Online, your website is like your office on the high street.
It is a public face, and one that people are increasingly using to judge your business.
As such, it is worthwhile investing money into its appearance and ease of use – just as you would do with a physical office.
I have been researching local companies recently, which has exposed me to many different websites.
Unfortunately, I am finding that many of them are continuing to make the same mistakes – ones which are costing them business and making it easier for their competitors, despite being easily fixed.
Here are a few:
1) The site has gone – if people find you and then go to your website only to find an empty error page they are likely to assume that you have gone out of business. Perhaps you have a new website, but it may be worth keeping the old one as a redirect to the new site. Like the image above, if people go to your address and it’s empty they assume you have gone out of business. At least with a physical building sometimes people put a note in the window telling people where they have moved to.
2) Contact details – the purpose of many websites is to generate enquiries for the business. If this is the goal, then it should be made easy for people to contact you, and to know who you are. If you just have a company name with no personal details you are less likely to receive enquiries – people do business with people. You also want to make it easy for people to reach you, by whatever method they prefer, whether that is by email or telephone or via a social network.
3) Location – I have noticed some sites not actually telling you where they are located. For a limited company it is a legal requirement that the registered address is shown on the website, as well as the other contact details, yet some sites don’t tell you anywhere where they are located. Some other sites have started posting vague statements about areas they cover – that might bring them search results, but when local people are looking to do business with a local company they are going to be less than impressed that they are based maybe 100 miles away but ‘cover’ the area.
4) Email address – there are three aspects to consider. The first is whether it is made easy for people to contact the company – complicated forms with large numbers of compulsory boxes will drive clients away. The second is the actual email address. It is very affordable to have a personal email, rather than joebloggs at hmail. When people are contacting the business, if they see that they only have a free email address it will affect their impression of the business. The final aspect is to ensure that the email address is a valid one – if people receive a bounced email error after taking the time to write you a message, it is as bad as an empty office with no-one there to speak to a potential client.
These are several of the points to consider, which are all simple and low cost options to increase the business generated from a website. Depending on how the website content management system is structured, they should be able to be changed in minutes rather than hours.