Stop. Step back and take a look at your business, not from your point of view, but from the eyes of the consumer. We all get wrapped up in the day-to-day operations of our business and it’s easy to overlook our appearance from the outside. With a wealth of information at our fingertips, the first impression of a company is most often derived from its website as a person searches for a particular product or service. As we know, first impressions are critical. So take a moment to pull up your website and ask yourself the following questions (keep your customer in mind when doing so): Can you find your website in a Google search for your product or service? Is the site visually appealing? Is the content up to date? Can you find the information you are looking for and is it easy to navigate? Does the overall design and layout look modern? Compared to other sites for competing companies, would your online storefront win the business?
If your answer to any of the above questions is “no”, then perhaps it’s time to rethink your online strategy and consider a website redesign. An out of date website can give an impression that the core of your business is outdated as well. If you walked into a dental clinic sporting wood panel walls, orange shag carpet and an office manager on a rotary phone, would you feel comfortable asking for a root canal? Ok, so nobody in his or her right mind would ever ask for a root canal! My point is that this could be the best dentist around, but you would never know based on the first impression from walking into the office. Take a moment and ask yourself this: How do you want your business to be perceived and does your website give off this perception?
Aesthetic appeal is important and pertains to the artistic design and layout of your website. Overall, this will have the most impact on the first impression of your business. Studies have shown that little things such as a color scheme or font choice can have a psychological impact on one’s perception. The layout for graphic elements and information is also important and should flow in a way that coincides with the natural tendencies our eyes have in scanning a page. Believe it or not, there are hot spots where eyes tend to gravitate on websites and this needs to be taken into consideration. More information on eye movement patterns as it relates to web design can be found here.
Functionality and user experience of a site is also extremely important. How many times have you searched for information on a particular site, gave up and moved on? Information needs to be logically organized so the average person can easily navigate in its search. Keep it simple and remember that often times, less is more. Too many pages, especially if not properly organized, can confuse and frustrate people to the point that they continue their search elsewhere.
Speaking of searching, if people can’t find your site when searching for your product or service, you’re missing out on potential new business. Designing a site with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in mind and having a strategy in doing so is crucial. Social media integration, blogging and updating your site on a regular basis with current information will improve a site’s SEO, thus making it easier to find during a search. In the SEO world, remember that content is king. Also, being able to measure traffic and results is a must; if Google Analytics hasn’t been integrated, it needs to be.
Now that you’ve had a chance to think about a few things concerning your company’s website, ask yourself one more question: If someone is searching online for your product or service, who’s going to get the call; you or the competition? If it’s not you, then it’s time for an upgrade.
Give us a call today and ask about our special for May! For more information contact, Rob Ridgeway, at 512-994-4429 or [email protected]