Top 14 Reasons Your Clients Should Update Their Websites.

Here are 14 important reasons your clients should consider updating their websites – it’s good to know these things but also keep in mind that you don’t want to offend your potential client by criticizing their website (and you never know when the client’s son or nephew created the website for them, so tread lightly when critiquing any client’s advertising or marketing work). But it is important to know the reasons someone might want to update their website AND to think about what objections someone might have before you go in to your next sales appointment. One thing I can tell you is that websites are a very popular advertising project and clients constantly want and request for work to be done on their sites. So you may as well let your clients know that we do this type of work and have many decades of experience creating websites for people and making them WORK. Too many people say they don’t get leads from their website, and if your client says this, it’s time for them to have a new website.

If your client’s website isn’t functioning properly…

Something is obviously wrong (my dad use to say that’s a “Keen insight into the obvious”). Links may be broken, pages aren’t loading properly, functionality isn’t available or perhaps it looks awful on a cell phone…..there are many things that can go wrong with a website and it’s often due to the fact that people don’t update their sites frequently enough. Browsers and platforms are changing at a rapid pace and this means your client’s websites most likely need to be updated or even redone.

The problem is that clients don’t realize how often their websites need to be updated – and how often a site needs updating is related to many external influencers. Things that change may be: how often is the programming language changing (the language that was used to create a website), how often do the search engines change their protocols, how often are any secondary programs changing – things like plug-ins, applications or applets, etc., and so on)

If you open your client’s website on your cell phone, and it looks “microscopic”…

That’s a quick way to determine how old their site is. All new sites are being developed to look good in the mobile environment (on cell phones, iPads, etc.).   The best way to tell if a site is old or new is the size of the site on the page. The newest sites are all “responsive” – this means that the sites automatically resize depending on how big or small the monitor is (i.e. the monitor or screen that the client is using to view the site.) So in other words, if the site is up to date, it will look as good (and be as easy to interact with) on a 70” computer monitor as it looks on a mobile telephone’s 3” screen (note: I said it will look as good but it won’t look the same). .

If no one can tell what your client does (in less than 20 seconds)

20 seconds can seem like a really long time when you’re surfing the web and if a potential customer can’t figure out what you do in 20 seconds or less, then they’re surely going to leave your site. Most web programmers don’t have the advertising strategy skills to be able to help clients figure out what to say and where to put each piece of text. It sounds simple but many people leave a website because they can’t figure out what a website’s about {in a reasonable amount of time} – and in the world of websites, 20 seconds is an eternity! The fact that most people hire web programmers (not even designers) to crate their websites is good news for you. It’s good news because it’s a GREAT selling angle to get your sales pitch started.   If your potential client is thinking of hiring us VS. a web programmer – that gives you the opportunity to remind them that having a great website – a website that works – is the only reason to have a website. If the site doesn’t work then they might as well forget it. And to get a website that works – they not only need a well-programmed site – a website that works properly – but they also need a well designed and well written site.   A web programmer may be able to properly program the site from a technical aspect but can they design the site so it is consistent with your client’s branding? Will site visitors know they are at your client’s website when they first arrive? Or does the site look so different that they have to read in order to figure out where they are? And if the web programmer can’t write well…how long do you think a visitor will stay on your site to figure out who you are and what you do? They most likely won’t stick around long enough to figure out who you are and what you do and certainly not long enough to make a decision to buy your product or service.

If your customer’s clients can’t quickly and easily determine “where they are”…

…nor figure out what your customer sells, then the website isn’t working the way it should, and your client won’t get the business they need to justify the cost of creating a new website. In the old days we used to do all sorts of fancy stuff with website’s navigation menus but we quickly learned that people won’t stay on a site if they can’t find what they’re looking for quickly. If your site doesn’t have a great (and by that I mean SIMPLE) navigation system, it’s time for a new site.

If your client’s website looks ugly or out of date…

…that will make it easier (in terms of selling) to get the client to agree to a new website. You may want to say something like “The important thing in any advertising project is to appeal to your target market” (because it is really not important if you or I like it – it’s only important if your target market likes it). So you may want to show your client what some of the newer full-screen websites look like and point out to them what you think looks good about the site (or more importantly how the way the site looks probably appeals to the company’s target market). You may also want to create a chart that lists all the client’s competitive websites and talk about how those sites look, what they are trying to say about “who they are” and how your client’s new site should look different from all of their competitors.   If their current site looks just like their competition – then there’s another reason for them to change their website.

If your client’s website doesn’t match their existing ad campaign.

There are so many websites that a) don’t portray the correct “positioning” to their clients and b) that don’t look anything like the rest of a company’s advertising materials. This is a bad idea from an advertising perspective for about a thousand reasons but that’s another article. As an advertising executive, I think this is one of my #1 complaints – clients often don’t even continue their branding or “look and feel” onto their websites. As a result their websites look REALLY BAD when seen side by side with their other marketing materials. Out of date or poorly designed websites can make a company look unstable or untrustworthy. New, well-designed and fully responsive websites can create a lasting impression and make a huge impact on the success of your client’s business (by the way that’s what “Positioning” is….the way your client’s customers perceive them in their minds i.e., are they the big corporation or the corner ma and pa shop? Who do they WANT to be?)

If your client’s content is old and/or stale

…if their website doesn’t have frequently changing text, it will get “old and stale” within about 10 minutes (no joke). The problem is that many clients don’t have or don’t put the budget dollars into developing ongoing fresh content. There is nothing more helpful to a site’s search engine standing than frequently updated content. Make sure your client understands the importance of frequently changing web content, but they should also have a way to make those changes themselves (at least minor changes).

If your client’s website isn’t editable BY your client.

Your client should be able to update their website instantly with news about their company and when they do, they’ll greatly benefit from the improvement in your site’s activity numbers. They shouldn’t have to wait, the web is instantaneous, and their website should be too. If the client can’t make at least a few changes on their own, then that means they have to call (and hire and pay and wait) for someone elsle to make changes and that isn’t efficient. That’s why we use WordPress – as it is a system that our clients can use to make changes to their website (that has a lot of other benefits too). We also use a system called “Divi” within WordPress – that gives us a leg up because it’s about a thousand times easier to work with than WordPress without Divi. So while I don’t suggest we tell them a lot of details about the systems we use – I DO think it’s a good idea that they understand that we have a system that makes it easier for them to make their own site changes. THAT is a great benefit for them and another reason they may want to give you the sale.

If your client’s website is difficult to find via search engines.

Web browsers change and so do the algorithms of the major search engines. Old outdated sites don’t get the attention they could get from the search engines – your site needs to be up to date, fully functioning and frequently changing in order to be able to get noticed by Google and Yahoo. . Websites that are updated will attract attention from the search engines and will rise in rank!

If your client’s website has too much text.

This is one of the primary issues with websites and all marketing materials. Clients tend to have a lot to say about their products and that’s great – but no one really cares. If you have a lot to say and your clients really need to hear it – you can put that info in a downloadable white paper (PDF).   Customers have incredibly short attention spans and as a result 150 – 250 words per page is plenty.

If your client’s website doesn’t work in all the web browsers. 

Microsoft used to have the #1 web browser as recently as last year, now there are other browsers that leading the pack starting with Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari. I don’t think I need to say it but I will – your website needs to work no matter what browser your customer is using.

If your client’s website doesn’t deliver any leads.

All websites can and should have a way for your clients to sign up for something (a white paper or free e-book perhaps?) so you can collect their contact data and market to them over a number of times (aka frequency). Frequency is an absolutely critical aspect of successful marketing and if you don’t want to communicate your advertising messages a number of times (in ads, on the web, through email and text messages, etc.), then don’t complain when no one knows about you and your website.

If you have a website but no one can contact you.

Your client’s contact information should be up to date and easily accessible or find-able on their website. If it’s not, they need us to fix it. .

If your client is embarrassed to give out their own web address.

You know it’s bad if your client isn’t proud of their website and they’re making excuses for their website. If so, it’s time for them to get a new website.

For more information on how we can help your clients to analyze and think about their advertising, to evaluate their websites and to update or create a new site, please visit us at www.ybs.us. Of course you can always email me at emily.andros@ybs.us or call me at 832-732-5063.