No matter how strong your brand is in other avenues, whether it be visual design, name recognition, traditional advertising, or any number of areas, none of this matters if your website doesn’t hold up to this same level.
The First Impression
What does a first impression mean to you? How much impact does a first impression have? According to Les Kollegian, CEO of the Jacob Tyler Advertising Agency and author of the Jacob Tyler Business Rebranding Guide,
“The website is quite often the consumer’s first impression of your brand. This is where you have 3 seconds to pull the visitor in with an effective message or brand story. This opportunity is fleeting in many ways because if a user leaves, a very small percent ever return. Thus, it ends up in a loss of brand equity and sales.”
Bad User Experience = Bad Customer Service
Now, we all understand that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but whenever we view a website that is incredibly outdated from a content and design perspective, it just reeks of poor customer service, inferior products, and services. This perception may or may not be the correct reality; however, why gamble with decreasing your brand perception of your products or services to your target audience? This failure to properly manage your website is doomed for opportunities lost.
Aesthetic design issues are notorious for dragging down sales, conversions, and healthy SEO metrics, while increasing bounce rates and opportunity costs.
The first place to start is to put yourself in the visitor’s shoes. Would you request information or order products or services from your own website? Don’t kid yourself. Would you?
It is worth the extra time, money, and revisions to develop a website that accurately communicates your brand. I mean, when your business identity is listed on the World Wide Web and accessible by everyone in the world with an Internet connection, why wouldn’t you?
Your brand identity goes beyond just the aesthetic or visual elements that represent your company. The brand also encompasses the entire scope of what your business does, how it operates and how it interacts with clients, customers, or the public at large. It oozes customer service.
This is especially important today in 2019 and will only continue to increase as such going forward as more and more of commerce, marketing, and our lives in general reside in the digital world. As Les Kollegian states,
“Your website experience is your brand. How your receptionist answers your phone is your brand. The condition of your bathroom is your brand. A Company’s brand is the thread that runs through every piece of your business. That’s why a brand is so important.”
Depending on your product or service, 20% to 80% of your target audience may be visiting your website from a mobile device. Which mobile devices, you ask? Great question! There are a variety of mobile screen resolution sizes to optimize your content for.
If you get this wrong and create a mobile environment that is difficult for your website visitors, you will lose 80% of them to your competitors. Again, do you think it’s worth investing in a professional website?
Imagine the front door handle to your brick-and-mortar business started badly sticking whenever a customer tried to use it and they had to keep trying until either they finally got it open or just gave up and left. Would you ignore that problem and just let it continue? Absolutely not, since that would be ridiculously frustrating for your customers and reflect poorly upon your brand. No, instead you would put some WD-40 on the handle, right?
The same concept should be true of your website.
When it comes to a successful internet presence, your website is the heartbeat of its success, failures and all potentially mundane efforts to market your business online. No matter how strong your brand is in other areas, you will experience an ever increasing amount of opportunity cost, which is extremely devastating for business owners, sales professionals, and marketing teams. Don’t allow techniques that cut corners to determine your success!