We all know the saying "you can't judge a book by its cover," yet it's likely safe to say that people still do it. The same judgements are made when people view your business' website for the first time. It is believed that people only take seven seconds to make a judgement on their initial impression. So when someone visits your website, what will they be thinking?
Most businesses invest in their website when they first get up and running and then leave it alone, which is easy to do once business starts to pick up; your website becomes the last priority. But is your business actually operating the same exact way as the first day that it opened? Probably not. Along the way you may have updated your service or product offering, had some staff changes, or may have better portfolio projects to share. These are updates that your existing customers may know about, and things that your potential new customers should know.
Depending on when your website was created, it is possible that it is not updated for viewing on mobile devices or search engine optimized - better known as SEO. More people are viewing websites on mobile phones than ever before. If your website doesn't view well on a phone it is very likely people will leave your site. Ensuring your website is updated for SEO is an added bonus for helping new potential customers discover your business. Whether you offer online services or only do business from a physical location, your business website should still be easy for people to find. Think of it like someone having your address, but not knowing how to get there. This is especially important if a business' domain name does not mirror the name of the actual business. Having a updated website with good SEO will help guide everyone looking for you in the right direction.
A good website is also a good way to visualize your business the way you want it to be represented. For example, other business listing and social media services typically limit how much customization you can add to your page. Every listing on Yelp looks the same. Every Facebook business page has the same format. The layout on Instagram doesn't have any variation either. Your website is the only digital space where you can fully showcase your business in a way that you think customers should interpret it to be.
There is value in having a quality website for your business. If you take pride in providing first-rate services or products, it should be reflected in your online presence. Your next customer may just be looking.