Everyone who’s opened a business knows they need a website. In fact, that’s usually the first thing new entrepreneurs want to get started on: creating an online presence that reflects their business. There are a few things regarding website that I regularly coach:
1) It’s easy to get caught up in the ‘prettiness’ of your website but what you really need to focus on is making your website work for you. Rather than looking at your site as an online services menu and business card, regard it as the first and integral team member that pulls clients into your business.
2) You may have paid a fortune for someone to create your site or maybe you spent hours pulling your hair out doing it yourself, but website design goes through trends & busts just the same as anything else. If you haven’t touched your site in a few years, other than to change services and prices, it’s time to do a little website reno. It doesn’t have to be a complete redo (well…you might have to if it’s really archaic) but there are a few key trends that will help keep your business up-to-date and give the right impression to prospective clients that you’re on you’re A-game.
Here are 5 website mistakes and how to correct them.
Mistake #1 - Your website is cluttered
I can’t tell you how many times I come across sites that are FULL of text and images. I mean chalk-a-block full. Where do I look? The images? The text? And if there’s a lot of text, I get bored quickly.
If your page is overwhelming to look at, most people will click off your page. It’s been said that when reading websites, we have less attention span than a goldfish. Yup, we’re like an ADD goldfish.
If your reader cannot navigate your page within 8 seconds, they typically move on.
The solution? The latest trend in website design is big images & font and bold colours. Clean & bold. No clutter. Take a look at some cutting edge sites here to see what this looks like. If you're not ready to do a major website overhaul, perhaps look at how you could take a few of these new trends and integrate them into what you already have. This is what I'll be doing to my own website over the next few months.
If you must have a lot of text then…break it down.
Create more paragraphs. Bold sentences that have key phrases.
See how that works? Much easier to read and, as a result, …holds their attention.
Mistake #2 – Your 'About' page is not personal enough
With the exception of a few sites, most 'About' pages are pretty generic and at best, may only include the business vision statement and where they are located. BORING. And quite frankly, not really answering the question…who are you really??
Social media has vastly increased the consumer's desire to connect with you personally.
So why should you reveal more about yourself & your business? And how does that relate to your 'About' page?
Well, it vastly increases your know, like & trust factor. When you open up & are transparent in the copy (text) of your 'About' page, you are tapping into the consumers desire to know you and what your company holds dear. If you do that clearly, you’ve just created a ‘warm’ lead and they’re now more receptive to your offerings.
The solution? Write your (short) story. How did you become passionate enough about your trade that you decided to open a business? What, about you personally, are you bringing to the service? Be vulnerable. Trust me, this will pay off.
“People come in (even existing clients) and say 'Wow, I read your website and how you got started and it’s really inspiring!' I think what it does, more than anything, is help people feel more connected to myself and my business. I’ve been really honest & open about how I got here and they definitely feel more comfortable coming into the gym.” Meghan LeBlanc, owner of Peninsula CrossFit (read her About Me here)
There are some fantastic articles going around lately that are demonstrating that vulnerability can be a key value to successful leadership. And I would add this is particularly true for the personal service industry. Brene Brown is my favorate person on this topic.
Be the first one to show vulnerability!
A final note on this topic, include a professional headshot on your 'About' page. Your photographic image is the best pairing with your vulnerable words to solidify a personal connection.
Oh…and write in the 1st person, like you’re speaking directly to someone new. Then bond is even stronger.
Mistatke #3 – Flash and/or music on your website
I’m not going to say anything else other than...get those two things OFF YOUR SITE ASAP. Really old, passé, archaic.
Ok, you get my meaning….I’ll move on.
Mistake #4 - Not having a website specific email
I’m not sure why this happens. Maybe you made your own website and couldn’t figure out how to create a firstname.lastname@example.org or you thought it was good enough to use a Gmail address?
Whatever the reason, make yourself a site specific email address. It’s all about branding and consistency in your business. When you look professional and act professional, your business will be treated as a professional.
The solution? If you created your own website and are stumped on how to make your email address to match…head over to “Google University” and figure it out.
I’m a self-taught techie. Every question I’ve had, I head to my computer and type “How do I…..” into the Google search bar. I’ve taught myself how to create & edit videos, email responders, install a Word Press website, use Photoshop Elements... this list goes on. If you don’t know how to do something…figure it out. If you can’t find it on Google, send a shout-out for help to your tribe on Facebook, Twitter and your email list. Someone knows the answer. (Hey...here's that vulnerability thing again that may just move you forward.)
Mistake #5 - CTA’s are not on every page
CTA’s or Call-To-Action’s are just that: calling your guests to action. Remember, you want your website to work for you, not behave like an online business card with you passively hoping it looks pretty enough that someone will call you.
A CTA that’s most commonly used in our industry is a “Book Now” button. If you don’t have an online booking option, that’s ok. This button can link to your contact page that has a fillable form on it or it could pop up in a new email. Another call-to-action could be a free download or a self-test to help guide them to the best treatment.
Either way, the Call-To-Action is prompting your guest that you want them to do something in your business. Make it super easy for your guest to connect with you by offering a little hand-holding in the form of a Call-To-Action. This tactic really works to bring clients into your business on a steady basis.
Ok, so the next step is to put your Call-To-Action on every page. Yes, every page! It’s kind of like the Franks Hot Sauce ad from a while back…
So, how does your website measure up? Are you making any of these mistakes? Don’t be hard on yourself if you need to make all five changes to your website. "When you know better, you do better" as the late and wise Maya Angelou said. If you have nothing to change, congratulations! I hope you feel validated that you’re on the right track!I
If you feel your website is in need of a major overhaul and you don’t know where to start, you probably need an outside hand to get you on track. I can do a Website Audit for you and give you easy, step-by-step directions on what to change to create an up-to-date website that will work for you. This isn't a service that's normally advertised on my site...but I know how overwhelming an update can be if website design is not your thing. Contact me for more information.