Your website is the virtual face of your business. Not only is it is an important business tool but it could be the only interaction people have with your business.
I like to think of your website as your virtual home. And like your real home, it should welcome your visitors like guests. Making sure your visitors know:
- What the house rules are
- What your intentions are
- What juicy details of their lives you are going to remember the next day
In Part I of this video, we are going to focus on establishing the house rules. In Part II, we’ll tackle disclosing your intentions and spilling the juicy details.
So how do you establish house rules?
Terms of service
One way to help establish your house rules are to have terms of service on your website. Your terms of service will outline to guests what their rights are and what you both expect from each other. In other words, it’s just establishing a contract with your website visitors.
Terms of service are not a legal requirement, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have them. It also doesn’t mean you should automatically copy and paste someone else’s. Having clear terms of service gives you something to point to when that crazy lady gets upset. (Because I know we’ve all dealt with one of those).
When you are ready to craft your terms of service, this post lays out all the areas you should consider.
The second way we can establish house rules are through a disclaimer.
Disclaimers are pretty common and you accept them every day. Disclaimers are used when you are uncertain the exact risk you face, but you know that the risk exists.
When it comes to your website, a disclaimer might be prudent if your website does one (or more) of the following:
- give advice
- make promises
- offer a guarantee
- sell products that might provoke an allergic reaction or could vary from item to item
- allow users to create content via comments or forums
- contain content influenced by sponsors/affiliates
- earn you income based on user purchases via specific links
There’s hardly a website that doesn’t need some sort of disclaimer. And when you are ready to create one, here are some ideas to consider.
These items don’t have to be full of legalese or pages long to be valid.