1. Your website is an asset, not an obligation
If you’re treating your website merely as a relayer of information, you’re missing out. A successful website doesn’t just state essential facts, figures, and features. Instead, it inspires visitors to take action. Specifically, actions that cause them to buy now, schedule an appointment, or sign up for your “insiders only” email list.
Your website doesn’t need to be like anyone else’s. So don’t feel you must follow a particular template or copy others in your industry. Instead, ask how this website can best serve your business through clear calls to action that directly correlate to your big-picture business goals.
2. Your website should not be about you
One of the most common mistakes businesses make on their websites is to talk about themselves too much. While it may seem like your business website should be all about your business, it should be all about your potential customers.
A great website is not a brain dump of everything there is to know about your company. Instead, it should be a carefully curated set of information organized to bring potential customers to the place where they can become customers.
Here are some guiding questions we ask clients to help them determine what to share on their website:
- What are the immediate pain points my potential customers feel?
- How does my business address the customer’s pain?
- What is the essential information our potential customers need to know to understand our offer?
- What are the most common reasons my potential customers don’t take the actions I want them to take?
- What else do my potential customers need to feel confident enough to take action? (i.e., testimonials, case studies, demos, consultation calls, etc.)
The answers to these questions will reveal what to convey and prioritize on your website. For example, are there concerns about pricing? Offer a money-back guarantee and display strong testimonials or reviews. Do people need help with how to use your product or service? Include a demonstration video.
3. Your website content should be remarkable to your customers
Our last point discussed knowing what to share on your main website pages. But what about your blog or case study page?
You may be so used to what you do that it no longer seems notable. And you may wonder, “What can I write about that will interest people?” Or maybe you’re on the other side, thinking, “I have so much I want to tell people. How do I choose what to share and what not to?”
Here are three illuminating questions to help you decide which topics are worth sharing:
- First, what do your potential customers consistently ask about?
- Second, what topics are they Googling that relate to your work?
- Third, what comes naturally to you that is valuable and remarkable to others?
For example, a caterer might share how to plan for just the right amount of food for a party. No one wants to run out of food during an event or end up with two weeks’ worth of leftovers! This kind of planning is ordinary and second nature to a caterer, but it’s a daunting task to everyone else. To most of us, confidently and accurately planning food for an event is a remarkable skill.
4. Your website should be a road map to specific destinations
Earlier, we mentioned that your website should drive visitors to take action. What are the one or two actions you want your website visitors to take? It could be downloading a guide you wrote, scheduling a consultation call, or purchasing a product.
If your website were a network of hiking trails in a forest, each one should lead to those specific actions. Each page needs a call to action that either leads visitors to another page on your site or allows them to take the action you want.
Visitors should never encounter a dead end on any of the trails on your website. If they do, they will be more inclined to leave the site. But if you give them options for other routes, such as a “see our work” button or a link to schedule a call, they will be inclined to keep exploring and following your calls to action.
5. Your website platform doesn’t matter as much as you may think
Many popular website builders offer the same options and abilities, which will work equally well for most businesses. If your website doesn’t require extensive technical or custom capabilities, platforms like Webflow, WordPress, and Squarespace could serve you well. For e-commerce businesses, Shopify, Squarespace, or Weebly are good options. We’ve found that Webflow and Shopify fit most of our clients.
The key takeaway is to spend only a little energy deciding about your website platform. After getting a general understanding of the nuances, you can’t go wrong with these options, and you have many other website decisions to make that are more deserving of your limited time and energy.
6. Your website doesn’t need to have expert SEO from the start
You’ve probably heard the term “SEO” (Search Engine Optimization) quite a few times and may be wondering how to optimize your website for people searching the internet for the goods or services you provide.
If you research SEO, you’ll find an overwhelming number of tools, tips, and strategies. Rather than spending hours on long lists of SEO to-dos, choose one or two fundamental things you can do excellently and consistently. With SEO, consistency and quality are far more critical than the quantity of your strategies.
We recommend focusing on your site's visible copy (or text). Use language that your potential customers would use in their online searches. Prioritize those phrases and words in the titles and headings of your pages, and draw inspiration for the rest of your content from questions your customers are searching. This one strategy alone will help your SEO tremendously.
7. Your website doesn’t need to be perfect to be published
We know you want your website to be its best before launching it. But sometimes “best” is the enemy of “good,” and perfect is the enemy of done. At some point, it’s better to have a good, functioning website than to have an un-launched website you’re constantly tinkering with.
The good news is, you can always tweak a website once you publish it. Nothing about your website is permanent or unchangeable. You can edit any part of it at any time. And it’s often easier to see what needs to be improved after it goes live. In addition, you’ll receive valuable feedback from your users about what works well and what needs to be changed.
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As we said at the beginning, your website can be one of your most significant assets. We hope these ideas help you create a website that’s inspiring, imaginative, and true to the heart of your business.
If you’re interested in hiring us to build your website book a free 20-minute strategy call.