Does your companies online presence match with its interactions with clients in the ‘real world’?
Does a new visitor to your website get a realistic impression of who you are and what you can do for them?
Many people and companies who have been in business for a number of years seem to see their website, or social media accounts as add-ons, side projects or somehow separate from their everyday business.
In the company head office, the carpets will be vacuumed, the walls will be painted and the staff will be well-dressed. Online, the company website might be old fashioned, out of date, and with inaccurate or incomplete information. In many cases websites will literally be broken, and on display for the world to see.
I would argue that your website is even more important than your office.
When someone is inside your office there is a high possibility of them already being customers, or having been referred to you by an existing customer. They are already sold!
Someone coming to your website is less likely to know who you are, so first impressions will be crucial.
Someone browsing online for a company that offers your product or service is likely to click away from a tired, out of date or poor quality site. They will keep searching until they find what they are looking for.
They will see a competitor who presents themselves online in the professional manner that you display in person. This competitor will get the new client.
It could be that you can offer better value than the competitor. The competitor that you lose business to might even be terrible! They might even be a new start-up company who has no idea and who are destined to fail?
It could be pure luck that they found a good web developer who was able to make them appear more professional and dedicated than you.
The difference in real terms?
- A trail of lost opportunities for new clients, because of the impression your website gave them.
- A portrayal of being second best, in full view of the world.
- A demonstration of a lack of integrity on your part.
- A few thousand pounds or dollars that you could have invested to update your website.
… This trail of lost clients doesn’t just stretch behind you on the path that you have already walked. It stretches in front of you as far as the eye can see. It continues as long as you stay on this same path.
… The portrayal of being second best, of even being last, would mortify you in ‘real life’. If you were at a trade show or presentation and received an award for being last, you would do everything in your power to make sure that it didn’t happen again. Well I have news for you, the internet IS part of ‘real life’.
… What is integrity? Some people think that integrity is doing the right thing or telling the truth. Honesty and morality are friends of integrity, but they are not the same thing. Integrity is where everything pieces together in the best way it can, with no gaps. Structural integrity does not leak or rattle, human integrity is where your actions match your values. Business integrity involves you delivering on your value proposition, it also means that your business messages are in sync. You cannot say that you offer the best product or service then have a website that says you simply don’t care about your reputation.
… Lastly, modern web design and creating an effective online presence does not have to cost a lot of money. If you are in a competitive market and you want to be number one, then yes you might need to spend 5 or even 6 figures per month on advertising, SEO, social media management and so on.
If you are a small to medium sized established business, and your website is lacking, just spending a few thousand will make a big difference.
It doesn’t have to have custom patented features. It just has to be attractive and informative enough to get your message across to your next client who might not know what you can do for them.
It certainly has to be welcoming enough so that you don’t scare customers away, or demonstrate a lack of business integrity.
If this post resonates with you, and you want to turn away from the path with the trail of lost opportunities, drop me a message and I will see if I can help.