One of things that can negatively affect a company’s returns is something that is often overlooked: the company website.

Far too often company websites are either out of date; or on the other end of the spectrum are overly futuristic – and these two things can negatively affect your business.

A website that is overly futuristic, that looks like something from a science fiction expo runs the risk of:

  • making your business come across as unestablished, which in the consumer’s mind equates to an inexperienced work force, or a work force that is not as grounded as your competitors
  • not being very user-friendly, which not only affects your business, but also affects your SEO

Futuristic sites aren’t as damaging, however, as out of date websites.

Out of date sites run the risk of:

  • consumers thinking you’re out of touch with your own business, which they may lead them to wonder if you’ll be in touch with theirs
  • losing credibility and sending customers your competitor’s way (we all want the best services and products we can afford – but if your competitor looks more credible, then who’d you give business to if you were the consumer?)
  • not selling stock, if you’re an online store, and again sending your consumers to a competitor’s store (as safety and security questions get raised both around your operation, your product, and your payment gateways)
  • when it comes to locations, sending your consumers to a competitor’s location (as consumers imagine a location with an out of date website to be equally outdated)
  • being penalized by search engines like Google, which reward sites that are updated with better SEO rankings, which means higher up in search results, as it keeps the content at the top fresh and relevant.

Any website in this day and age needs two things: responsiveness and user-friendliness. Interestingly though: if a website is not responsive, it cannot be deemed user-friendly.

Responsiveness relates to how your website adapts to the different devices it gets viewed on (i.e. mobile, tablet, and desktop friendly). It is so important that a site be responsive that search engines like Google reward responsiveness with a few extra SEO points.

User-friendliness relates to putting yourself in the shoes of your consumer. Does your user get a rewarding experience when visiting your site? Is the website easier enough for them to navigate? Does the website make them trust your brand? Remember: an easy to navigate site that is compelling to its consumer will lead to more time spent on the site, which in turn boosts your SEO score, which in turn gets you higher up the search engine rankings.

Statistics further emphasize the important role that your website plays in generating business, and why your website should be up to date, fully responsive and user-friendly:

  • 41% of South Africans make use of search engines when they’re online, of which 31% is via mobile, 6% desktop, and 4% tablet (Qwerty, 2017)
  • 78% of South African internet use is via a mobile device, 17% is desktop and 5% tablet (Qwerty, 2017)
  • 30% of mobile searches are related to a location (Google, 2016)
  • Local searches lead 50% of mobile visitors to visit stores within one day  (Google, 2014)
  • 28% of searches for something nearby result in a purchase (Google, 2016), of which
  • 78% of local-mobile searches result in offline purchases. (Search Engine Land, 2014)
  • 72% of consumers who did a local search visited a store within 8km (WordStream, 2016)

It is time for your business to get a new website?

Contact us at The Blue Room. Our Digital Department will create a bespoke site that’s up to date and sure to help you increase your ROI. Email or call us on 021 553 0315.

To find out more about our Digital Marketing services, click here.

Written by Jono Duguid, Digital Marketing Specialist: The Blue Room