Here's something to think about: These days, A bad Website can be worse than no Website at all. Really! Think about that for just a moment. No Website at all means you might not believe in online marketing, and that's okay. Although many of my competitors (trust me, I've spoken to them...) would argue with me, even I am not convinced that every company needs a Website. However, a bad Website could mean so much more for your company.
Having a bad Website is now a new way to stand out, but not in a good way. A bad Website shows that you won't, or can't afford to spend money. Once upon a time, any company with a website was one step ahead of everyone else. The tide changed however, when many companies began turning to the digital marketing space almost two decades ago. Now, having a website is a basic operational requirement, much like having a phone. Still, while some companies spend hundreds of thousands, others who have felt the "need" have spent the bare minimum to create a basic looking, and functioning, site to establish their Web presence. But as things continue to evolve, in most industries, the standards of professionalism has continued to rise.
Here's how a bad Website can compromise your business:
- A site with bad graphic design is often the first impression someone will have of your firm. You may have a nice sign, a pleasant reception area, perhaps your employees dress professionally. But if a visitor goes to your Website first, they won't see any of it.
- A site with text that is dated, at best, lets people know you don't keep things up to date. At worst it may continue to promote an image or message that you no longer wish to present.
- A site with bad functionality can drive visitors away in frustration. It's unlikely that visitors will come back, either to your Website or to your office. Broken links, images that never load, forms that ask for information but don't deliver, back-buttons that won't go back, all cause people to click away as quick as they can.
- A website that makes promises will cause great problems if you don't deliver. Do you offer products, mailings, or newsletters? Do your promise information, instructions, prices, or answers to great questions? If you do, and prospects come to your site to register, or order, and you don't deliver, things will not turn out well for you.
Having a functional website is imperative in today’s business world. Even though it is very important to establish a solid web presence, simply having a Website is no longer sufficient. There was a day when just any site was acceptable; but as online marketing has escalated, and internet traffic has increased, there is a greater demand on creating quality sites with valid and pertinent information. Having a website that functions poorly or not at all can certainly cost the business down the road.
What Makes a Website “Bad”?
Your Website is the first impression prospective clients will have about you, and a bad site is usually identified very quickly. Perhaps you notice the formatting, images that do not load properly, or glaring grammatical mistakes; These are all immediate signs that the site is not a quality site and not worth spending your time on. However, there can be other issues that make a visit to a website an unpleasant experience as well.
- Content that is not kept up to date shows that the site is not getting the maintenance or attention it deserves.
- A site that has poor functionality will cause great frustration for users.
- Forms that request information but do not send or don't deliver properly can lose customers.
- Back buttons that do not work or broken links will turn visitors away quickly.
- Websites that don't utilize SEO best practices have difficulties reaching their target audience.
How Does a Bad Site Cost You?
The whole point of an SEO campaign is to optimize a website so that it holds a top rank in search engine results. This ensures that potential clients and customers will see the site and visit it. It does no good to have lots of traffic graze through the site if no one is connecting with the business for the services or products being offered. A good site will be both search engine friendly and user friendly. It takes both of these elements to make a site work.
With that established, a bad site may still get some traffic if the SEO campaign was successful, but there will be no connection between clients and the business. The success of a business will involve the purchase of products or services by customers. Websites are like the interface, or a shop window that displays to customers what a business has to offer, and if a user has a bad experience on the site they will likely not become a customer. This can mean loss of revenue, and that is hitting a business where it hurts (its wallet of course). A poorly designed site can have a loss of traffic,and a loss of revenue. A poor design can even greatly reduce the chances that a customer will make any kind of purchase or attempt to contact the business. This means that the money, time, and effort spent on web development were all a waste.
Bad Website and Your Online Reputation?
If you type your name or the name of your business into any major search engine it is likely to appear many times in search results. There may be some good or bad feedback there. Too many bad reviews of your business, or your site, can definitely have an ill effect on your online reputation, and too many negative reports can harm your attempts at branding. One bad experience on a site can certainly cause bad reviews by customers who did not find what they were looking for – or were very troubled with their ill experiences within your website. Just remember, poor online reputation can still be overcome, but it will take time and effort to try to clean up even a few bad comments or reviews.
A bad site can also have a very high bounce rate. This simply means that someone found your site in SERPs, clicked on the link and then backed right back out because they did not like what they saw. Too high of a bounce rate maintained over a long period of time can certainly hurt the site in SERPs as it will be deemed a low quality site.
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