If you live in a town or city, look outside at the people on the street, on the train or subway, or even in the elevator, what are they doing. I would venture that half of them are on a smart phone or tablet searching the web. What are they looking at, maybe videos on YouTube or playing Pokemon Go, but it is just as possible they are looking for a local; place to eat, take their dry cleaning, do their taxes, fix their computer, get a massage, or have their nails and hair done. You name it, someone is looking it up. Today, before someone comes to your store, they are looking at your site and deciding if you are credible. How can you create that sense of credibility? It is really pretty simple:
- Create Content that is Valuable to the Consumer
- Use Photographs that Set Realistic Expectations
- Keep Information About Products and Services Up to Date
Over the last few years we have developed this sort of very new world of the web. Paul Parisi on his podcast, The Edge of Innovation, recently made the point that, “Now the web is sort of assumed. And you need to have a presence on the web that successfully communicates what your company does and what value you bring to that, so that people will get an ability to make a judgment of you.” He makes the point that before people go somewhere, they first ask, “Is it worth me taking my physical presence and going there and doing business with them. How am I going to get what I expect?” They get that answer by looking at your website.
Today, the primary goal of your website is is to establish credibility. With credibility comes business. People should not be surprised when they meet you or come to your business. The people they see on your site should be the people they will see at the business. The language you use on your website should be close to the language people hear when they meet you in person. This will reinforce trust and credibility for your clients and advance your relationship from the outset.
A recent client of ours commented that what she really likes about her website, is that when her potential clients meet her, she regularly hears, “I feel like I already know you, just from looking at your website.” That is incredibly important. For her, many of her clients have decided to hire her even before they have met her. The continuity that potential clients experience between her website and their first “in person” meeting gives her immediate trust and credibility with her clients. What does she do? She provides regularly updated information, she creates useful content talking about her profession and things that would concern her clients; keeps her pictures up to date; has recent testimonials; and is clear about her services and what she offers. There is no disconnect between her and her website. Credibility is the currency of the day.
What does your website say about you and your business. Are you using stock photos? Are your testimonials from three years ago? Is your content dated? Are your services and products up to date? If you answered “yes” to any of these, you may have a credibility gap. Gaps in any of these cause you to lose credibility and if your site doesn’t provide it, people will jump to a competitors site.
Interested in fnding out more about how to improve your website, check out our free e-book, 24 website Must Haves.