Animals breathe. Humans breathe. It’s the essence of life. Without oxygen, life wouldn’t exist on this planet.
What about your website? Does it breathe?
What I mean by this is whether or not your website shows signs of life.
When I scroll through the websites of home service companies such as painters, electricians, and landscapers, I often find that their websites aren’t breathing. The site hasn’t been updated in years. There is no blog. The pictures are boring and old. The copy falls flat.
Those are what I call dead sites.
With over two billion users on the internet, it’s easy to see why it’s important for small businesses to have a web presence.
But do you know why it matters what your website looks like and how it’s structured?
Today, I’m going to give you five reasons why your website needs to breathe.
You Only Get One First Impression
Let’s face it. The first impression that you make on someone, whether it’s in a social setting, romantic setting, or professional setting, is important. That’s why people buy nice clothes, have their favorite pictures of themselves on social media and apps, and dress for success when going into an interview.
Your company is no different.
The first impression that you make on your customers is the most important. When someone visits your website, what is the first thing that comes to mind?
The answer should be that you and your company are professional.
Before anyone calls you, comes into your storefront, or orders something online, you better believe that they’re finding everything that they can about your company online. If you have poorly written copy or amateur photographs, you’re going to come off as an amateur.
If you’re concerned about what kind of impression you’re making, consider adding the following to your site if you haven’t already:
- Regular updates with information that is highly relevant and valuable to your customers
- Quick, easy, and accessible answers to any questions that your customers may have
- Testimonials and reviews from your satisfied customers
- A comment section so that your customers can interact with you and your content
These are just a few of the initial ways that you can give your website the appearance that it and your company are both breathing.
SEO is Super Important
Although the days of stuffing keywords into your website to rank high in Google searches are over, SEO is still one of the most important aspects of a company’s digital marketing strategy.
One of the most important ranking factors, when Google crawls your site, is whether or not it perceives your website to be helpful to people.
Do you think that a website that hasn’t been updated in a year or two is helpful?
You need to be producing strong content (preferably on a regular basis) to help show both Google and your customers that you are active and engaged with your industry.
It’s Costing You Business
Although having a website is one of the most important things that your small business can have, you’re generally better off not having a website at all if you aren’t putting any time, effort, or money into your site.
When you don’t have a website, you’re missing out on a ton of opportunity, but your company doesn’t necessarily look bad.
When you do have a website (and it looks awful), you’re actually giving your customers a negative impression of your company. Thus, if you’re going to have a website, you want to make sure that it looks good and is encouraging customers to trust you.
People are Online
It’s 2017. The internet is almost everywhere. Back in 1995, less than 1% of the entire world was on the internet. Today, over 40% of the entire world is using the internet.
Think about how many people that is for just a moment (it’s over 3 billion for those that don’t want to do the math).
The internet isn’t exactly trending downward, which only means that more and more people are getting online with each day that passes.
Where do you think those people are going to go to make their purchases and find the companies that they want to use?
Here are a couple of quick statistics to help show you just how important an online presence is for a business:
- 51% of American shoppers prefer shopping online to shopping in person (61% of millennials)
- Around 96% of Americans have purchased something online at some point in their life, and around 80% of Americans have purchased something online in the past month alone
- Ecommerce is growing rapidly (23% year-over-year), and almost half of all small businesses don’t even have a website
If you want to be a successful business now, and especially in the future, you need a strong website.
It Tells People What is Important
The next time that you find yourself on a website, think about the way that it is structured. What information is at the top? What jumps out to you the most?
Site hierarchy is one of the most important aspects of web design, and those who are ignoring likely don’t even know what information they are portraying to their visitors.
When you visit a website that breathes, you can scan it with ease and understand the most important information (most people only scan websites anyway). Whether it’s video, calls to action, or well-made graphics, a site that breathes grabs your attention right away.
If you have a static site, it’s likely that people are going to leave within the first few seconds of it loading.
Although it may seem like your website doesn’t matter that much (especially if you aren’t a web-based business), it’s much more important than you can imagine.
There’s no way of telling how much business you’ve lost by having an ugly website that drives people away from your company.
Take an honest look at your website, and have someone else look it over as well if you aren’t familiar with web design principles.
Your business (and wallet) will thank you.