Virtual Ghosts: The Haunting Effects of An Abandoned Website on Your Business

Your company could suffer greatly if you fail to update your website. Customers may receive inconsistent information if you fail to update information about your current services, branding, and other crucial factors. Which can be a major turnoff.


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In today's world, a strong online presence is crucial for businesses of all sizes. A well-designed website can be the difference between success and failure, as it serves as a digital storefront for potential customers to learn about your brand, products, and services. However, as businesses evolve and new platforms emerge, priorities change, some websites are left abandoned, neglected, and forgotten leading to significant long-term consequences for the business.

Real Life Example

An abandoned website can be defined as a site that has not been updated, maintained, or used for a long period. These websites are often characterized by outdated information, broken links, and a lack of functionality.

On December 10th, 2022, we took a screen grab of a website's performance for reporting purposes after an optimization by our team, we have kept it anonymous for privacy reasons. At the time, the website scored an impressive 96% on performance and 100% on all other metrics.

Screen grab by Author

However, over the 103-day period that followed, the website did not receive any updates or maintenance. As a result, its performance has since decreased to a disappointing 68%, and its adherence to best practices has also decreased, now sitting at 92%.

Screen grab by Author

The consequences of neglecting a website can be far-reaching and detrimental to a business. As we have seen, an abandoned website can quickly deteriorate and cause negative impacts in various ways. The negative effects are as follows:-

1. Loss of Credibility

An abandoned website can hurt a business's credibility. A website is often the first impression that potential customers have of a business. If the website is outdated, poorly designed, or non-functional, it can make the business appear unprofessional and untrustworthy. This can discourage potential customers from doing business with the company.

2. Low Search Engine Rankings

An abandoned website can negatively impact a business's search engine ranking. Search engines like Google prioritize websites that are active, regularly updated, and have relevant content. An abandoned website that is not updated, has broken links, or lacks fresh content can be penalized by search engines, which can lead to a decline in visibility and traffic.

3. Damage Brand Reputation

In the age of social media, customers are quick to share their experiences online. If a customer visits an abandoned website and has a negative experience, they may share their frustrations on social media, review sites, and other online forums. This negative feedback can damage a business's reputation and deter potential customers from doing business with the company.

4. Security Vulnerabilities

Outdated software and plugins can be exploited by hackers and lead to data breaches, which can have severe consequences for your business like legal action. Laws and regulations related to data protection and privacy are constantly evolving and it is paramount to comply and avoid legal issues.

5. Missed Opportunities

An abandoned website can lead to lost customers. If a potential customer visits your website and finds that it's outdated or not functioning properly, they are likely to leave and never return. This leads to missed opportunities for sales and revenue, as well as diminished customer base, and overall business performance.

If you're wondering whether an abandoned website can be brought back to life, the answer is a resounding yes! However, reviving a neglected website can be a challenging and resource-intensive task depending on the extent of the neglect. So, don't give up on that neglected website just yet - it may still have plenty of potential.

Actions to Take Immediately and Going Forward

1. Prioritize Your Website - Hire a Website Administrator

Your website is no longer just an optional add-on - it's now the primary point of contact for many of your customers. Before they even step foot in your store or contact you directly, they're likely to visit your website to learn more about your products or services. That's why it's so important to prioritize the upkeep of your website. You may consider hiring a Website Administrator who will make sure that it's always up-to-date with the latest information and that it functions smoothly and efficiently.

The website serves as the hub connecting all other points of interaction with the customers thus, cannot be overlooked. Image by iNews Digest

In fact, your website is the core hub for all of your business information, connecting to all of your other online platforms, such as mobile apps, social media profiles, and desktop (office) apps. Even your business cards and brochures direct people to your website. If your website suffers, the entire ecosystem suffers, so investing significant resources in its upkeep is absolutely critical for your business success.

2. Redesign

It is also essential to have a website redesign plan in place. A website redesign can breathe new life into an outdated website, making it more appealing to potential customers. It can also ensure that your website complies with the latest data protection and privacy laws.

3. Maintenance Plan

To avoid the negative effects of abandoned websites, businesses should take proactive steps to maintain and update their online presence. This can include regular content updates, fixing broken links, updating contact information, and ensuring that the website is mobile-friendly and easy to navigate.

Always Remember

It is important to recognize that your website is not a one-time investment, but rather an ongoing project that requires regular attention and eventually dedicated personnel to remain effective. Business owners (you) must stay vigilant in ensuring that their websites do not become ghosts that impact negatively in the cyberspace.

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Dear Esteemed Reader,

Are you looking to rebuild your website? A free website check-up could be the first step in achieving your goals! Our team of experts is ready to analyze your website and provide you with actionable insights to improve the appearance and functionality of your website. Don't wait any longer, take advantage of this opportunity and request for your free website check-up now!


Ben [Author]

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