There may be some things that you can compromise on when you run your own business but your website is not one of them.
Your website is a big, live business card! If you do not have an on-line presence, even for an offline business, you are hurting your business which means hurting yourself.
One of the first steps you will take is to get a domain name. You can use your name if it is easy to spell, since people will often automatically try that first. I do use my name, and it is not easy to spell, but it links to my primary website. If you are choosing a name, other than your personal name be sure that it is easy spell. You might also buy the different variations. For example: I have www.theheartcenteredbusinesswoman.com and www.theheartcenteredbusinesswomen.com. One woman is singular and the other plural, women.
Let me just give you some ideas of where to start.
- Is it clear right away who your target market is? Who you work with?
- Is it clear right away what problems you solve for you potential clients?
- Is it clear right away what result the reader can expect to achieve?
The other thing is that your header, your headline needs to be jazzy, sharp and clear. This is not a place you want people guessing. Actually, they won’t take the opportunity to guess, they will simply be gone.
So much of what I am talking about today is to remind you that people are busy, people are inpatient. You have very little time to capture their attention. I know that might sound crazy and it wasn’t always like this but there is an overload of information out there and you need to figure out a way for yours to stand out. And one way is to have a really clear and snappy site that will catch people’s attention. Believe it or not there are a great many websites that don’t do what we are talking about and wondering why no one comes and if they do come they don’t stay.
Here is something that you hear me talk about all the time and it’s crucial:
- You must have an opt-in box and it must be above the fold (people don’t want to scroll down, they usually won’t scroll down)
- Your opt-in box should describe the results they will get from your offer
- When people give you their name and email you need to give them something besides your ezine. You need to have a pink spoon, free gift that you give people automatically via autoresponder (not through your email.)
- Be sure to have a clear policy statement promising people you will not sell, rent or loan your email address and name
When you are writing your copy for your site keep it simple and clear. This is not a time for fancy words or industry jargon. People will scan; they will not read every word. You can bold important statements and key words so when they do scan they still get your message.
Is there one call to action on each page? There needs to be an opt-in page on every page of your website. You never know where someone is going to land on your site.
Keep your website clean and professional looking. Be sure it is easy to read without too many (or any at all) bells and whistles that will make people leave your page. This is also where it’s important to know your market.
The navigation also needs to be simple to understand. People will not take the time to try to figure something out.
On a last note, be sure the spelling is all correct and all links are ‘live’ and working. More white space is desired than feeling like you have to fill in all the spaces available.
And I have to say one more thing because those who know me hear me say this all the time. You must have a picture, preferably a professional picture (but better done than perfect, get your best picture up there and get your professional picture up as soon as you can, don’t let this stop you in your tracks.) You also must have your picture above the fold. Let them all see your beautiful or handsome face without working for it!
Action Step: My coach’s request to you is to take action on at least one of these ideas and do it within the next 24 or 48 hours of reading or listening to this. Then let me know below what you did so I can celebrate with you!