5 Ways An Outdated Website Can Hurt Your Business
October 8, 2020 - Boston, MA
If you have an outdated website (6+ years old) you're likely hurting your reputation and handing potential clients to your competition.
1. It hurts your reputation
Nothing screams "don't hire us - we can't even get the basics right" like a company lacking a modern, professional website in 2020. Ten or fifteen years ago just having a website was enough, but now people are more savvy - the bar is much higher. If you can't offer visitors a modern website, they'll assume you're not competent or successful enough to investigate much further. Even the most stellar reputation 'offline' takes a big hit the moment they see your outdated web page.
2. It says you don't care about your clients
If you haven't made the effort to ensure a potential client's online experience is modern, pleasant, and clear, they'll suspect your company simply doesn't care about them or their experience. And nobody wants to engage with a business that demonstrates a lack of care and customer service from the very start.
3. It drives business directly to your competition
If a potential client visits your website and finds it old and unattractive, they'll leave. Their next stop will be your competition, where they're sure to find a website more modern and appealing. Of course you'll be none the wiser. Your website will continue producing zero new business, reinforcing your belief that "we shouldn't spend money on a website, because we don't get any new business from it". That kind of thinking has a funny habit of collapsing small businesses in the 21st century.
4. It lowers your Google ranking
Google prefers fresh websites, and officially includes 'freshness' as part of their ranking algorithm. So the older your website and content, the lower it will rank. Every week, month, and year that your website sits idle, Google ranking position is lost, revenue is lost, and opportunities are lost.
5. It creates technology debt
Technology debt, like most debt, is bad - especially in a small business. You can think of it like a trucking company running a fleet of rusty, gas-guzzling trucks. Eventually they'll need to be replaced, but in the meantime two* things are happening: it's costing more to keep using the old trucks, and the cost of new trucks keeps rising. So every year they keep the old fleet they're losing money, and when it's time to buy new ones, it'll be a much bigger investment. The same applies to a website. Every year you wait to update or redesign your website, the outdated one is costing you clients, and a new one gets that much more expensive.
*The third thing that's happening is it looks embarassing and tarnishes the company brand.
Many small business owners neglect their website for far too long. The longer an outdated website is allowed to represent your business, the more damage is done through lost revenue, lost clients and opportunities, and the erosion of a hard-earned reputation. For some small businesses it can mean the difference between success and failure.