Ugly Websites Hurt Your Business
Since we are a web design firm maybe we are a little bit baised. But maybe you can trust the results of a study conducted by BrightLocal which showed that 75 percent of consumers will base their opinion of a local business on its website.
- 66% feel that a nice clean professional website gives a local business more credibility.
- 9% of those surveyed would refuse to do business with a business that had a bad or ugly website.
Most business owners we talk to do not realize how powerful an impression visitors can have of a company based on their website. They think that if they display their address, phone number, hours, etc. that people will call. But as seen by the BrightLocal study, that couldn't be farther from the truth.
That's when we explain what is known in psychology as "The Halo Effect." This is a psychological term which essentially means that people do actually judge a book by its cover. This phenomenon has been well documented in all areas of life - politics, judicial proceedings, classroom studies, advertising and many more.
It is a well documented fact that attractive people, for example, get convicted less frequently and receive lighter sentences than those deemed to be less attractive. Likewise, more attractive politicians usually win elections. The analysis of this area of human behavior is quite interesting and can be quite beneficial to a business owner and I would encourage you to do some further reading on it.
At this point you are probably wondering what this has to do with your website. Well, the same principle holds true for your website. You are being judged by it and very often customers are deciding between your business and your competition based on it. As we have pointed out in other tips for businesses, you don't need a "disney-esque" website to create a positive first impression. But you do need a clean layout that look professional with content that is well written.
So, if you are one of the many local businesses that haven't touched their websites in years, you had better take a look at it and decide if it gives the impression you want consumers to have of your business.Likewise, if you saw one of those commercials from companies like 1&1, Intuit, or Vistaprint and decided that was the way to go, you need to take a long hard look at the website to see what impression it will make.
The sad thing is that business owners fall victim to these types of companies due to unscrupulous affiliate marketers. If you search Google for, say, 1&1 you will get tons of rave reviews because affiliate marketers will get a commission for everyone that clicks the links from their spammy sites to sign up at these DIY site builders.
Business owners more often than not find out, often surprisingly, that their quick and easy website really isn't all that quick and easy and it doesn’t really help their business. I find that I often have to take time to educate business owners about the difference between having a website and having a high quality site that ranks high in the search engines for the market in which they are attempting to compete.
I'm not saying that a person can't build a nice professional site with these tools. But I am saying that it is very few people that actually have the time and know how to get their content written for maximum search engine love while conveying a positive impression to potential customers. Also, most do not know how to size and crop their images for site performance as well as looking great. Have you ever been to a site that has several pictures and loads very slowly? Chances are the images are just too large. A site that is too slow will make customers leave in a hurry!
So, if your site needs a facelift or you aren't getting the search engine rankings that will drive sales give us a call and let us help. If you are stuck in a contract with companies like 1&1, Intuit, Vistaprint, SuperMedia, etc we can help you transition out while building up your search engine rankings.