What is Your Business Website Saying?

Did you know that  75% of web users admit that they judge a business based on the design of their website? A Stanford Web Credibility study proved it back in 2002.  If it were true 10 years ago, imagine how true it is in today’s ‘connected’ society!  I guarantee that number is higher today, probably somewhere closer to 95%!!

Smartphones, tablets and other portable computing devices have given us all the ability to research any business we may be interested in quickly and easily.  Your business website has become your first impression, and we all know that first impressions are vitally important.

How long has it been since you thought about the kind of impression your website is making?  You’d think that every business person would be thinking about it, right?  You’d be wrong.  I recently did a search for local businesses to conduct my own research.

What did I discover? 10% had what could be considered an up to date website that was a great representation of their companies.  40% were poor representations, due to the fact they were outdated, static websites that looked like they’d been collecting dust for 10 to 20 years.  And a whopping 50% of the businesses that I looked for online didn’t even have a website!  ( And no, a Facebook Page doesn’t count!)

I live in an area hard hit by this economy, so I’m totally baffled that none of these businesses have seen a need to build and/or update their websites so that people can find them online!  Not to mention the fact that we are located in what’s come to be called a ‘data center corridor‘ with companies like Apple, Facebook and Google calling the foothills of North Carolina home.

How embarrassing is it that businesses in  an area located within this corridor don’t even place an importance on a business website?

And  it’s not just here, I can remember doing  similar searches when I lived in Maine and Virginia, and while Virginia’s numbers were much better, Maine was downright dismal.  Sadly, it appears there are still plenty of business owners out there with the mistaken idea that ‘their’ customers aren’t using the ‘Internet’.  Or if they are, all they care about seeing is a page that gives the business name, address and business hours.  And these same business owners are struggling to stay alive in today’s economic climate.

So what is your website saying about your business?

  • If you have no website whatsoever, it tells people you’re not interested in finding new customers that use computers, smart phones and tech devices to find answers to their needs. (That’s a LOT of people you’re alienating)
  • If your website is seriously outdated,never updated and lacks mobile optimization  it’s causing people to question whether you’re still in business, and if you are whether you’re still relevant.
  • If your website doesn’t work correctly, takes forever to load,  blasts unwanted music and/or is filled with broken links and images it’s telling people you don’t care what type of experience they get.

There really is no excuse for not having an up to date business website.  It’s a better investment than the Yellow Pages and other print advertisements, and price is no longer an obstacle. Truly professional, business websites are very affordable if built on a platform like WordPress, even if you have to hire someone to build it for you.

If you’re a business looking to increase sales or customers, perhaps you should examine just what it is that your website is saying.


Tina Marie Hilton provides online technology services to forward thinking businesses. She writes on her Tips from T.Marie business blog to share insight and information with other small businesses and entrepreneurs. It also makes her feel like that certificate in creative writing isn't going to waste completely.