First thing I wanted to say here, is that around 99% of us are not happy with the first, second or even third version of their website. Either it just doesn’t feel right, we know it should be working harder, the messages can seem a little muddled, we’re not sure if anyone is going there, how to get them there, or even if we want to send them there.
However, your website is your shop window to the online world. Look around your local high street. Now I don’t mean the one in your major city – those big boys know what they’re doing, they’re all shiny, with great messaging, enticing you into their store.
Your website is your shop window to the online world
First look around your neighbourhood high street. Now you’ll notice a big difference to the city guys, some of these may look a little tired and old, maybe their signs are a little worn, we’re not even sure what they sell, you may see empty boxes piled up in a corner, cobwebs in the corner, dust on the shelves and a tired-out person manning the shop, maybe even a dead dog! No, I’ve gone too far now, but you get the picture I’ve painted.
Amongst these tired-out shops there will be a few diamonds in the rough, and if you’re lucky enough to live in a up and coming area, these may be outnumbering the tired out shops. These diamonds will sparkle, the signs are vibrant, with fantastic fonts and we know exactly what the shop sells, the windows are polished, a lovely smell wafts out of the shop, the display catches the eye and when we walk in the lady in the shop gives us a warm welcoming smile and ask us how our day has been.
And voila – that is how you want your website to be. An inviting place with clear messaging.
So, here’s some tips for creating the business website of your dreams.
Have as much control as possible
Giving someone else control over your website is a bad mistake. They don’t know your products or services like you do. They don’t know your customers like you do.
You want great design, alongside usability and clear messaging.
Find out what website designs you do like and think about how you can incorporate these great designs into your website.
If you’re working with a designer make sure that have a clear idea what you want the website to do, how you want it to look and access to images you want to use.
Once they’ve created your site ask them to train you on how to update the content and you’ll be able to take control over most of it from there. Having to contact a website designer each time you want to upload something, or make a change can become very tiring. They just won’t be able to react as quickly as you want them to and may charge you heavily, either a monthly fee you just don’t need to pay, or each time you want to make a change.
If you’re brave and want to have a go at building your own I would recommend squarespace, I found it so much easier to manage edits than wordpress.
Get clear on your messaging
Get clear on your messaging, as a potential customer I want to know what you do, who you do it for and what I need to engage your services with the first 5 seconds. So, get clear on what your offer is, who your ideal customer is and what your call to action is.
What do animals do in a busy space where demand for food is high? They specialise and niche. In a competitive market this is what you should aim to do as well.
Make your website work for you
98% of online shoppers don’t purchase on the first visit to your website. So what can you do about that? One simple thing to do is capture their email address.
You can either have a small popup that captures their email address (it needs to be small and easy for them to close or Google will downgrade you in their google rankings, pop ups can be annoying if not done right). But realistically how many people are going to just give you their email address, when our inboxes are literally stuffed to the brim?
So you need to get clever and create something of value that people will want to give you in exchange for their email address. So you could consider creating a pdf download with some of your expertise, a short free course, a webinar. This way you get their email address and they get something for free that adds to their impression of you as an awesome fabulous __________ (insert whatever it is that you do).
Any why would you want their email address you might ask? Well the internet is so full of websites and if 98% of shoppers don’t buy right away, you want a way to keep your brand in the top of their thoughts. And emailing is a fab way to do this!
Is there more to creating a fantastic website?
Now these are just 3 things to consider when creating your website, there are so many more I could talk about; the customer journey, testimonials, outbound links, SEO, blogging, analytics, sharing content, acquisition. But I’ll save those for another day!
This is just a tip of the iceberg of the topics I cover with my clients throughout my Clarity and Confidence 4 week programme. I work with women in business, who need clarity over how to make the most of their on-line profile, while gaining confidence to really push their business forward. We cover how to celebrate your unique story, how to market your brand and the strategy to pull it all together.