see your name in the search results, I’ll recognize it instantly. But you can’t be found in the search results because you haven’t addressed the first two fixes yet!
4. Make it about my needs! I’m not really interested in your company and how great it is. I know, that’s a bit obnoxious, but it’s true. What I care about is you solving my problems. Can you do it? How do you do it? So cut to the chase and show me right away that you know what my problems are and that you can fix them. Because if you can’t, then you’re wasting my time and your time.
5. Make it look good! I’m a visual person. I like pictures. Better yet, I love video. And I like to be impressed. It is one of the easiest ways for you to get and keep my attention and it’s really not hard to do because my expectations are already pretty low when it comes to websites. So many are awful and so few are done right, especially when it comes to local businesses.
That’s not so hard is it? Actually, it is a little hard because right now the easiest thing you can do is nothing. Just keep on going as is. And as you age the distance between you and your customers will widen and widen and they’ll just go to the websites where they’re respected. I know, it sounds harsh, but time is our most precious commodity. As a business owner, you know that. So invest the time and the money to bring your website up to date. At the very least, get a free website SEO assessment that will tell you how your website is performing. Click the button below.
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