How a Bad Website Harms Your Business
Welcome to our last article for our “website week”. We have now provided you with two articles explaining what a good website can do for your business. But, what about a bad one? Check out, 4 Ways a Bad Website Can Harm Your Business, below:
“4 Ways A Bad Website Can Hurt Your Business
In my 10-years of building websites primarily for small businesses I’ve seen a wide variety of different perspectives on the importance of a business website. Many small business owners do realize the impact their website can have in the growth of their business. Some even see the potential for their website to be a direct revenue generator with ecommerce. But there are others who either don’t see that potential, or don’t understand how to take their website to the level where it becomes a positive driver of business growth.
Today I want to look at the negative aspects of having a bad website. Because we know that out of the millions upon millions of websites out there, at least a few of them qualify as “bad”. And a few million are “really really bad”. So if you know your website is bad, what does that really mean from a business perspective? What are you losing, what is the cost?
1.) Loss of Professional Image. Your website is responsible for the first impression of your business with a significant number, if not all of your prospective clients. So what does your website say about how your business presents itself? A bad website is one that says bad things about the business. It’s like hiring a salesperson, and having them dress poorly or act poorly on sales calls for your business. But that analogy is really not strong enough because at least you might be able to excuse the performance of 1 salesperson. But your website represents your whole business. The visitor to your website has every reason to believe that every word, every image, every aspect of the site was directed and approved by the leadership of the company. Bottom-line is that a bad website equals bad company. That may not be the truth about your business, but it will definitely be the perception in the minds of most website visitors.
2.) Lost Sales. The loss of professional image we mention here as the first cost of a bad website leads into this second effect which is lost sales. Obviously visitors who are “turned off” by your website presentation will be more likely to leave without a purchase or without making contact. This can be seen in metrics such as bounce rate, and low conversions on calls-to-action on the website. Lost sales can also occur simply because on a bad website a visitor simply might not get the information they need to make a purchase. Maybe they are searching for some details about a product or service you sell, but they don’t find it quickly so they leave to a competitor site. Even a website with a good design, can be a bad site in terms of providing functionality and access to information.
3.) Lost Customers. More often than ever before a website is not just involved in pre-sales or used as a marketing tool. Now the website might also be the portal where clients access their account, review work, or any number of other service options such as support. If your business uses its website in this way, that is generally a positive step forward. But if you have a bad website, it can be a fast way to losing existing customers. Once customers rely on your website for some aspect of service delivery, it has to perform otherwise they will be much more likely to leave to a competitor that has an edge.
4.) Lost Opportunity. Although the first 3 ways a bad website can hurt your business are big, this one might be even bigger in terms of dollars and cents. Every business has the potential to use their website to drive business growth. Many also have the potential to develop ecommerce in one form or another. A business with bad website will not reach its full potential to use digital marketing and its sales and growth will suffer directly as a result. In some businesses, especially start-ups, the lost opportunity is the entire business. If your trying to compete in a marketplace where your competition makes sales faster and at lower cost using online marketing, while your battling for leads using expensive traditional media, that could be enough to put your business in the ground completely.
So what happens to a business once their bad website has sucked away their professional image, their sales, their customers and their future opportunity? Well I can tell you one thing this does not do, and that is help make the business a thriving success! You can be sure that when you see a business with a bad website that is still doing just fine, it’s only despite their website and not because of it. And if you are starting a new business today, realize that as a new entrant to a market the ability to retain customers at a reasonable cost and to develop a positive business image is even more critical than for a long-established competitor.
Here is the good news I want to close this post with if you are in business today. Remember that if every website was good, or better than good, that would set the bar awfully high for you. And you would need to develop something exceptional just to compete. In reality the abundance of low quality, bad websites actually makes digital marketing easier. If you focus on producing a high quality site chances are you will jump ahead of at least 60-70% of competitors in your market. ”
Here at NSquared we hope you enjoyed our “website week”. Contact us for your IT and inbound marketing needs. And let us know if you need a stellar, high-quality website! Have a fantastic, safe weekend. Until next time!