Your website is the one tool that will work for your business 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Your website can act as a salesperson, a content marketer, customer support, and a coordinator. A well-designed website engages users, generates conversions and lets visitors know that your business commands respect. Then, there's the other side of the coin…
We’ve seen it a thousand times; the dreaded outdated website. As website specialists and consumers ourselves, suffice it to say that these ugly old things make us cringe for multiple reasons. A website that may have been top-notch even only three years ago can have features that now look outdated, don’t provide accurate information, aren’t converting patients as well as current offerings, and (for older websites) could be turning away traffic to the competition.
Old websites can actually hurt your business. Think of it as curb appeal for the modern age, but with higher informational expectations - after all, what other reason is there to visit a business website than to access services or garner more information about those services? Despite the old adage “don’t judge a book by its cover”, we all know that the reality is that people do, and people are looking. According to a study by PEW Research Institute, 78% of consumers research a product or service online before deciding on their purchase.
Below are some surprising (and not-so-surprising) ways that a website can impact consumer perception, and how it may be making your visitors perceive your business.
1. Outdated Information Equals a Poor Customer Experience
Your website is an extension of your business - potential consumers visit your website with the sole intention of learning more about your services, philosophies, and how you can be accessed.
If the information provided on your website is inaccurate consumers can take this as a reflection of poor customer service or outright laziness. Serious red flags in this regard include incorrect addresses, phone numbers, outdated forms, listing providers that are no longer employed with your business, and service listings that are inaccurate.
Outdated information on a website is simply not an option in today’s technology driven world. Your users expect accuracy and ease of access to the information they need.
2. Your business is perceived as complacent.
Having an outdated website can speak volumes, such as “I don’t care to do more than the minimum”. It’s harsh, but a real example of how outdated websites can impact consumer perceptions. If you think that even just having a website is sufficient and disregard user experience, this can create assumptions that the business itself is managed similarly in practice.
According to one study, conducted by oneupweb, 76.5% of people state that their purchase decisions are impacted by a site looking ‘credible and trustworthy’, which was directly affiliated with having a clean and professional design.
3. They aren’t savvy (or tech savvy).
Yes, even the medical field can be affected by trends and the perception of being hip - especially in practices dependent on elective surgeries such as LASIK.
If your site is ugly and outdated, chances are the millennial demographic (or any demographic, for that matter) sees this as an indication that the business is not with the times or understanding of modern business practices.
What’s more, with most of our websites showing over 40% of their users accessing their website on mobile devices, lack of accessibility on mobile devices makes a business seem negligent towards this pressing consumer need. Non-mobile friendly websites also tend to rank lower in search engine results. One study by Harvard Business Review found that “over 90% of consumers have had one or more deal-breaker digital experiences when using a mobile device to search for customer service information.” Yikes.
4. The business does not think highly of their self-worth.
People are far more likely to support a business that believes in itself. Business narcissism (without pushing the envelope too far) is key - do you want good things for your business? Does your business deserve to be treated to the best? Do you believe in your message and brand? A beautiful, modern website is a way to prove that you are willing to invest in what is best for your business and believe in putting your best face forward. Getting your staff involved in updating and maintaining the website destroys the impression that you may be apathetic to your external impression.
Demanding a beautiful and user-friendly website says that you care about your first impression, and leads people to believe the second impression will be just as good.
Call us biased (we live for beautiful website design!), but countless consumer studies show the above to be major factors in consumer perception and purchasing habits. Glacial Multimedia is one of the medical industry’s leading website design and marketing companies - if your website is outdated, it may be time to give us a call.