It was ok to have a crappy website in 2001, not everybody had access to the internet and the digital gospel is not as widely accessible as it is now. Your business may not have a marketing website design, but that is no excuse for a poorly designed website. In today’s online economy, presentation is arguably as important as the quality of the product or service you are promoting; poor website design sends a quick and lasting impression to those who “click in.”
like the old saying “dress the way you want to be addressed” your business credibility will be judged based on how you dress up your website and if your gown is not well dressed, perhaps this post will change your mind and you will be willing to redesign your site.
Imagine walking into a room and seeing three people standing in front of you:
- The first is a modern businessman dressed to the nines in his best suit and tie. His hair is fixed up and he has perfect posture.
- The second is a businessman dressed in a suit from the 70s. He has on a turtle neck and plaid sport coat…basically, he looks a lot like baba Suwe!
- The third is a businessman in a miss matched suit, slumped over in the corner.
You’ve already made up your mind on who you would consider before even having a conversation.
For this reason, it is vital to ensure that your website reflects who you are as a business and gives the message you want it to relay.
Your Website Represents Credibility
Like it or not, your website speaks on your behalf, creating impressions and either attracting or turning away potential business. A cheap-looking, non-functional website gives the impression that the business does not care to invest in the things that matter.
A website that is not user-friendly may tell your visitors you lack caring customer service. A blog that has not been updated may speak of neglect. Regardless of your product or service, it is vital to consistently evaluate the message you are sending across the worldwide web. Creating a user-friendly, professional, and meaningful site may take some time and money, but the alternative may be even more costly.
Not easy to navigate = Bye Bye. I’m going somewhere else
If your website is tough to navigate, you’re losing customers. When we say tough to navigate we don’t mean for you. We mean for your target market. You can find that out, by asking some of your customers how easy is it to find the information that they’re looking for. If they spend a lot of time clicking around, you have a tough to navigate website.
If there is something you really shouldn’t do, that would be to not frustrate your visitors. Why? Because they will search for the information that they want somewhere else and you’ve just lost another potential customer. There is an acronym used very often between it professionals and that is KISS (keep it simple stupid).
That what we all strive for when we build websites. The more you complicate things the more difficult you make for your visitor to find the information and the more chances you have to lose a potential customer.
You haven’t got a responsive website
Responsive websites have been a hot topic over the past year and there’s a good reason for that.
With smartphones being the most popular device to access the internet on in the UK, it’s imperative that your website is responsive.
If it isn’t, you’re providing a big portion of your audience with a poor user experience. And your search rankings in mobile search results may suffer as a result. If someone is ready to buy and they can’t buy because they’re using their phone and it’s hard work on your website, you’ve just lost a sale.
An unresponsive website suggests to your audience that you are out of date. You don’t think your website is all that important. And that you aren’t focused on providing your audience with the best experience possible. And that’s before you think about any future purchases they may have made. But won’t because their perception is that you don’t care about your audience as much as another company.
HOW TO BOOST YOUR CREDIBILITY WITH YOUR WEBSITE
You probably already have an inkling of whether your website is making a less than stellar first impression. Here are some key places to ponder that may need some attention:
The Design & Technology
- Make it pretty. A clean, modern, sophisticated design that represents your brand is incredibly important.
- Mobile first. Make sure your website uses responsive design. This means that when someone visits your website on their phone, they are seeing something that’s optimized for that display. They shouldn’t have to pinch and zoom to read it!
- High quality images. Great photography goes a long way to making your website credible. Be careful with stock photography or stock icons. They can actually hurt your online credibility if it looks too generic.
- Online payment security and SSL. Sell things online? Your customers deserve to know that their information is secure. Make sure you have an active SSL certificate so that visitors see that “https://” in the address bar before your domain. Use plain English to tell them in conjunction with some badges that indicate that their info is secure.
- Say no to ads. Unless you’re running a heavily content-driven site where you rely on ads for revenue, they’re tacky and you shouldn’t even go there.
- Contact info. Make it clear how people can reach you. It’s amazing how much just having a phone number listed can do for a customer’s peace of mind.
- Fix broken links. If links on your site are broken, either internal or external, it makes it look like your website is not maintained. No maintenance can leave an impression that you don’t care about your business.
- Clarity of message. Sometimes we can get too wordy because we have so many great things to say, but it’s often best to keep things simple and concise. Working with a copywriter or content strategist who specializes in websites can help a lot.
- Transparency. People are going to be willing to want to work with you if they know it’s a real person behind the business name. Show them who you are through revealing parts of your personality in your copy and in your photos.
- Easy to find info. Your website is where potential customers go to find more information about your product or service. Don’t make them work for it.
- Showing prices. Being clear about your pricing can help bring in customers instead of scaring them away to research elsewhere.
- Client list. Your website is the perfect spot to namedrop who you’ve had the privileged of working with. Make a list, displaying logos is best for visual impact.
- Testimonials & Case Studies. Real people talking about your business makes a huge impact. Video testimonials are super awesome. Case studies and actually telling stories about your clients and how their lives have been made better as a result of your business helps to really build that trust.
- Blogging. A blog can be a great tool in getting recognized as an authority in your space. Make sure to give it the attention it deserves on a regular basis.
Here are some things you can link to on your site or places online where people often find you that can heavily impact your online credibility.
- Social media. Make sure to link to any social media accounts that you regularly maintain. If you have a Twitter account and have never actually tweeted, it’s better to just leave it off.
- Google business page. By going to business.google.com you can to set up a page for your business. You’ll have to verify your address by Google sending you a postcard in the mail. This is how you get your business to come up in the logo mapped results in online searches. It’s free and can do a lot to drive traffic to your site.
- Yelp reviews. Positive online reviews are huge. Make sure to tell all your happy customers to go over to your Yelp page and leave you 5 stars! If and when you ever get a negative review, make sure to respond to it with constructive feedback. It shows you take care of all of your customers.