You Need a Website
Whether you’re an online business owner or a brick and mortar, you need a website. Why you need a website isn’t the focus of this post, but just in case you’re not completely convinced of this, here are a few reasons:
- Consumers like to check businesses out before buying from them. A website allows them to do this quickly and easily.
- People believe that small businesses with websites are more credible than ones without an online presence; your website legitimizes you.
- They also believe that a company branded email is more credible than a generic email account such as those you’d get from Gmail and other providers.
- In order to convince people to buy from you, it’s important to build both trust and a relationship with them. Without a website, it’s more difficult to do this. Your website provides a place for you to tell your story, show you understand your audience, explain how your products/services can help them, and establish yourself as an expert in your field.
- The analytics your website provides can help you determine what is and isn’t working with other marketing streams like social media posting.
- Your website can be used to create a sales funnel that nurtures potential customers through the sales process. This, in turn, allows for automation and a much higher conversion rate than other sales methods. It also allows for 24/7 sales and marketing, so you can sleep!
- Lastly, if you’re trying to expand to a larger market, a website will make this significantly easier than, say, driving all over creation.
You Need A Website That Rocks!
Now that we’re clear on the fact that you need a website, I’ll take it one step further and say that you need a website that rocks.
It’s not enough to throw up a template, add some photos, write some copy and call it good. In fact, even though I think you absolutely must have a website to succeed as a small biz owner, I would also say that having no website is better than having a shitty website.
So, how exactly do you ROCK YOUR WEBSITE? These are my essential elements of a kick-butt website: quality content, basic SEO, smart calls-to-action, killer design, and one super secret element I'll tell you about at the end of this post.
ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS TO ROCK YOUR WEBSITE
1. High-Quality Content
Relevant, informative and engaging content is one of the most important pieces of a successful website. Your site should include copy that communicates to your viewers that you understand their problems and can help solve them with your unique blend of talent and expertise.
Write clearly, concisely and conversationally, so your readers get a sense of you and your style – write like you actually sound when you talk.
You also need to make sure that the most important points stand out, because users usually read only 28% of the content on your site. Break your copy up into short paragraphs and use bullets for lists.
Professional-looking photography that includes pics of yourself is a must-have, too. People love to look at faces, especially of someone they might be working with one-on-one, so make sure you’ve either got really good selfies to use or hire someone to do a shoot. Stock photos are also helpful in creating a mood and drawing your site visitors in.
2. Basic SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
The most beautiful site with the best content in the world will do you no good if no one can find you.
Search Engine Optimization helps to make you and your site easier for potential clients to find. Content is still king in the world of SEO, so your first strategy is to write high-quality content that’s relevant to what you do and what your audience is looking for.
Do a keyword search and use those terms in your headlines and throughout your copy. Use clear, relevant and exciting headlines in blog posts. Include lots of images and videos to engage readers and make sure the filenames and alt tags include your keywords. Link to other pages on your site, to other blog posts you’ve written and to 1 or 2 authority sites that relate to what you are writing about.
The good news is that Squarespace does a lot of the upfront SEO for you by setting up a site map when your site is set up. This helps Google crawl your site and get a sense of how to classify your content and help search engines find you, which is sooooper important.
3. Killer Calls-to-Action
Your website isn’t just for show. You want your visitors to do something, right? So tell ‘em what to do, already; otherwise, they won’t do anything.
Whether you want them to buy from you, sign up for your newsletter, read your blog, download a freebie – whatever it is - you need to make it super clear and super easy for them to know what to do and how to do it. So every page of your site needs a compelling and relevant call-to-action that stands out and encourages visitors to take a specific action.
Here are some tips for effective Calls-to-Action:
- Make your CTAs stand out with contrasting color and lots of white space around them.
- Start with an action verb like download, try, get, start. Add urgency with words like now, today and limited time.
- Make them clear, simple and short.
- Include the benefit they’ll get: download my free e-book or get my top tips for killer calls-to-action now.
- Convince hesitant prospects with testimonials, guarantees, and privacy promises close by.
- Support your CTA’s with positive imagery.
- Limit the number of CTA’s on each page so you don’t confuse folks.
4. Engaging, Attractive Design
Would you send a sloppy, unorganized, slow and poorly dressed sales person out to represent your business? Of course not, right? You’d never want that person to be the face of your biz.
If you think about it, your website is a 24/7 salesperson for your business. So it needs to make a positive impact on people when they come to it. And it needs to do it quickly (you have about 10 seconds to make an impression when someone comes to your site.
If your site loads slowly, isn’t responsive, doesn’t function well or looks chaotic, cluttered, and unprofessional, visitors won’t even stay on it long enough to find out who you are. And they definitely won’t be inclined to trust you and invest in you and your services.
The same goes for generic and boring website design. Blah design suggests that you’re also less than entertaining, and your visitors will quickly take off looking for someone with more personality.
And I’m not just saying this because I’m a designer. According to Adobe, 38% of people will disengage with a site if the content/layout is unattractive. 48% say a website’s design is the number one factor in deciding the credibility of a business.
So hire a talented professional to design your site, even if it’s a Squarespace site. Think of it as an investment in the success of your business.
If you’re a coach, I probably don’t have to tell you that like attracts like, and what you put out there comes back to you. So, be willing to outsource the things you’re not that great at to people who are. Not only will it take that person a fraction of the time it’ll take you to do the same work, but it’ll also look a hell of a lot better in the end.
5. My super duper secret essential element that covers most of what you need to ROCK YOUR SITE?
It's my new website design package that I'm launching today through December 13!
Aptly named ROCK YOUR SITE, it includes:
- The killer design part
- Basic SEO,
- Plus, lots and lots more good stuff!!
(I don’t do content, but I can certainly recommend a good copywriter to help you with that.)
ROCK YOUR SITE is for you if you’re ready to invest in yourself and your business with a well-designed website that truly represents who you are and works for you as hard as you do for your clients.
Because, your current site is probably not cutting it anymore, right?
It's either all over the place or generic and bland. It says nothing about who you really are at your core and is less than visually engaging.
You've got a bad case of website shame, and you're ready to kick that shame to the curb for good.
ROCK YOUR SITE is your website shame destroyer. It's a 4-week package that leaves you with a gorgeous website that captivates your audience, gets them interested in who you are and what you do, and motivates them to take action (i.e. buy from you!).
What you don’t get is the hassle and headache of doing it yourself. Because you’ve got way better things to do with your time than that anyway, and you’re ready to start delegating the stressful stuff, so you can focus on the money making stuff that you’re really good at!
Because you work really hard for your clients, and you deserve a website that works just as hard for you. You deserve a site that truly represents who you are at your core and communicates that in a way that’s welcoming and intriguing and gets people to stick around and learn more. You need a site that makes folks remember who you are and think about coming back for another visit!
With ROCK YOUR SITE you get all of that and more, including:
- Squarespace template selection
- site setup including basic SEO
- workbook that helps you set goals for your site and gather your content
- 60-minute on-screen strategy session to discuss your specific site needs and goals
- design of 5 pages, plus blog
- design of a custom pop-up, so you can start building your email list
- email integration, so your signups go straight to your email provider
- 1-hour Squarespace tutorial, so you know your way around and can make edits yourself
- 2 weeks of tech support, as you learn the ropes and have questions
On top of all of that, I'm throwing in
- design of a custom enewsletter template
- design of one of your freebies/opt-ins (up to 5 pages)
After ROCK YOUR SITE, your business will finally look as good on the outside as it is on the inside, and you'll be ready to take it to a whole new level!