Slow, sluggish websites are dated and costing you money

Your business is constantly evolving. If you don’t keep your website on pace with those changes, it leaves customers in the dark—or even misinforms them. Your website is dated.

Your website is not a static brochure. Instead, it is a living document reflecting your business and how you interact with visitors and customers.

Current relevant information?

One of my colleagues has a service-based business in the beauty/spa niche. She has always been super focused on keeping her clients safe and protected before and during the pandemic. I know she has worked hard to exceed every recommendation by the state health department.

Recently, she completed a major expansion, so I visited her website to see what changes she might have implemented.  

I was more than a little stunned to find absolutely nothing about safety precautions on her website. 

Some services include breaking the skin barrier as in skin pigmentation (aka permanent cosmetics or tattooing.) Yet, there was nothing about current policies, extra disinfecting steps, or protocols to keep staff and customers safe. 

Unfortunately, it came across that they either don’t think there are any concerns or that they aren’t doing anything.

A key attribute of what makes her Unique is entirely missing. Despite what I knew, it made me pause to consider how I would feel about going into the business. There were no confidence builders—trust factors. Her website is dated.

Dated website or missing information will cost you $$$

I’ve seen this with many businesses I’ve worked with over the years.  A company creates a website, and then the focus shifts away from it.  The website stops getting attention. It’s no longer a daily, weekly, monthly maintenance component, like ordering supplies or doing a social media post.  

When a website sits static or doesn’t have what viewers are looking for, search engines start skipping it. Lack of activity, updates, or revisions and it starts to disappear. 

A sluggish, slow, dated website discourages visitors, and your business can enter a downward spiral.  

Consider all the components behind the scenes and those that are visitor-facing.  What can you delegate? What do you have time and the skillsets to handle yourself? 

I know I’ll never keep up with daily or weekly behind-the-scenes tasks. I want my web host to handle those. Backups, system and component updates, performance checks

Remember that poor performance, slow-loading images, and dated or missing information each carry a price tag. You may have to pay for it to be there. You will also pay for it not being there.

Consider what concerns your visitors and customers may have specific to your business niche. For example, for restaurants and services, it may be health and safety. 

For others like suppliers, vendors, or manufacturers, it may be product availability.  

Guidelines keep changing and will continue to do so. So we must continue to address these issues and make sure the most up-to-date information is readily available without them having to ask.

Secret:

Nothing happens until it makes your calendar. So the easiest way to keep your website on target is to add web checks and updates to your task calendar. 

I note on my calendar tasks that I need to do and how frequently they need action. For the delegated tasks, you do need to periodically spot-check their completion.  

Consider things like: 

  • Images tagged with alternative descriptions
  • Images optimized for quick loading
  • Videos optimized for loading speed and performance
  • Broken links repaired
  • Backlinks and cross-links to optimize SEO

Treat web updates and optimization with equal importance to any other aspect of your marketing.

Three techniques to improve content

Confidence building pages

There are three vital confidence-building pages—the about you page, the spam protection page, and the privacy page.  

The About page tells your visitors how you help them.  So often, this is misunderstood and turns into a blurb all about the company. It accomplishes much more if it focuses on how the company serves and benefits the visitor and customer.

Your spam protection page shares how you protect visitors from spam and establishes use policies.  Similarly, the privacy page shares how you maintain customer privacy and protect their personal information. 

Some companies share or rent list information. Other businesses set themselves apart by never sharing list data with any outside marketers.

What changes can you share?

People love updates and being in the know of changes and happenings.  When we feel like an insider, we feel like part of a team, a tribe. It enhances our feelings of status, importance, and inclusivity.

  • Share what’s new, exciting, and changing. For example, will you offer live or virtual events, a podcast, a report, or feature a new product?
  • Staff stories are great to share. Include your team member’s achievements and accomplishments. 
  • Share how a new or favorite product or service developed and evolved to offer enhanced value and benefit to the customers. 
  • Today’s customers want to know how you protect your community, staff, and the environment. Share your values and how you give back to impact purchases and loyalty.
  • Don’t forget customer successes. Real people’s stories have the strongest impact on buying decisions. They allow the viewer to see their problem solved and offer hope.

Testimonials are a bonus to every page,

It used to be that testimonials had a dedicated page. Now we’ve learned they can play a significant role and help viewers along their shopping journey when included on every page as appropriate.

For inspiration, check out Amazon. Most buyers don’t just read the product description. They also click on the reviews and see what people have to say—positive and negative. Don’t be afraid to have a weakness or a less a five-star comment. 

Less than stellar reviews are opportunities.  You can learn from them and improve your product. Resolving questions or problems helps the person who puts forth the issue and those considering a purchase.

Reviews and testimonials are a super valuable resource for any business. Free, unsolicited feedback to help you grow your business.  

When I work with clients,

I always do a quick website analysis to identify what might be slowing down—anything from how it operates or creates bumps for the viewer. I help them create a tracking calendar to stay on top of both backside front-facing issues. And I help them continually add new, relevant, and useful value content for their target audience.  www.jculpcreativecopy.com.