I’ve been analyzing websites now for years. I see what works and what doesn’t work. Keeping your website current is pivotal to your marketing strategy and your business success. When was the last time you updated your website? When was the last time you updated the design of your website? You don’t listen to music like you did in the 1990’s, you shouldn’t run your business like you’re in the 1990’s either. So, here are several very critical elements that your website must have to keep it current, especially in today’s day.
You only have about 3-5 seconds to let people know what you do and that is not a lot of time. So, it’s important that you be clear, keep it simple and state it in a way people can understand right away.
Write a very brief description of what you do and offer. Try to focus on your audience’s pain points. This really hits home and makes your audience want to read more. Business is about solving problems for other people. What problems does your audience have?
The visitors to your website are there for a specific reason; to learn more about your business. They can’t do that if your content is subpar or outdated. Your content should tell your story, be memorable, and highlight your personality. You want your visitors to take action, whether it be signing up for your newsletter, following you on social media, or contacting you directly.
You already know you should have amazing content but how do you get it? You must truly understand your audience; what problems need solving, what are their concerns and/or desires, what helps them reach their goals, and so on.
80% of users are accessing websites from their mobile phones and Google is even penalizing websites that are not mobile friendly in search engine rankings. So, remember that most people access the web on a mobile device so it’s important to make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Make sure your website is responsive and adapts to different display sizes. If your website is on WordPress, be sure to opt for a theme that’s already optimized for mobile devices.
A blog is a great way for your visitors to keep up with what’s happening in your business. It’s a great place to share solid educational information about your profession. Be sure to publish articles on your blog often and share them on social media. The more content you share on your blog, the higher your chances of being found in search engines.
You want your visitors to take action while on your website. A great way to do that is to offer a sign up option for an email newsletter or a free download. You’ll capture leads and build your email list so that you can keep in touch with your subscribers. If you opt to use a newsletter, be sure to send it no more than once a week and follow the 80/20 rule; 80% informative, useful content and 20% that pertains to your business, product or service. In other words, don’t only email your subscribers when you want them to buy something. You need to provide helpful information 80% of the time and be selling only 20% of the time. This is good business practices.
Website ranking is important to be listed highly on search engines, but it’s not solely based on keywords anymore. You still need to use your proper keywords, but they’re only part of your SEO strategy. Your strategy must include blogging, social media, and email marketing.
Make it easy for your audience to find you on social media. Make your plugins visible on all pages of your website and add plugins that show your social media newsfeeds on the right hand side of your blog page. This way people can see that you are social, sharing great content, they can access your reviews and more.
I am sure this seems obvious, but I go to many businesses websites only to have to search endlessly for this information. So, while this may be obvious there are a few things you need to know. You need to have a contact page AND you need to have your contact information on each and every page because you never know when your visitors are going to want to reach out and contact you.
Your website is an investment and great marketing tool so make it work for you. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation, don’t hesitate to contact me.
Cheers, Love and Success,
Back in the 90’s and early 2000’s all you needed was a website to get business. However, in today’s day the playing field has completely changed…BIG TIME! Take this from someone that was at the top of Google back in 2001 with my very first business, had a husband that designed websites back in the day and has had multiple internet businesses since it all began.
Now more than ever it is vital that you have these crucial elements incorporated into your website and your business strategy.
Your website is one of your most important marketing tools in your business. It needs to speak volumes about what you can do for your potential clients and it needs to speak to them from their perspective, NOT YOURS. If you want more success do yourself a favor, read this blog post, share it with others and then go and evaluate your website to see what needs to change SO YOU CAN GROW, MAKE MORE MONEY and CREATE MORE SUCCESS.
Let’s dive in and talk about what your website really needs.
1. Create a Crystal Clear Message: First and foremost you need to have a crystal clear message that clearly explains what you do to help others. It needs to highlight the benefits instead of the features and you need to speak in a way that comes from your potential client’s perspective and not yours.
Think about it, how many websites have you visited and quickly lost interest because you truly have no idea what they are trying to offer or what they offer is just too confusing? Unfortunately most web designers are not savvy marketers for local businesses. They know code, how to set up your design and how to follow your instructions. So, if you don’t know exactly what is really needed you are going to struggle.
2. Make it Simple, Clean and Crisp: The worst thing in the world you can do to your home page is make it overly complicated and stuffed with too much information. Think about what is the most successful website in the world? It’s Google’s! You know why…because when you go to www.Google.com you know exactly what to do and what it will do for you. Just think about that for a second…
So, make your home page, clean, simple and crisp. Don’t overload people with too much information. Incorporate your crystal clear message, have images that evoke emotion that match that message and then use navigation bars to direct folks where you want them to go. You know the old saying…KISS: Keep it simple stupid. That is very true when it comes to your website.
3. Speak Your Potential Client’s Language: Think about it for a second…all people want to know is how YOU can help THEM and if you can’t explain that in simple words that they can understand in seconds…you’ve lost them. Think of it as if you are talking to a toddler. You need to use simple words and they do not a long attention span, right?
For example, I work with many doctors and on many occasions I need to remind them that they need to speak to their audience in a way their audience can understand. Have you ever been to the doctor and you ask them what’s wrong and then they speak in a language that sounds Greek? You see doctors are marketing to everyday people that are not an expert in their field or niche. Their potential clients need them to speak in a way that they can understand. The same is true for you and your website. Speak in a way that your potential clients can understand. Again KISS!
Again, this is not an area where your web designer is going to guide you. They will look to you to provide all written copy for your site and if you specialize in Psychiatry or Psychotherapy you are more than likely a expert at just that and not how to communicate in a way that will pull in more of the right potential patients you are looking for.
4. Focus more on your message and less on your branding or business name. Here’s a little marketing secret; close your eyes in front of your home page and then open them…what stands out, where does your eye go first? Is it what you want your potential clients to see? If they see your business name and logo first, will that really speak to them in a way that makes them want to take action right away? Most likely not.
I always say to small business owners…your not Apple or Starbucks or Target. These companies spend millions on branding and that’s why my kids know by their logos who they are without being able to read. You see what’s more powerful than your business name and logo is your message and your story. That is what will draw people in.
Yes, logos are fun and creating our business names feel good and gets us excited because we’ve started something of our own, but they are not the driving force of your success or pulling new clients or patients in. Focus on your message and let that stand out first. (Again, I am talking about small local businesses here, not huge name brand corporations.) Now, you may grow into that and when you do, by all means you will want to pump money into branding.
5. Your Contact Information: You should have a contact information page, but you should also make sure your contact information is on EVERY PAGE! Yes, every single page and not in teeny tiny print either. You never know at what point your potential client is motivated to act and reach out to you. So, make sure your contact information is clearly visible on every page of your website.
6. Capturing Interested Business That’s Not Ready to Buy: Did you know that only 3% of the market is looking for your product or service at any given time? So, how do you engage the other 97% of potential clients or patients that are not ready to buy yet but might be in the future? You do this through free reports, free Ebook, free videos and so on that exchange very valuable information for their email address. Then after you have their email address you have a strategy for staying in touch with them (without being annoying) in order to continue to relationship of trust. So, when it is time for them to make that purchase they think of your business first. Make sense? You bet it does.
For example, my husband sells a software product to Traders and this is what he hears all the time, “I’ve been following you guys for a while now and I really like what I see, so I am ready to buy your $2000 product.” Now, what if he didn’t engage potential clients in this way? What if he didn’t capture those emails and create an ongoing relationship with folks that have not bought his product yet? He would lose thousands and thousands of dollars worth of business every year.
So, you most definitely want to think about how to work this into your strategy and again this is more than likely not something your web designer will recommend they are just following your lead.
7. Make sure your social icons are easy to find. These days folks want social proof before buying. For example, the other night I looked at a website that was making all these promises, so I hopped on over to Facebook and found horrible reviews. That was all I needed to see. Now I know this business wasn’t legit.
In today’s world and economy people want social proof before they buy. They’ve worked hard for their money, so they want to make sure they are going to spend it with businesses that care about them and will do what they say they will do. As a social media agency owner I highly recommend that you make sure you have an impeccable social media and web presence. Make sure you are providing great value to your current clients so you don’t turn folks away.
8. Your Website Needs to be Responsive: A responsive website is one that responds to whatever device your potential client is using and then adjusts to that platform. So, if you are on your mobile phone you have a much smaller screen to with than if you were at your desktop. So, your website needs to be able to adjust in order to make it easier for your clients and potential clients to do business with you.
Here are some very interesting statistics from Forbes that should make you think.
If you integrate these elements you will have much greater success than if you don’t. I hope this was helpful.Is it time to refresh your social media marketing or your website?
We now offer web design services for WordPress and we can even write all the content for you. Feel free to to learn more here and we invite to schedule your complimentary website evaluation valued at $150. This offer is available through…..Sept 15th, 2014.
So, please feel free to reach out and learn more about how we can create a website for you that:
“Amanda is fantastic to work with. She created my website in less than a week, the process was simple, easy and she took the lead. I highly recommend hiring Amanda and her team. She has high integrity and cares about her clients. Plus I received a lot of praise for my site from competitors as well as clients.” – Kip Brooks
Cheers, Love and Success,
Amanda Brazel | Digital Media Marketing Done For You