First Impressions

I am often stunned by what I hear coming from the mouths of business owners as it relates to their personal website. I’ve heard things like:  “Something is better than nothing”, or “My brother in law did that site for me and it looks fine”, or my personal favorite “I get all my business from word of mouth! I don’t need a damn website or no damn Google!”

They say “Ignorance is Bliss”.  But let’s be clear that there is absolutely nothing blissful about ignoring one’s image online.  And when I am reminded of that famous cliche I can’t help but think of  getting pulled over by a motorcycle cop because I ‘didn’t see’ a ‘stop’  sign. Now we all know that the police generally don’t care if you didn’t see the sign.  And most of the time you’ll get a ticket for it.   Then I thought: “Wouldn’t it be great if I could hand out tickets for poorly designed or non-existent websites?”  I’m joking of course! But I hope you see the irony here.

Just because you as a business owner do not think you should have a website, or that your website isn’t important, does not mean you’re estimation is correct.  The truth is that today we are a nation of convenience.  More and more people are jumping on their smart phones to find a business, it’s products and services.  And with regard to the ‘image’ of one’s business one normally has only one chance to make a good first impression.

A poorly designed website is similar to a broken sign at the front of a business, or one with only letters and no lighting behind it. I call these signs (With only letters) ‘Giant Business Cards’ because that is what they really are.  Lettered signs were designed for ‘walk by’ traffic, not for drive by’s.  What these signs are really saying is: “I’m not really concerned with my image or what my prospects think.”

Sadly, it’s true.  It’s the same with regard to how your business is viewed.  These days 65% of your prospects will search for your business and it’s services via smartphone.  If your site isn’t mobile ready your visitors will have a more difficult time navigating the site and will often get discouraged and bounce.  If your website doesn’t hold their attention your visitors will bounce.  If they have to search too long for information on your website your visitors will bounce.  If your home page takes too long to load your visitors will go elsewhere.  When your visitors ‘bounce’ it will negatively affect your ranking.

A lackluster image hurts everyone involved in your business; from the ‘go-fer’ employee to those at the top of the organization.  A bad decision or ‘no decision’ regarding one’s website can be catastrophic.  Most have no idea how important this really is.

So at the very least we know that ‘ignoring one’s image’ will inevitably affect profits.  This is something you can count on. I  see evidence of this every day.  And sadly I don’t know of many business owners who can afford to throw away money these days.   Do you?

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