What makes a Great Website?
Here at Márla Communications one of our service offerings involves the design and development of websites be that brochure style sites or a fully functioning e-commerce sites.
We have all heard the old expression “first impressions last”. This statement should be ringing in the ears of every business owner and Managing Director when it comes to their business. This old expression still rings true but the times have definitely changed for businesses. Now there are many more opportunities for a business to make an impression with their market than ever before!
Often when chatting to business owners, we are asked the following questions:
• Should I invest in a website for my business?
• What makes a great website?
• How much will it cost?
Instantly the phrase – how long is a piece of string comes to mind!
Every interaction a potential customer has with your business should be a positive experience, especially if it forms their first impression of your businesses. There are many other businesses out there competing for the same customer spend as you are. It is extremely difficult to change a potential customers perception of your business, especially if it is a negative perception.
The majority of businesses are very good when it comes to the traditional ways that customers interact with businesses. However, many businesses don’t place enough importance on the impression they leave with their market online.
Nowadays, a large proportion of customers do their research online before making a purchase through a company website or visiting a shop or office and making a physical transaction. Customers also receive recommendations by friends on social media when their friends share company posts and like business pages. What impression does your website or Facebook page give about your business?
Make your website presence a positive experience
If you have a website for your business then you need to look at it through the eyes of your target market. You need to ask yourself what your website says about your business. Websites that are outdated and difficult to navigate will not paint a very good picture with website visitors. Businesses need to capture attention fast, never more so than online where patience is a rare commodity and a competitors website is only a Google search query away.
Always make sure that your website reflects the values of your business. Seemingly small oversights such as spelling errors and grammar mistakes can seriously impact a potential customers perception of your business. Also, it is important to post blogs regularly to highlight the expertise that your business offers and more importantly to emphasis that your website is continuously updated.
If the last blog you posted on your website is a couple of years ago, you may be giving the wrong message to website visitors. Potential customers may assume that your website has outdated content and that your business is not currently operating. Keep your blog posts regular and don’t leave massive time gaps between posts.
Don’t forget about social media accounts
Social media channels often provide the first point of contact that a potential customer has with your business. People are a lot more likely to purchase from a business if they receive recommendations from a friend or their network on social media. This is why it is so important to keep your social media accounts like Facebook up to date with eye catching imagery as these pages can be shared and are easily accessible on social media and search engines.
When it comes to social media you must always be vigilant
When it comes to social media you must always be vigilant when it comes to your actual social media page and when you are posting content on these pages. On the social media page, you should strive to have nice imagery for the profile picture and banner as they usually form the first impression a visitor has when they land on a social media page. Other elements are extremely important too such as having Facebook Reviews set up on your Facebook page and putting your strongest reviews to the top.
It goes without saying (which I will anyway), you should always keep your business profile on social media updated regularly. Your description should highlight what makes your business different and it should always have the correct link to your website and contact details. It is also essential that you post content on social media regularly. If your last post has been a few months ago then it looks like you have abandoned the page!
When it comes to social media posts, you should be extremely aware of the reach these posts have the potential of receiving. Your primary objective when posting on social media should be to share content that you would like your audience to like, share and comment on. When your audience interacts with your post they increase the potential of a new customer finding out about your business for the first time. This will be their first impression of your business! As with all first impressions, you want to give off the right impression. This is why it is essential that your profile image that accompanies your posts has your branding (and it looks well). The content of the post should never have spelling errors. If you upload an image with your post (especially a picture you have taken of your staff or products), the image should be clear and not blurry.
Always make sure that the image you include with your post reflects positively for your business and you should be very aware of what is captured in the background of a picture. It is worth double checking a picture as there may be something in the background that you may not want your audience to see such as customer details on a staff members computer screen.
Get the right advice
It is highly recommended to carry out regular reviews of your offline and online presence every few months through secret shoppers or an online audit. If you are not sure of how your business is being perceived by your target market, it may be worth seeking some professional advice. We hope you found this blog interesting and please let us know if you have any questions or feedback.