These days everyone needs a website. Can you imagine opening a retail shop and not having a sign out front to announce your presence? Having a business without a website is simply not an option.
Your website is often your organization’s first impression. If it’s not a good one, you may not get a second look.
Websites are essential because…
- Name Capture – It’s a home base all your promotional efforts can point to where you can capture prospect information for further follow-up.
- Communicate Your Value – It’s where prospects can learn about your style, your values, your services, People want to work with people they like, people they trust. Your website communicates who you are, what you stand for, your values, your history, and what’s important to you. Most importantly, it’s where you share how you can help someone else.
- Referral Center – When you have a raving fan who wants to brag on you to another potential client, your website is likely where they will point people.
- Customer Validation – Your website is where your existing customers go to validate their choice to work with you and to stay connected with you.
Here are some things you must consider when building or updating your website…
- It’s got to be “responsive,” meaning that the page layout adjusts to the size of the screen being used to view it. More than half the people who go to your website will view it from their smart phone. So be sure your site layout and structure is easy to use and makes sense when seen on a small screen.
- Make it easy for people to connect with you and for you to reach out to them. Give your website visitors lots of reason to give you their email so that you can follow-up with them. Yes, make it easy for them to call you or email you. But it’s much more effective if you have the ability to take the initiative to reach out to them.
- Think of it this way: The majority of people are introverts. At a party they are not likely to walk up and introduce themselves to you. You make the first move. Thank them for visiting your site and offer to help them in some way. Reach out. Show that you care. You can’t do that though if you don’t capture their email address. So what can you give away for free, what value can you offer that someone will be willing to give you their first name and email address to receive? A free ebook? A free consultation? A must-have insider’s report?
- When writing content for your website, consider the 30-3-30-3 rule…
- Some people will give you 30 minutes
- Some will only give you 3 minutes
- Some will give you 30 seconds at most
- and some will take 3 hours to read your reports, your blog, and really see what you have to offer!
How can you possibly construct a website that offers enough detail and depth to satisfy the researcher personality who wants to know all about you before they decide to buy and the skimmer personality who is just looking for a quick impression but will bolt if you bog them down with too much detail?
First off, use a website template that breaks your content into short panels that can easily and quickly be scrolled through.
Next, communicate with more than words. Make your website visual and interesting to look at. Use photos, videos, graphics, animation—anything to grab attention. Just make sure your visuals enhance the words, not detract from them or introduce a conflicting thought or style.
Speaking of style, be sure the overall design and look of your site is consistent with your brand personality, with your brand style (how all your products and promotions look, your color scheme and overall visual pallet).
When writing copy for your site, ensure that each panel puts forth a singular message and clear call to action. Use visuals (a graphic, a video clip, a photo coupled with a “what’s in it for me” headline, succinct value statement and call to action button.
Be sure you have links to a “read more” page or landing page where the researcher types can go if they choose to get more detail, more supporting data.
For example, on your about page, offer a short, curiosity-piquing statement about you or why you got into the work you are doing. Include a photo that’s something more than a professional headshot. Offer a picture that tells a story. If the reader is curious to know more, let them keep reading or click a link to read the full story. But if not, you’ve at least put it out there why you do what you do which make be all most people want to know.
Lastly, make sure your website is loaded with valuable content that not only positions you as the expert that you are, it continually offers viewers new information, valuable insights, information, and inspiration that gives people a reason to keep coming back to your website again and again. Here’s where a blog, a podcast, an e-newsletter, and a series of special reports, master classes, or other online valuable information must be continually added. This will help the search engine algorithms keep your listing high in the rankings. Offering fresh content is more important than just having key words embedded throughout your site.
Bottom line: You don’t want to be the person who shows up to work dressed like you are from another decade. If you don’t keep your website fresh, that’s exactly what will happen.