Just recently, I had a conversation with one of my team members. I said to her, “I don’t think my website is attracting leads.” She asked permission to give her feedback. This started an honest dialogue between us. “Your website is not going to appeal to the type of clients you want. It reminds me of a clown,” she said. I laughed out loud! I knew she was right. My website and company logo were homemade, cobbled together so that I could cut costs. And it showed.
Contrast that to the website that showcased my first business, Momnificent. I paid $5000 for that website and brand, and I attracted more interest and leads than I could ever imagine. My designer even won an award for his brand design. People would email me just to tell me how much they loved my website. It had personality, a strong brand, and every other element that made a website kick-ass.
If I knew what made a website great, why on Earth would I put something out on the world wide web that was less than amazing? The short answer is money. A great website can be expensive. It takes time to build, just like your business. However, this is one area you don’t want to cut corners. When prospects land on your home page, within a matter of seconds, they decide if they are going to stay or leave.
After going through several of my own website transformations, and visiting thousands of other people’s websites, I can honestly share with you what has wowed me, and what has not. This is not to say that what wows me will also wow you. Everyone has their own brand preference. So, take my opinion with a grain of salt, but by all means, create a website and brand you are proud of.
Spend the Money
You might be tempted to design and build your own website and brand. After all, there are a lot of great website builders out there that make it easy for the tech-savvy individual to put something together. There are graphic design programs like Canva that promote how easy it is to create your own logo. Why spend massive amounts of money on a brand and web designer? Unless you are a designer, it is not in your zone of genius. You will be frustrated. It will take a lot of time and ultimately, your finished product will not likely wow people.
Educate yourself on brand design and choose a professional designer whose work completely resonates with you. Your website is a reflection of you and your company, so make sure your design screams “This is me!”
Show Your Personality
Your personality can come out in so many ways on your website. It may be the photos you use, the colors you choose, the words you use to communicate, or anything else that tells your audience who you are. Please do not be afraid to let your true colors shine through. People want to know you and whether or not they resonate with you.
As my new website was being built, someone asked me “Are you sure you want people to know you are a gay woman? What if people discriminate?” I thought about her questions for about 10 seconds. “Yes, I am positive I want people to know. This is ME. I celebrate diversity on every level and it’s a core part of who I am. If someone doesn’t want to work with me because of that, they are not my tribe.”
What are your core values? Are they reflected in your brand personality? Don’t be someone you are not because this is who you think the world wants. Don’t be afraid to let your whole self shine. Some people will be turned off. Others, however, will completely and whole-heartedly resonate with you. You will attract your ideal tribe of followers by being authentic.
Craft Your Messaging Carefully
One of my clients is a marketing and brand consultant. She goes into great depth to understand her clients’ brand and the target market they are working to attract. Then she carefully crafts all the messaging to showcase the company brand and appeal to an ideal group of people. The messaging is not for the masses – it is for your ideal client avatar.
Every headline on your website should grab attention. The body text should resonate with your reader. Your professional bio should tell a story of who you are and why you do what you do. The blog posts should send a message that you understand your customers’ problems and you can effectively provide solutions for them. Words matter. It is an important window to your personal and company brand.
Know your ideal client. Know what they value, what they feel, and what results they want. Then speak to them with a sincere voice.
Navigation Should be Clean and Easy
Keep your website simple to navigate and easy to read. Allow for lots of white space. Make the text legible. Don’t make your visitor search too hard for what he/she is looking for. The more there is to read, the more overwhelmed your visitor will feel. Overwhelm, complicated, and busy are recipes for clicking the big X in the upper RH corner.
I have literally typed in a website address, looked at the home page, and left in less than three seconds. It’s normally because the design is complicated, there are too many words on the page, or the headlines tell me I’m in the wrong place. One of the biggest reasons I leave, however, is because the website is unprofessional. I can’t trust an unprofessional design.
Interactive is Better than Static
Reading endless text gets boring. Make your user click things to do something other than read. People love to watch videos and there is nothing better to showcase your personality. Scroll through a gallery of photos or Instagram feed. Take an interactive quiz. Click on a photo to reveal a secret or answer to a question. Visit the blog for interesting topics to read about. Participate in a poll and reveal the latest statistics. Display a pop-up to download something free. Visit my About page to see an interactive and engaging example of revealing fun facts about me.
Anything you can do to get the user to stay on your website and click to various pages, the better. The longer they are on your website, the more they get to know you, and the better the chance they will opt into your marketing funnel. This results in more leads for you.
Establish Your Credibility and Validate your Results
One of the most popular ways to accomplish this goal is through client testimonials. Potential clients want to know what others think. What results have individuals achieved from working with you? Case studies are another great way to establish your credibility. Describe where your client was before you began to work together. What work did you do and what was the end result your client achieved? You can use Client Spotlight videos to highlight your amazing work. Display a portfolio of your work. Show examples using pictures, downloadable documents, and stories that establish your expertise. If you’re a writer, a blog is a great way to show your expertise, provide education, and inspire your reader to want more from you.
Call to Action
If your website visitor leaves your website and does not take the next step to interact with you, you have lost a lead. There should be “Calls to Action” sprinkled everywhere throughout your website. There should not be one page that does not ask the visitor to take the next step. Read or Learn More. Schedule an Intro Call. Contact us. Download our free guide. Watch our video. Apply for our mastermind. Buy our product. Have them do something that moves them closer to the entry point in your funnel.
If the only call to action on your website is a “Contact Us” button on your navigation bar, your website is just a glorified business card. With the increasing number of online shoppers and buyers, your website must guide your prospects all the way to the finish line.
Launch and Get Feedback
How would I know that my old website looked like a clown if I didn’t ask? You might not like the feedback you get from the outside world, but I can assure you it matters. We all have blind spots and there will be things you miss or don’t think of. There will be different perspectives you hadn’t considered before, some that don’t resonate with you and others that will make a world of difference.
Consider asking a panel of people to take a survey to provide constructive feedback. This panel should consist of people from your industry, your ideal clients, people who love you and some marketing experts if you have them. You will receive so many different opinions. Sort through the various ideas and implement the ones you like. Discard the rest. Like I said before, your website and brand will appeal to some, but not to everyone. What matters most is that it appeals to you and your ideal client.
Now go do your homework. Search for websites that wow you. Make a list of everything you love. Use these websites to inspire your next website makeover. And remember, your website is so much more than an online brochure. It is your personal and company brand. It is your avenue to building a following and converting leads. It’s your ticket to amazing business growth for your online business. Make it work for you!
Check out our new website and brand makeover at Amazing OBM. We are quite proud and hope you will spend some time getting to know us better. We are here and ready to whip your operations and marketing into tip-top shape and support your online business in its next stage of business growth.
Your Website is More than Just an Online Brochure
May 23, 2019