From the Blog

How to Regain Pride in Your Brand

Remember the first new car you ever bought? That little thrill it gave you when you walked up to it on the lot? The way it felt to slide into the seat, putting your hands on the wheel, taking in a deep breath? Remember the smell?

I’m sure you can envision yourself sitting there. Running your fingers over the dials. Adjusting the seat so it fit just right. Moving the mirrors and checking out all of the compartments. Imagining the possibilities.

You might also remember the pride. The sense of accomplishment. You EARNED that car.

In that moment where you drove off the lot, you felt powerful, successful, and just ever so much taller. You felt great and confident that this car would take care of you, your friends, your family.

Flash forward…

Cut to a few years and a few rolls of the odometer forward. Your once shiny and new car isn’t so shiny and new. And of course, it’s because you lived life in it. You’ve moved a friend in and out of an apartment who dinged your bumper. That new car smell is replaced by the vague aroma of stale french fries that you spilled between the seats. The things you said you’d never do (eat in the car, go more than a week without a wash, change the oil exactly at 5k miles) – well, they fell lower on your priority lists.

But you can’t complain – after all – it still gets you where you need to go. And from time to time, you just need to give it a little tune up.

You’ve been there, right?

Well, let’s bring this into business terms.

That car? Well, that’s your business’ website.

When you first launched it you felt successful. You felt confident. But time has passed. And those stale fries are your dead blog from 2012.

What you need to consider is that you probably need the digital equivalent of a full service wash, wax, and detail. It may even need some under the hood work to keep it up and running smoothly. Then again, depending on what you’ve done to it, or if it was a jalopy to begin with, you might need to head back to the lot…

So how do you know if you need the Platinum Detailing Package or if you’re ripe for a new set of wheels?

Take a look at your competitors. What are they doing?

Remember, when you turn out the office lights and leave for the day, your website and your social media channels are the only places that your customers can turn to for information about your business.

Here are a few things for you to consider about your website. In my last article, Yes People Are Looking at You Online, I offered a few suggestions on how to evaluate your digital presence. Here is some extra advice about the kinds of things you should be doing to improve your website. (And they aren’t that hard to do, I promise).  

1. Update Your Contact Information

I can’t even believe I have to say this: UPDATE THE CONTACT INFORMATION ON YOUR WEBSITE!!! Simply put, it’s the #1 way people find you online. Not only that, but over 80% of online consumers lose trust in a business if they see incorrect contact information or inconsistent business details.

Your contact info should be easy to find, correct, and most importantly, it should be all over your site. So please, for the love of all that’s entrepreneurial, check out your information and how well it’s presented online. Get others to look at it and ask for their opinion, too. If something needs to be corrected or made more visible, DO IT!

2. Review the Maps and/or Directions to Your Location

If you’re like me when you drive (and sometimes even walk!), you live and die by your GPS. But many times even the most up-to-date map can’t account for hard to reach locations or particularly confusing areas of town. Do you offer detailed maps or directions on your website that explain where your business is, especially if it’s tucked away in the confusing maze of an industrial or commercial park?

Also, as silly as it sounds, double check and make sure your business address is correct on OTHER map providers. Would you believe that in the last year, 22% of consumers went to the incorrect location for a business because the wrong address was posted online? You can’t afford to lose even one potential customer over something as silly as having an incorrect address on your site. If you make this mistake, you can be guaranteed those customers will be heading on over to one of your competitors.

Also, I’m a big fan of “follow the leader.” Try to follow the instructions that those providers give to you to get to your location. See if you can find it without overriding the instructions with what you know. If WAZE sends you to the back of the building, that’s a good thing to know! Tell your office staff who are helping people navigate in that WAZE always sends them to the wrong spot. There’s only so much you can do with third party sites like that.

3. Optimize your website for mobile

Almost everyone has a smartphone, and the number of people who are shopping online and browsing websites via their phones is at an all-time high. One of the first steps in giving potential clients a great experience with your website is making sure that the technology works and looks good on their phones and smart devices. If you’re not sure if that’s the case with your website, you can use this free tool to check:

Don’t think you can get away with a website that doesn’t play well on a mobile. If your site looks clunky on a smartphone, you might as well just set up an AOL account for your business on a dial up modem because what you’re telling your customers is that you stopped caring sometime around 2002.

4. Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?

Remember that old game show with Jeff Foxworthy? Now, I’m sure that everyone reading this article is indeed smarter than a 5th grader, but the thing is, when it comes to the tone of your website, you don’t need to try and prove it. When you use overly formal or complicated language on your website, you run the risk of obscuring your message and turning off potential clients. When you wonder if your explanation has morphed into iambic pentameter and high-flown poetry, use this simple gut check: could a 5th grader understand it? If you don’t think so, scale back the language and tone to a point where they would. Save the sonnets for Shakespeare!

Chances are, there is a lot you could do today, right from your office. When it comes to the Platinum Detailing Package or heading back to the lot, you might find you don’t want to go it alone. If that’s the case, give us a call. We’d be happy to help.