Why your website matters
Have you ever been searching for something online - like a hair salon or restaurant or venue, perhaps - and felt immediately pulled or repulsed by the site once you clicked?
I remember I was searching for a doctor recently, and of the 8 sites I searched, only 2 of them caught my attention to want to pursue further communication.
The visuals, the words, the layout, all made a difference to me as a consumer. When I clicked on one that seemed 10yrs old, single color, text-heavy, and filled with endless keywords, I was immediately turned off and actually found myself questioning the ability of the doctor to handle my care.
Was she just too busy with clients to bother with her professional image?
Is she someone who only has a site because she's 'supposed' to and found the cheapest possible way to get one up?
Is she a quack?
If she doesn't have time or energy to care about her business, will she be able to care about me?
Yes, these are judgmental, somewhat critical thoughts. Yes, there are ample rebuttals to every one of them. Yes, some people probably see a site like hers and think - yes! - my kind of person - old school and not wedded to technology. And yes, it is ENTIRELY possible to build a business without a website.
But yes, first impressions still count. And whether we like it or not, people who want to work with someone are likely looking online.
Because here's the thing.
It's 2018. Websites are the global business card!
If a business doesn't have a website, they could be losing tons of revenue because potential clients can't learn about what they do or be able to gauge if they would be a good fit or not. And if the site is outdated? Many people, just like I witnessed myself do, will turn away.
For better or worse, we live in an image-driven, fast-paced, consumerism culture. People want to know what they're getting before they get there. From menus to maps to what clothes are available at a favorite store, we don't want to wait, and we don't want to waste time. We want it now. And our attention spans are short.
And if yours isn't, your audience/clients/employers' may be.
This is why your website matters.
And this is why I am so passionate about creating authentic websites.
The Nielsen Norman Group notes that users typically spend only 10-20 seconds on a webpage. That's not very long to capture someone's interest, so we want to make sure that the first impression is a powerful one - one that clearly and convincingly conveys the message of your work and attracts the people you long to work with.
How do you do that without asking everyone you might want to work with what they would like to see?
After all, what attracts and repels you will likely not be the same as what attracts and repels your neighbor down the street. We're all different!
We do that by focusing on you. By capturing the energy and essence of who you are - or who your business is if they're not one and the same - with visuals, layout, and concise language so that people know when they land on your site who you are and what you stand for, and that you're the right fit for them. Or not. We want the 'hell yes!' or 'no, thank you'. Because your raving fans and ideal clients are the ones who will help spread your work far and wide! The 'meh's? Not so much.
Your website is your opportunity to make a statement: a strong, bold statement about who you really are and what makes you unique and amazing. There are far too many websites around now for ordinary or following all the rules or peppering with endless keywords or not staying current. Sound the clarion call to the people who will LOVE you and your work by putting your freshest, most honest, most authentic self out there and show up in the world by being visible to those who need you.
Your work matters, and so does your website!