4 Ways to Make Sure Your Business Looks Polished Online

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Whether you sell cupcakes or counseling sessions, diamonds or dance classes, your online business has to look professional. There really is no other option today. A sloppy website is the first red flag for a customer. Consumers can get turned off and hop to another website in seconds. 

Gone are the days when shoppers would put up with poor service to avoid driving to another store. With online businesses, they have other choices, which means you have to be on top of your game. Competition is fierce — and at your audience members’ fingertips. To ensure potential customers will give your business a chance, here are four ways to make your business look more polished online. 

1. Ensure Content Consistency

As noted, your website is usually the first impression a potential customer has of your business. It may look simple, but entrepreneurs know how much time and effort goes into a great website. Text, graphics, and videos all have to be in sync — as do the individuals who create them. Incessant messages going back and forth about website content are a recipe for disaster. Something is going to be forgotten or misunderstood.

One way to solve this issue is to use a component content management system. Such software will allow you to save time when you create, manage, and reuse multiple content components. By managing content at the component level, it allows you to confidently reuse text, graphics, and video in multiple documents. Since each piece of content is stored only once in the CCMS, you can be sure you’re using the right version. A product description won’t say one thing on your website and another in a social post or online ad.

A CCMS therefore ensures consistency across your company’s content, wherever it appears. It’s a great investment if you are in charge of churning out large volumes of content regularly. Audience members never get mixed messages, and your polished presentation will persuade them that your business knows what it’s doing.

2. Don’t Overlook the Basics

Speaking of content components, it’s not enough to maintain strict version control if the components themselves are riddled with errors. When your website or brochures have spelling or grammar mistakes, it can reflect very poorly on you and your team. If you cannot outsource the editing task to a professional, at least make sure a fresh set of eyes goes through the text. 

Built-in spell checks in many word processors are not enough. They won’t pick up words that are spelled correctly even if they don’t make cents. Did you catch that? It should have been “make sense,” but the spell check didn’t catch it because “cents” is spelled properly. A potential customer may notice, though, and decide your shoddy presentation disqualifies your business from consideration. 

So flawless spelling and grammar are non-negotiable, but don’t forget other content details. For online businesses, links are what seal the deal. There is no point in having a fantastic online offering if no one can get to it. Not only are broken links frustrating, they can also lead to a person just giving up on the entire business.

3. Use Professional Photography

“A picture is worth a thousand words.” This may be a cliche, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. Powerful images can get your messages across faster than long passages of text. This is especially so today, when attention spans are dwindling rapidly.  

To achieve the arresting images that will stop consumers in their tracks, invest in professional photography. Real estate agents who use their phone to shoot amateur pics cannot compete with rivals who use the pros. Ideal lighting, editing, and angles make a huge difference. The same goes if you are selling products. Uploading dimly lit, grainy, low-resolution pics to your website won’t yield many sales. 

If you absolutely cannot afford a professional, take classes to learn some basic photography tips. Invest in a DSLR camera or learn how to use the features on high-end smartphones. Lastly, but most importantly, play around with great photo editing apps. They can do wonders for your images.  

4. Stay On Brand 

Once you have your product photos and description, don’t forget the branding. If you think of Target, McDonald’s, and other big names, you can spot their packaging or logo from a mile away. The Bullseye and Golden Arches are synonymous with their brands. Your business may not be a household name — yet. However, it should still have an image that is in sync across platforms. 

Whether it’s your social media, email messages, packaging materials, or business cards, the branding should look the same. The exact colors, logo, and fonts should be used across the board. Graphic designers can provide you with a cheat sheet of the exact RGB number of the colors they used on your materials. Without the exact number, the lavender or teal in your branding could end up being a wide spectrum of shades. The inconsistency will prevent your business from achieving strong brand recognition.

The same principle applies to fonts for headings and body text. There are, for example, hundreds of brush style fonts. You have to know the name of the precise one used for your logo or in your brochures. This way, even if you later change designers or marketing agencies, they can make sure your branding remains consistent. 

Polished Doesn’t Have to Be Pricey

Having a polished business look doesn’t need to be expensive. It just means taking a little more time at the start to choose branding elements and then applying them consistently. As you go along, double-check everything before posting. It might seem unnecessary when you’re in the swing of things. But some careless mistakes can cost you money and embarrassment. 

A polished presence pays off in the short run with a great first impression. It continues reaping rewards in the long run with brand recognition and loyalty.

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