Professionalism implies that you know what you are doing, are good at what you are doing and respect the other person’s lack of knowledge about what you are doing.
It then becomes your business to explain things to them in as simple a language as you can without overwhelming them with professional jargon. You need to do all of this in a calm unruffled manner.
Now translate this entire scenario to the virtual world – and most of us will immediately think that professionalism is simply not applicable to the online world.
Nothing can be farther from the truth. A person who believes in professionalism will value all his clients and make their lives easier – simply because it means more business for him.
So how do we go about being professional on our websites? Here are some pointers that will prove to be of great help to you.
Tip 1: Do your homework
Take the time to browse through websites that particularly attract your attention.
Observe and analyse the features that they have used and are particularly useful to the visitors.
Invest some time in learning how to build a website. It is not as difficult as it looks and there are several soft ware programs which will make the learning a real breeze for you. Takes a little time and effort and a whole lot of interest – but the end result will always be worth it.
Design the website with care and then pay close attention to all the tips listed below because they make a great grand difference in the number of visitors that visit your website.
Tip 2: Select the right font and use the right font size.
Refrain from using different fonts to attract and sustain the visitors’ interest. Different fonts distract and irritate readers.
Use a proper font size – and a proper font for the text of your website. No visitor is going to be interested in reading the content of your website if it is too small to read. Visitors have a dozen websites to get their information from – they simply can’t be bothered to zoom the content of your site to read the text – so it becomes your business to select the right font size too.
And yes – there are professional fonts as well – Verdana, Georgia, Adobe Gothic etc are better than Times New Roman – because the font is well rounded and the letters are evenly spaced – which makes it easier for the visitors to read.
Tip 3: Ensure that the text has the right background
Use contrasting colours for your background and text matter. A white background with black letters is sensible – but a black background with white letters will make the visitors squint in distaste and wonder if something is wrong with their computer.
Imagine their response or reaction when they see that different font sizes and colours and backgrounds have been used to attract their attention.
Yes – that is the exact response and reaction that you need to avoid at all costs – and paying close attention to such fine nuances will make all the difference.
One thing to remember is to use the right text color that works well with the background.
Tip 4: Refrain from overdoing the designing of website
Several web designers get carried away by the host of features that are available at their disposal. They use appropriate images for their backgrounds and feel that this will have a positive impact on the content that is written. Overdoing design eventually results in heavy cost of webdesign.
Nothing can be farther from the real scenario.
Images used as backgrounds will cause the entire site to load at a slower pace –which leads to user frustration and impatience.
The impact that the content generates will get affected when the users are distracted by the back ground.
Tip 5: Search feature and Search button
Obviously all the visitors are not going to get the details they are looking for on the first page of the site. But once they land on your site, they will look around for a while to search for what they are looking and also for other interesting information.
And then they will look for a search field and button.
So put in a search field, search feature and a search button in a place that is instantly visible to all the visitors.
Tip 6: Site map
Once the visitor gets the relevant information from your site easily, he will want to look into the other aspects of your website. He will want to know more about what your website has to offer.
Sitemaps give a detailed overview of the entire website and guide the viewers correctly to the right part of your site.
Search engines love site maps and you too will be able to keep track of the structure and layout of your entire website.
Tip 7: Don’t blow your own trumpet so visibly
Websites displaying the number of visitors who visited their website today, this week, this month…….end up getting negative publicity.
People browsing through the website may not get all the details they are looking for and will wonder why and how so many people visited this website in the first place!
Instead of focussing on getting the information they wanted from your website – they end up wondering about the hype you created with the numbers!
Make use of the high quality tracking services that are available to keep track of the number of visitors who visited your site. Some tracking devices are free – so go in for whichever one suits your budget – but let it be something that you do because you are personally interested in it.
Tip 8: Check for broken links
Just before your webpage goes live, check for broken links. Visitors get extremely frustrated when they click on a link and are redirected to an error page.
Invest the time to check for broken links manually or use specific programs that are designed to scan and report broken links within the website for you.
Tip 9: Create a cancel feature in your website
Several visitors are likely to probe into all the pages of your website because they find the content useful and interesting.
Pop up pages like ordering products, options to register for an email newsletter or providing contact information may not really deter or distract them from your site if you provide them with a cancel action option.
By NOT giving them this option, they will feel you are forcing them into a corner and it may create a negative impact and impression on their minds and they will refrain from buying your product out of rebellion.
There are some features that you should avoid in the design too.
Tip 10: Be honest and courteous with feedback
Feedback is a direct channel of communication between the visitor and the host of the website.
If there is a product or a service involved and the visitor is expressing his opinion or dissatisfaction with it – listen to it quietly, calmly and with an open mind.
Analyse the feedback objectively and then use it judiciously to improve the quality of your website.
Thank the visitor for taking the time to express his opinion and tell him how you have used the feedback constructively and see how appreciative they are of your interest in your website.
Often, some pages take longer to load than others due to some internal technical issues or server problems. Instead of simply showing a screen with ‘error occurred’ on it – explain to the visitor the exact nature of the problem that occurred and give him a suggestion to overcome the problem along with it.
You will gain their co-operation and trust when you do this – because it shows that you value every visitor that visits your page.
Anyone can create a good website and design it perfectly. But being committed to delivering the best in terms of quality and service at all times is what professionalism is all about.
It does not really matter whether we are conducting our business in the real world or virtual world – what matters is the customer service!! When we hold our visitors in high esteem and put their needs before ours – we will be rewarded with more visitors and more clicks and more orders for our products and services!! This ensures that we will remain in business –which just happens to be our end goal too!