We get it. Your web site needs some work, but you’re holding off until you can spare the money. We know it doesn’t grow on trees, and that you can think of fifty other ways to invest in your business. But we can think of a few reasons why you should take updating your web site, and stepping up your online game, off the back burner:
#1 A high-quality web site isn’t a nice-to-have—it’s a need-to-have. Think back to fifteen years ago. Most people read the paper or watched TV to get the news, used the telephone or wrote letters to keep in contact with friends, and opened the yellow pages if they were looking for a business. Yet, by 2012, 50% of Americans read their news online, the top three email service providers had more than 1 billion combined users, and AT&T hinted at shuttering the Yellow Pages. The truth is undeniable: most people rely on the Internet as an invaluable resource for critical information, including finding companies like yours. And if you want their business, a robust web site is no longer optional—it’s a basic expectation. Here is why:
#2 Customers will judge the quality of your business by the quality of your web site. Picture this: you walk into certain restaurant for the first time and noticed that the place seems dirty—the furniture is old and dingy, the floor hasn’t been cleaned in a week, and the décor recalls the 1980s. Still, you are willing to try the food, so you look for a hostess to seat you; but none of the handful of staff members milling around helps you at all. Ignored and frustrated, you leave, in search of a place that makes you feel comfortable, confident, and attended to—you’ll never go back to that place again. (You see where we’re going with this.) People treat businesses similarly—if your web site looks dated, is difficult to navigate, and doesn’t intuitively and effectively give visitors what they need, potential clients who find your site will leave and never look back. They don’t need you—there are plenty of other fish in the sea; that brings us to the competition:
#3 Competitors with a better online marketing game are poised to crush you. Even if you’re the leader now, a competitor that is outsmarting you in online strategy will eventually elevate its position. That’s because consumers don’t make decisions in a vacuum anymore—not only do they know how to find plenty of businesses just like yours—they are more likely than ever to decide whether they will work with you based on what is said about you online. Consider Google Reviews and Yelp star ratings, which both feature prominently in Google search. How about the Better Business Bureau, LinkedIn and Manta recommendations, or even reviews on epinions.com and other sites? The most successful companies go several steps beyond commissioning a good web site, investing also in online reputation management.
Did we scare you? (We’re sorry.) Here’s the good news: better tools and streamlined processes for web development, and the explosion of online marketing service providers has made developing a robust online presence and strategy increasingly affordable. So, go ahead—put that web project right there on the front burner and turn up the heat—the market for reasonably-priced online services is better than ever and Somethumb Web Design & Development can help.