How you look online says a lot about who you are to your customers. It seems that in today’s world, a business with an outdated or poorly functioning website is akin to one with a dilapidated store front or a non pleasing layout. Customers can be turned off to a business or person by one bad experience or in our case, one bad impression. People tend to weigh a business or organization by the quality of their website.
If you take a look at all of the cutting edge or most successful businesses in the world; you will notice that they all have a stellar online presence. Now with that said, a multi-million dollar a year website or even a $10,000 a year website is out of reach for most small businesses. We understand. It is difficult to throw so much money at an asset that is really not a tangent piece of property or a tool you can hold in your hand. With that said I am writing this article to shed light on some of the real life useful, tangible, time saving and profit increasing reasons you or your company may want to rethink your current website layout, provider, budget and goals.
The design of your site says a lot about you. If a customer visits your URL and sees that your site has not been updated to the latest standards of design and functionality, it can immediately turn them away. Customers rely heavily on the use of the internet to purchase goods and services. They want to feel that they are doing business with a legitimate business and in our minds, any good business will have a good website.
The service provider that you choose to design, manage and update your website has a huge impact on how well it will perform. It seems that there are many companies that will build out a decent website, get it to the point where the customer is mostly satisfied, then disappear and never touch it again. I believe the problem stems from a disconnect in expectations. As a customer you may expect one thing and as a service provider you may have a completely different idea in mind. A website is a product and a service. It must be updated often and maintained forever. The job of building the site is never really finished its more like being caught up. It is important to establish a plan for the future before you ever start the project. Both parties need to come to an understanding that works for everyone.
The budget for your site may be split into several different avenues. There are server hosting costs. Costs for future work to be done like blog posting, search engine optimization, ad service payment (google adwords, facebook marketing), software upgrades to help functionality and add features. These are all important things to think about when hashing out your deal with your web developer.
Goals, we all know about goals right? They are milestones that we pass on our way to the finish line. It may be worth spending some time to figure out just what is your finish line. In other words, what is the end goal of having a website. Is it to bring customers through the door? Unload customer service phone calls? Sell more products online? There are many different reasons to have a website and it is important to understand which reason you need one.
Thanks for reading, I like to get little bits of information our to my customers and future customers as often as possible. Its not always easy to bridge the knowledge gap of technology. I understand that many people do not really understand the purpose or how a web product works or how much effort and time is put into creating it. Which also means they may not understand what its worth. I can assure you that its worth thinking about!