This first impression will influence the perception of
• your website’s ease of use;
• your enterprise’s credibility;
• your products’ or services’ value
A practical website with lackluster visuals can be negatively perceived, while another with an eye-catching design can get the benefit of the doubt and have some of its shortcomings forgiven.
However, these following factors can still deliver a knockdown blow to your website and enterprise’s credibility and reputation, no matter what your visitor’s initial perception may be.
1 - To have no identity
Anonymity does not inspire trust. Your credibility depends on your visitors (future clients or employees, journalists, etc.) understanding who you are, which includes knowing your core values, the basis for your expertise and where you can be reached.
2 - To be unreliable
A defective website (unreachable or slow loading pages, broken links, bugs, browser incompatibilities, etc.) affects your reputation. Your visitors may ask themselves, with reason: “are their products or services broken too?”
3 - To be useless
Your website’s content must be immediately useful to your visitor, because if he does not find what he’s looking for, he will look elsewhere for it. Poor quality content (botched, copied, deceitful, obsolete, false, unreadable, fault-ridden, etc.) can have a particularly harmful impact on a company’s long-term credibility. It is better not to publish anything than to put out useless and potentially damaging content.
4 - To not seem operational
Your website’s content reflects the personality, dynamism and activities of your enterprise. Obsolete or rarely updated content negatively influences your visitor’s perception. In addition, Google punishes inactivity by making this content almost impossible to find.
5 - To be hard to use
Ideally, whatever your visitor seeks must be, at most, three clicks away from his landing page on your website. More important still, your visitor must always know where he came from, where he is and where he may go. Once he has reached the requested page, the information he’s looking for must be immediately apparent.
6 - To not be interactive
Your website must be able to engage your visitors, your potential clients, in a long-term relationship; it must allow you to put across your distinctive identity.
For those who seek to profit from social networks, or those involved in e-commerce, it is critical to offer an interactive website (suggestion box, like, share, twitter, blogs, etc.)
If you do not use social networks, then, interactivity must be your next objective! Why not seize this opportunity and use your website to talk with your clients?
7 - To not offer a clear message
Your website must exist for a specific reason. What is its function? Who do you want to reach and what message do you want to communicate to them?
All the website’s elements (its visual design; its structure; its content’s subject, tone, bias and utility) must be coherent with your marketing message. You must also realize that everything your company does will affect the perceived message (reputation, publicity, customer service, etc.)
Your website is your voice, make sure that the message it puts out is truly the one you want to communicate.