Friday, February 25, 2011

Appearances are everything when it comes to your online brand

Appearances are critical in business... especially online. Your potential customers want to know if your website looks trustworthy. We've all heard the phrase "the appearance of impropriety." The last thing any of us wants is to have that phrase linked to our companies and their websites.

I saw a quote in Website Magazine that sums that feeling up pretty well. The author wrote, "People make snap decisions when they browse the Web. They look for the familiar and the trusted and are equally concerned about fraudulent websites and viruses. To maximize traffic to your website, you need to quickly establish credibility and trust for your company and stand out from your competitors."

I know a perfectly good company -- a carpet cleaner -- with a completely sketchy website. I KNOW these guys. They are upstanding, honest people who do a fair job. But their website plays strange music, things are disorganized, and you just get the feeling that they aren't 100% on the up and up. My best guess is that they lose business because of it.

Take a critical look at your website and some of the things you do. Do you use trust seals in search results? Do you provide customer testimonials, complete contact information, and a detailed "About Us" page? Is your information well-organized? Does your site look friendly, warm, and inviting? How do YOU show your potential customer that you are trustworthy on the web?

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