How Does Your Web Site Stack Up?

The yin/yang of the 21st century marketplace is that consumers can find, and form impressions of, you online without ever having to encounter you either face-to-face or voice-to-voice.

That can be a good thing if, through those encounters that you may never physically take part in, their impressions are positive. It can be a very bad thing if they’re not. And, sadly, you may never know the difference.

We were working with a client recently on a web site analysis. Through that process we:

  • Identify the key words/phrases that the client wishes to be known for (and found based on)
  • Identify their competitors
  • Analyze how organic search impacts a prospect’s ability to find the client and their competitors
  • Analyze the “top of mind” impressions likely to be formed when the site (or social media profile) is found

The results are often striking. In this recent incidence, they were very much in our client’s favor. Our client had recently updated their web site to incorporate new branding elements. Their site is clean, well organized, attractive to look at and easy to navigate. Their top competitor, by contrast, has a web site that looks like it was developed when the Internet first emerged. Cluttered, low-contrast color choices, unattractive and poor quality images, errors in content, etc., etc., etc.

Importantly, despite the look of this competitor’s site, in this particular area of consulting practice the competitor is highly regarded. But—and this is a BIG but—if prospects don’t know that, and have nothing to frame opinions on other than a comparison of what the two web sites have to offer, odds are they’ll choose our client (which is a good thing for them, and for our client, who also has a very strong reputation).

The point is your online presence speaks volumes about you. If you don’t have a good idea of how your web site stacks up against your competition—and how prospects might perceive you in contrast to your competitors—it’s important to take the time to find out.

The biggest risk that small businesses take in terms of their web sites’ impact on their businesses is that their sites do not adequately convey their desired brand identities. New, and small, businesses are often cash-strapped and may take a low cost (or even no cost, do-it-yourself) approach to the development of their web sites. This can be a big mistake, even for brick and mortar businesses, because many consumers check businesses out first online before actually going to those businesses.

When they go online to look for what you have to offer what are they seeing?  How does your web site stack up?

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