First Impressions Count
Would you dream of going to a prospective client wearing tracksuit trousers, t-shirt and scruffy trainers? No, but there are still so many companies doing exactly that with their website.
With increasingly tough competition and potential customers using the internet as their main source of finding companies to do business with, it is essential to stand out from the crowd. You may well offer a better quality product or service than your competitor but does your website reflect this? How many times have you quickly dismissed a company just because you did not like the look of it?
Research undertaken by the AOP (Association of Online Publishers) revealed that 97% of business decision makers polled, cite the web as the "most used" form of media. Websites were shown to have achieved a dominant role in the decision-making and purchasing process for businesses, with just over 50% suggesting that the internet is their first port of call.
Therefore, having your website make the right impression is becoming more and more important these days as people use this media to assess whether you are the right company for them to do business with. You should use your website like you would a sales pitch; be presentable, propose the right information, sell the company values and clearly demonstrate your products and/or services.
So, with this in mind, here are some important factors to consider when designing or looking at your existing website:
- Make sure that your landing page is visually appealing, uncluttered and tells the viewer in no more than three short sentences what it is your company does and how it will benefit them.
- Ensure that the branding used on your business stationery is reflected on the website.
- Have a clear "click to action"; call this number, buy this product, fill-in this form or take up this offer.
- Make sure your content is up to date if you have a news area. If you have news that is over 12 months old, people may think you have gone out of business.
- Do not use any industry jargon in the wording, keep it simple.
- Think through your website navigation and check that it is intuitive and quick for the user to get to the main content.
- Plan out each page and decide what content or functionality you need and why you need it.
Choosing the right website design company is important. There are a number of agencies out there that are good at either designing or building a website, but you need to find an agency that can do both really well. A good looking website is important but if there are broken links and functions that don't work potential clients will view the quality of the website as a reflection of how you do business.
So, now you have a website that you can be proud of, what's next? Tell your potential client base. There are many techniques that can be used here and all you need to do is choose the one/s that will have the highest penetration rate for your market.
Here are some examples of traditional methods that can be converted to internet methods:
- Printed direct mail. A web page made into an email sent to either a purchased email database or a list you have constructed.
- Advert in an industry specific publication. Adwords, the sponsored links in the right hand side of search results page on a search engine or putting banner ads on selected websites.
- An event to demonstrate your product. A video that is streamed on your website for anyone to see or for you send out a link to.
There are many more examples and in most cases the internet version is far more cost effective; make it once and use it over and over again for free!
Finally, here is something you should be considering for this year; the mobile internet. Mobile web usage is growing far quicker than the PC based internet. It should also come as no surprise that the user base for the mobile internet is younger than the traditional desk-top based internet. If you are a business targeting the 15 - 34 year old market then you should consider having a mobile internet website as well as a desk-top version.
Now it is over to you to make the most of this very cost effective, high return media. Don't let your competitors get in there first and take all that potential new business.
XT Motion have been a pleasure to work with, they had a raft of great design ideas that have worked to completely transform our website. They took the time to really understand our business and create a site that fulfils all our needs. We would happily recommend them to anyone wanting a really high quality website.
Business Development Manager
Our website is at the very heart of our business and everything about it, from looks to functionality, had to be right. XTmotion provided us with a comprehensive solution from concept through to launch, with continuous back-up and support. The level of service and professionalism has been second to none, and XTmotion provided us with the flexibility which we needed to get our business online to the tightest of deadlines.