If I am looking for a product, service or information, I will decide in less than five seconds if you are legit or not based on your website alone. 

Does your website turn people off?

There’s just something about it, maybe its a sixth sense of the 21st century that people have developed after years of spending every waking second online. Certain features, or lack-there-of, on a business’ website will totally turn me off a website and make me look elsewhere. Even if there is good content or your business is solid, I will never know because I am long gone.

I don’t think I’m the only one who makes these kinds of snap judgement am I? I would imagine most other consumers do too. Right?

So, what are these tell-tale signs that will make me and many others turn-tail and how can you avoid them?

Outdated/old aesthetic

The number one traffic killer is an ugly, outdated website. A website that looks like it was designed 10 years ago or is just plain ugly is a major red flag. An outdated website tells me your business is old and stuck in your ways. It tells me that you are oblivious to or do not care about an online presence. It tells me you don’t care. Worst of all, it makes me think you don’t or won’t know what the heck you’re talking about. Come on, its 2016 for crying out loud! If you are not taking advantage of the vast opportunities that the Internet and online marketing has to offer, you are doing yourself a HUGE disservice. I know that and so should your business.

A company with a shiny new, up-to-date website that is attractive and has plenty of features to go around is far more inviting and professional. It shows me you care enough about your business to put the time and effort into your image and your marketing potential. It tells me, as strange as it is to say, that you are “with it” or “hip” (ala Dr. Evil).

We recently gave a face lift to the website for The National Mitigation & Ecosystem Banking Conference website. Take the Pepsi challenge for yourself and tell me you wouldn’t rather visit the second than the first.

In the right hands, website builders like Divi can be a strong tool for your business.

A faceless company

This is particularly important if your business provides a service. If I am going to rely on a company to come into my home and provide me a service, or handle my account, I want to know the people doing it. A service company with no face makes me unsure. Is there a reason I can’t meet the people I am going to be doing business with, or talking on the phone with? I really want to know the people I am going to be relying on.

It makes good business sense to put you and your employees on display. It gives your company a face and personality, people your customers can relate to. Something tangible. People like tangible. Put up pictures and do bios on your team. Much like the old cliche about elections, I’m going to go with a business that I feel like I could sit down and have a beer with.

There are a couple different approaches you can take with this mentality. You can be kind of silly and candid, like we do with our page at Roundpeg, talking about favorite restaurants or pulling our silly quotes. You can also take a more formal approach, like one of our clients, Tish Flooring.

There’s no wrong way to go about it, just consider your company’s atmosphere, reputation, target audience and the kind of people that work there.

Lack of Content

Websites with a blog and content pages that are updated regularly is a major green light for me. Posting blogs are good for your website in terms of gaining organic traffic, but it does a few other things outside of that that may be unintended pluses for visitors.

If you are posting blogs at least once a week, it tells me that you are giving you website attention at least once a week, which means it is up-to-date. Nothing is worse than seeing a website promote something, be it a special or a webinar, that has come and gone. It all comes back to the idea of telling the person on your site that you care.

Blogs also tell me that you are interested in me, the visitor. You are taking the time and effort to provide me with content aimed at helping and informing me. It makes me feel special, and I am very susceptible to flattery. They honestly don’t even need to be that good or blow my mind. It’s the effort that counts.

Is your website inviting, or is it turning people away?

Audit your website now

Roundpeg is an Indianapolis web design firm.