Okay so I am watching a used car commercial last night. They are talking about how they have all the latest and greatest cars. But in the background there was over a foot of snow. Obviously what happened was that they are just reusing the old commercial. But they don’t realize how bad it looks to the public. People already are mistrusting of car dealers, having an ad like this only reinforces the negativity. You know none of the cars he is showing in the ad are still there. (unless they are real lemons)
So you’re wondering what does this have to do with websites? Well, if you take a look at someone’s webpage especially the homepage there’s an outdated picture or content, you are not as likely to proceed to view what they offer. If you are a brick and mortar store, this is similar to you having member’s only jackets in the window, or perhaps a pet rock display.
Look, if you don’t care, it shows. You need to keep your site up to date. At very least keep your homepage fresh. Try to change your photos each quarter, or at least rotate in some new photos. And be sure any offers or call to actions are still relevant. Can you think of a worse customer experience than to have someone click on an offer that is no longer valid?
In Conclusion: Think of your website the same as you would your storefront or office. Keeping current is not hard and leaves people with a positive impression. You would never have old merchandise laying around your store, so don’t have old content on your website. If you don’t have a way to update your website, or can’t find the company who manages your site, contact us, we are glad to help.
Sounds strange right? As a web development firm you would think our goal would always be to build clients brand-new state-of-the-art websites. But, as our goal is to manage people’s sites for the long-term, our advice tends to be different from a firm that does a one-off design project. For them, it is create and move on. For me, it is create, and manage. In business I have always tried to follow the advice of Mark Twain: “Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest”.
In the particular case which spurred this post, I started managing a website about a year ago for new business. The site hadn’t been designed that long before we took over the day to day management, though it left a lot to be desired. Still, as it was a start up business, they didn’t have bags of money to spend, and certainly did not want to build a brand-new site at that point. So we looked at what the site was missing, added some new features, cleaned up some errors and made it a very usable site. We then spent time to improve the sites performance in searches. We got the website to the point where it was doing very well for queries not only in the town the business is located, but in surrounding towns as well.
Then, as it is an appointment driven business, we added a request an appointment form. Now in this day and age forms don’t tend to be all that successful as people are leery about spam, etc. But, from this particular form, they got about 15 to 20 new appointment requests within the first few months. Quite an accomplishment!
But then something interesting happened. A patient told my client that his site look a little out of date. At this point he came to me and asked me should we build a new site? Now, this is where I had to say no, if I were you I would not spend the money at this point. As a small businessman, perhaps this wasn’t my best move. But as I have said, I’m in it for the long-term, and clients truly appreciate our integrity, and the fact that we always try to do the right thing. In the long run, this type of service has led to our tremendous growth, many customer referrals, and yes in the long run more money.