Your website is a portal where people interact with your business. The internet is open 24/7 and doesn’t require salespeople to cover the sales floor, so it is essentially effortless on your part as the business owner. Our world is a technology-dominant society, so you should of your website as an online storefront for your business.
What is the first thing the majority of people do when investigating a new doctor, lawyer, restaurant, auto repair shop? They go online and they research the service of interest. Sometimes, this is the only interaction a potential customer will have with your business.
81% of shoppers research their product online before purchasing, according to a 2019 study by GE Capital Retail Bank.
A poorly maintained website deters people from using your business for their needs. There is nothing more frustrating to users than when a website contains broken links (links that don’t work or redirect to the wrong page), looks outdated, or is simply slow to load. When there is no accurate current information, such as contact info or in-store sales, on the website, or when the user interface is not easily navigable you will lose your potential customer. We all know that customers buy from companies they trust. Having a secure, fast, simple, and current website instills trust. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that your audience won’t care about your website and will still go to your store or call or email you. A poor website will have lost their trust and in turn, this lowers customer retention, search engine and keyword rankings, your business’s professional image, and ultimately its revenue.
In addition to a decrease in customer satisfaction and search engine rankings, not properly maintaining a website can also pose a security risk for your business. Without an experienced professional actively checking your site to ensure that there have been no security breaches, the likelihood that something undesirable will happen is high.
This will create a nightmare scenario for your business.
Poor Web Maintenance Lowers Potential and Current Customer Experience
Websites are typically the first impression that people will have with your business. Out-of-date websites or unappealing design can negatively affect user experience. This, coupled with poor web maintenance, will negatively influence your business’s professional image and make the user less likely to take interest in what you have to offer. An engaging website with up-to-date information, helpful links, current news updates, and easily understandable and navigable formatting will communicate to users that the business has is trustworthy.
Imagine what you would like to see out of a website if you were a potential customer. What would poor maintenance say to you?
A Small Business’s Search Engine Ranking Could Take a Hit with Poor Web Maintenance
Not only does lack of maintenance on your site visibly make a difference, but could also lower your ranking with search engines—that’s a double whammy! Search engines will push websites with older content below their competitors. Additionally, Google is using user experience metrics such as page load speed as a ranking factor in their algorithm. This will cause big issues for your business, like losing customers over an extended period of time because they will find your competitors first.
Security Risk Increases from Poor Web Maintenance
Last and, in my personal opinion, most important, security risks increase when a business owner is figuratively “not looking.” Contrary to popular belief, cybercriminals prey on small businesses because they typically lack the resources, and sometimes, an understanding of the importance of cybersecurity details, like web maintenance. Unfortunately, too many small business owners have become victims of terrible cyber crimes and identity theft because of poor online security hygiene.
While user experience and search engine rankings are critically important to your business’s success, this reason most prominently highlights the need for an experienced web development professional to do maintenance on a website. Security is foundational for a good website, and once the foundation of any “built structure” is compromised, it could spell disaster for the entire organization.
Neglecting proper website maintenance is a sure way to cause headaches for yourself and your team. Avoid the chaos, headaches, and less-than-desirable situations, and be proactive about website maintenance! Looking for someone to maintain your website? Our experienced web professionals want to help your business become successful and stay safe. Get started with us today.