First Impressions – Virtual Dressing

As a business owner, you know the importance of First Impressions. You don clean, professional clothing Monday through Friday and would never wear your button-up backwards. However, many of your clients, customers, and patients’ first impression of you happens on your business website, and you may be surprised at what they see- perhaps not the brilliant site and professional online promotion you approved as representative of your company.

Through the Eyes of… Safari? Chrome? Internet Explorer?

Depending on the specific internet browser through which your site is viewed, and the thoroughness of your web designer testing compatibility, you may see something very differently than others accessing your site. For example, if your site was created compatible for Internet Explorer, but not tested for the relative newcomer Chrome, your potential clients may see text askew, pictures out of place, or worse- be unable to access your information. Essentially, your website may appear to have shoes on its head and speak gibberish, sending customers down the hall to another service provider who appears more professional.

Not Seeing Eye-To-Eye: Survey Saaays…

The data is not reassuring. In a recent survey, Advisor Designs measured general web browser trends against those of Compliance Regulated Business Owners (CRBO). The research reveals CRBO overwhelmingly prefer Internet Explorer. At least 75% of CRBO use IE, and all use versions more recent than IE7. Holding a slim second to IE is Firefox, at 18.8%, and trailing in with 6.3% is Google’s Chrome browser. None of the CRBO users polled utilize Safari or Opera. Why does this matter? Because your potential clients, the general public, are viewing through a different browser! For February 2010, W3Schools reported Internet Explorer behind Firefox with 35.3%, broken down as IE8 at 14.7%, IE7 11.0%, and IE6 with 9.6%; Firefox maintains the majority holding 46.5%. Chrome, Safari and Opera have a small but growing user base with 11.6%, 3.8% and 2.1%, respectively.

The Good News for Compliance Regulated Business Owners (CRBO)

So, we know that CRBO users and their clients are surfing with different browsers. What now? Ben Perron, founder of Advisor Designs says “Web designers have to throw the net wider and wider to ensure that online marketing retains its effectiveness for the general users, especially when handling Compliance Regulated Business in which professionalism is so important, and business owners need to be informed that these are important discussions to have with their designers and marketing specialists.” Even if you never plan to venture away from Internet Explorer 8, it’s important to keep in mind that your potential clients likely will. Confirm with your web-designer and online marketing team that your company’s first impression will be compatible with browsers used by the general public, and be confident that you and your website are dressed for success.

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