A website is your digital storefront and it should match the appearance, style, and professionalism of the ideal version of your company. It has the immediate ability to establish you as a credible source on a topic or within an industry. Alternatively, having a poorly designed, poorly structured, and unmaintained website is worse than not having one at all, because it is an extension of your brand that is represented poorly and potentially shared around the world. Imagine driving down the road and seeing a business with overgrown vegetation, dirty windows, peeling paint and a broken sign hanging by an electrical wire. The majority of potential new customers aren’t going to stop and see what that business has to offer. The same goes for a bad website.
So what do we mean by ‘bad website?’
We won’t call out any specific websites (although there are so many) but we will share this link and this link where you can get the general sense of the elements that form bad websites. Ready for the tough pill to swallow? If your website resembles anything close to this (by default if you use the font papyrus or comic sans), if your website resembles a digital summer flea market, you’re doing it wrong. There’s no room for excuses and here’s why:
We live in the digital age. Get with the program.
The internet is here to stay. It has redefined industries and created opportunity, crippled industries, offered a vehicle to give a voice to the voiceless, and has quieted the most powerful.
In today’s world, having a bad website has the same effect as:
- Having a decrepit storefront
- Having a limp handshake
- Making an unrecoverable, bad first impression
- Putting a ‘closed’ sign up on your more lucrative days
First impressions play a significant role for the success or demise of a business online. According to a study at New York University, you need to give a reason for people to trust and value you through first impressions. In the digital world, this means having an online presence with clean aesthetic elements like fonts, colors, and layouts. It also means having a strategic and optimized website structure to increase page ranking, function and discoverability. There is a large gap that exists between companies with great websites and companies with terrible sites. However, the real disconnect comes because most businesses don’t realize it is incredibly easy to set up a professional website that could potentially have a huge return on investment.
A well designed website is critical in seizing user’s interest and keeping them from going elsewhere. Literally in less time it takes to blink an eye, people build an impression of whether to stay on a website or navigate away. With the potential to reach customers around the world, the digital world is a ‘Wild West’ for businesses large and small looking for a place to claim. According to a study by Google, visual complexity and prototypically (how similar a design appears compared with others of the same subject or category) are two determining factors of website retention and appeal. The results? Users prefer website designs that look both simple and familiar.
If you built your own website, that’s amazing and deserves some credit. There’s a level of competence that you need in order to pull off even a mediocre website. But you need to ask yourself a few questions:
- Is my website at the level needed to adequately and effectively attract customers and convert visitors into leads?
- Will my website help my business grow and profit?
- Is it an ideal representation of my company or brand?
- Am I using all the latest technology to effectively and efficiently out pace my competition?
- What is my local, regional, national and global reach?
- Does your website reflect the best version of you as a business owner?
No business is too large or too small
There is no business too large or too small for a nice website. Maybe you’re just a small ‘mom and pop’ operation that has gotten by just fine for the past 50 years. But maybe you’re a business that doesn’t want to ‘just get by.’ Consider these statistics from a recent Paveya blog post:
- 61% of global Internet users research a product online
- 93% of buying cycles start with an online search
- 50% of mobile web searches are conducted in the hopes of finding local results. Of those searches, 61% result in a purchase.
- 80% of Internet users are using mobile devices
Don’t think you have the time or knowledge to recreate a whole website? Pick up the phone and call us or send us an email. We’ll chat with you about your wants and needs and help steer you in the right direction.
As always, be sure to stay tuned to updated articles on Paveya’s blog.