This article is aimed to business people like myself that want to be in business for the long run. If you’re business is for a short run and it’s life in the business industry does not really concern you, then this article does not relate to you. It’s not worth reading.
Most people in this industry where arguing in 2003, that if you don’t present your business online with a web presence you are dead. Is that true? No. But imagine running a business in 2013 with a very bad web presence? Or even with zero web presence? Well bad designs and user experience for me means having a zero web presence. And I will tell you why. Firstly,l if your business web presence is poor, it shows that you’re brand is unsatisfactory. In my opinion, rather than having a crappy web presence it is better not to have one at all and pray that you will last in this economy for the next 3 years… no wait for the next year. Plenty of business owners and marketing managers claim that they don’t see any change regarding this issue, it’s not expected, not around here. What? Yeah trust me there are a lot of people out there with crappy websites and no social media presence who think that they don’t need any of that and that it’s still early.
If you really don’t care about your web presence, trust me NO ONE will care. Companies might send email campaigns telling you that they can get you high rankings in google, yahoo and other search engines, earn you fake followers and likes. They will persuade you how SEO ( Search Engine Optimisation ) is important and so on. But do you really want to know the truth? The real truth? It has been proven that, if your web presence doesn’t have a WOW factor, your conversion rates ( people who click on your website and then eventually like your fan page or follow you on twitter or even buy from you) will be low. Every user that will log on to your careless website, subconsciously will develop an image of your brand. I don’t think anybody would like to buy food from a dirty kitchen or go to an optician without any skills. The same applies to web. So these people who will try to sell you their advertising banners or any other service don’t CARE about your web presence because they are not selling websites, they are selling advertising space, banners. So they really don’t give a s**** how your web/social design is. Especially, they don’t care how your user experience is. Here is an example of what happens at vivid network. We recently received some requests from potential clients for proposals to make them a campaign and advertise them online. The first thing I check is their website user experience and web/ social design. One particular client had an outdated website and I commented to him that It’s better for him to revise his strategy on his current campaign he wanted to run, because his conversion rate will be very low. I explained to him in detail what I mean. I was clear that he can create anywhere he wanted his website and social designs. He refused because he wanted just to promote a new service. I explained to him that we would never run a campaign that we believe the landing page/ Facebook app or a website doesn’t have a WOW factor. The reason is very simple, when he will not get any results it will backfire to us. After a short period of time, I noticed that he ran his campaign,surprisingly with the current web presence he had. I’m sure that his conversion rate was very low. Maybe he got 2,3 requests even, I don’t know. Maybe nothing at all. My point is he paid somebody else to run the campaign as he wanted. But you see I personally focus on business online presence because I believe in fantastic work and results, not just advertising and promoting a product or service. You need to care about your business, because If you don’t nobody will. People will just take your money and do what you want them to do. There are of course other people like me who care and understand what I am requesting from a client but there are people of course who just care about cash.
I received a lot of emails from accountants after I wrote my article on Accountants Web & Social Media Presence asking me to give them feedback on their web presence. Here’s a tip on how you can understand the WOW presence. Log on to many websites, for example go to snipermusic.com , Boots.co.uk . There are literally thousands of websites that you can view online that have a WOW factor. If your website has features such as ‘about us’, ‘contact us’ and ‘our services / menu’, it’s not a WOW presence. It’s just a simple website that is not that good. You don’t stand out from your competition. You are the same.
I advise you to read my article on Web & Social Designs Are Vital Online in order for you to understand more about what I mean. Here is an example of a WOW website. It’s the site of the day on Awwwards.com:
Here is another example:
Referring to sport, here is an HTML5 website:
There are more examples I can show you. The design, user experience is vital online really. You and I are in the business world for the long run, not the short run. In addition, we need to innovate, develop new creative ideas. Inspire other people. Let me ask you one more question, do you care about your clients? No, really do you care? If somebody was speaking in a coffee shop about your brand and telling how crappy your company is, would you speak to that person and try to get feedback from them? If yes that’s good. I have some good news for you. That’s what social media and the online world do. You can track keywords, hashtags and find people who are referring to your brand and join the conversation, and you know what? It’s all for free. All the tools users use are free.
Going back to 1997, do you think that Barnes & Noble didn’t see Amazon coming? Yeah sure they saw it. But they didn’t adapt, they didn’t think of possible consequence. They thought that this ‘trend’ will be over. By the time they realized that Amazon was taking over it was late, they had to close their store. Now in 2013, you might think that it’s okay, you can wait a bit longer. If you wait a bit longer then it will be harder for you to get back into the game.
I was searching for a wedding gift recently, yes I used google and other search engines. I came across some websites that where terrible. I checked their prices just to see how much a gift would cost. Prices ranged from £400 to £5,000. I asked myself, would I really spend my wedding gift budget on this business? Of course not. It didn’t inspire me to buy, it didn’t show me a reliable company that would last much longer in business. But I found a very nice website that was awesome, it had a WOW factor, simple, elegant and creative. Without a second thought, the next day I took the Piccadilly line and went to that store to see one gift that I fancied. This is a WOW factor that transfers users to visit your store. Then it’s up to you to make the sale, ( customer service ).
To conclude my article, a WOW factor doesn’t come from ready made templates, it should be unique, fresh, inspiring. I will not mention any data that I found online about how many clients actually prefer competitors because of customer service and web presence, but so you know it’s more than 50%!
Revise your marketing, digital strategy, have a look at it again. Ask others opinion. Make your research online.
These are some websites that where built 10 years ago:
If your company website looks ‘similar’ to these please, please take it down now! You are loosing clients and destroying your brand image.