What Does Your Website Say About Your Company?
When looking for products, services, or solutions, most people turn to the internet to start their research. If your site is ranked well enough to capture viewers, chances are that your website is making the first impression whether you know it or not. There are a few sayings that most of us are familiar with regarding first impressions: “You only get one chance to make a first impression.” or “You can tell a lot about a man by his shoes.” Well, in the business world, you can tell a lot about a company by their website. Couple this with the fact that if a visitor finds you at all, the average visitor is only likely to stay on your site for a couple of minutes. That means you need to offer compelling value and make a strong impression quickly, or you could lose them. During this brief period, content and design can play a critical role in whether or not that visitor continues to engage with your company. Below are some impressions your website could be leaving:
Is your website ready for a redesign?
Your site may have looked fantastic several years ago when it was first designed, but web design trends are constantly changing and so are the expectations of website visitors. An outdated website design might be sending the impression that your company is not keeping up with current trends. It’s a good idea to review your site design every 2 to 3 years just to be sure you’re not falling behind.
Is your navigation complicated or hard to follow?
This could send the impression that your company is disorganized or that your products are also complicated. In the old days, you used to hear about the “three-click rule” which meant that if a visitor couldn’t find what they were looking for in three clicks, they’d leave. We’ve since learned that this rule is a myth and that a clear organization trumps fewer clicks.
Is your website full of errors or broken links?
This gives the impression that nobody within your company is paying attention and makes visitors wonder what else you won’t be paying attention to.
Are you overdoing it with lead generation?
For many business-to-business websites, lead gen is one of the primary goals of the site. However, you can go too far with this by forcing users to fill out a form for every piece of meaningful content. If a visitor has to fill out a form before they get a sense of whether or not your company can solve their problems, chances are you’re going to lose that visitor. Instead, try to put yourself in the shoes of your prospect and make sure you’re giving them enough to information to understand how your product or service can help solve their problems. Once they’re interested, give them the opportunity to step into your sales funnel at the appropriate time by offering them a demo, a trial, or maybe just a conversation. This will result in more meaningful conversations with better prospects and your sales team will thank you for it.
Is your site unnecessarily wordy?
This one depends and requires a little common sense. If you’re describing a product or service and that product or service is supposed to be simple, you could be leaving the wrong impression by over-explaining it. Instead, try to be succinct and use visuals to describe your product or solution as much as possible. If your product or service is more complex, we suggest in most cases that complex explanations belong in PDF documents or articles. The key is to not overwhelm the visitor. Let them choose what interests them and they’ll explore further on their own. (Blogs like this one can be an exception to this rule.)
Is your site poorly written or full of typos?
This could send the message that you don’t care about properly communicating your business and that you’re not taking it seriously. (Now I have to re-read this post at least 5 times to make sure I’m not breaking this rule.) If you don’t have the staff to help you with proofreading, hire a writer to help or bring in some friends or family.
The days of treating your website as an afterthought or “nice to have” are over. A company’s website is a mission critical aspect for most modern businesses and should be taken seriously.