First impressions are everything. And if you’re a business owner, you want to be sure you’re making the best impression possible on your desired customers.
Most business owners already take steps to ensure this. You give your employees professional uniforms, make your storefront clean and appealing, and conduct yourself in a friendly, personable manner.
However, few business owners realize that first impressions happen before you even meet the customer. That’s because they happen online. From the moment prospective customers discover your company website in a search, they begin forming opinions. Do you appear professional? Do you seem like an expert in your field? Do you relate to your customers? Any visitor to your website will be asking these questions in their minds, whether they’re aware of it or not. It’s your job to answer these questions before they’re even asked.
So, how well are you representing your business online? What kind of first impression are you giving your customers?
In this post, we’ll give you tips on how to improve your company website so it represents your business in the most flattering light possible.
Make Your Products and Services 100% Clear
Have you ever visited a website and left after a minute because you couldn’t quite figure out what that business was offering? It happens all too often. So, to be safe, make your company’s products and/or services 100% clear. List every service in plain, simple terms.
Leave no room for doubt.
Even if you offer lots of different services in different categories, don’t be vague about it. Cover everything. Your site’s visitors should know within seconds what type of business you are and, more importantly, what you can offer them.
Choose Simplicity Over Razzle-Dazzle
Remember: Less is more. Don’t overflow your company website with bells and whistles. Don’t auto-play music upon entering the site. Don’t have Flash graphics. Don’t use hard-to-read fonts or blinding, neon colors. All of these elements run the risk of overwhelming your site’s visitors and turning them away.
Showcase Your Expertise
Prove you’re knowledgeable, reliable, and experienced. Discuss your training, industry-specific licenses (if applicable), and any other qualifications that make you an ideal choice for your prospective customer.
Match Your Image to Your Desired Customers
If you offer manual services like paving, appliance repairs, plumbing, electrical, and so on, then you probably work with a wide range of customers. In that case, it’s best to keep your website right in the middle of the road in terms of design. Don’t make it too primitive, or prospective customers won’t take you seriously. But don’t make it too chic, either, or they’ll think you’re too expensive. Think Goldilocks.
On the other hand, if you work in a high-paying field, like tax resolution or IT consulting, then it’s a good idea to demonstrate your professionalism with a sophisticated, elegant website design. Prospective customers will perceive your value through your website, so take this opportunity to show (not tell) how much your services are worth.
Use a Professional E-Mail Address
Last but not least: your e-mail address. To be clear, we don’t recommend displaying your e-mail address in plain text on your site. This sets you up for mountains of spam e-mails from bots. Instead, we recommend having a contact form for visitors to fill out.
However, just because you aren’t displaying your e-mail address doesn’t mean you don’t need to worry about how it looks! After your prospects have e-mailed you, you don’t want them to see a response from an unprofessional e-mail address. This could seriously lower their opinion of your business.
For this reason, an e-mail address at a corporate domain is ideal. A corporate domain makes you look like an established, successful business. At the same time, though, it’s not realistic to expect every single business to have access to a corporate domain. So, at the very least, you should have a company address from Gmail or Yahoo. These addresses are free and they look way more professional than your 15-year-old AOL address.
Read more about company e-mail addresses in our previous post, “Why You Should Give Your E-Mail Address a Makeover.”
Understand What’s Attractive—and What’s Not
Overall, many business owners misunderstand what’s “attractive” to the average consumer. It’s not about having the flashiest or most elaborate website design. Instead, it’s about having clear content that will make a prospective customer want to hire you. After all, you don’t make money from people spending time on your site. You make money from people who ultimately decide to call you and hire you. And quality content, not those flashy, “gee-whiz” features, is what drives people to call you.
Ensure your site has quality content by knowing who your desired customers are. Know what they’re looking for and what you can offer them. Then, present this to them through your company website. You only get one chance to make a first impression, so make it count.