Here are three tips on how to improve your website image and business image.
We’ve asked different Web-users what they thought of different websites we found on the Web and what their perception is of the businesses that owned those websites. Websites that were considered “ugly” or “bad” were often perceived or called “amateur websites” or “homemade websites”. The reactions and the perceptions were often negative towards these “amateur websites” and “homemade websites”.
When we asked these users to describe the impression they had about the businesses that owned these websites, here were some of the descriptions and reactions we received: (the users are not familiar with the business or the websites they were viewing):
- “They’re cheap.”
- “It’s a business that likes to cut corners (or costs) so they probably do the same things in their products.”
- “It may be a dirty restaurant (because they don’t seem to care about their image).”
- “The business is behind/old-fashioned.”
- “It’s a business that doesn’t care.”
- And the list goes on.
Unfortunately, customers often do “judge a book by its cover”. So if your website is sending the wrong message, it can be costing you business. Here’s what you can do:
1. Don’t Use a Homemade or DIY (Do It Yourself) Website
Unless you’re a professional Web designer and/or Web developer, you probably shouldn’t be creating your own website for your business. Even if you took HTML class a few years ago, don’t do it. Chances are, what you had learned is already outdated and no longer cutting it. Even if you had taken HTML classes recently, it still isn’t advisable. Why? Think about the business that you are in. Can you transfer the knowledge and experience that you have learned to someone else with a few classes? Obviously not. So if you expect to launch a successful website that your business will depend on, you are better off making the investment to hire a company that has the experience. Saving a few dollars today to cost you a lot of money tomorrow, isn’t a wise investment. (Inc. magazine has an interesting article on homemade websites you may also like.)
These days, a business website is just as much of a necessity as a store sign or a telephone line. So if you’re starting a new business, research and find out what type of website you need, find out how much it will cost and factor that into your business plan. If you’re already running a business, factor in a professionally-created website into your advertising or marketing plans. If you already have a website but need some updating or refreshing, you don’t need to overhaul your entire website, you can start phasing in changes to modernize or beautify your site. This way, your existing customers won’t wonder “what happened” or get lost if they see an entirely different website and at the same time, you can keep the cost down.
2. Replace Your Website’s Bad Photos with High-Quality Photos
One of the things that greatly improves the visual appearance of a website are good photos. If you used a point-and-shoot or phone’s camera to take some of your website’s pictures, you need reevaluate the quality of those photos. Ask a few people who is willing to provide honest feedback and see what they think about the photos and the image of your website.
Often, business owners feel they are “saving some money” by taking the photos themselves. Unless those business owners are professional photographers, they will likely end up taking sloppy to average photos that come off looking cheap. If that’s the image you going for then cheap photos are fine. If it isn’t, then use professional photos/images.
Here’s a video on YouTube that contrast the difference between amateur photography and professional photograph:
You can probably figure out which images will help sell homes and which ones will not. You can see what a huge difference the photos make!
3. Rewrite Your Website Content
Make sure your content is well-written. If it’s written poorly, you’re also hurting your image. Eliminate any spelling errors, grammatical errors, gender biases, etc.
Good spelling isn’t hard to do. You don’t need to be a spelling bee champion, you just need to run spell-check to weed out the spelling mistakes. So there are no excuses for bad spelling! For grammatical errors in English, you’ll need someone who can speak and write proper English to proofread your content and correct any mistakes. You should also check for gender biases in your content or writing. Avoid assuming your reader is male or female. Avoid using “he”, “him”, “she”, “her” in your sentences if you are not referring to a specific person in the story. Also, avoid using gender biased-titles or terms like cameraman, instead you can say “photographer” or “camera operator”, etc.
These three steps are not the only things you can do to improve your website and business image but they are a start and they do make a big difference.