As small business owners must be much more cost-conscious than their corporate competition, you may wonder if regularly updating your website is a worth-while expense. As a point of fact, regular online refreshes are a must in today’s world, and here are three reasons why you’ll want to maintain a state of the art web presence.
You want customers to know your company exists
Let’s say you operate a third wave coffee shop. If your business’ income is derived from transactions in the physical space, you might feel that an outmoded web site and a frequently updated Facebook page will suffice as your entire digital imprint. While social networking sites are great for cultivating return business via customer interaction, having a slow loading, antiquated website will drive down your position on Google’s indexing. According to this Brafton article, 89 percent of consumers use a search engine to help them make a purchasing decision. If your shop is buried on the fifth page of Google’s search results for “local coffee shops,” as far as most potential customers are concerned, your business doesn’t exist.
You’re leaving money on the table
Continuing with the coffee shop analogy, let’s say your company’s site was made seven years ago using a WordPress template. It has a nice photo of your store on the landing page and all the pertinent information costumers would need to find your shop is prominently displayed. However, your shop’s menu is only accessible via a downloadable PDF document, you don’t have a web store and your last update was about how much you enjoyed the first Iron Man movie. If your site sounds like it meets that description, you should do as this Business 2 Community piece recommends and update your site immediately. Some customers will see your outdated page and assume that you went out of business years ago. Others will opt to visit a corporate chain instead because they take orders online. Every day your old page is up another day, you leave money on the table.
Mobility is the future of the internet
Finally, let’s pretend that your coffee shop’s last website update was four years ago. Customers can visit your crisply designed site and place online orders with ease. The only problem is your site wasn’t optimized for viewing on a mobile device. Earlier this year Google announced that it would begin factoring in a site’s mobile-friendliness as part of its indexing algorithm. It’s likely that Google made this change because, as this Smart Insights post explains, more people began going online using mobile devices than fixed desktop computers in 2014. Imagine an office manager using their iPhone to find an independent coffee shop that can cater an upcoming morning meeting. Now picture the office manager becoming increasingly frustrated because your site takes forever to load and is impossible to navigate on a smartphone. Now visualize the office manager making a mental note to never visit your shop as they place an order with a corporate coffeehouse.
This article was written by Mario McKellop of Examiner.com for CBS Small Business Pulse.