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What does your website say about you?

The first thing that I do when considering doing business with someone is look at their website. How about you?

That first glance usually tells me everything that I need to know in more ways than one. If I come away with a negative impression I probably won’t go there.

As a business owner, you must look at your website from your customer’s eyes. This is very often and first (and possibly the last) impression that people have of you and your operation. You need to do everything in your power to grab them before they run in the other direction.

Here are some of the key things that I look for when I’m evaluating a website. Does yours pass the test?

  • Is it plainly obvious what you are selling or the services that you are providing? I don’t want to show up at a store that doesn’t have what I’m looking for because I didn’t understand your website.
  • Does your site look like it hasn’t been updated since 1989? It tells me that you don’t really care about your business or your first impressions very much.
  • Is your location accurate? Yes, that’s a stupid question, but it really makes me mad when I go to the address on your website only to find a ‘for rent’ sign on the window. Ditto for making sure that Google has your address right.
  • Has your site been hacked? If my anti-virus gives me an alert that your site is unsafe you can bet I won’t be doing business with you.
  • Does your site have videos that play automatically and burn up my data, horrible music, waving flags, unreadable script fonts, annoying background patterns, page counters and bright colors that cause epileptic seizures? Please say no.
  • Is there an easy way for me to contact you? If not, maybe I won’t bother.
  • Does it seem like you really want my business? Is there a call to action on your website, or are you just going through the motions without a lot of enthusiasm?
  • Does the site design look like you did it yourself (no offense)? If so, what else aren’t you investing in when it comes to doing business?

Sure, I’m pickier than most when it comes to websites. But investing in and maintaining your website is even more critical nowadays than your old yellow page ad or your business cards. Your site will appear on search engines far and wide, along with other listing services that allow your customers to review your business for all to see. It’s your job to ensure that those first impressions are so outstanding that your customers can’t wait to get to your door.

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