Frank believed that things were running smoothly. The in-person meeting with the prospective client went great. The conversation just "clicked" and he was looking forward to working with this customer. He then received the phone call. The client who was interested had decided to work with Frank's competitor joker stash. Cost wasn't a factor. When they spoke, Frank learned that his website was just about to cost him a $250,000 sale! The lesson is very instructive and addresses a significant problem that many businesses face, but are unaware of.
First Impressions Matter
You're only given one chance to make an impression. Even as nice as the old adage sounds "don't judge a book by its cover", the reality is that we all make judgments based on first impressions. First impressions matter, particularly in business. Potential customers form snap judgments about your business based on their impressions during their initial contact with you. Initial impressions are the basis of whether or not they go elsewhere right away or stick for long enough to win their business. Your first impression will set an example for the rest of their future relationship with you.
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A prospective customer' first impression could be based entirely through your website, especially if that is where they first come across your business. Also, if they meet your company in person or through other advertising, your website could influence their perception about the kind of business you manage.
Think of your website as a 24- hour a day representative of your business. Like how your perception of a company is colored, whether it's good or bad, according to the interactions you have with their sales personnel, so also is your prospects' perception of your company influenced through your website.
Choose What You Convey
My dad used to tell my brother and me as children to "actions speak louder than words." There's a lot real truth to these statements. People are much more likely to believe what they see than just what they hear. You can choose the kind of impression people form about your company based on their first visit to your website.
The style of your site and the colors utilized, the layout, the imagery, the navigation, all work to create an overall impression and impression of your organization. What people see should be in line with the company and the core values that your company holds.
What Does Your Website Convey?
Think of yourself in your prospective customers put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers. Visit your website as if for the very first time. What are your thoughts about your company based solely on your website alone? Your marketing is most effective when each component is able to support its own weight and doesn't need to be rescued by something other. Also, your website should be able to give the best impression of your business all by itself. If it's not, your site is costing you money through lost business.
Take a good look at your site, as if you were viewing something for the first. Based on what you observe, how would describe the company to a trusted friend? Do you think what you see makes you want to work with this company? Do you feel confident in them, simply based on what you see on the website?
Top Weaknesses Identified
There are always weaknesses, However, there are some that are more troublesome than other. What are two major weaknesses of your website which cause the impression people get of your company to be a bit less than you want? Does your website help make your business appear professional and polished, or does it make it look like a sloppy operation, connected by baling wire and duct tape?
Always remember that perfection is the enemy of the good. Do not try to record every single area where improvement can be made This is a certain recipe for exhaustion and going nowhere quickly. Instead, concentrate on two or three of the principal weaknesses that leap out at you. Make a point of focusing on improving them immediately, and your website will be much more efficient.
Your website as well as the rest of your marketing should draw attention to your strengths. One way you can accomplish this is with the effective use of imagery. When possible, you should avoid the use of stock images in favor of photos you can take yourself, or have someone else do it if you have the money to pay to pay for it. The problem with stock photos is that they are being used across the Internet. People are captivated by images of people. If the images used on your website are exclusive to your website it instantly differentiates you from the many other businesses who use the same generic pictures and imagery.
Do not fret if the photos on your site aren't quite professional quality - just good enough is enough. It's important for the photos to be excellent, but if you're faced with the choice of using the "perfect" stock photo or one that is a "good" picture you've taken yourself, the photo you've taken yourself should be used because it conveys the personal touch.
What does the color and color scheme in use on your website communicate? The colors have inherent and contextual meaning. The colors in use on your website communicate a meaning. The question of the million-dollars is: Is the significance in line with your business's practices and values? Big corporations spend a lot of money on their choice and color scheme to brand themselves for a reason. If trust is among your core company attributes You should steer clear of a heavy dark feel on your website. Many times, colors are picked by personal taste rather than the meaning of the colors and the message they communicate. The key is that the colors employed in your website and marketing materials should be selected with care based on your company's core values, and/or the advantages that you can offer the customers you serve.
The consistent use of colors across the website conveys a sense of professionalism and attention to the smallest of details. Colors that are not consistent on the other hand , not only conveys the exact opposite impression, it may impact the user experience of the website and the length of time the user spends on your site.
The wording you choose to use and the way the web page's content is written conveys a great amount about your company. The content you write should be designed to appeal to your primary customers. The content should be written on their level so that it is simple to understand. It pays to have your site proofread and, in the event that it is necessary, you can have the copy written by a professional or edited. If your site is very extensive There are software solutions (both free and paid) available to spellcheck the entire website for you on a single or on a regular basis.
Your site should make appropriate the use of key words. Keywords do not just aid in improving the search engine optimization of your site, but they also make it easier for the audience you are targeting to grasp what you're sending them. Remember that when used properly, keywords enhance readability, and do not harm it. Beware of websites who advocate for the overuse of keywords. This sends a wrong message to the people reading your website and will eventually result in you being disqualified by the search engines.