You want to have a great website. Here’s how:
Over the last 20 years I’ve helped more than 2,000 people plan and build their website.
What I found is that most people really have no idea how to properly plan their site. And why should they? Unless you’ve built hundreds of websites, you have no reason to know what makes a great website.
Whether they find your online, meet you in person or get referred by a friend, every one of your prospective clients will look at your website.
This is really important. If your site sucks, is unorganized, looks dated or isn’t readable on their smart phone, you’ll like lose them before they ever get in touch with you.
But we can fix that. We can make your website present your work in the best light. And the right approach to planning a great website is to work backwards, by answering the following 5 questions:
1. How will people find your website?
More specifically, what will you do to attract the best potential clients to your website? What marketing techniques will you use? Search engine optimization? Social media? Blogging? Paid advertising? Etc? This step is extremely important because it often provides answers to the other 4 questions.
Great Website Tip: Start with what you know and enjoy – and keep it simple. If you don’t know a ton about search engine optimization, then maybe it’s not the place to start. But if you’re comfortable using Facebook, for instance, then start with what you know. And yes, there’s always more to learn so don’t get overwhelmed by what you don’t know. Simply use what you do.
2. Who will be coming to the website?
Each person who visits your website are looking for something specific. They’re looking for an answer to a question or a solution to a problem. Your website must guide each visitor to find what they’re looking for. In just a few seconds someone on your website should find what they came for and know what to do next. Should they click a link? Should they subscribe to your newsletter? Where can they find more content on the same topic? Knowing who is coming to your website will help you determine what they need to do once they get there.
Great Website Tip: Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Focus your site so it’s very clear what you do and what you don’t do. Keep your website simple and clean so it’s easy for them to find what they’re looking for. Most often fewer choices is better. Keep your site focused on a few key topics and features that best potential clients will benefit from.
3. What questions will your website visitors have?
The first question your visitors will have is, “Am I at the right place?” You want the answer to this question to be obvious immediately. Think about what they’re looking for. They want to know about you and your work. They want to know if your service is any good. They want to know what you can help them with. And if all that goes well, they want to know how to contact you – so don’t hide your contact info.
Great Website Tip: Try to answer their questions before they ask. Make your offers short and clear. Focus on them. What solutions do you have to their problems? How have you solved similar problems for other clients? How does their life, business, organization, etc change once they’ve worked with you. Tell their story – both where they are and where they want to be.
4. What do you want your website visitors to do?
We all know the ideal scenario, right? Someone comes to our website, falls in love with our work and writes us blank checks. Sounds great, but completely unrealistic, of course. So what action do you want them to take on your website? Likely it’s signup for your email list. But maybe you have a white paper for them to download or an assessment to take. Maybe it’s a free session with you (though they seldom work). Whatever that action is it should be very clear, very easy to complete and help them begin to solve their problem. And for gosh sakes, don’t hide it.
Great Website Tip: I’m going to say this again – don’t hide it. You want one primary action step on every page (and blog post) of your site. It should be so obvious it can’t be missed. Make it clear. Make it concise. Make it easy. Don’t make visitors think about it. You want them to act, not contemplate taking action.
5. How will you stay in touch with your website visitors?
Now let’s deal with reality – most people who come to your website won’t become a client. In fact, yore doing pretty well if 1 out of every 100 visitors even takes an action on your website. Those numbers can be higher, but not significantly. Getting people to your site is pretty easy. Getting them to take action is much harder. So when they do you want to make sure you stay connected with them. Newsletter? I would hope so. Blogging? It’s definitely a great way. Using Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn? The point is once you’ve had a contact, you want to stay in touch with that contact until they make a decision to either work with you or not.
Great Website Tip: Don’t try to do it all. Pick 2 or 3 ways to stay in touch with people who show interest in your work. But keep the contact consistent. Use social media at regular times of the day and week. Try to send your email newsletter at regular times – weekly is ideal. And be useful. The more you can be helpful to their specific needs, the more you’ll have their attention and move them close to becoming clients.
Need Help Creating a Great Website?
I have number of packages. One or more will very likely fit your technical & marketing needs along with your budget. Here’s a short sample:
- Overwhelmed by it all? I can build your website while coaching and guiding you through all the online business confusion – holding your hand all the way. Think of this as having your own private, full-time coach who can make being online easy for you.
- Do you need a quick and inexpensive website? I have turnkey solutions that fit any budget while getting you the professional, attractive design to need to have a great website.
- Do you need your website to be fully customized? I still do completely custom designs and layouts so that your website can have the look and feel you want.
- Do you love your website’s look, but want to start editing your own content? I can take your existing design and build it in WordPress – they show you how you can easily make updates and changes yourself.
- Is your site mobile friendly? If not, I (and every other online guru) would suggest you get your site mobile friendly yesterday. Two of the 20 reasons why are huge: 1, Google won’t list you in their mobile search engine unless your site is mobile friendly. 2, More than 50% of all web usage is on a mobile device (btw, Google says 65% of all search is now done on mobile). Being mobile friendly is a must these days.
These are a sample of the sorts of things I can do for you. If you don’t have a great website, it’s time. Contact me today and I’ll help you figure out the best path forward (hint: sometimes, it’s not working with me).