In a recent Harvard Business Review (HBR) blog network post, strategy consultant Dorie Clark posited that “You’re Probably Wrong About How Others Really See You” , but I’m wondering how others see your website. Do visitors think your website is ugly and you dressed it funny? Are they silently correcting your spelling and grammar mistakes as they read your content?
When I visit a website for the first time, I’m often surprised by what I see, and more by what I don’t see. Do a bad job there and I don’t bother finding you on LinkedIn, or pursuing a business relationship with your firm.
It’s all about your business and it starts with your website
I put my corporate hat on, and thought about what your organization’s online presence says about your business, and by association, about you. When I look for a business service or technology vendor, I Google using search terms I think will produce good results. When the search results look right, I’ll start clicking on links to find what I’m looking for on a website I’ve not seen before.
Some websites read like a pitch man wrote the content. The copy is long on superlatives yet the site is short on facts, concrete case studies, white papers, and client testimonials. Does your site read as though SEO appeal outranked reader appeal? Is it difficult to find downloads or specific content? When I find myself wondering where the content folks hid the case study downloads, or why there is no site search capability, I move on.
On the other hand, if your site is as dry as a data sheet, looks tired, has a news crawl six months old, shows no new events scheduled, and offers only ancient blog posts, I assume nothing exciting is happening at your company, and I figure I’m wasting my time. Remember, time is the one thing we can never get back, and I’ll bet your time is as important to you as mine is to me.
Hope Springs Eternal
They say there is no second chance to make a first impression! Well with a website that’s not entirely true. I’ve received many website re-launch invitations to “visit our all new and exciting revised website”. I’m sure you have, too. So, while there are second chances, they were probably caused by earlier efforts that grew stale.
When the last time was that your website received a thorough review? We can help you take a realistic view of how others see your website, and then fix it!
- Can you find your website if you Google it, or is it buried six pages back ?
- Are there any broken links, or unexpected and unwanted page renderings?
- What about spelling and grammar?
- Is the content stale, long on clichés, and short on actionable facts?
- Did the next “Upcoming Event” happen six months ago?
- Was the latest case study written when you were an intern?
- Has your blog become missing in action, or full of irrelevant fluff?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these, your website needs some help and we can help you. Contact us!
Now, let’s get back to you…
Forget your website for a moment. Dorie Clark offers some great advice about apprehending a realistic view of how others see you. She gave several suggestions for your reality check, including reading and reflecting on the patterns revealed in old performance assessments, running your own “360 Review” with a group of professional colleagues, and holding your own personal focus group, facilitated by a colleague, in which peers and friends discuss you, in your presence. In this scenario, you are allowed to ask for clarifications of points made, but you are not It’s otherwise part of the discussion. Yikes, that could be a tough afternoon!
However, the advice that resonated with me was to “Examine your online presence”. Go ahead and Google yourself. Then decide whether the search results reflect you, or some distorted image full of wrong and/or unflattering content you would not want others to see.
Of course there is no shortage of stories about people making outrageous and regrettable decisions about their Facebook content, YouTube videos, and the like. On their Jobs page, YouTube says of themselves “YouTube has changed the world by entertaining, inspiring and informing through video.” Upload something unfortunate and YouTube will certainly change your world.
The Bottom Line
At Principal Consulting, we know that “Content is King”. We’re in the business of writing great tech content that you can use for many purposes, including waking up your website. Whether it is content for your site pages, posts for your blog, fresh white papers, or compelling case studies, we are ready to help make your site all that it should be. Act now and contact us. Let’s get started! As for your personal online behavior, remember that the internet is forever! Think, and make wise choices.