Competition is a concept many business owners seem to forget when it comes to websites.
They worry about price, about whether they will show up in a search, about the placement of their logo or the use of pictures and whether the contact form works – but they forget about their competitors.
Think about it. Online, your competition is only a click away!
People make judgments based on their first impression and on what their gut tells them. They start to form an opinion before they read a single word.
The person visiting your website likely visited 2-3 of your competitors beforehand or is about to checkout a few more sites after they leave yours. What impression does your website leave in COMPARISON TO YOUR COMPETITION ONLINE?
If your website makes you look like the lesser option, do you still expect a call?
Below is an example, a thought experiment if you will.
I deliberately picked a subject few of us are familiar with – a high-tech type of vacuum pump called an ion pump. Compared side-by-side are 4 websites offering ion pumps. Which one would you choose based on your first impression, knowing nothing else about the subject or the service providers?
First impressions can be powerful. They don’t tell you who has the highest quality, the fairest price, or the best customer service, but they do engage your attention and start you down one path of exploration or another.
When you search for something or visit a site for the first time, the page you arrive on should make you feel like you landed in the right place, that you know who you are dealing with and that the company is expert at what it does, easy to contact, and ready to meet your needs.
It’s all a matter of comparison.
So, you must monitor your competition online. No matter the business or industry, if your competitor’s site works well on phones, is user friendly, informative, has a clear and engaging design – and your site does not – then why is someone going to follow through and contact you?
If you are concerned about search results, well that is a competition too, and it may be one your competitor is spending big bucks to win.
There is no “easy button” when it comes to showing up in a search. Google looks at over 200 documented factors to decide what websites show up for which searches, and the other search engines have complex system of their own.
If your competitor is paying attention to those factors and putting resources into them or even into online advertising, it is unlikely Google will pick your site over the competition.
(No, there is not a secret place in the code where some magic “keywords” will make your site show up on the first page of Google. And if there were, wouldn’t everyone use this trick – putting us all in the same place we are anyway? After all, there are only a limited number of slots on the first page of search results, and you and all of your competitors wouldn’t fit there at the same time, even if everyone knew the magic words!)
Even if your site does show up well in a search, if your website does not excite the eye and engage the emotions, your first-place position is only a wasted resource.
Google likes informative websites, because they are resources for those visiting them to learn from.
And good information helps validate a service provider as an expert in their field.
What do we mean? Imagine you have had hernia surgery and your doctor incorrectly applied a hernia mesh, causing you an injury. You look for an attorney to pursue your case.
Do you call the attorney with a 3 page website that only says “I have decades of experience handling personal injury cases,” or would you be more inclined to call the attorney whose 25 page website includes an article on hernia mesh injuries and a case study on 5 hernia mesh lawsuits and how they were successfully handled? Which one gains your confidence with the information they’ve provided?
Designing an effective website is not a merely technical task of putting words and pictures on Internet, nor it is a question of satisfying your personal sense of what looks good or does not.
You have competition online. If that competition happens to be weak, you may not have much to worry about. But in today’s aggressive online environment, more and more businesses are realizing that the game of attracting customers online is a serious sport.
Looking for a web developer with experience in competitive analysis and providing designs that outshine the competition? Call CME Websites at 724-523-3001, or visit our Contact us page today.
We’re ready to Design Your Success Online.