Some may say that your website is secondary to personal contact, and that is a very good point. Nothing is better than word-of-mouth to grow any small business, or to destroy any big business. So where does your website fit in? Its where people go to check you out when no one else is looking. This is a completely different experience than the face-to-face meetings we may have all day long. Your client will have an intimate experience with your website, while you are not around to explain yourself.. so you must be concise, and to the point....
Most people have an attention span of about 5 seconds when surfing the net for interesting articles, and if you cant seal the deal in that time you have just lost that customer - now and for all future potential business. Gathering random compulsory surfers should always be part of your overall web strategy, although your real meat and potatoes will come from those who are specifically interested in your field of industry.
Keeping your website up to date says something about you and your company. It says that you care, and your keeping up with the times, your active, and you will respond when the customer needs something. An old or out-dated site says something completely different - It says that you dont care about your customers. You dont put time into their needs, and many sales can be made or lost based on that first 5 seconds that a client evaluates the professionalism of your web architecture.
No you don't need to have every bell and whistle, and you certainly should not go for over-the-top animations and flashy graphics - this only distracts and slows your client down from their goal of finding their desired info from your site. But this does bring into question - What makes a good site?
Professional cleanliness and easy navigation is what your client is looking for. Sure, give them a slide show and some graphics to keep their attention, but the information is key. Keep your information up to date, keep your product listings current, take down notices about past dates, and simplify whenever you can. Your clients will thank you for it by using your site more and more. Organize your info so it can be easily perused by your people and yes, it needs to be clean and professional... Some of the biggest sites on the planet have very little graphical implementation, but instead focus on managing huge amounts of products and content.
McCormackDesigns.net Insures that you keep your sites up to date by putting the power into your hands. No one knows your business better than you! And when its this easy to update your site, you will.