Most people know that when they start a business, they should create a website. In the digital world, your website is where potential customers are going to look for more information about your business. More than just a central location for information, having a website establishes credibility. The thinking is, if you’re a real business, you’ll have money to spend on a website.
I’m glad that’s something most business owners have come to understand, but I think it’s important to take that understanding a step further now. It has essentially become a myth. Having a website can establish credibility, yes. But having an unattractive, unorganized, inconsistent website can undo any credibility the URL would have given you.
You don’t need to have a website. You need to have a good website.
What makes a good website? Well, let’s look at things from a potential customer’s perspective – the kind who doesn’t have any prior knowledge of you. Someone who is doing their Googles for the service or product you sell in their area.
What’s going to put you in the running to get chosen? Your website has a lot to do with it.
I’ll just share my own personal process for choosing a new business to patronize.
1. Google “service” in “my area”
2. Take a look at the first few results
3. Open Facebook in a second tab; search “service” in “area”
4. Compare the lists; if they look fairly similar, go back to Google
5. Click the first website and check it out
Here are the signs that’ll usually get me to exit the site:
• The site is difficult to navigate
• I can’t easily find the information I’m looking for
• The branding doesn’t seem consistent
• The look and the feel of the site seems outdated
• Grammar, spelling errors
(Though the bullet points may make this process seem long and sophisticated, it actually happens in a matter of seconds.)
6. Between the sites still in the running, I click through the social media links on the site. If the links are broken or outdated, they get eliminated.
7. From there, I check out the social media profiles and look at recent activity, client reviews, etc. If by chance I get to a business from their social media first, I expect to see a click-through link to their website. And if I don’t see one, they get kicked out of the running.
The point is, this weeding out process isn’t based specifically on the quality of the service or product because I don’t know that information just yet. I’m making guesses about what the quality may be based on the information I do have. If you have the best lash bar in the area, don’t lose out on potential customers unnecessarily because your site looks like something out of the 90s.
If you have a website, I encourage you to take a close look at it. Does it look appealing? Does the design represent your brand well? What are visitors coming to your site for? Are they able to get to that information in fewer than 3 clicks? If not, it may be time to give your website a facelift.