Is Your Website Ruining Your Credibility?
Since your website is the first interaction potential customers have with your business, then their perception of you is completely rooted on how well your website portrays you company and services.
Who are you, really? And why should I consider doing business with you? Potential customers visit your site and form these conclusions about your company based on the initial appearance and performance of the website. These first impressions, once established, are very difficult to alter.
Take the local dentist, for instance. People searching for a new dentistry in their neighborhood want to know that the dentist is reputable, that the practice is up-to-date, and that the office is clean, friendly and punctual. Each of these qualities can be communicated through a professional website. Likewise, if the site sends the message “we can’t be trusted,” potential patients will leave the dentist’s site without a second thought as quickly as they arrived.
Regardless of the type of product or service you are using the Internet to market to your customers, you are selling something far more important with your website: your company’s credibility. Make sure your customers are getting a truthful sense of who you really are by having a website that reflects your business as professionally and accurately as possible.
Here are a few ways to make sure your website heightens your credibility rather than depleting it.
Design your site so it looks professional.
Your website needs to reflect the quality and appearance of your business online. If you’re trying to earn new business, then don’t turn off first-time visitors the minute they arrive with a poor, unwelcoming design. A professional, appealing website design goes a long way toward legitimizing your business and can make the difference between new leads and a lost client.
Keep content updated.
If the content on your site was clearly written two years ago, potential customers will notice and wonder just how up-to-date and reliable your business really is. Review and update all information and images on your site regularly to keep it fresh and timely. Similarly, you should also proofread content carefully to avoid spelling and other grammatical errors that are certain turnoffs and can damage your credibility.
Organize with the visitor in mind.
Ease of use is one of the most important things to keep in mind when designing a website. Clean layouts and organized features should engage the visitor and make it easy to complete online tasks, such as learning more about your services, contacting your business or purchasing a product. Online contact forms are convenient, but you should also include other methods of communication, including your phone number and address to validate that you are a real company with real people. The more contact methods you provide on every page of your site, the easier it will be for your customers to get in touch with you.
Optimize your site for smartphones.
Traditional desktop websites look and behave differently on mobile devices. What works seamlessly on a laptop computer may look cluttered and perform slowly on an iPhone. To make sure your on-the-move customers can reach your business any place and any time, you’ll need to optimize your website for mobile platforms. In doing so, you’ll provide a growing number of mobile users an enhanced browsing experience and optimal access to interact with your business when they visit your site from the small screens of their smartphones or tablets.
It’s no secret that having a website is a critical part of marketing your business today. Unfortunately, too many websites are actually hurting their businesses’ credibility because they are poorly designed, outdated, and not user friendly. Don’t let a few wrong turns hamper your website’s trustworthiness. Review your website, modify problem areas and make sure users feel confident in your business the moment they arrive to your site.
Kaitlyn Ytterberg is a writer for Officite http://www.officite.com, a leading provider of websites and online marketing for the medical community. Officite specializes in Internet marketing and practice website design for all healthcare specialties, including podiatrists, cardiologists and physical therapists. Services span from SEO and social media to reputation management, blogging and mobile websites.