Ideal for companies looking to make an impact online.
We’re more connected than ever before, and in an increasingly globalised world, any whim or want can be instantly satisfied online. Around 96% of households in the UK now have internet access, and for the majority of us, the internet is the first place we turn to for our news, to get information, for entertainment, to bank and to shop.
What this means for you, as a small business owner, is that having a professional-looking website is vital when trying to reach potential customers and be competitive in your market. Whatever industry you work in and no matter the size of your company, this is one aspect of running a business that you can’t afford to overlook. Here’s why having a professional-looking website is vital for your small business, IDEAL for companies to make an impact online.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE KEY
It’s estimated that people make a judgement about someone within the first seven seconds of meeting them – deciding instantly whether they are trustworthy, kind, friendly and more.
Yep, first impressions count, and it’s not just face-to-face meetings which matter. If you have a physical store, people will make the same snap judgement based on it, making subconscious judgments based on the colour scheme, taking in the aroma, and generally just getting a feel for the ambience of the place.
These first impressions don’t even depend on physical interactions; this also applies to your website – in fact, the judgements people reach online can be even quicker. Whether you’re selling handmade jewellery, offering your services as a web designer or giving tips on buying Bitcoin, the effect of a slick website is the same; trust and confidence is generated.
What this means is that if your website looks out of date, confusing, badly designed, or worse, sketchy, that’s the impression potential customers will have of you and your business, too. As such, having a professional-looking website is important in order to portray the image that you want; at a most basic level, of trustworthiness, but also of a brand which customers want to pledge loyalty to.
Try and keep the design clean, the tagline concise and the navigation intuitive. It’s also important to select high-quality and appropriate images, whether that’s of your products or a relevant feature of the service you provide. Run some usability tests – even just with friends and family – to get an idea of how easy it is for people to use your site and what image it gives off.
YOUR WEBSITE DRIVES SALES
According to the Office for National Statistics, at the beginning of 2020, 87% of adults in the UK had shopped online within the last 12 months. Where the remaining 13% are getting their shopping, beats us.
Furthermore, it’s safe to assume that many in-store purchases often begin with an online research session. So, when potential customers are surfing the web to compare products and companies, you need to make sure that your website not only stands out, but that it also shows you and your company in the best possible light.
This is true even if your company doesn’t sell products online at all. For example, if you run a cafe, you should still assume that many people will use your website as a deciding factor in whether to visit or not. Having no website at all drastically reduces your visibility, but having a bad website can actively turn people away, so ensuring that yours looks professionally made is key.
IT GENERATES TRUST AND CREDIBILITY
In addition to making your company more visible, having a high-quality website helps to generate a feeling of trust and credibility around your business. These days, if a company doesn’t have a website at all, potential customers might be suspicious as to why this is. What’s worse, however, is if you have a poor-quality website, as this can make people think that your business as a whole is not very professional – in which case they are unlikely to want to spend their hard earned pounds with you. In a business climate where scams are rising exponentially, it’s vital you establish that sense of trust between company and customer at the earliest available opportunity.
If you have good web skills, there’s no reason why you can’t design and build your website yourself. There are plenty of software services available that can provide you with a template, which can then develop into a website that suits your needs. The experts at Inspired Works recommend that this is one area where you shouldn’t cut corners. They say ‘’high quality, impactful websites’’ make all the difference in building company credibility.
One of the most useful – and genuinely enjoyable – elements of having a website for your company is being able to use it as a vehicle to connect with potential customers and let the personality of your business shine through.
These days, consumers don’t want to deal with a huge, faceless corporation – they want a more personal experience. Having your own website enables you to humanise your business by sharing your story, which is a great way to build up customer loyalty and positive feelings towards your company. So, feel free to inject a bit of humour into your copy, or use some personal photographs to introduce yourself. You can also use your website as a chance to gather customers on a mailing list, which you can then use to advertise more directly where appropriate.