You know it’s a bad idea to slap up any old website just to give your business an online presence, but even a decent website can work against you if you’re not careful.
If your site has fallen into any of these three holes, do yourself (and your business) a favor and dig your way out ASAP! If it hasn’t fallen yet, don’t wait until it does! As with so many things, prevention and maintenance are key.
1. “That website is so out of date, it’s practically covered in dust and cobwebs.” Have you ever visited a site to find upcoming events for that business/city/organization, only to discover that they haven’t updated their calendar since last year? How about a website that says “last updated in 2004”, that makes you feel like you just opened a time capsule? Or a local business’ website containing information that is several years old, when you know that they’ve raised their prices and added new services since then? Websites like these tend to confuse people, bringing up questions like “Does this company even exist anymore?”, “Have their prices/offerings changed since 2004?”, “Do they not care enough to keep the site current?”.
2. “This site is so frustrating; every page looks different and makes me feel like I’m going in circles. What a headache!” When every page has a different navigation menu, you have to go back to the home page to get your bearings, and it takes twice as long find what you’re looking for, you feel like you’re on a wild goose chase. To make matters worse, websites like this often have a different design and/or layout for each web page. By contrast, a nice website with a uniform appearance and consistent layout and navigation is so much easier and pleasant to use.
3. “There is so much content on here, I going to lose my mind trying to find what I need. This website needs to do some house cleaning!” Visual clutter causes mental distress, plain and simple. Have you ever seen Hoarding: Buried Alive on TLC? Just looking at the mountains of junk cluttering these peoples’ homes will raise your stress level! Likewise, a website jam-packed with text, links, images, and ads, is an instant turn-off, and difficult to navigate. When searching for information on such a site, people will often give up and go elsewhere to find what they need.
If these problems have one thing in common, it is that they all cause a lot of confusion, which is bad for business. Consumers don’t like to be confused, and they sure don’t want to have to go on a wild goose chase or dig through mountains of clutter to find what they’re looking for.
If you have trouble digging your way out of the hole, or don’t know where to begin, I will be happy to help. To request a free customized quote for design and/or maintenance of your website, simply e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, tell me a bit about your business, and what updates, changes, or facelifts your website needs.
About Barbara Austin
As the graphic designer & founder of Sweet Dreamz Design, Barbara loves working with women entrepreneurs to brand their businesses. She shares a variety of small business advice and anecdotes here on the blog. Check back every week for new tips, inspirations, and how-to articles, or subscribe to get regular updates in your inbox each week!