The effects of a neglected website

Web Design

You’ve done all the hard work; designed your gorgeous website, added in all the right images and content, made sure everything links to the right page – so, all that’s left is to sit back and watch your new prospects flock to the website, right?

No.

Maintaining your website is one of the most overlooked and under-appreciated tasks that can actually have a significant impact on your lead generation, data security and corporate perception; after all 75% of consumers admit to making judgements on a company’s credibility based on the design of a company’s website.

Lead Generation

Did you know that mobile devices are expected to be responsible for 63% of global internet use by the end of 2020? As more and more of us are using our phones for research, you don’t want to risk alienating over half of your website’s readers! Keeping your Themes and Plugins up to date is essential because new features and bug fixes will be released with sequential updates and with mobile software updates coming more frequently – at least once a year – forgetting to push that ‘update button’ may well end up costing you leads.

Equally as important, but certainly more surprising was the recent research that showed 70% of small business lack a CTA on their homepage! A CTA or ‘Call to Action’ is a direction that you ask your website visitors to perform; whether that’s “Download our brochure”, “contact us” or something else.

Call to Actions are so important because they allow you to begin a relationship with that visitor. For example – if you did want them to download your product brochure – you might ask for their contact details in return. That way, one of your sales team can follow up with the prospect, maybe a week later, after giving them time to read through the hypothetical brochure and start to lead them through your customer journey.

Data Security

Considering 52% of WordPress vulnerabilities relate to WordPress Plugins, ensuring they are all up-to-date is essential, not only in terms of moral best practices but also GDPR regulations. While these small bits of software help your website talk to your CRM platform, accounting software and other systems, they can be easy access route for malfeasants, which is why it’s so important you remain on the most recent version!

Hackers aren’t the only danger to protect your website from either. Since automation technology has become so easily accessible, ‘Bots’ have become ubiquitous with spamming attacks; in fact Akismet, which is itself a WordPress plugin that acts as a spam-blocker, identifies and removes 7.5 million spam comments worldwide, every hour from WordPress’s platform. So, by keeping Plugins like Akismet up to date, you’re giving your website the best chance to succeed without having to trawl manually through comments and remove those pesky clickbait comments that have nothing to do with your business.

Corporate Perception

Now, let’s be honest with each other. We can all be guilty of ‘judging a book by its cover’ once in a while and the same is certainly true when it comes to websites; if anything, those first impressions are made even quicker!

Now that we’ve become so accustomed to accessing whatever information we desire in an instant, 39% of visitors will stop engaging if a website doesn’t load or takes too long to complete loading. Therefore, ensuring your website is performing at it optimum is vital, so that you’re not off-putting possible prospects before they’ve even read a word of what you have to say!

Also, consider that 57% of users won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed website. Now, we’re not saying that you don’t have a good eye, but if you let your WordPress themes and plugins become out of date, they may miss updates which causes them to display incorrectly, which then may plant that seed of doubt in your visitors’ grey matter, which then causes them to look elsewhere…

So, what can you do to prevent all these terrible outcomes? You could point the finger at one of the interns and ask them to make sure everything is up to date, but do you trust them? You could ask someone more senior but do they have the time to devote to clicking ‘update’ twenty-umpteen times?

Blabbermouth’s new Website Care Plan takes all of the worry away by leaving it to us. Our team of website designers and engineers can give your website as much love as we give our own. With an enhanced security set-up, WordPress updates, monthly backups & threat reports that include google Analytics data, Blabbermouth will ensure your website’s health remains the best it can be!

In summary, a website is like anything else worth having – a relationship, good health or a classic car – it’s an ongoing effort!

After the ‘honeymoon period’, it’s easy to let those little responsibilities slip, and when you don’t notice any negative effects, they slip that little bit further – until BAM – you’re slapped with an MOT bill in the thousands of pounds, all because you forgot to change the oil last month…

In other words, you have 50 milliseconds for a website visitor to make their first impression – so why not give yourself the best chance to make an impact on that visitor?

Laura Kerrigan

Laura Kerrigan

Author

Laura is a Brand Director at Blabbermouth Marketing.

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