Your Website Means More Than You Think

Your Website Means More Than You Think

Recently, 7Hills landed in the top three finalists for a major statewide contract and made a presentation in competition with some really top-drawer agencies from our area. What that process reaffirmed in my philosophy is this: Your website is more important than you probably think.

One of the proposal evaluators told me they had relied heavily on the web to compile their list of potential firms. Every company with a website that was broken or out of date was eliminated from the competition before it even started. Consumers are the same way.

That made me think about some of the websites I have encountered over the past year or so that unintentionally sapped my trust as the result of terrible web maintenance and lack of attention to detail. My thought: “No way will I do business with this company. No way.”

It’s a tough market out there. While having a good website is essential to business in 2015, having a bad one is fatal. It’s arguably better not to have a presence on the web at all than to have a bad one. It’s common sense: 1) having a credible website is crucial for today’s serious businesses; and 2) having a bad website is practically throwing the advantage at your competition.

A few companies you may have seen on TV offer website creation for prices that seem too good to be true. I think you know where I’m going with this. As someone intimately familiar with the services advertised on TV, I know those solutions are not worth your money. The commercials promise amazing results, but are really sucker mills. They don’t perform well on search engines. They may use outdated technologies such as Flash; this lowers your website ranking with search engines, and performs poorly – or not at all – on mobile devices. And without good design skills… you could just end up with a mess.

As important as looking good, however, is maintaining a website that lives. A static website that doesn’t provide a stream of useful information also puts your company at a disadvantage, especially because a flow of new information usually results in a higher search ranking. I am constantly amazed at the number of local top-ranking websites that are frozen in time, and they’re tops only because no other company is doing better. Want to be at the top of your field? Do better on the web.

The bottom line to this is: Investing in a quality website is not money wasted.

Don’t believe me? Here’s an anecdote: I recently wanted to hire an electrician I heard great things about. I looked for their website, but it didn’t show up in search results. In the end, I spent a huge amount of money with another electrician, all the while wondering if my original choice would have been better.

I did eventually find their website, by the way. Let’s just say it didn’t leave me with a great impression of their company.

If you want the web to help your business, and increase your success – it can and will, but you have to decide to make it happen. Don’t miss the opportunity.


Scott VanDeman has been a professional Public Relations practitioner for more than 30 years.

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