I think an adman’s go to line right now is, “Tell a story.” Seth Godin made this popular in his book, All Marketers Are Liars. Don’t get me wrong, it’s one of my favorite books and a powerful principle. Just make sure your not accidentally telling a bad story.
Today I was thinking about websites and the messages (stories) they tell. It’s not just the content on the pages, but the visuals. The most told piece of advice that everyone ignores is, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” We’ve all heard it, then, ignored it. I don’t think it’s because we’re all jerks or bad people, we’re just wired that way. When something looks professional we assume that it is.
A well designed website sells trust. If your website looks sloppy I’m going to assume you do sloppy work or you’re not a legitimate business. I’ve been in the business 9 years now and the number one issue that comes up in new client’s meetings is unawareness. A lot of our clients once had a website that they thought was good, but it truly wasn’t.
Obviously what makes a “good” website goes deeper that how it looks but we will talk about that topic another time. The point of my message is that good design is the first step. It initiates that thought, “These guys seem legit,” which leads to them reading on.
My advice is to have your website evaluated by a professional agency. It’s free. They’ll go through the site and make a list of suggestions. If you designed it yourself you’ll probably want to prepare your heart so your feelings aren’t hurt. Just remember, people instantly evaluate your business based on how your website looks. You may be the best plumber in town, but if that visitor thinks your site looks shady, to them you’re the worse plumber in town. That is when it is worth having a professional designer involved. When I say professional I don’t mean your cousins nephew.