Is Your Website Damaging Your Credibility?
April 27, 2012 - Posted by Shama Kabani
Your website reflects your brand and philosophy, and is the greatest online marketing tool you will ever have. Well, it can be the greatest online marketing tool you’ll ever have – if you’re doing it right. If you’re doing it wrong, you could be presenting an image of yourself or your company that differs greatly from how you’d like people to see you. What does that mean?
If you have an awful website, you’re going to lose customers.
How do you know if your website is awful? If one or more of the following applies to you, you may be in trouble:
Your content is riddled with really obvious grammatical errors.
Some English teachers out there may cringe to read this (cover your eyes if you must): a cornerstone of interesting blogging is writing in a conversational, relatable style – which may occasionally mean bending the rules of grammar a little bit. Like using sentence fragments, for example. However, there are some mistakes that are just plain unforgivable, and may even cause you to forfeit some customers. These include, but are certainly not limited to:
- Confusing “you’re/your,” “there/their/they’re,” or “to/too/two”
- Misuse of apostrophes
- Capitalizing words For No Good Reason
- Misspelled words
You don’t need to be a grammar expert to run your site’s content through a spell checker, although remember that spellcheck only catches misspelled words that aren’t words – not misspellings that cause you to use the wrong word. In all cases, you should be proofreading carefully. If you are, you may not run into these problems at all.
Your site doesn’t look professional.
A site doesn’t necessarily need to be flashy or cost a lot of money to get the job done. A good site design is easy to navigate, nice to look at, and – at the very least – fully functional. If your site looks like you signed up for Geocities in 1996 and haven’t touched it since, you’re probably doing yourself more harm than good. Check out some examples of bad site design, and then reevaluate what your site looks like.
Your advertising is overwhelming.
We’re only going to say this once, so pay attention: do not put anything on your homepage that blinks, pops up, says “Congratulations! You’ve Won!!” or makes noise. There is not a single Internet user out there who associates a noisy pop-up ad with anything legitimate.
Even if your advertising doesn’t literally scream at people, you still shouldn’t have so much of it that it starts to crowd out your message. Site advertising should be secondary to content.
Your information is outdated.
Keeping your site updated with company news can help potential customers learn more about you – unless you haven’t updated your company’s news for two or three years. Along with ensuring you update site content on a regular basis, you’ll also want to test functionality of all links and site features. When you allow your site to fall out of date, it will appear as though your company has also fallen behind the times.