Your online presence essentially acts as the face to your company when found on the internet by customers. Not only is a strong online presence the core to successful marketing, but it’s also the very thing that will either attract or detour customers from choosing your company over a competitor. Customers will judge your business by how your company is portrayed online.
The slightest online blemish will send customers away as your credibility is now tarnished, which is often due to a preventable mistake. Not only will your credibility be damaged, but you’ll have an incredibly hard time building a positive view of your brand. Thus, dramatically lowering your chance of establishing a strong customer base.
Simple little mistakes, such as a less than par website, poor written content, and even the lack of an online presence, will hurt your business in today’s world. A business is expected to be found active online. If you’re not, you aren’t even in the same league as your competitors, and customers won’t even consider you as being worthy of having their business.
Terrible Website Appearance
An estimated 85 percent of B2B customers research a company online prior to making a purchasing decision. Your website’s appearance is often the single most important factor customers use to make an instant judgment about your business. In fact, research from Stanford found that 75 percent of internet users admit to judging a company’s credibility based on their website’s design. Therefore, the first impression means everything when it comes to getting a customer to choose your company.
Although quality website content is important, it’s not what customers use to base their first impression. Visual appearance and navigation are the biggest influencers as 94 percent of customers admit that their initial impression of a company is solely based on the appearance of a business’s website. The initial impression costumers develop will determine future interactions as first impressions are known to last for years.
No Online Credibility
Nowadays, you need to have some form of online credibility established for your business to be recognized as an expert in a certain field. Lack of or poor online credibility will send customers running. According to Forrester, 70 percent of Americans will only choose a company that has trusted recommendations. To find these recommendations, 44 percent of Americans research a company online to determine their professional capacity. If you haven’t been established as a reputable company online, you don’t stand a chance.
Your online reputation means everything, as Cone reports 89 percent of people trust online reviews, which is a larger percentage than those who trust word-of-mouth recommendations. In the end, research shows that 52 percent of people will choose a company based on holding a positive online reputation. A business that’s haunted by a bad reputation or no online credibility will send customers running for the hills.
Spelling and Grammar Errors
Businesses need to be able to communicate effectively in written forms or credibility is question. In fact, Charles Duncombe, who ran an analysis of website figures based on spelling mistakes, found that a single typo may cut online sales in half. According to his analysis, sale figures decreased when spelling and grammar errors were present on websites, social media accounts, and marketing content because it lowered a customer’s view regarding a company’s credibility.
Not only will poor spelling and grammar hurt your credibility in the eyes’ of your customers, but in the eyes’ of search engines, too. We all know the Google Panda algorithm is in place to weed out poor quality content, but even Bing says they will drop your ranking due to spelling and grammar issues. Ensuring your business is only connected to quality content is vital to the level of professionalism customers and search engines perceive.
Dead, Old Social Media Profiles
Consumers expect businesses to be on social media. It’s a fast and simple means to connect with a company, find reviews, get great deals, and is an overall trusted form of advertising. In fact, 78 percent of consumers trust social media more than any other form of advertising. Therefore, you need to maintain your social media accounts to remain creditable in today’s world.
Creating an account just isn’t enough. Your social media accounts need to remain up-to-date, maintain brand consistency, and be utilized regularly as a means to connect with your customers. If your social media accounts are collecting virtual cob webs, it’s time to dust them off and give them a little bit of polishing to bring more customers back your way.
Lengthy Online Forms
One of the most dreaded and hated feature on websites are long forms to fill out. No one has time to sit around filling out long forms, not to mention, they are often intimidating to customers. Often, if customers see a long online form, they won’t even start to fill it out. They will automatically leave the website because they don’t have the time for that. Plus, it makes them wonder why they need to give out so much information, especially with internet security a huge concern.
The shorter and simpler a form is, the more appealing you become to customers. Customers want easy, fast, and convenient online forms. Simply, revamping a form can make all of the difference when it comes to gaining a customer.
Website that isn’t Mobile-Friendly
With approximately 143 million Smartphones and 71 million tablets in the United States, mobile internet searches are triumphing PC searches. Mobile device users are now doing much more than just checking their email and logging onto social media. A mobile device is a convenient and go-to means for customers to find a business or product. However, mobile users remain extremely frustrated by websites that aren’t mobile friendly. Due to the frustration, half of consumers say they will never return to a website if it doesn’t support mobile devices.
Websites that are too difficult to navigate via mobile device just aren’t worth their time. Consumers feel that a business lacking a mobile-friendly website doesn’t care about their customers. As a result, they will turn to a competitor’s site that is mobile-friendly because that site holds more credibility.
Not only is a mobile-friendly website vital for maintaining a great customer base, but Google now holds a strong emphasis on providing a flawless mobile experience. If a business isn’t meeting Google’s standards for mobile device capabilities, kiss your ranking good-bye.
The world has changed and the wave of the future is with mobile devices. To keep your customers and Google happy, you need to provide a simple, well functioning mobile-friendly website.
Stop Scaring your Customers
No business tries to intentionally repel customers, but it’s a reality many business owners face. Small and simple changes, such as giving your website a new look, updating your social media accounts, and engaging online, will produce dramatic results. Not only will you get new customers in the door, but you’ll keep old customers coming back as you assert yourself as a reputable and professional company.