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When a bad website is worse than no website…

It’s been a very long time since we’ve written any news articles, mainly because we’ve been up to our neck in client work (which pays, whereas writing our own articles for SEO purposes only pays indirectly). But over the last 2 years or so we’ve often been asked to give our opinion on client’s existing sites and suggest what might be done to improve them. Sometimes we have to give a candid ( some might say blunt) response which essentially says “your website is doing you more harm than good to your company image”.

For better or worse, a website is often the first contact that a potential customer will have with your ‘brand’. If the website doesn’t fulfil the potential client’s expectation of what you do and how good you are at doing it, they won’t pick up the phone and they’ll mentally cross you off their list of potential suppliers. This actually puts you in a worse situation than them having never seen your website. If they haven’t seen it, you can still call them and not have their perception of your business and skills coloured.

But let’s be clear about what a good website is. It doesn’t necessarily need to have large sums spent on graphic design, Search Engine Optimisation, copywriting, photography, web hosting, etc. It just needs to talk to your customers clearly and concisely.

So forget what you think should be on your website, forget the reputation you have within your sphere of business. Sit back, pour a glass of wine and think about your current customers and who you want to attract in the future. And then ask yourself this question.

If  a potential customer knew nothing about your company, would your current website convince them to pick up the phone?

If that little thought experiment makes you feel uncomfortable*, then you probably know already there’s a problem. And sometimes it helps to have a fresh pairs of eyes look at your business from the outside. If you’d like an impartial review of your current site please don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call 01380 830224.

* We should know – we had this feeling until very recently about our website. We’d been so busy we hadn’t had to time to make our own site Responsive, despite the fact all the websites we were creating as a freelance web developer for our clients look lovely on mobiles and tablets. We knew this didn’t present our skills in the best light and hence felt uncomfortable reaching out to potential new customers. We also knew that the web designers in and around Bath that were finding us through Google searches were wrongly drawing negative conclusions about our competence. A typical example of when a bad site can be worse than no site.

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