Have you ever searched for a familiar business online to check out their website? I'd be willing to bet we all have at some point. Here's how the process typically goes: You type the business name into a Google search, scroll down the query until you see what appears to be the business you are looking for, click to follow the link, wait for the site to load, and then a feeling of uncertainty passes over you. "Is this really their website?"
You scan the top of the page, looking for their logo. Ah! There it is, their logo. Sometime's it has been stretched, appears too small or entirely too large. Anyway, you're sure now that this is the business website you were looking for. Although you've found it, somehow it's still not what you were really looking for.
Maybe you decided to stick around. You scroll down the home page a bit, trying to come to terms that this is the company's website. You recall all that you've heard about the company, the good work they are known for. You may even think of their building location; it's on a nice street by that coffee shop you always like to stop at.
But, sometimes, the shock is too overwhelming. The idea of what you considered the company to look like being so different from reality, you step away from their website, return to your Google search, and look for a less-shocking option. Often, your website speaks for your company before you ever get the chance.
How did this happen?
How can your website create such an effect? Well, if there's one thing we know about the internet, it's that it is always reinventing itself. The bar is continually raised and it's difficult to keep up. However, this issue is not quite the same. This is more of a style problem. It is possible for your website to be brand new, but not look like your company at all. It's also possible for your website to be outdated, but capture the essence of what your company is about. There are pitfalls with each side of this issue.
If your website is brand new, looks great compared to other sites, but does not express who you are as a business, you may have problems. People who are familiar with your business will probably be confused. People who are unfamiliar may have one idea of what your business is like, but then encounter your company in person and leave feeling perplexed.
If your website is outdated, looks a bit shabby compared with other sites, but showcases who your company is to a 'T,' people will at least see that your business knows who it is. However, without the convenient standards built into new websites, your website could (and probably will) still experience page bounces. If your website isn't responsive or mobile/tablet friendly, that could also result in page bounces. However, at least the style is consistent with who you are as a company.
Striking a Balance
It is totally possible for any company to have a fully updated site that can still capture the essence of their business. It's important to have a web designer who can truly get a feel for who the company is and showcase it flawlessly with the functionality of an updated design. Having a website that works on numerous platforms and has updated functionality will enable your website to provide a better experience for users. However, it needs to look like your site.