smiling  business woman at desk with laptop showing thumbs upI said this before, I’ll say it again…

In the world of the web, successfully winning over a client is not a matter of how wonderful your company actually is in the real world. It comes down to a matter of seconds.

You could have a search engine visitor come to your homepage, and if that person sees a badly designed, credibility-thrashing website -then that visitor will be Google-bound before you can make it back to your desk with a fresh cup of coffee.

Let’s Get Real About What Your Website Is Saying About Your Company

So now might just be the perfect time to sit down and ask yourself a few brutally honest questions…

  • What does your site say about your company?
  • Who’s your online competition? (Hint: the answer might surprise you within a few short moments of searching Google.)
  • After checking out your online competitors, how does your site compare to theirs?

Your website, and especially your homepage, is an online reflection of your company. Because clients and consumers are now largely using the web as their sole source of validation in how they feel about a company, then your website needs to become a major company priority.

Now that we’ve gotten real, now we can get started…

How Do Your Competitors’ Pages Look?

The biggest reason why you absolutely need to scout your competition online is simple: if their website is better designed, updated, and easier to use than yours, then you might as well be endorsing their company. It is unbelievably easy to hit the back button, and your competitor’s site will be sitting right above or below yours on the Google page.

The web is already the prime consumer source for information, and it’s rapidly becoming more and more popular and integrated into our daily lives. Because of this, very soon the race for web-superiority is one where the loser goes out of business.

So, don’t be the loser in that race.

Areas of Focus: the Basics of a Site Worth Visiting

Nevertheless, you still have a chance to catch up …you simply have some spring cleaning and renovations to do on your site, and especially on your homepage. Here are a few areas that you should focus on to make it a site worth visiting.

A stellar, professional website will have…

  • Professional, lightweight, clean design – Lose the clutter, take out pop-ups, and make it easy to read and follow.
  • Mobile friendly, responsive web design – This one is HUGE. These days, 58% of adults have a smartphone and 42% have a tablet. If your site isn’t ‘responsive’, then you’re alienating over half of your traffic.
  • Helpful images that make sense – Your images should add and accentuate your site’s written content, not distract or take away from it.
  • Easy to use and navigate – If users don’t know how to find the information they need, then you’ve lost them.
  • Extremely well-written content content – Typos and bad writing makes content hard to understand, and makes your company’s credibility suffer.
  • Tone and style should fit your target demographics – For example: if your company markets to young adults, then speak to young adults …don’t speak over them with super-intellectual jargon.

You also need to learn what your website traffic is doing through implementing ‘backend analytics’, so you can keep the site updated and holding visitor attention. While this sounds like highly technical task -it’s actually pretty easy.

FIRST Impressions, So They Don’t Become LAST Impressions

So, my final question is simple and is the whole point of why we’re here: after pounding the online pavement and assessing your website, and that of your competitors, would YOU even hire you? If the answer is NOT a resounding, “I absolutely would!” then we’ve got some work to do.

Your website is your visitors’ first impression of you, so you’ve got to make it a good one.