In today’s digital world, you are but a click away from potential buyers. Your website is a reflection of your company and in most cases, your chance to make a great first impression. Today’s Web-savvy customers rely on your Internet presence to give them an idea of what your company has to offer.

An outdated website isn’t just a minor hitch. It’s pretty much a make or break for many businesses.

So when it comes to your website, are you brave enough to take the Dark Ages test? Go on, it’ll only take six seconds! Give yourself a score for each of the 10 “Is Your Website Stuck in the Dark Ages?” questions below;

Score 0 for a YES, and 10 for a No.

  1. Does your website have great photography? 
  2. Does your website have lead capture functionality?
  3. Does your website have calls-to-action and content downloads?
  4. Is your website lightening fast?
  5. Is your website mobile-friendly? 
  6. Does your website integrate with your social media?
  7. Is the design and messaging consistent throughout?
  8. Is your website built on code less than three years old?
  9. Is your website content up to date?
  10. Do you also use landing pages as part of your website strategy?

Now add up your score.

If you scored 40 and above you’re in deep dodo!

The point is, if your website is not up to it you’ll be missing out on a lot of new business opportunities and harming your brand. Google will divorce you and Ad-words will actually cost you more (yes that’s right, Ad-words will penalise you and charge you more per click if you have a poorly ranked site).

I talk to a lot of business owners and what I’ve witnessed is the majority of B2B companies that have built a good reputation in the past are only now, in these harder times, beginning to understand that their customers have changed the way they buy.

The concept of using their websites to develop new business is foreign to many of them and they still default to the traditional methods such as cold calling, advertising and relying on referrals to maintain growth.

The majority of businesses I speak to fit into either one of two camps:

  1. They struggle to see the potential their website represents when it comes to business development and don’t act.
  2. They see its potential and are now trying to play catch up and are having difficulty with the branding basics (such as a value proposition) that contribute so much to any websites success.

Today your website is pretty much your most important marketing and branding asset and most businesses aren’t paying enough attention their website strategy.

The way people buy has changed

The explosion of information online and the growing influence of social media has, in a very short time, changed the way the consumers buys. The new “self-directed buyer” is no longer paying attention to outbound, interruptive marketing techniques.

He/she have the power and the tools to do their own research prior to contacting anyone at your business. They are masters of filtering out unwanted interruptions and making their own purchase decisions.

Today your company’s or brand’s online presence should play a major role in attracting and converting the decision makers because consumers today are more likely to find you. The chances are:

  • You probably won’t know it
  • You certainly won’t know who they are
  • And you won’t know what they are looking for

Research by Forrester found that today people only talk to sales after they are anywhere between 65% and 90% through their purchasing decision.

Ask yourself:

  1. What role does your website play within your brand strategy?
  2. What service, if any, is it providing to your customers?
  3. Have you reviewed your website in the past few years?
  4. Have you measured its overall effectiveness?

Your website is potentially the most effective marketing tool you have – don’t underestimate its significance.