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Is My Website Out-of-Date and Do I Still Need a Website?

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With so many ways to communicate today is a website still a necessity?
Can't I just have a instagram page?

Sorry, but no. You still need a website AND a facebook, instagram, twitter, etc. (I’ll discuss which social network is right for you in a future blog.)

Look at it this way. The more ways your IDEAL client/customer can find, interact and patronize your business or project the better. We want our old customers coming back for more and to attract new potential devoted fans. 

 

First impressions count and are lasting.

Attention spans are short these days and only getting shorter. A clean, quick and well designed website is a great indication of how your business will operate. 

Young people are particularly savvy about design and spotting dated/ lame stock images. So be careful with stock photos. Many of them look phony and posed. Fortunately there are amazing new stock photo companies like twenty20 that have a wealth of more real-world, authentic images to choose from. And If you can afford a great photographer all the better. Your designer can likely recommend a few photographers they will work along side with to capture your true personality and everything that makes your business unique.

 

What should my website contain?

Gone are the days when you put everything and the kitchen sink on your website because you could. Today, people want to find what they're looking for in the fastest way possible. Sometimes that means they’ll forgo typing in a web address or search if they can find you quicker on facebook. EVERY SECOND COUNTS. 

There is a three click rule with websites. If people can’t find what they’re looking for in 3 clicks they will leave. So you need to have everything important listed on your homepage. Contact, hours, location, what you do, services you provide and "about us" are the most important examples. And high quality images and/or video examples of the above. Have a lead capture form? Another invaluable option you should consider. 

 

According to a study completed at Stanford University:

75% of people judge the credibility of your business based on the design of your website alone!

Yes, 75%.

 

 

Be social.

Timely updates should be shared via your social networks as soon as freaking possible. If you wait a day or even a minute, chances are it's old news. 

 

Be mobile.

If you're website is not responsive or "mobile friendly" you should have that resolved as soon as possible. If there is one thing your website needs, it's this.
And if your website is responsive are the contacts active? Meaning, you should be able to simply tap a phone number or email to contact your business or tap an address that opens a google map to your location. 

Need further proof?

79% of ALL internet use this year will be on mobile.

 

 

Keep it simple. 

If you can have everything on one page, great. Websites with additional content are often interesting to explore for potential clients/customers looking to learn more. The best option is to have all the important contact info on the homepage and if people want to read further they have that option. 

According to Google, 53% of mobile users abandon sites that take longer than three seconds to load. The lesson? Don’t make people go searching for your info or they will go elsewhere. 

It's best not to get bogged down with trying to make something hyper custom especially if you are, for example, a donut shop or an exterminator. The longer you spend on building a website the sooner it will become outdated and the more business you could lose. For example, a company I did work for went through two designers, spent two years time and massive amounts of money to have a website that almost immediately looked outdated, was difficult to navigate and performed poorly.

Remember, keep. it. simple.

 

Good design need not be flashy.

I use Squarespace for all my sites. They have great options, are secure, easy to build and update, and have built-in search engine optimization (SEO).

Once you’re site is up and running don’t forget to have it listed by Google business. This makes it possible for people in your area to find you. 

 

When should I update my website?

It's a lot to consider. Fortunately, websites are no longer rocket science. With a little help from a skilled designer you can have an amazing looking website up and running in no time. if your website is 3 years old or older, you need to update it. If you think it's out of date it probably is.

 

Good Design Matters,
Aron Gagliardo
Design AGO