Changed your website within the past 3 years?
If not, then it might be time you did.
Not so long ago, websites were expensive to build and maintain with an average lifespan of about 5 years. Although consumers had embraced the internet, they preferred face-to-face transactions, an established practice for hundreds of years. Shopping online was fraught with dangers like privacy, security, and fraud. So, the internet was mostly used to research intended purchases and communicate with social networks.
But covid-19 lockdowns changed all that. Unable to leave their homes, consumers had no choice but to shop online. As a result, internet traffic and online transactions surged across all demographics and websites went from important to being a critical business asset.
If you have not changed your company website recently, or kept a close eye on competitor websites, you may be unaware of the fact that websites have changed in both design and functionality. Today’s modern website is much more than a form of advertising. As well as marketing it can be used to increase efficiency, reduce the administrative burden, engage clients, and build loyalty.
But before you rush out and hire a web designer, here are some facts you should know.
A Level Playing Field
A unique advantage of the internet is that if offers a level playing field. Size and physical location lose their advantage and websites that connect with their target market, engage them, and deliver on their promise achieve the best outcomes. SMEs compete equally with their big-end-of-town rivals for your attention.
But simply registering a URL and having a website is no guarantee of online success. That because the internet fiercely competitive. As well as industry rivals you face stiff competition from every other website and social media platform targeting your audience and fighting for their attention. In response, consumers have become brutal in their judgement of websites and make an assessment in seconds. Fail to capture their attention within 15 to 30 seconds and they will be gone and may never return.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
For most industries, there are thousands of different businesses listed on the internet. More than 90% of internet experiences begin with a search engine (i.e., Google, Bing etc). Research indicates that consumers rarely consider anything beyond the first page of results. So, it is the first few that appear with search results that stand the best chance of being considered. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) provides the opportunity to influence this outcome. Meta tags, key words, headings, descriptive text, and hyperlinks are among the parameters used by search engines. With search engine optimisation you can improve your ranking and where it appears in search results.
Three Years at Best
Continuous improvements in technology, new innovative designs and competition have reduce the average life of a business website from around 5 years down to three. Fail to change or update your website after 3 years and you are unlikely to attract new customers and risk losing existing ones to your competitors.
Never More Affordable
The introduction of free templates has been a complete game changer and web development costs have never been lower and websites have never been more affordable. Prior to this, websites were uniquely designed and built which required expertise in graphic design and coding. The cost of a basic website was around $10,000 and changes to content required costly expertise. There are several companies that provide free website templates that can be tailored to an individual business. These include wix, squarespace, spotify, godaddy, nicepage, webflow etc.
I trust that with this information you are now better equipped to decide your course of action.
You will find a website checker along with a set of guidelines you can download for free on the idResults website.
Simply visit www.idresults.co