Last week Insurance Business reported on a broker’s frustration that his website content is being plagiarized.
Putting it down to laziness and businesses’ need to keep up with technological change, the story raised issues as to whether some companies are struggling to make their website a success. Design consultant Lauren Nelson of Aesthetic Cognecy, has flagged up potentially disastrous online mistakes. If these website faux pas sound familiar, it’s time to rethink your online strategy.
The business card
This was typical of many early websites: a basic platform that conveyed the minimum amount of information possible, set up because management thought they needed a website. Today customers expect a lot more, at the very least your unique value proposition, laid out in an engaging rather than simply informative way. Don’t let simplicity be mistaken for disinterest.
The unfinished argument
Presenting a unique value proposition requires a good argument and when it comes to websites, the structure is a key part of that argument. You need a claim (what you do best), a warrant (why the customer should pick you) and examples to back that up – real life case studies are a common example. These pages need to be clearly hyperlinked to each other, or possibly all on the same page, to make your argument convincing.
The wonder of ‘98
Windows 98 was undeniably a great leap forward in graphic design, 16 years ago. Unfortunately many websites don’t seem to have changed since then. You might argue that web design is not your business, but consumers will see a sloppy website as reflecting wider incompetence. Be particularly careful with graphics and images, consistent formatting, and professional text choices.
The road to nowhere
You may think you don’t fall into the above categories; you have a colorful website with great pictures of your recent community work and happy-looking customers. But can your website convert these good impressions into leads? Have contact details clearly listed, and each pages should be a call to action, leading to those contact details and hopefully another customer.