I just had a conversation with a customer who wanted new copywriting because his online biz had really started to fall over the last two years.
I took a look at his site, and was reminded how fast things change online – his site was clearly made for 800×600 monitors (at best), and just looked really, really bad – very “skinny” on my monitor – there was more blank space to the sides of his site than he had for information. And tiny little fonts.
I told him it wouldn’t make sense to hire me until he got a new website – it would be wasting money putting new copy on this site, and I don’t like wasting people’s money.
This guy wasn’t happy with my opinion – after all, he “paid $3,000 for this site just six years ago”. But six years is a lifetime on the web – the site looks terrible on modern computers and monitors, nevermind tablets and mobile. It’s like having a retail store with old, dirty shelves and fixtures. It’s not a “make it once, and be done with it forever”. But it seems many business owners kind of expected it to be exactly that.
We’ve now gotten to the point where you have to address your website’s look every few years. I would say three to four years seems about right. I just updated my look, and conversions [I]jumped[/I]. It matters.
Edit: I actually had this similar conversation twice today with two different prospective customers. But the other guy knows he needs to update, and it’s in the plan, but wants my help now to make the current site rank/read better. I wanted to add this so he didn’t think it was him that I was talking about 🙂