The Importance of Transparency for Online Businesses

Since I run a lot of website directories, I regularly receive submissions from literally hundreds of website owners every week.

All these submissions, by the way, are human reviewed, and removed if they are don’t meet my own personal “quality guidelines” 🙂

One of which I see… far too often.. is people trying to “fudge” their contact details when submitting their websites.

To me, this says a LOT about their “commercial integrity” – or perhaps LACK of it – online.

And if I can’t verify your contact details in a submission somehow (usually by checking on your site, or looking at WHOIS records for your domain name) if they look at all “dodgy” – then your submission is destined for the trash can! I certainly don’t want my sites to develop a reputation for containing content that is obviously misleading!

Oh… and if you are instructing some SEO company to do your directory submissions for you – PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE (infinity times) make sure they get your address details correct!

Now I can understand why some “smaller” home based business owners might NOT want to put their home address and home phone number on a directory submission… or for that matter even include such information on their web site…

BUT

If you are in business, and WANT people to part with their money and buy stuff from you…

THEN

What does it say when you do NOT provide any “real world” contact details?

When you hide behind an email address?

Or even worse…

When you ONLY have a contact FORM on your website?

Sometimes I don’t even have a clue what COUNTRY you are in???

Even some BIGGER companies also do this…

To me, this is an instant turn-off to the possibility of me doing ANY business with them!

I instantly think of what do I do if I have a “problem” and can’t “chat” to someone about it.

Goodness knows it’s bad enough with a lot of big companies that I can only ring their blasted call-centre, or send an email, if I have a problem… there’s NO going and talking to a REAL PERSON in a real office anymore.

Again, I can understand the small business/work from home operator’s situation – heck that’s ME! But I DO have a mobile phone, a real PO Box address, AND I do NOT hide my contact details on any of my websites!

I figure if you want to do business with me… then you want to choose how to contact me to discuss things.

I fully believe in complete transparency online, and would encourage all website owners to provide their full contact details!

And urge you to tell other websites which don’t do this how much business they are missing out on because they don’t provide such info!

End of rant 🙂

Cheers
Stephen Spry

P.S. Oh… it is obvious when Automated Submission Software is used… ‘cos often the address details are left as street, state, zip code etc. These go straight to the trash!

« | Home | »