Why An Outdated Website Cost You More Than You Think
Today’s websites are like shop fronts. They are essential to every business, yet often overlooked and neglected once they are put up. In fact, websites – with outdated information and old technology – damage brand reputation and turn away customers. Still not convinced? Here are reasons why an outdated website cost you more than you think.
First impression matters, especially on the web. An Adobe report revealed that 89 per cent of global consumers stop viewing online content when it fails to meet their expectations. After all, consumers want content that display up-to-date information and load well on their screens. An old or outdated website sends the wrong signals to potential customers. To them, it sounds as though the company can’t be bothered. Or that it isn’t trustworthy or credible. Worst still – and most commonly so – they might think that the company is out of business.
Over time, this can hurt brand reputation among customers and affect sales negatively. As the world’s population becomes even more tech-savvy in the future, this can create far greater problems down the road. Website redesigns help companies engage with customers once more, portraying a fresh and relevant image.
Consumers like to compare websites from similar companies, especially with the ease of a Google search. Basically, outdated websites stick out like a sore thumb. Not only would they give bad impressions, they would also drive consumers towards competitors.
When consumers are unable to get what they intended to find, they would just switch to another page. They do not have the patience nor time to sift through the website for information they want. Ultimately, it shows that competitors put more effort into consumer engagement. As such, having an obsolete website actually helps competitors at your own expense.
Lack of synergy with current marketing strategy
Many companies forget that their online presences are integral parts of marketing. At the end of the day, consumers do not separate online or offline content. How companies portray themselves online affect them too. In fact, outdated websites can backfire on current marketing strategies due to the projection of conflicting images.
A suitable web redesign will send consumers a coherent message about the brand’s personality and values. This is especially important if the company is in the middle of a rebranding exercise. The new website will set the foundation and build trust and credibility among the consumers.
Lose out on mobile users
Mobile usage is King now. According to media agency Zenith, mobile devices will contribute to 75% of all Internet usage in 2017, an increase from 71% in the previous year. Unfortunately, older websites are not suited for mobile usage. Because mobile screens are smaller than their desktop counterparts, websites that do not have a mobile version will appear out of proportion or misaligned.
Google reports that consumers are five times more likely to leave the website if it is difficult to read or load on mobile. Essentially, mobile users feel frustrated and want to leave the page when they have to “zoom around“ and press on tiny buttons.
To make matters worse, Google is also penalising websites that do not have mobile-friendly versions. This means that outdated websites will rank lower in Google searches, making it harder for consumers to find. In the long run, this would reduce brand awareness, as potential customers are unable to find the company in the first place.
These technological limitations extend beyond mobile too. Some older websites still use 1990s technologies such as Flash. However, they do not run on Apple devices anymore. Similarly, browsers such as Chrome, Safari and Firefox have all stopped supporting Flash plug-ins, rendering it obsolete. These outdated third-party tools only make websites run less efficiently, giving the impression that the company is technologically incompetent.