Let’s face it. Your website is a big deal.
Your website represents you, but when a prospective customer is on your website, simply put, you’re not there. You’re not sitting with you customer seeing their interactions. You’re not seeing their frustrations and disappointments. And certainly – calling you and telling you about their experience isn’t a priority for your busy prospect.
But just because you’re not seeing the issues your customers are having, that doesn’t mean those issues aren’t having a negative effect. Here are three reasons why a bad website is killing your brand.
Reason #1: Your customers assume your product or service is low-quality
I used to live by an Albertson’s that was, let’s say, a bit “run down”. My wife and I lived within a few blocks of the grocery store for a good 2 or 3 years. Despite it being very convenient from a time and access standpoint, we probably only went to that Albertsons once or twice. Why?
- Was it because the had low-quality products?
- Were their prices off?
- Was the customer service bad?
Nope. We never shopped there because the presentation was simply terrible. It was the kind of grocery store that would have one of the lighted letters in their name out for 2 months at a time. The parking lot was poorly designed with trash scattered about. Panhandlers were rampant. Grocery carts we old and janky looking.
Had we shopped there more often, it’s likely that we would have liked their selection and customer service. Unfortunately, though, we projected the external attributes of the building on the entirety of the grocery store. Can you see how your customer could do this with your website?
- Does your website feel “templately”? – customers may believe that they’ll miss the personal touch working with you.
- Is your website design cheesy or unprofessional? – prospects may project that on your services. They may be concerned that working with you will be unprofessional.
- Does your website feel cheap? – your buyers may come to the conclusion that you don’t spend the money in order to create a solid product.
Unfortunately, your customer will rarely tell you if they have any of these experiences. Well, they’ll tell you in a sense, when they chose not to do business with you.
Okay, so what next?
Reason #2: Your customers and prospects are getting irritated
Another way your website can hurt your brand is when components don’t function properly.
Does your website load quickly? Do your forms work? Is it easy to check out your cart?
Again, your prospects will rarely express their frustrations to you. They’ll just leave. You’ve had that experience right? In fact, one study reported that “62% of online shoppers will wait 5 seconds or less for a page to load before they leave.”
What about forms? If a form isn’t working in a certain browser, would you have the patience to try in a different browser? Do you even have multiple browsers installed on your computer? Would you reach out to the company to tell them their form isn’t working?
It’s tempting to think that because your website is mostly working that everything is fine. But I assure you, everything is not fine. Big success in marketing comes from smaller, cascading marketing successes. It’s about getting a myriad of pieces in order and setting an environment up where your customer can do business with you. If one of those crucial pieces aren’t working (i.e. site speed, messaging, forms, not understanding your customer, driving traffic, etc.) then it can mess up your entire pipeline.
Avoid frustrating your clients by ensuring that all of the moving pieces on your website are in order and working as they should.
Next, let’s talk about your content.
Reason #3: Your customers find your company confusing
Along with a low-quality website or a website that isn’t functioning properly, another huge problem for your brand is a confusing website.
Here, I’m talking mostly about your messaging and your content:
- Are your products all up to date?
- Do you have items that you’re advertising that you don’t sell anymore?
- Are your latest products and product features listed on your website?
- Are all of your services adequately represented?
How about consistency with your outbound marketing? Does your message match the ads that you’re promoting? Is your website consistent with the message that your sales force is pitching?
In other words, and out-dated website from a content perspective can be very confusing for your visitors. At my agency, Jordan Crown, we’ve seen this regularly. The website that the client is currently using is representing the wrong company. It’s representing where the company was 5 years ago, not where they are today.
Making sure your content is current, well organized and concise will help your prospects see who you are, what you have to offer and will guide them to the next step- hopefully, a slamdunk purchase or form submission. And that’s the goal, right?
Well, I hope you found this post helpful.
Making sure that your website has a high-quality design, is in working order, and has consistent messaging will work to protect your brand and make a great first impression with your prospects. But it takes vision. You have to believe that the little things matter. You have to believe that your customers and your brand are negatively impacted when your website is sub par.
Working on your website takes time. It takes money. It takes gusto. But remember, your website is always selling. It’s always representing you and it’s an investment that’s surely worthy of your time.
Joe Ardeeser is the owner and operator at Jordan Crown web design (www.jordancrown.com) – a design agency in the Seattle area. Joe founded his company 10 years ago and they provide premium marketing websites to small to mid-sized businesses. As a seasoned professional in the creative industry, Joe comes with over 15 years of hard-earned experience. His greatest enjoyment comes from business building and business development- whether that’s improving the company’s sales process or figuring out how to bring on the highest level of talent. He lives in Moscow, Idaho with his wonderful wife Kaitlin and their three young boys Owen, Evan & Jack.