Have you ever walked into a store or restaurant, looked around, and walked back out? Do you get a bad impression from someone who offers you a limp handshake or doesn’t make eye contact?
We make snap judgments about people, places and things because we have to. It’s the only way to make sense of the massive amount of information and choices we are faced with every day. So how are potential customers making snap decisions about your company?
One important way is through your website, which is your company’s online storefront. It’s your digital handshake and your first impression to anybody who (hopefully) finds you in an increasingly digital world. Think of your website as a salesperson who works 24/7 and has that rare ability to make a good impression on everyone. In addition to the quality of your site, the way it is built also determines how gregarious it is, which means a poorly built site will turn visitors away or never be seen at all. They’ll take a quick look around and walk back out, never to return.
The good news is you are in full control of the all-important first impression. Great web development is an investment, but when you consider gaining new business online, it’s also a smart expenditure with a typically strong ROI. Here are four things to consider if you are looking to create or update your website:
- Look for a local vender who understands modern web design, intelligent navigation, search engine optimization* and how to lead a visitor to a desired point in the site. The best way to do this is a Google search for web developers in your area. Look carefully at each developer’s website and follow-up with those developers whose sites impress you the most.
- Call around to companies that have used the vendor you’re considering to see if they were happy with the development process and the end result.
- Make sure you have some eye-catching photos of your product. We have become a very visual society.
- Take some time to write down key points to describe your company, products and operating principles. Be clear and concise.
*Search engine optimization (SEO) dictates how well search engines find your site. The better your site is built, the more people will find you through searches.
Director of Communication & Marketing, NPCA