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5 Key Reasons a Website Matters

By Alyssa Hilstad

Many businesses don't see a reason for building and maintaining an up-to-date website. Read on for some talking points highlighting why the quality of a website can help or hurt a business.

Why does my business need a website?

According to the Search Engine Journal, 93% of business decisions start with a search engine. Here are 5 reasons why a website with good quality content and a fresh design matter:

1. It builds loyalty and trust by showing that you are professional and legitimate.

2. It quickly provides customers easy access to who you are and what you do.

3. It may significantly reduce call volume by answering common questions from customers.

4. It opens doors for your business 24 hrs, whether that is through making your business more profitable, making hiring easier or setting your business up to sell.

5. Lastly, it allows you to reach many people all over the world that want to buy your products or use your services.

Per impression, the cost for a website is very low. Not only does a website increase your business's visibility by allowing you to reach more people, but it also promotes credibility by showcasing your business's professionalism.

Do I need to market my business in 2021? YES! Read more here.

Why do I need to update my business's website?

Website designs usually become outdated after 3-5 years. Having your website updated to current standards contributes to your business's brand, professionalism, and credibility.

Not sure if your website needs an update? If your business has a secretary that answers the phones, ask that secretary if they ever get comments about the website, or if they are embarrassed by it. This is a good indicator of whether or not your website needs attention.

Here are four practical reasons to keep your website updated to current standards:

1. Not putting the best representation of your business online suggests that you lack care for your business. If a customer visits your website, having it outdated will instantly hurt their first impression of you. Ultimately, you will miss out on reaching your ideal audience.

2. Updating your website regularly guarantees compatibility with newer devices, allowing a better user experience for visitors checking your website on a tablet or phone. Well over 50% of online traffic comes from mobile devices. An outdated website kills your mobile experience and causes you to miss out on a ton of potential business.

3. Your older website could be more susceptible to a security breach. Outdated websites often have easy backdoors that hackers can access, leaving your customers' data compromised. Many businesses also have no SSL security, which affects search engine rankings. Many consumers will leave an insecure website immediately, or their computer's security will automatically block the website for them.

4. Outdated websites are not built with today's standards for SEO. The robots that visit your website to evaluate it have an enormous impact on how you appear in Google searches, and they do not see your website the same way a human does. You need to make sure that your website stays updated to accommodate how these robots operate. Google is always updating its standards for what makes a good website. Many of the common SEO practices that marketers used in the past are now considered negative by Google. Some of these include:

  • Keyword stuffing In the past, this was the most common way to improve SEO. Keyword stuffing involves using as many keywords as possible across a website to achieve good search engine rankings. When businesses used the keyword stuffing method, it resulted in poor content that made no sense to the actual human visitor. Now, Google is working on improving the user experience and wants to see credible, high-quality content that meets the needs of the searcher.

  • Link building In the past, setting up as many backlinks as possible was ideal. It did not matter where the links came from, or who created them, as long as they led to your site. Now, this is much more complex. Google now cares about where these links are coming from, and backlinks on a non-credible website/source hurt your website rankings.

Marketing companies stay updated monthly on these changing standards and can make sure your website does not fall behind. Ultimately, updating your website regularly might be considerably cheaper than doing major maintenance, updates, and redesign when the website is really outdated.

Why website functionality matters

In order to make a good impression on potential customers, your website needs to be visually appealing and functional. Functionality is about helping users find your site, getting them to stay on your site, and encouraging them to become customers. A functional website meets the needs of your target audience and helps them easily find the information, products, or services they want. Elements of good functionality include fast load time, ease of navigation, responsive and mobile-friendly design, clear CTAs (calls to action), relevant visuals and text, cohesive content, and consistent design. There are several benefits that a functional website can add to your business:

  • Improve UX and SEO--SEO (search engine optimization) is about getting users on your site, while UX (user experience) improves the experience of users once they're there. With today's ranking systems, UX principles are also part of good SEO; elements that make for a good user experience also help you rank well in search engine results.

  • Keep your business competitive--As one of the first ways someone may interact with your business, your website makes an impression on visitors. If your website is outdated, slow, or hard to navigate, your customers may choose to do business with another company.

  • Make your website accessible--In order to reach the highest number of people, your website needs to be accessible and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant. Part of ADA compliance is making sure the content on your website can be accessed by those with visual disabilities. For example,

  • Use image alt text, title tags, and heading tags so that all of the content on your site can be read by assistive technology like screen readers.

  • Make sure to use font style/size and contrast in a way that is readable by individuals with limited vision or color blindness.

Show your audience that you care about them.

Good web design and functionality show that anticipating and meeting the needs of your audience is important to you. If users on your site feel welcomed and feel that you care about meeting their needs, they will be more likely to see your business as one that cares about them. This will build trust and an emotional connection with site visitors, making them more likely to choose to do business with you.

With so many things that can impact a website's functionality, a marketing company can help make sure your website stays functional and attractive to potential customers.

Our team of professionals is ready to help you get the process started OR set up your new #Wix Premium template today! View hundreds of custom templates built by CIS Agency.

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