Tuesday, 12 August 2014

What does your website say about you?

How people perceive your company just by looking at the design of your website.

Although I could start by giving you an example of a poorly designed website that some magnificent company unfortunately has, I have decided to work backwards and describe to you how even poorly managed companies can succeed with a brilliant looking website.

I recently got myself a puppy. I haven’t owned a pet myself before, but one of the first things I knew I had to do was find a vet to book my new pooch into to receive his puppy shots. I got straight onto Google, as we all do now and started searching local practices. I came across a website of a local vet, the website was well designed and informative, it was clean and simple, no broken links or disjointed areas; there were good looking animals with smiling doctors and nurses in very sterile looking rooms. Prices were reasonable so I booked my pup in… Here is part of the website (I’ve hidden the brand name, purely because naming and shaming companies is not what I want to be a part of):

I felt pretty positive about what I was heading in to, but when I actually came to the practice I was quite surprised! It was this cramped, shabby little shop with clutter of pet products everywhere, no smiling doctors and nurses from the pictures, no sterile white rooms with happy golden retrievers and ragdoll kitties like on the website. It wasn’t a big deal, the vet was nice enough and my puppy got his shots and is healthy; but I couldn’t believe how I had felt about the practice just from looking at their website, vs how different the actual practice looked (think examination table inside a dark, dingy $2 shop).

I thought… these guys have done something right. They have put effort into the marketing area they needed to gain customers with. The way the website makes you feel vs the way the practice makes you feel doesn’t match at all but luckily for them first impressions count and after seeing their website they already had me. Yes I could have cancelled my appointment once I got in, but what a hassle that would be! And the actual Vet was just fine, she had her degree and knew what she was doing; I walked away feeling they could use some help from an interior designer to bring the shop up to the same standards as the website.

Your website is your visual brand, it is the first impression a potential customer has of you and the services you have to offer. It is important they feel positive and know what to expect when they hire you. A poorly designed website with bad fonts, colours, images and information as well as broken links and no SEO damages that first impression someone has of your company and could cause you to lose customers. If you are unsure what your website says about you please contact me and I will give you free advice in the areas I think your site could improve on to gain a lasting impression that counts.

(I did scold myself later for falling for such marketing hype, now I think about it I’m sure I have seen those stock photos of doctors and animals online before.)

Do you think it is unfair to use images of people on your website who clearly do not work at your company?

No comments:

Post a Comment