As you know if you have been reading some of my posts I frequent message forums that focus on areas of interest to me, including work at home mothers and women in business.
A while back I watched a new website emerge. The idea behind it: fantastic. The initial press: great. I even wrote a short article about the site because I really believed that it was an interesting concept in a tight niche that could use some expansion.
Fast forward to last week or so. I’m reading through a message board and I see the name of the website and a woman in business requesting information about the site because she had received an email from the site re:advertising with them.
The bad thing-the look of the site had changed since its first launch. Suddenly it no longer resembled the professional site it had been. Instead, some women who responded to this first woman’s posts commented that it looked more like a, well, place for lonely women to meet men. (This, by the way, was not the original concept – or its current concept – behind the site!) In just a few months the site had evolved from one that would attract potential business women to one that, well, scared them away.
About 7 women responded to the first lady’s post. All said the same thing: They would not advertise on the site because of the image it portrayed.
I felt bad for the site. I mean, I know there are good intentions behind what the site is trying to do for women in business. But I also know that image is everything in the business world. If you are marketing your product or services to a certain group of people – women in business, for instance – you better make sure that your website reflects this.
So now is time to take a look at your own web site and ask yourself what message it conveys to the audience that clicks on it each day.
Is it professional? Clean? Easy to follow?
Does it leave white space? Just as with reading a print publication you want to allow the reader some time for the message to sink in. If you are cluttering up your user’s screen with information, blinking stuff (by the way, lose the blinking stuff!), too many colors, etc, you are putting that potential customer’s brain on overload and, most likely, chasing him or her away.
Does it sell your product or service easily? When I click on that front page, do I know what your business is about? These women were scared away because the front page of this other site resembled that of a dating site. I’ve seen shop sites with caricatures of characters that have nothing to do with the products being sold. Make sure your site matches what it is you are trying to sell. Leave out the clutter and the cutesy things!
Pay for hosting! If you are serious about operating a company, pay the ten dollars a month for a reliable host and leave those banner ads behind.