Whoever has a company will of course wish to make a good and professional impression, online also. It is therefore important to know what inspires confidence in us Belgians and what does not. Together with Insites Consulting, in our most recent market research study we probed into the confidence Belgians show in different online channels, and then delved in that study for some tips for starting entrepreneurs who do not have a company website yet.
Think carefully about your e-mail address
Our research shows that we have more confidence in an e-mail address that is linked to a proprietary domain name than in a generic e-mail address. firstname.lastname@example.org thus comes across as more professional and more reliable than email@example.com. That is already a very good reason to register a domain name, when you start your own business. Because many companies where you can register your domain name immediately offer the possibility to create a number of personalised e-mail addresses.
Think carefully about your domain name
If you register a domain name for your own business, it is good to know that people are not so fond of websites and domain names that contain a description, purpose or action. Scarcely 15% of those questioned opted for such a website over a website or domain name that refers to a brand or the name of a company (40%).
If a Belgian consumer wishes to book a bus ride to Benidorm online, for instance, he will prefer to do so via www.jonesbustrip.be than via www.tospainbybus.be. The latter may come across a bit too commercial, and we are therefore a priori somewhat more critically inclined.
Opt for a website over a Facebook page, but create both
In our survey, we also asked about confidence in a company website and a company page on Facebook. Precisely half of those asked had more confidence in a company website. Scarcely 10% of the respondents have the utmost confidence in a company page on Facebook. That also implies however, that 40% of the respondents had no preference for one or the other.
Does this mean that a Facebook page for your company is just as good as your own website? Certainly not. Facebook makes it as easy as possible for companies and entrepreneurs to create a Facebook page: just a couple of clicks and then you can share your message with the world. You have little control, however, over who actually sees your messages.
Facebook determines who gets to see what and what happens with the content that you share on your page. Your company page on Facebook depends entirely on the algorithms, rules and prices of Facebook. To encourage companies to advertise on Facebook, Facebook will show the company posts less often in the timeline of Facebook users. Companies who wish to reach a lot of people have to pay.
Finally, Facebook pages score far less high on Google than company pages. With only a Facebook page, you are not going to reach many new customers via Google. Should you then stay away from Facebook? Absolutely not. Facebook and other social media are useful ways to be as accessible as possible online. Online success is to be found in a good mix of social media and owned channels, such as a company website.