This contributor post was written by Genevieve of Lightbox SF.
Your website is the face of your business and its often the first impression a customer has. I’ll be the first to tell you that much of running your own business is pretending you know what you’re doing and making stuff up as you go along, but if the first thing a customer sees instills them with the sense that you have no clue, they are not going to part with their hard earned cash.
So what can you do?
Here are 5 of the biggest mistakes I see and how you can easily solve them.
1. Giving Away Control
You know those websites that have “get your own domain” ads all over them, not professional. I understand needing to keep things cheap, but if your business can’t afford hosting, you’re not a serious business. There are a number of options for around $10/month, Bluehost and Dreamhost are just two of the hundreds of options out there. Your website needs to be entirely yours to control.
2. Bad Photos
If I can’t get a clear picture of what you’re selling, I certainly don’t want to buy it online. Dark, blurry photos, distracting backgrounds and over stylized or Photoshopped images are the biggest offenders. There are tons of tutorials out there on taking good product photos on the cheap. If you invest the time to learn, it will certainly pay off in time.
3. No Personality
We buy things for the feeling or experience it gives us. If I know nothing about who you are, why you do what you do, or even why your product is the best, Im going to move on. We want to know the lifestyle or image we are perpetuating by purchasing. We want it to give us status, belonging, or a story to share. Be engaging, show your personality.
4. No Social Media Presence
Again its about engaging, giving your customers a chance to connect. At a bare minimum you should have a blog or Facebook page, but I would also recommend a regular newsletter and a Twitter account. This may sound daunting, but customers want to be able to choose how they interact with you. The more choices you give them, the better chance that they’ll like, follow or read what you have to say.
5. Hard to Find Information
Customers come to a website looking for information. This needs to be easy to find and easy to read. Your about and contact information should be on clearly marked pages with no searching required. Fonts also need to be basic and easy to read, your type is not the place to get fancy.
To have a serious business that people want to buy from you yourself need to take it seriously, that means investing time and (I’m afraid) money into crafting a polished, professional appearance that alludes to the amazing business you are working toward becoming.
image credit: personalized number poster by eva juliet