A Good First Impression Gets a Last Click
It's 2015. Do website copyright dates reflect that? Customers are happy with the brand. Does the site illustrate that? The company rebranded. Do social media accounts house its new name and logo?
That quote about never getting a second chance to make a first impression plays into Tim Ash's comment that the word "professional" has to pop into site visitors' minds within 1/20th of a second for them to stay on marketers' sites. On Friday, Ash's comments from 2011 were joined by those from Diana Ennen, president of Pompano Beach, Fla.-based virtual assistant resource site Virtual Word Publishing.
Ash, president and CEO of San Diego-based online conversion rate optimization firm SiteTuners, warned marketers not to let their sites be perceived as "cheesy."
Ennen adds in an email to Target Marketing that visitors are checking out the details, too, so if marketers get those right, they can "maximize business success."
Ennen suggests marketers use these tips:
- Update the Site's Copyright Date—"When someone visits your site and they see an old copyright, they don't initially run away screaming 'it's so last year,' but they do lose just a tad bit of confidence in you," she writes. [Editor's note: It's also possible visitors will think the company is no longer in business, unless updated content "above the fold" reflects a recent date.]
- Add New Clients and Testimonials to the Website—"Take the time to add in the clients you've worked with over the past year and see about getting new testimonials," Ennen says. "Remember, many look to that page to see if they 'fit' with the clients you work with, so show them that they do." [Editor's note: Many search engine marketers say this content also aids in ranking well.]
- Keep Talking to Customers and Prospects in Social Media—Ennen says to add new content to Facebook, for instance, but also make sure the parts are working correctly. "Does the sign-up for your newsletter from your Facebook Page still work," she asks. "Once again, take the time to review the 'guts' of the page itself, and then go full-steam ahead into the postings." [Editor's note: Social media postings used to show up in search engine results and are still believed by many to influence SEO, but a rumored upcoming purchase of Twitter by Google is causing speculation that social may again have more influence over SEO than it does now. So far, watchers say the acquisition won't happen this year.]
- Blog—"It conveys you are up-to-date and back in business," Ennen says, noting some marketers may be a bit slow about posting after the holidays. "But don't just post to post. … It's more important to write quality postings, than to have a bunch of posts that are so-so. Many bloggers say their secret to successful blogging is to write several posts at once while they are in the swing of things." [Editor's note: Google says updated content, as well as quality content that's relevant to Web visitors, rank higher in search engine results pages. Also, related to Tip No. 1, provide dates on the blog posts for readers.]
- Newsletter—"Take a few minutes before you send out your newsletter and update the template," Ennen writes. "Even if you already sent some this year (bravo to you!), update the template. People LOVE seeing changes in the new year and a simple template revision can achieve that."
- Think About the Audience—Even marketers who believe they think about the audience every time they communicate with them may benefit from taking "a minute to review the contacts who signed up," Ennen writes. "Really look at those names and the business they represent. These are the people who want to hear what you have to say."
- Do the Boring Work First—This tip, not from Ennen but from Darren Shaw of Whitespark, mostly relates to mobile optimization. The founder and president of the Edmonton, Canada-based Web development and SEO company related the local SEO tips in 2012, saying marketers should ensure the company's name, address and phone number are correct. This can not only aid in search engine optimization, but in mobile device users' ability to find the business and/or call.
How many good marketers are forgetting these details?