Why you hesitate to overhaul your online presence
So, your business website has been bugging you for a while. Every time it pops up in your browser window, all those little elements you’re not happy with combine to taunt you:
- The aging design
- The listed services that you no longer offer
- The broken elements
- Those social media links that go to abandoned accounts
- The neglected Recent News section
- The lack of leads it’s delivering to your business
But despite all these pain points, you still haven’t bitten the bullet and taken any action to improve your online presence. Maybe you are using one or more of these common excuses to justify your lack of action:
1. I don’t have the time
Yes, we hear you. You are busy running a business, serving your clients and connecting with your professional networks. On top of this you may have a family that needs you or (gasp!) even a hobby that hasn’t been completely neglected. It may seem that you can’t fit one more thing in right now, and next month/quarter/year will be better.
But is that mythical day when you have the clear space and energy to devote to a big project ever going to arrive? Realistically, it’s probably not going to happen. And the longer you delay, the crustier your old website is going to get.
It’s true, an important project like a major website redesign and restructure will take time and you will need to make decisions. However, there are ways to ensure these projects take up as little of your time as possible.
Hire an expert
One of the best things you can do to save time and reduce workload is to hire an expert you can trust to do most of the hard graft. Select a website design studio with a good track record in developing sites for your type of industry or organisation. An experienced business website designer will understand what works. They will be up to date with the tools and functionality that will help you achieve your goals (and know which ones to steer away from). Although a top-quality designer will cost more than freelancers and DIY, they bring expertise and resources to the table that you wouldn’t otherwise have access to. This saves you time and helps your business drive more revenue.
Don’t chop and change
Look for a company that can help you pull together all the elements of your website such as design, content and development. If you need to shop around for different skills and communicate between parties, it will eat into your time. Content delivery is the most common delay for web design projects, with timeframes derailed as designers wait and wait for web copy and images to be supplied. A web studio that has an in-house copywriter or a strong network of tried and tested contacts like writers and photographers is the best starting point.
Take a hands-off approach
Finally (and this is hard to say to some business owners) – try not to micromanage the project or invite everyone on your staff or in your family to have a say in your new web design. You can save a lot of time by giving feedback when requested at key development points, rather than constantly wanting to input. If there are several people in your organisation who need to chip into decision-making, it’s best to appoint one coordinator who has a final say on the direction that will be taken, rather than attempting ‘design by committee’. This will help avoid contradictory directions that cost time and money on web projects.
2. I can’t afford it
A professionally designed, customised website created by an experienced Australian designer is likely to set you back between $3,000 and $10,000 – more if you want advanced functionality. Undoubtedly, it is a significant investment and it won’t make financial sense for every business to pay for this standard of website. But for many businesses that are losing potential clients and revenue due to an inadequate website, ‘I can’t afford it’ is a knee jerk reaction that can mean several things. Two common schools of thought are:
I think I can get the same results without spending that much money
Sure, there are web designers out there that can do you a website for $500. There are even local freelancers who can get you a nice looking result for a couple of thousand. And every year there are more drag and drop builders on the market that allow you to create your own website for virtually nothing. Will you get the same website for less money? It’s extremely doubtful. There is a vast difference between an experienced web design studio that understands the business environment in which you are operating, a freelancer who specialises in simple and attractive websites for start-ups, and an offshore agency. You certainly can get a website that costs a lot less than a website specialist would charge, but it is unlikely to be of the same quality or have the same level of strategy behind it.
I am prioritising spending my funds elsewhere
Sometimes “I can’t afford” it means “I have other priorities”. New office equipment, corporate entertainment, travel and staff are other big-ticket items that businesses may be spending on. It is up to the business owner to define which investment will make the biggest difference to their operations. With the average Australian salary for a sales person starting at $50,000pa, a $10,000 website that will act as a round the clock sales agent for your business for several years seems very affordable in comparison. The bottom line is, your website should be a tool that is working to generate leads and revenue for your business. Until your website becomes a priority, it will be viewed as an expense rather than an investment.
3. I’m fond of my old site
Understandably, we all have a fondness for our first site (particularly if you poured hours into building it yourself as many cash strapped business owners did). Maybe your daughter did your logo and your son helped sort out your hosting (or vice versa). Perhaps it’s more about the investment you made several years ago (although in economic terms, this is a sunk cost that can’t be recovered and in traditional economic thinking, shouldn’t affect your future decisions).
- The fact is, if you are running a business, it might be time to see your beautiful first born in the harsh light of day. You need to consider an overhaul of your old website if:
- Your business has evolved, your brand has shifted, or your target market has changed and your old website is hanging onto the past
- There are technical problems such as lack of mobile responsiveness, a slow or hacked site that can frustrate users, create a security risk, and harm your search engine results
- The content is outdated or was an afterthought to begin with, and users can’t easily find the information they are looking for
- You can’t add the sort of functionality that would make a difference to the effectiveness of your marketing or business operations
- It isn’t easy to use or update, putting staff and customers off from visiting and using it
- Visitors don’t know how to or aren’t inspired to take the next step and secure your services or buy your product
- It simply doesn’t look good and is harming your business image
Ditch the excuses
If your website has been bothering you for a while but you keep coming up with excuses not to fix it, it can be useful to ask yourself: “what difference will it make to my business in 12 months’ time if I make the change now?”
As most business gurus will tell you, effective decisions are made by looking at future impact, not past actions. We know from customer feedback that a website redesign can provide a huge boost to small businesses, not just with online conversions but in their level of business confidence. If your online presence matches the quality you know your business provides, it’s far easier to promote what you do with zeal.
If you have been avoiding sending prospects to your website because you know it’s not where you want it to be, it might be time to ditch the excuses. The sooner you make the decision, the sooner your business will get the online boost you have been waiting for.
Is it time to make the move?
Contact us for an obligation free chat about improving your web presence