Everyone Checks You Out Online First
No matter what kind of company you are, no matter what market your serve, no matter how private your company might be, no matter how much your business relies on referral and word of mouth, the first place anyone will go to vet you is the Internet – specifically your website and the search engines. A confusing, poorly designed or bargain basement website, bad reviews or being difficult to find will influence even your biggest, rock-solid client.
Your site needs to reflect that yours is the best company to handle whatever it is you do. This should be presented in a confident, understated, personalized manner.
Your site is a direct reflection of your company and although the site may not be visited often, one visitor with a huge order might be swayed to pick up the phone by the information and presentation of the site. It only takes one person or one major opportunity generated from the site to it to pay for itself tenfold.
While it would be nice to have an engaging, exciting, dynamic site, the success of your site is never going to be about sizzle. It is all about substance, and that comes down to the ease with which visitors can find and navigate content, content and content.
Your immediate need is to make sure that your information shows up correctly and exactly the way you want it to on the search engines, especially Google. The second part is to make sure that the information on your site is easy for visitors to find and navigate.
My number one recommendation is to put phone numbers and contact buttons at the top of every page. Anyone that goes on your website is looking for information. The easier you can make it to supply them what they need, the better you will look.
Every site that I build must have the following elements at the top:
- The company logo in the left hand corner or in the center.
- The company’s Unique Selling Proposition in the center. Either under the logo or to the right of it.
- There must be a phone number and contact information in the upper right hand corner.
Make it easy to find. Do not make someone work for it, because they won’t. They will just leave the site.
This format immediately communicates to the visitor why they are there and how to get in touch. This is the first thing they see.
Once that is done, the site should be built as if you are leading the visitor on a tour. You should control what they see and when they see it.