April 22, 2021

How an Unreliable Website Creates an Unreliable Marketing Strategy

Have you ever decided to try out a new restaurant and when you arrived, been confused if this was the place? You double-check that you put in the correct directions to make sure that you got it right.

Nope, this is the place, and it doesn’t look like anything you imagined. The music is too loud, tables are crammed together, and you haven’t seen a single person entering or leaving. Maybe they have the best chicken alfredo in the area, but is it worth it? You see the neighboring restaurants around you, and they look way more welcoming and trustworthy.

In the same way, your website is your digital storefront. If it doesn’t match up with your brand or it pales compared to your competitors, you are sorely missing out on converting visitors into customers. Plus, if your services or products come with a large price tag, your users are going to be that much more critical of your digital presence.

We break down six ways that your old, unreliable, or unsightly website is harming your business.

Six Ways an Unreliable Website Harms Your Bottom Line

Makes a Terrible First Impression

We’ve talked about the disappointment of showing up somewhere and not looking at all like we thought it would (better known as catfishing). However, what if a user has no expectations about your brand and is still left feeling disappointed by your online presence? You can thank a poorly designed and constructed website for scaring away your potential new customers.

Let’s look at it from a non-visual perspective. Got a slow loading site? According to Neil Patel, 40% of people abandon websites that take more than 3 seconds to load. They haven’t even made it to your site yet, and you’ve already lost them! Say they stick around. If your design is subpar, they’re going to leave. 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience, states InVision. 

The moral of the story is that first impressions are everything, and you aren’t likely going to get a second chance.

Hurts Your Credibility

In the above scenario, your credibility hinges on a very visually driven asset. Just like judging a book by its cover or a business by its office space, your customers will judge your credibility on the way your website looks and operates. You can have a stellar paid ads strategy, fun social media campaign, or engaging logo, but if a user follows that to your website and is disappointed, you’ve lost their potential business. 

Imagine you are looking for a real estate agent. You book an appointment to meet with a potential fit, only to show up at their office and see it in disarray. How can you trust them to help you find a home, a huge financial investment, if they can’t even keep their office space clean and in order? Replace the office space with a slow, unprofessional website, and you’ve got the same distrust users feel online.

Works Against Your SEO Strategy

Let’s discuss how bad websites look to search engines. Spoiler alert: they don’t like them. Search engine optimization strategies are consistently changing based on updates to the algorithm, but increasingly, SERPs focus on the user experience to rank web pages. With the upcoming Core Web Vitals update, big search engines like Google will prioritize the sites that create an awesome online experience. Factors like page speed, navigation, usability, and load time affect your rankings. So that site from 2010? It’s going to be downranked a lot.

If your website is unreasonable on desktop, it’s bound to be just as bad — if not worse — on mobile devices. Inaccessible websites on mobile devices not only exclude a majority of digital users but it hurts your ability to rank. Mobile-first indexing on Google is here to stay and will damage your rankings if your website performs poorly on phones.

Rule of thumb: design a website with SEO in mind. Don’t let it be an afterthought.

Loses the Potential for Raving Fans

Word-of-mouth is powerful. When someone wants to recommend your business, they are stamping their seal of approval. That’s the result of a great team and superior product. But those raving fans aren’t always going to be able to step in and defend you when someone goes online to do their own research after a recommendation.

You have one raving fan, but you’ve now lost the potential for more fans because they weren’t fully convinced after visiting your website. Words carry a lot of weight, but so does a laggy, unstable website.

Creates Confusion in the User Journey

Imagine if your GPS gave you unnecessary steps to get to your destination. Sure, you made it there, but it took you 20 minutes longer because of detours and dead-end streets. That’s the same tension users can feel with a confusing website. If there is no clear user journey mapped out in the design of your website, users will feel like they’re following a road map with no next steps.

Confused users are not likely to convert. How are they supposed to know where to go to learn more about your services or how to schedule? Don’t assume your users already know the directions. 

Misses Out on After Hours Customers

Your website is your around-the-clock sales rep. When you turn out the lights and head home after your business closes, your website is available 24/7 for anyone to find and peruse. That means if there’s an issue online, you won’t always be able to overcome that with a phone call or in-person meeting. Users can visit your digital storefront all hours, and if it’s broken, you’ve missed your chance.

How Does This Affect Your Marketing Strategy?

The purpose of marketing is to bring awareness to your brand, help users understand your products or services, and eventually convert. Every implemented digital marketing strategy will ultimately lead a user to your website as a hub. If you have an unwelcoming or nonfunctional website, you’re wasting time, resources, and money sending people to an untrustworthy place. Having a functional and well-designed website is crucial to measuring marketing success and finding ways to improve your strategy.

Avoid the Heartbreak of an Unreliable Website

Whether your website has an alarming load time or is visually unappealing, you hinder your ability to grow. Breaking up with your website can be hard to do, but our team of designers, developers, and marketing strategists are here to help create a beautiful and functional website that fuels your bottom line.

Ready to upgrade? Let’s chat.

Bailey Revis

Bailey is dedicated to infusing joy into every single touchpoint she has at PHOS with team members, clients, and our community. As Director of Marketing, she oversees our incredible team of marketers, supporting them as they foster great relationships and exceed our clients’ goals.

Outside of PHOS, you’ll likely find Bailey talking non-stop about Taylor Swift, enjoying an abundant amount of cold brew, curating incredibly niche Spotify playlists, or chasing sunsets.