17 Feb Why Your Outdated Website is STILL Bad for Business
A while back, we published a blog post titled “Why Your Outdated Website is Bad for Business” – which focused on how business websites stuck in a Web 1.0 time warp are a liability instead of an asset, repelling visitors instead of driving sales. Unfortunately, we are still encountering such sites on an all-too frequent basis. We do a lot of research to produce our humble blog posts, and are disheartened whenever we land on a page that was apparently designed in 1998.
As a recap, here are the common characteristics of outdated website design:
- “Cereal box” design, or a design that looks like a business brochure.
- Textured and/or colored page background.
- Left column of HTML links.
- Clip art or clip art-style graphics.
- Dated fonts, such as Times New Roman and the much-maligned Papyrus; hard-to-read fonts; inconsistent font types on the same page.
- Cluttered layout.
- Flash animation. Adobe stopped supporting Flash in late 2020 because of security issues, and recommended all users uninstall Flash Player. Plus, it doesn’t work on mobile devices, which is how most people now search online.
- List of keywords in page footer, or right-hand column.
- Visitor counter.
Evidently, we need to repeat our message, hoping that this time more will read it and take the necessary action to meet their target audience here in the second decade of the 21st century. Lest you think we have our own obvious reason for urging you to update your website, we’ve assembled other web designers and digital marketing experts to deliver a reality check. Consider this an intervention. It’s for your own good.
The Experts Weigh In on How a Bad Website Can Hurt Your Business
Mark Brinker, owner, Mark Brinker & Associates – “Here’s a sad scenario. Someone sends a prospective client your way. They’re a warm, maybe even a hot lead. Before contacting you, they do what everyone else does – they visit your website to check you out. Then nothing. They don’t call for an appointment. No email inquiry. Nothing. Just crickets. What happened? Your poorly designed website scared them away. Instead of giving them confidence and establishing trust, your site did just the opposite. It created doubt, uncertainty and a general feeling of uneasiness about you and your company. They click the “back button” on their browser and go somewhere else – probably to one of your competitors with inferior services to yours, but with a better website.”
Larry Alton, Technology and Computer Writer for Agility PR Solutions – “Forcing web visitors to navigate your site with an outdated design is like asking your friends to sit on a couch with 1960s upholstery when the rest of your house is modern. It’s uncomfortable and doesn’t feel quite right. It’s entirely possible for your website to be generating sales and losing sales at the same time. There will always be a portion of website visitors who convert regardless of your site’s design, but that doesn’t mean you’re generating as many sales as you could. People judge websites by their looks, and an outdated design can make visitors bounce.”
Richard Horvath, Owner and President, TheeDigital – “Unfortunately, the more outdated your website becomes the more it could be costing you revenue. If you’re reading this article, it should come as no surprise that how the world gets its information has fundamentally changed – people now use the internet to make most, if not all, of their large decisions and purchases, even for their businesses. This makes your company’s website and online presence critical to being successful as technology moves ever forward. You could be making much more money than you’d think.
“Even worse, when your site is outdated, old, or not even able to be updated, it’s not just a neutral non-entity of your business that you don’t happen to be working on. It can actively hurt your ability to grow as a business by turning away clients, potential employees, or even making it hard for your company to be found on the internet.”
Advisor Websites, Financial Advisor Industry Resource Site – “Now more than ever, people are spending extended periods of time per day online. According to the Digital 2022 Global Overview Report, the average Internet user aged 16 to 64 spends almost 7 hours per day online across all of their devices. This is also relevant to the financial industry, as 80% of consumers do their own research online before choosing a financial advisor.
“If one of your existing clients recommends your name as a good financial advisor, and the referral finds your old, outdated website, they may think twice about doing business with you. For example, if your website is showcasing events from a year or two ago, uses language that is no longer relevant, or worse, is no longer acceptable, then that referral is likely to leave your site and continue to search on their own.”
Anna Fitzgerald, HubSpot – “Visitors come to your website to make a purchase, learn about your product, sign up for a newsletter, or apply for a job. Bad website design is likely to blame if they have difficulty accomplishing any of these tasks. Bad usability websites could cause significant frustration and even mean your visitors will exit quickly.
“There are six things bad websites have in common. A cluttered layout, hidden navigation menu, lack of color contrast, non-responsive design, and inconsistent typefaces are a few hallmarks of bad website design. Still, the main issue with sites with poor design is a lack of user-centricity.”
Don’t Forget About Mobile-Responsive Design
If your website looks like your business brochure, it most likely also isn’t mobile-responsive. According to the Merkle Digital Marketing Report, 63% of Google’s U.S. organic search traffic originates from mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. A website that isn’t optimized for mobile will try to display as it does on a desktop screen, rendering it in miniature and impossible to navigate. You need not guess the next action a frustrated visitor will take upon landing on it! Your competitors will be sure to thank you!
Our Take-Home Message and Blatant Self-Promotion
An outdated website does nothing but hurt your business. As some of our experts specifically noted, you may be getting some leads, but not as many as if your website were up-to-date and fully optimized. Of course, you’ll never know, because people don’t tend to tell you why they decided to not do business with you!
If you recognize your website in this blog post, we, of course, encourage you to contact our experienced Virtual Stacks Systems team. If you don’t hire us, though, please hire another qualified agency or individual who specializes in web design and SEO. We are that serious about seeing that small business owners who put their heart, sweat and dedication into their enterprise succeed! We also offer SEO marketing, social media marketing, PPC advertising, review management services and much more! If you do hire us, we will make it our business to help your business thrive!