It was Friday night and I was enjoying a quiet dinner at home, when suddenly CRACK! – part of my tooth broke off !!!!! "Damn" I thought, "Now what?" I immediately went online to see if I could find a dentist that is open on Saturday morning. So I searched and searched.
The good news was there were plenty of dentists in my area … the bad news was that I could not find either they were open on Saturdays. After looking through various websites for about an hour, I narrowed it down to three dentists, who were open on the weekend. But in the end there was no competition as only one of the scholars had a professional looking website!
Do not get me wrong the website was not flash, but it was clean, easy to navigate and most of all, provided me with the information I was looking for. I phoned the next morning, made an appointment and even got to see a dentist that day!
After that experience, it really hit home … what difference a professional looking website makes! I am sure most of the dentists in my area are great at what they do, but none of their websites depicted that. As a result they lost a customer who will spend hundred, possibly even thousands of dollars on their services.
So if you have a website and are hiring it will bring you lots of visitors who will turn into paying customers, it is EXTREMELY, let me say that again EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that your website:
1. Is Visitor Friendly
What this means is that your customers must be able to find what they are looking for easily and quickly. And that means a great navigational system. Most websites either display their navigation bar on the left or at the top. And since most people are used to this type of navigation, it's best to stick with it. It also helps to include your navigation bar at the bottom of each page to save your visitors from having to scroll back to the top.
2. Focuses on your customer's needs
Rather than trying to "sell your business", let your prospects know how your product / service is going to benefit them. Emphasize the benefits and solve problems. Make this the focus of everything you write on every page of your site. Do not try to sell visitors your products or service, help them.
3. There are no spelling mistakes
Ensure there are no spelling or grammatical errors. Check that all links are working and graphics display correctly.
4. Proves credibility
Include testimonials from your current customers to show your potential clients that you are trustworthy, reliable and that you offer great service and / or products. Make sure the testimonials are real and if possible provide contact details of the person who provided you with the testimonial. If you do not have any right now, get them! Simply email your customers and ask for their feedback on your business and service. Most happy customers will gladly provide this.
You could also include before and after photos. Show the problem picture and below it show the picture of resolution, with an explanation of your product's benefits.
5. Contact details
Place contact details in as many places as possible. Make it easy for your customers to contact you. Create a special "Contact Us" page, include your details in "About Us" page and also at the bottom of each page. Information to include: business name, physical address, mailing address, telephone, fax, email, emergency number, website address and most importantly, do not forget to include your business hours.
6. Offers a Money Back Guarantee
The longer the guarantee, the more effective it will be. It could be 30 days, 60 days, 1 year or lifetime. Remember you are trying to take the risk out of doing business with you.
7. Provide information that people are looking for
If you do not provide it, someone else will. Content is still the king. You should include as much information as possible – not only detailed descriptions and prices of your products and services, but also free resources, articles, reports, ebooks related to your industry, service and products. You can easily source free information on the internet. This will ensure that customers will keep coming back to your website, even if it is just to get information. The more they visit, the more you will stick in their mind as an expert and the next time they are ready to order your products / services, you will be their first choice.
If your website features any of the following, your website definitely needs an EXTREME MAKEOVER or at least a face lift.
1. Flash intros, revolving globes, bevelled line separators, animated mail boxes
2. Loads of pop up or pop under boxes
3. Autoplay music. Allow your customer to play music only if they choose.
4. Hit counters of the free variety, which say "you are 27th visitor"
5. Date and time stamps, unless your website is updated daily or weekly
6. Busy backgrounds.
Ask yourself – does my website port the professional image I want my customers to see? Have I provided all the information that my customers may want or need to know? If you answered no to either of these, call your website designer today or you could lose thousands of dollars as your customers head to your competitor's door.