Entrepreneurs are either overspending or underspending on their web sites, and many have no idea what they’re doing or why.
Half of all small businesses still don’t have a website. Many small companies are reluctant to outlay the expense of a new website design; however, if done well, redesigning your website can be a high return on investment. Remember, first impressions count. You only have a few seconds on a website to get a customer’s attention and to engage them. It’s important that your website look professional, fresh and contemporary.
One Human Year Equals at Least Four Internet Years.
It has been said that one human year equals at least four Internet years. Technology is rapidly changing. Even a website designed a few years ago may be susceptible to unwanted hacks or not usable on mobile phones. Your website should evolve and change as your business grows and technology changes.
“In a world where people stay online for most of the day, a standard website just doesn’t cut it. Depending on the product, up to 83% of consumers visit a company’s or service provider’s website before making a purchase. And as more and more consumers make decisions based on their online experience, the appearance, usability, and accessibility of your website is more important than ever. Even if they learn about your company through a trusted referral, at a sponsored event, or in a meeting with you, before they make a final decision they will visit your website.” – Mandr Group
Case in Point
Dr. Lee Anne Campbell, owner of Yelm Prairie Dental and Associates, understands the importance of a great website to showcase the impact of quality dentistry on a person’s smile. “I wanted my website to reflect the fact that we go the extra mile to help our patients,” Dr. Campbell shared. “Our website is an important part of our educational mission to show people what is possible with advanced dentistry.”
Years ago, Dr. Campbell hired a company to provide a turnkey approach to creating her website. The company handled everything including the content and selection of stock images. But, Dr. Campbell was never really satisfied with the cookie-cutter approach used by most medical/dental website companies. “It never seemed to reflect our values or goals,” said Dr. Campbell. About one year ago, she decided that she wanted to invest in a quality website that would mirror the quality of her practice.
Pictures, Pictures, Pictures
Even though it took longer and more time, her custom designed website has met her expectations. She was involved in every step of the process from copywriting, content and even providing much of the photography. According to Dr. Campbell, “I did not want to use stock photos. Instead, I asked our patients if they would be interested in sharing their before and after pictures. The use of real people (rather than stock photos) added some challenges and time to our project but it was well worth it.” The website took over five months but Dr. Campbell said she is delighted with the outcome. “We want to give people back their smile. Our website demonstrates that we can do that.”
Responsive Web Design
The other large cost to her website was her goal to make it able to automatically resize and reconfigure its layout based on the device it is being viewed on. This is called Responsive Website Design (RWD). This technology ensures that your website will be appropriately viewed whether your customer is seeing your website on their desktop, tablet, or smartphone. If your current website is not responsive, you should consider the potential downside to this. Over the last year, the percentage of traffic to websites via mobile devices has increased by 78%. In 2016, nearly 48% of all website traffic is derived from mobile devices. If your website is not mobile friendly or compatible, you are potentially losing out on 1 out of every 2 customers.
Should You Update Your Website?
Your website is an extension of your staff and should be evaluated as often as you evaluate your team. Furthermore, your website reflects you as a business owner. According to Stanford University, 75% of people judge the credibility of a company based on the design of its website. According to HubSpot’s Nicole Denton, here are ten reasons you should update your website.
- It doesn’t work well on mobile devices.
- Your search engine rankings are low.
- It uses Adobe Flash, a multimedia and software platform.
- Your visitor’s aren’t sticking around and/or converting (a “high bounce rate”). For example, how many users actually complete simple tasks on your website (like completing an order or asking for information). Research suggests that one out of three users fail to complete these simple tasks because of poor website design. Causes could be too many steps, too much reading, not well organized or not enough information. This is costing you potential sales.
- It looks outdated.
- It’s slow.
- You’ve outgrown it.
- You’ve changed your brand positioning or messaging.
- You can’t easily make content updates.
- You are embarrassed to give out your URL.
Learn How to Create a Great Website
Because your website is one of the most important investments you can make, the Yelm Area Chamber of Commerce will be sponsoring a workshop on how to create or improve your website. This workshop is geared toward business owners who are either getting started with their first website or have an existing website that they would like to improve. We will walk participants through the standard design process for a website and show them how to make design decisions themselves or find and work with a design professional to take their website to the next level of quality and customer satisfaction. Visit us on Facebook for more information about the date, time and location of the website workshop.
In the meantime, check out Dr. Campbell’s website at for an example of a great site.