Here’s another issue we see all the time. A business does great work, delivers on time, and provides a great value for its customers — and yet it fails to deliver that sort of trust in its online presence. That’s a big, big problem.
Think of it like going on a first date: You could be the greatest catch in town, but if you show up without showering for three days, there won’t be a second date. Every aspect of your online image must convey the same trustworthiness and professionalism you convey in day-to-day life. Let’s go over a few of the mistakes we see on a regular basis, and see whether any of these apply to you:
Spelling and grammar: We’ve all become accustomed to shaky spelling and grammar in a digital world where copy isn’t proofed as well as it was in print iterations. That might suggest that spelling and grammar aren’t important, but in fact, the opposite is true: Ensuring that the copy on your site is clean makes you stand out from the pack. When you take the time to spell things right, it tells people that you’re detail-oriented and deliver quality work. When you don’t, it tells people that you’re as likely to half-ass the work you do for them as the work you did for your site.
Writing for search engines, not people: When you see a site that’s jam-packed with keywords and clunky phrasing that’s clearly intended purely for SEO, it tells you that the site cares about traffic and rankings, not you. The very first audience you need to reach is your human visitor. Write copy that speaks to people. You absolutely should be working in relevant keywords and topics when it makes sense organically, but phrasing that reads like a litany of keywords is a massive turnoff.
The bait and switch: We touched upon this earlier, but nothing rubs a potential customer the wrong way than clicking on an offer just to find something very different promised on your site. If you’re advertising that something is “buy one, get one free,” it must be exactly that. If people need to jump through several more hoops to get that free item, they’ll be taking their business elsewhere. Deliver what you promise.
Overly complex form fields: Having a contact form on your site is imperative, but ask for the information you truly need, nothing more. No one wants to fill out 17 fields to get your free newsletter or gift. It gives the impression you’re stockpiling data for who knows what purpose. Keep it simple.
No testimonials, pictures, or information about you or your business: Want to look like a fly-by-night operation? Make your website as vague as possible about who you are and what you do. Leave out any testimonials from real customers speaking well about their experiences. When people come to your site, they want to know that you’re a real person, that you’re providing a legitimate service, and that real people vouch for you in their testimonials.
Bad online reviews: These days, it doesn’t matter whether you want your business to be reviewed; it will be. Be sure you’re keeping up with what people are saying about you on Yelp, Google, Twitter, and elsewhere. Communicate in a friendly, professional manner with people who have reviewed you poorly, and work to resolve their concerns. Implore happy customers to leave a positive review after a good experience. This alone makes a gigantic difference in how your business is perceived.