Your website is as much an extension of your business as your storefront. Keep your site up to date, relevant and useful to your visitors and reap the rewards of a marketing tool that generates as much as 45% of your business revenue.
On the other hand, let your website become stale and out-dated and risk damaging your reputation and credibility. Here are 15 ways to boost credibility with your website:
- Stay current with your content and your business information. If your hours, prices or inventory change – change your website.
- Stay current with design trends. That’s not to say that you change with fads, but times change and you should too. At the very least, keep a design team (like Inspired 2 Design) on retainer for updates!
- Stay current with technology – update to meet today’s best practices (eliminate frames, wallpapers, stretching).
- Update your copyright year – every year.
- Pay attention to details – especially grammar and spelling – and spend extra time that shows to your visitors like adding borders, drop shadows and captions to photos.
- Be respectful of your visitor – shorten fill-in forms, minimize PDFs, design and write content to your audience’s level of understanding. Create pages that load quickly.
- Be real – utilize your physical address, take credit cards, post your policies, display trust and association logos.
- Don’t host ads. Unless you’re the yellow pages or an online advertising vehicle, ads have no place on your business website.
- Don’t create an all Flash website. Search engines cannot index them, file sizes are traditionally large and take too long to load, and all the pomp and circumstance is often viewed as unprofessional.
- Don’t use a template for your site. Invest in a custom design for your business.
- Show off your experience. Add a client list and testimonials. Add FAQs that are real questions.
- Have confidence – use words that illustrate you know your business and you know how to meet the needs of your clients like “believe” instead of “think”.
- Make your call to action simple – download, sign up, contact, or call.
- Be more than just an online brochure – offer information, news, articles, events, photos, free information. The value you add gives visitors the impression that you’re interested in their needs, not just your own.
Building confidence online takes time and effort. If you haven’t updated your website in over a month – do it now. If you haven’t looked at your website this week, what are you waiting for? If your brother’s next-door neighbor took a class in web design and did you website for you, maybe it’s time to call a professional. If a minimum of 20% of your business is not coming from the Internet…you’re losing money.