I know it may be considered impolite to ask, but how old is your website? More than a few small businesses make an initial investment in their online presence, then leave it to wile away its days being…online.
You need a website, and you have one. Done. Now back to running your company.
The problem is, you can bet your bottom invested-in-your-website dollar that a website untended isn’t meeting the needs of your customers and potential customers.
Why does my site need an update?
You can’t stop the pace of technology. Even if you were thrilled with your website when it was developed, users’ expectations are always changing. Software continually evolves, security improves, and your business outgrows the functionality of your site. The result is a site that doesn’t work for everyone. Think of it as a customer service representative who sits in front of you, but refuses to communicate. Frustrating, right? Your customers think so.
Unless you had the foresight to take mobile devices into consideration, your site probably doesn’t function well on a smart phone or tablet. That’s a risk when 56 percent of American adults own a smart phone and 34 percent own a tablet; more than half of adult cell owners use the Internet on their mobile phones. (Pew Internet and American Life Project, 2012-13)
How can I put my website to work for me?
Think like your customers: what do they need to choose your product or service over another? Are they looking for product information? Pictures? Testimonials? Would they prefer to order online? Or schedule an appointment? Anticipate their needs, rather than reacting to complaints. Your website can make available the resources they need, even when you’re not.
All that said, don’t expect to realize a return on your investment if you aren’t regularly present in your online presence. Your website should facilitate communication between your employees and your customers, and that means answering questions promptly, just like you would in person. Use it to build relationships, and it will contribute to the value of your brand.