How is Your Credibility Impacted by Your Website?
For a small business, having a website shows initiative! With 50% of small businesses lacking an online presence, businesses that develop a website are taking an important step in increasing their visibility. In 2014, a study showed that 81% of people will research a company on the web before they make a purchasing decision. Being visible is the first step in making a successful online impression, but your company also needs to be credible. In a focus group study, 48% of people cited a website’s design as the number one factor in deciding the credibility of a business. A website is typically the first or second touch that you make with your prospect. However, simply making the touch is not enough because if your website is poorly designed, 94% of people are led to mistrust or reject the website. To make sure your website positively impacts your credibility, check for these 5 essential elements:
1. Alignment with Your Brand
First and foremost, your website needs to clearly communicate your brand and your marketing goals. A company’s website should be a resource for information such as the value proposition, service offerings and most importantly, what you can provide for a customer. If you have a set of marketing goals already determined, your website should be aligned with those goals. In addition to showing who you are, your website design should align with the colors, fonts, logos and other visual elements of your brand.
2. Design Experience
To gain a consumer’s trust, you must have a strong design. To be exact, 94% of people find that a design makes them trust a company over content. Your design has 7 seconds to grab your prospects’ attention. It is important that within those 7 seconds, you present a powerful web design that evokes emotion and establishes trust.
When building a website, you need to create more than a static look, it needs to be a design experience. In addition to aligning your design to your brand, you also want to ensure that it evokes a feeling with your customers that is consistent with how you want them to feel. The way you design plays a major role on human perception. For example, if you add 15% more green to the yellow on 7UP packaging, people report it has more lime than lemon flavor, even though the drink is untouched. By overlooking the fine details of a design, you could potentially be altering the way a prospect views your company.
Another great example exists in the coffee industry. Dunkin Donuts values quick, low-cost service to meet a high quantity demand. Therefore, their locations are equipped with uncomfortable seats and pink and orange coloring to evoke feelings of an on-the-go experience. On the other hand, Starbucks offers comfortable seating, outlets, calming music, and a soothing color scheme to welcome you into sitting and staying a while. A consistent design that matches a brand’s values lets a consumer know exactly what to expect when interacting with the organization.
If someone goes on to your website and stumbles upon broken links or must sit through slow loading screens, that impacts how they view you as a company. In addition to overall functionality, it is also becoming increasingly important that your website can be viewed and used on a mobile device. Today, 60% of searches are taking place on mobile devices, with some industries seeing even higher percentages. In 2015, Google Search expanded their algorithm for ranking websites so mobile-friendly websites rank significantly higher on mobile searches. Therefore, having a mobile-friendly website not only impacts your credibility, but it also affects your visibility.
4. Create a Conversion
Every website should have some type of conversion tool. When a user gets to your website, you want them to take some action. If a user doesn’t see an endpoint on your website, they are likely to leave without your collecting any information about who they are and how you can convert them to a customer. For example, if you are selling products, ensure your website has an e-commerce platform to allow your users to make a purchase. Ideally, you want to collect their information so you can talk to them about the services your company offers or to have them sign up for an email newsletter, so make sure you have a form available to collect the necessary information. If you want them to read a blog, make sure that you are pointing them in that direction and encouraging them to share or comment. Whatever your business may be or whatever functionality you want your website to have, make sure there is a call-to-action.
5. Consistently Up-to-Date
Your website is the epicenter of resources and information for your clients or customers. You should clearly show prospects that your company is always finding a way to improve and enhance your products or services to better meet their needs. If you weren’t convinced before that having a website is a must, hopefully you are now! But, just having a functional, well-designed website still isn’t enough. Like a storefront, if a website is left untouched after creation, it loses its appeal. Imagine going into a store that is dusty, monotonous, and out of style. Across the street, there is a similar store but they are always bringing in new products, updating their store windows and keeping up with local trends. I think we can all agree that we are going to shop at the store that is up-to-date. The same holds true for a website. Your website should have up-to-date information about your company and your industry to demonstrate that your company is always working to improve. Show thought leadership through webinars, podcasts and blogs to demonstrate your expertise in your industry and to put you a step ahead of your competition. Keeping your website current is a visual representation that your company is contemporary, which will help prospects develop trust in your organization.
How well is your website encompassing these five elements in making your company credible? Is your website the dusty storefront or the trendy store across the street? Contact Paradigm Marketing and Design to learn more about how we can help you develop a website and content that makes you visible, credible and a customer’s top choice.