Frank believed that everything was going so well. His in-person conversation with the prospective client went fantastically. It was like everything "clicked" and he was looking forward to working with this client. When he received the phone call. The potential client had made the decision to go with Frank's competitor. Cost wasn't a factor. When they spoke joker stash, Frank learned that his website was just about to caused him to lose $250,000! The experience is instructive and addresses a significant problem that many businesses suffer from yet are unaware of.
First Impressions Matter
You're only given one chance to create the first impression. Even as nice as the old adage sounds - "don't judge a book by its cover", the fact is that we all judge our decisions based on first impressions. First impressions count, a lot, especially in the field of business. Prospective customers make snap judgments about your company based on the impressions they have during their initial contact with you. Those initial impressions will form the basis for the decision to either go to another company immediately or stay to the end of the road to gain their trust. Their first impression sets how they will view their interaction with you.
Your 24/7 On-line Representative
A potential client's initial impression may be entirely formed through your website, especially should that be the location they first meet your company. In the event that they first meet your company on the street, or through other advertising, your website will influence their impression regarding the type of business you run.
Imagine your website as a 24- hour a day representative of your company. Similar to how your impression of a company is colored, whether it's good or bad, according to your interaction with their sales personnel, so also are your potential customers' impressions of your business colored by your website.
Choose What You Convey
My dad would explain to my brother and me as kids that "actions speak louder than words." There is a lot of truth to those words. People will more easily accept what they see than just what they hear. You have the option of deciding what impression people make regarding your company from the first time they visit your site.
The style of your site and the colors used, the layout the images, and the navigation are all part of the overall picture to create a general feel and impression of your company. The content that visitors see must be in line with the company and the core values that your company holds.
What Does Your Website Convey?
Put yourself in your prospects put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers. Go to your website as if you were visiting it for the first time. What is your impression of your company based on your site alone? Your marketing is the most effective when every component is able to carry its own weight and doesn't need to be helped by someone else. Also your website must provide the ideal image of your business by itself. If it's not, then your site is costing you money through lost sales.
Take a good look at your website, as if you were seeing your first visit. Based just on what you see, how would you describe the business to a trusted friend? Do the things you see make you want to do business with this business? Are you confident about them from what you see on the website?
Top Weaknesses Identified
There are always weak points; but, some are a whole lot more troublesome than other. What are the two top flaws of your website that make people's perception of your company to be less positive than you would like? Does your website make your company appear polished and professional, or does it it look like a sloppy operation, held together by baling wire and duct tape?
Always remember that perfection is the enemy of the good. Do not try to meticulously catalogue each area that could be improved - that is a sure way to overwhelm yourself and get nowhere quickly. Instead, concentrate on one or two of the top weaknesses that jump out at you. Make a point of focusing on improving them immediately websites, and they will become much more effective.
Your website as well as the rest of your marketing needs to reflect your strengths. One of the ways that you can accomplish this is with the effective use of imagery. If you can, avoid using stock photos instead of pictures that you make yourself or have someone else do it if you've got the funds to pay for it. The problem with stock photos is that they're in use all over the Internet. People are fascinated by pictures of people. If the images used on your site are unique to your website you immediately differentiate yourself from the rest of the companies with identical images and images.
Don't be concerned if the images you've posted on your website aren't professional-quality - but good enough is sufficient. The photos must be good, but when you have to choose between making use of a "perfect" stock photo or one that is a "good" picture you've taken yourself, the one that you've taken yourself should be used because it has an individual touch.
What message do the colors and color scheme you use on your site convey? The colors have inherent and contextual meaning. The colors in use on your site convey significance. The question of the million-dollars is: is the meaning in line with your company's practices and values? Big corporations spend a lot of money on their choice and color scheme to brand themselves for an reason. If trust is one of the most important attributes of your business it is important to avoid dark, gloomy and uninspiring colors on your site. The majority of colors are chosen according to personal preferences rather than the significance of the colors and the message they communicate. The important thing to remember is that the colors that are used on your site and other marketing materials must be chosen with care, according to your business's core values and/or on the primary advantages that you can offer your clients.
Consistent use of colors throughout the site communicates a degree of professionalism and attention to specifics. Unconventional use of colors on the other hand , not just conveys the opposite impression, but influence the overall user-friendliness of the site and the amount of time the user spends on your site.
The choice of wording and the way website's content is written speaks a great amount about your company. The content on your site should be written specifically for your intended audience. It should be written to their level so that it is easy to comprehend. It is recommended that your site checked for proofreading, and if necessary, the copy professional written or edited. If your site is very large and complex, there are software programs (both free and cost-based) available to spellcheck your entire website for you on a once-off or a periodic basis.
Your website should make the right usage of the keywords. Keywords can not only aid in improving the search engine optimization of your site, but they also make it easier for the people who are your audience's target to comprehend the message you are transmitting to them. Remember that when used properly keywords can improve readability, and do not harm it. Avoid websites who advocate for the overuse of keywords. It sends the incorrect message to those viewing your site, and could always result in your website being disqualified by the search engines.