In the olden days of the Internet (say, 8-10 years ago) you could get away with a basic, even amateurish website.
But not any more.
The web has evolved and people now expect you to have a good website.
Your site doesn’t have to be all glitzy with tons of bells and whistles. But it does have to be solid, up-to-date and quickly provide people with the information they’re looking for.
People nowadays intuitively know what a good website, or at least a decent site, should look like.
First Impressions Matter
Like it or not, people are checking you out online.
You meet someone at a party or business function, and you give them your business card. What do they do when they get home?
They Google your name or your company to find out more about you, and the first thing they’re looking for is your website.
Do you show up on page 1 of Google for the name of your business? If not, your credibility takes an immediate hit.
If they do find your website, they then start forming their opinion of you based on the overall look of your site.
- Does your site have a modern design?
- Is it easy to navigate?
- Do you have valuable, well-written content?
- Does your site have pictures and videos?
- Etc, etc.
Don’t fight it. It’s just how things are these days.
Your website is the face of your business on the Internet.
So if you plan on doing business in 2012 and beyond, you need to have a good website. It’s just that simple.
So What Makes A Good Website?
Myles Anderson of BrightLocal.com just published some fascinating results of a survey he conducted with nearly 1,200 people identified as “local consumers”, and their opinions regarding local business websites.
Here are the results of the survey:
What are consumers’ attitudes toward local business websites?
66% of the survey respondents felt that one or more of the following was true:
- A good website gives a business more credibility.
- They are more likely to contact a local business if they have a website.
- They trust a local business more if they have their own website.
25% said they didn’t really care if the business had a website or not.
9% said a bad/ugly website can be a turn-off from using that business.
What do these results mean?
Your website is a reflection of your business. It affects your credibility. Make your site, clean, clear and professional.
What information is most important to consumers on a local business website?
Ranked from most important to least important:
- List of prices. (most important)
- List of services
- Easy to find contact information.
- Physical address of business.
- Driving directions.
- Customer testimonials.
- Clear photographs of business.
- Personal message from manager.
- Links to social media profiles. (least important)
What do these results mean?
Keep it simple. Your visitors mainly just want to know if your product/service will help them solve their problem. Therefore, make it quick and easy for them to find the information they’re looking for.
Some other interesting findings from the survey:
- 43% of consumers are more likely to contact a business if their website shows clear prices and demonstrates a good value or a special offer.
- The top 3 things that would influence a consumer to *not* contact a local biz:
A. No physical address on the site.
B. A site that is slow to load.
C. An ugly or badly designed website.
To Sum Things Up
You can drive all the traffic you want to your website, but if your site is poorly designed or needs a lot of work, those visitors are not going to become customers.
As Myles Anderson puts it:
“It’s common for local business owners to obsess too much about outward promotion and search rankings.
The visible significance of page 1 rankings is very appealing to local business owners – “hey look we’re on page 1 of google – great!”
But it’s the ability to turn this flurry of website visits into actual customers which generates additional revenue which is ultimately what counts.”
For more information, please see:
Simplicity Is Key To Converting Local Consumers To Customers by Myles Anderson.