Website Blues: Is Your Website Letting You Down?
If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re an entrepreneur…
…or maybe you just happen to love a few of us. And no matter how established you may be, how big a company you’ve built and how many raving fans you may have, you can’t take your eyes off your presence on the web – especially your website.
Virtual Storefront. Many of us work B2B, happily buzzing along without a bricks and mortar situation. Our website is a window into who we are, what we do, and why a visitor should care. Entering into your site must be inviting, informative and fresh, just as if the door were wide open. Make it easy for someone to come in and find their way around.
When I worked on my first website, my goal was streamlined beauty, as I strived to fulfill a “less is more” model. But guess what? No one was beating down my virtual door. I needed to find compelling ways to draw people in and get them to stay a while. So, before you find yourself behind the proverbial 8 ball (like how I did that?), here are some suggestions to pop up the action.
Websites: The Essential 8
1. Core Value Statement: Who are you, what do you do & why do you do it? What problem do you solve?
Get this right and your marketing will flow almost effortlessly. A murky identity will cloud the effectiveness of the rest of your endeavors to resonate with your potential clients. One of my early mentors called it the “know, like and trust” factor in what motivates others to work with you – people have to feel a connection in order to seek you out. After all, most of us aren’t unique in our industry. As Simon Sinek says, “Start with Why” – people don’t buy what you do, but why you do it. Establish that connection.
2. Compelling Side Bar Offer
Reward your visitors for hanging around with a relevant gift. We all hate pop-ups, but getting your offer out there doesn’t need to be pushy or annoying. This is the perfect opportunity to showcase your expertise by offering some key information and insights. Let your people know you bring something unique to the table. What do you get out of it? More people on your list. Just keep it uncluttered.
3. Call to Action
The CTA is a place to have a some fun and to reinforce your brand. Here are a few good ones – one makes me giggle and the other solves a problem and is visually entertaining. The visitor needs to be nudged to DO something.
4. Regular Blog Posts
It’s all about the metrics. Writing blog posts serves 2 purposes: First, you further the impression that you’re vital in your field and that you’ve got that little extra something that people need to know. Equally important, some fancy mechanics take place behind the internet scene called “indexing” which makes it easier for you to be found in internet searches. SEO, we love it. If you find it hard to write regular blogs, lots of graphic designers offer help (yup!) and accountability. Trust me, that’s the only way I get ‘er done.
Thankfully, there are lots of number geeks out there (said with love, trust) who adore analyzing how your site is performing. And what they can uncover is amazing: I’m told we can learn what pages are working and what causes visitors to walk away. Great opportunity for correction.
6. Social Media Links
So, not everyone wants to sign up via your sidebar offer or CTA. They’re still kicking the tires and trying to decide if they like you. And they can continue their pondering on the down low by checking out your social media platforms. My kids call this stalking, but I prefer to call it selective engagement. Dazzle them over there and they’ll come back soon enough.
7. Contact Info on EVERY page
Never make anyone struggle to get a hold of you. Ever.
8. Seamless Navigation
You know how someone can be SO good at something they make it look easy? How some parking lots (and airports) lead you in and out easily and others trap you in hell? So goes website navigation. Getting from A to B to C should just flow. It’s a good idea to talk this out with an expert (and maybe even a human behavioralist) so you can create an interface that’s as smooth and friendly as possible.
Let’s make your website work for you.
I know, I know, the process can seem daunting. But I’m learning that consistency over time really pays dividends, and help is available. Imagine how great it will feel to direct people to your site and really know that there’s value there. An experience as beguiling as visiting a favorite shop.