This week I talked to two different organizations whose top managers have a serious difference of opinion. On one side, some of the managers cannot believe their colleagues would allow an outdated, un-optimized-for-search-engines website represent the organization to prospects and customers! The other side doesn’t believe they will ever get qualified leads online and just don’t see any need whatsoever to update the website, let alone optimize it for the search engines.
Here are the top five reasons management should consider keeping their site updated with a fresh look and feel, accurate content, and current technology. (Note: some of these stats are from the Earnest blog.)
- 9 of 10 buyers say that when they’re ready to buy, they’ll find you. (Source: DemandGen Report) Let’s face it – in today’s marketing world, buyers are in control. They don’t want to be sold to until they have a genuine need. And, when they have the need, most are gonna start by searching online (see next reason).
- 62% of executives over 50 and 81% under 50 use online search daily for business intelligence. (Source: Forbes Insight – The Rise of the Digital C-Suite) As younger generations move up in the workforce, the executives who make the decisions are the ones who grew up in the information world. They like to get information themselves and use Internet searches to do so.
- 96% of journalists use corporate websites when conducting online research. (Cision & The George Washington University) If your prospects aren’t searching online, the media certainly is. One of the big benefits of getting found online is getting called by journalists who need your expertise and can quote you in the press.
- Outdated content and “look and feel” of your website IS noticed by customers and prospects. Do you still use your brochure from 1985 with outdated colors, content, font, photos and style? (Please say, “No!”) When a prospect is deciding between different providers, your materials create a perception. Do you want your website to be old and outdated or new and fresh?
- The cost of developing websites has come down dramatically in the last five years. If you spent thousands (or even tens of thousands) years ago for your website, you will spend only a fraction of the original cost to update it now. Also, if you leased your website through a proprietary service that developed it and hosted it, you can probably save thousands a year by paying an independent developer to create a new site that you own and host with a cost-effective third party service. Use of open source programming code, templated web pages, and cascading style sheets (CSS) instead of table-driven coding make website development much more efficient.
If your website was created five or more years ago, it’s time to update it. Out with the old and in with the new. Make sure your online presence is appealing to all generations and that it shines over your competitors! With the falling cost of web development, you almost can’t afford not to update your website.