These days, websites are standard issue for companies of all sizes – but how do you make sure that your website is serving your business? In this post, we’ll look at ways your website might not be supporting you.
Photo credit: Website Profit Explosion (http://www.websiteprofitexplosion.com/2015/06/why-your-website-doesnt-generate-more-cash)
Back to Basics
Your website should create a strong and unified impression from the beginning. Visual clutter and confusion will make your online presence seem confused, which will make prospective customers wonder about the quality and efficiency of your work. Consistent graphic, color, and layout schemes will help you seem polished and professional. Think of your website as a virtual sales rep making a digital elevator pitch. Make sure you’re dressed to impress.
Many sites now use trustmarks, verifications from familiar names like McAfee and the Better Business Bureau. Especially if you do most of your business online, these can be a way to show customers that you’re legit. Secure (SSL) certificates are another important way to make sure that customers know their information will be protected.
How Can I Reach You?
Customers will want to know where you are, when you’re open, and how to reach you by phone and email. Keep that information front and center, and you’ll seem like a solid prospect. You can even use a ‘contact’ page or sidebar to foreground your logo.
Many companies have mobile apps specific to their business – Amazon and Netflix are just two familiar examples. This might not be a cost-effective strategy for a small business or a company whose website mostly directs customers to a brick-and-mortar outlet. However, it’s important to make sure that your website is “mobile-friendly,” so that it translates to multiple formats. If customers using smartphones tap through only to find a clunky, illegible version of your website, they’ll be much less likely to stick around.
It Bears Repeating
A strong and vibrant logo is an invaluable part of your online strategy. This is even more important now that most people view websites on smaller screens like iphones and tablets. Often, website visibility is limited to frames the size of a business card. Integrating your logo into every part of your website will make your brand memorable and give customers an impression of consistency.
Increase Your Word Power
Anyone who’s ever opened a poorly-written email or scanned a cover letter full of typos knows that basic writing skills are essential to professional communication. A surprising number of companies use web content that is not proofread. Customers will see this as a sign of carelessness, and they’ll wonder how well you plan to take care of them. Since poor grammar and writing is also associated with spam content and scam emails, careless editing might even cause your customers to wonder about your trustworthiness.
Less Is More
UNLESS YOU WANT YOUR CUSTOMERS TO THINK YOU’RE SHOUTING AT THEM, YOU MIGHT NOT WANT TO USE ALL CAPS. That looks a little intense, right? Enthusiasm is great, but too much might make your site seem less professional. You also want to avoid multiple exclamation points. One is plenty!
Photo credit: ABZ Creative Partners (http://www.abzcreativepartners.com/dont-overlook-existing-customers)
Word of Mouth
Your customers probably assume that you think your business is awesome, but what about other people who’ve used your products? Would they recommend you? Reviews and testimonials go a long way towards establishing trust with new customers, who won’t want to take a chance on an unknown. If you can feature them on your website, you’ll be much more impressive.
Did you know that people have a subconscious response to color? Sky blue evokes a dreamy mood. Red and yellow signal a tasty meal. White seems clean and professional. Neutrals like soft grey and beige can be calming, while vibrant orange and bright green convey energy. Make sure that your color scheme reflects the mood associated with your products and businesses. If they don’t match, customers might wonder whether you know what you’re doing.
You probably don’t spend much time reading old magazines. Why should your customers read out-of-date content? Staying current is especially important for time-stamped content like blog posts, newsletters, and seasonal offers. Weekly blogs and posts are a great way to connect with customers, but this strategy will backfire if your last “weekly update” is dated three months ago.
Does your website look like popular websites right now, or are you still using components that were popular five or ten years ago? Does clicking through to your site start a jangling autoplay track? Will visitors to your home page see fonts that were trendy in the mid-nineties, like papyrus and comic sans? If you seem obsolete, your customers will assume that your products are, too.
For a professional look, you may have the best luck with a professional web designer. They will have the most up-to-date tech knowledge, and they’ll give you expert advice on graphics, logos, and layouts. Professional content and copywriters can help you refine your message. Your customers likely visit high-powered professionally-engineered sites every day, so they’ll have high standards for yours. A site that seems amateurish won’t fit in, and you’ll lose out on your chance to make a good first impression.
Websites are as individual and diverse as the businesses they represent, but a concise message and a clear layout will go a long way in helping you earn your customers’ trust. If you approach your digital profile with the same care and professionalism as every other aspect of your business, your online marketing strategy is sure to be a success.
If you’re in the market for more expert advice on how to build a website customers will trust, we suggest working with a team of online marketing professionals. Square 1 Group is here to provide you with responsive, personalized service. Contact us today!