My website still wasn’t quite right.
After I’d completed a web-audit and identified the areas where I could improve my website homepage, I started doing a bit of tweaking in some other areas like my products. I needed to tell people what I did in neatly packaged products (I still have to add some, like blog-writing, because obviously I’m great at that!) and direct them towards finding out more information, contacting me and finally--purchasing my high-quality services.
I was excited about how much I’d changed my website and asked a friend and mentor to have a look at it and tell me what she thought. Both being freelancers, we have a bi-monthly meeting where we talk about our businesses and anything else we want to. It’s awesome.
After a short discussion about my website the takeaway message was that while my website sounded awesome (just like me), it actually didn’t look like me. My friend (bless her) said that it was grey and that I was bright colours (I love her). As soon as we nutted out that this was the problem it seemed so obvious that I don’t know why I hadn’t spotted it before. Of course it is just natural that I would be so focused on the words that the pictures were an afterthought.
Armed with this new information, I was just itching to go and inject my website with the bright colours of my personality so that it looked and sounded just like me.
Now, my website is not only functional, full of keywords, and welcoming but it also looks and sounds like me--I love her.
Along the way I updated all of the rest of the pages on my website. Here’s what I did to improve my website and what you can do to make sure your website is welcoming people to your services properly.
Branding on Point
Firstly, my logo was not big enough.I couldn’t enlarge it in the template on the web platform I was using so I had to make a workaround. If you read the blog before this one you’ll know that I sorted that out on my homepage by getting rid of the logo box and inserted it as a picture instead. However, removing the logo from my template meant that it disappeared from all my other pages too. So, I’ve put my logo on every, single page so that whenever someone is reading my content, they’ll also be seeing my brand--front and centre.
I Got Social
I want people to be able to contact me or find out more about me from every single page on my website. So, I added the social icons to every page. Now my clients can access my Facebook business page, my Instagram, my LinkedIn and my email from whichever part of the journey they’re on through my website.
All About Me
I streamlined my about page. I highlighted three reasons why people would want to choose me to write good content for them. I think I made a compelling argument for why I might just be the best copywriter for the job. I added a button with ‘contact me’ on it that will take them straight to my email address so that I can strike while the iron is hot! I’ve just convinced them that I’m the best person for the job and now the next thing to do is to CONTACT ME.
Making Communication Easy
My contact page got the same sleek treatment, although I did remove some things and add others. I made my content more inviting and offered multiple avenues with which to contact me. My clients can call, email, text, message me on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram or fill in my contact form. So, my clients can contact me via whichever method makes them feel most comfortable.
I added my products to my contact page so that if I ever want to simply market the contact page of my website, then my products list will be right there too displaying all of my packaged services.
The Same but Different
When it came to the wedding vows page on my website I knew I was pretty happy with the words as they were, but it looked like too much writing. So I split up the writing to create more white space, and made sure each paragraph started with a bolded sentence that could be skim-read. I don’t know about you but I like to skim read before I commit to a whole-page worth of reading.
I also added the relevant products (wedding vows and speech-writing) to the end of the page so that clients won’t have to go back to my services page and scroll through it to find the product they’re after.
My strengths are in creating compelling words in all the right places to help your (and my) clients easily find what they’re looking for on your website.
I’m not a web-designer by any stretch of the imagination. I have given my website good functional features to help my clients find out more about me, my services and how to contact me. I’ve also created pages that would be useful for marketing purposes--none of them are lazing around uselessly. Those things are really important.
You’ve have to entice your clients to want to interact with your website, and that’s where a few choice words can be magic.
If you’d like a free web-audit or a discussion about your web-content needs, you can contact me any way you like. Here’s a link to my contact page with all my details. See what I did there?
I’ve been working away on a few things on my website to make it oh so much more appealing and effective
Okay, so, I’m not a web developer and these things can take a lot of intense eye squinting and expert movements of the tongue. But, if you read my last blog where we did an audit on my website homepage (cos we’re taking projects on in small bite-sized pieces here) you will know that two things that I said I’d start with were:
Well, I did it! Here is the new look:
Look I could spend hours trying to get a better design look on this but actually I just need my logo and service to stand out because that is what people are looking for. Might I add that it’s the words that count and good direction from your website.
Your website should be saying “Hello, my name is **** and you’ve come to the right place. What would you like today, let me show you how to get there”
So let’s move on to the next tasks which were to:
So I’ve changed the tone to match my brand voice and now my homepage sounds just like me. I love her! Lol! I do think that I’ve made it appeal to my ‘best customers’ because I’ve targeted the sorts of things that they may think/feel/want. I’ve written the copy to reach out to the kind of people who I want to work with. They don’t want to write their own web content and they know what kind of person I am--cool, easy-going, a genius, I could go on...Honestly, why wouldn’t you choose me? And, I’ve reduced the writing on the screen to offer a ‘value proposition’.
The next task is:
And there it is. Clickable links in bold with clear next steps will usher my clients from reading to enquiring or buying.
See how instead of having a whole blurb about my Web Content writing on my homepage I have just used this powerful statement:
I can make your web content talk effectively to your target market so that you don't accidentally give a poor impression to your customers.
Click here to talk about how I can help you to be 'super' content with your website.
My link redirects to a new spot for my Web Content information where the rest of the blurb, and a clear next step is available. What sort of next step? I have a buy now option that allows people to click and purchase my packaged items. Packaged items? That’s right remember my next task:
How will people know what you’re selling if you don’t tell them?
This is a lot simpler with product-based businesses because you can show and tell, but with service-based businesses such as You Have My Word it can be a bit tricky. When people ask me what I do I say ‘I write stuff’. That doesn’t really tell people much and they say ‘what kind of stuff?’ and I say ‘anything’. It’s not very helpful really and doesn’t do the job of ‘converting’ an innocent person into a customer.
So, I’ve packaged my services into products. I’m going to let a picture speak a thousand words here:
Now that I have packaged my services I have a place to usher people from my homepage to where they want to be. Trust me, they do want to be there. When they click on the product they are interested in they get the full compelling blurb that used to be on my homepage. Also, I can use the URL of the product to advertise my services on Facebook or any social media platform and when people click on it it will come right back to the product on my website. This will allow me to make Facebook Ads from them when I want to market my business services (more on this in later blogs, stay tuned).
What do you think? Has my website homepage and web content improved overall? This is just the beginning of a long journey into the world of effective websites and additional platforms which usher your clients towards conversion (that’s a fancy word for ‘buying things’).
If you’d like me to audit your website and whip-up some web content to delight your clients then you know what to do--contact me here if you want to work with someone cool (See what I did there? I just linked you to my web content product package--boom).
Let’s do a Web-Content Audit on my Website
This will be embarrassing, but I will do it for us. Let’s have a look at my website content and structure and do an audit. We’ll identify the strengths and weaknesses and make a plan on how to improve things . Sometimes it’s just easier to look at something and find problems than to come up with a plan of what should be there. That’s where that tired cliché about mistakes being 'learning opportunities' comes from. I like to live my life embracing all my flaws and mistakes. Guess what? I’ve learned a lot of lessons with my ‘fools rush-in’ habits.
What do the experts say?
If you’ve read my previous web content blogs you’ll see that I regularly refer to other experts who have good advice on offer. I'll always try to check-in with what’s happening in the web-content world, you can’t just write your website once and leave it that way forever. Why reinvent the wheel when you don’t need to? You can either use other’s advice and replicate it, or you can put your own creative spin on it. Anyway, this blog post by copywriter Jessie Lewis tells you all about what you should have on your website homepage. And, we can’t just use one source of information so there’s also this comprehensive checklist detailing how you can optimise your website homepage by Stream Creative. So let’s assess my website homepage.
What is your home page doing?
Jessie Lewis suggests that your homepage should accomplish these four things:
They seem like pretty good suggestion to me. I’d also suggest that as much of this story is told to your client in as short and easily accessible way as possible. So, does my home page do this?
Making my homepage great again!
Okay, well I guess you’d get the idea that I write stuff and my tiny little logo at the top does indicate that I have something to do with words. Am I being intriguing? Or, am I pissing people off with my subtle hints about what service I provide?
Here are the things that I need to change on my homepage
People should be able to tell in a matter of seconds what it is that I do and at the moment my website is not doing a good enough job of that. So I need to:
I like the picture, so that’s staying, and my menu is accessible and visible (basic navigation) so that ticks a few boxes.
We’re only part of the way through my homepage, so let’s move on.
Is my web content working?
So this could be described as the part where I’m ‘communicating my offering and its value’. It does look like a bit much writing though, and I’m not convinced it’s as impactful as it could be.
Jessie talks about making value propositions. Basically it’s a way of framing what you do to tell your clients what benefit your service will be to them. We are all pretty selfish people so most of the time what we want to know is ‘what about me’. So, it’s time that I change my wording to reflect that.
Why would someone want to use my service?
One reason is because I am great fun, and another is that I am an excellent writer. Who wouldn’t want that? Some people do not want that actually, so should I tone myself down to broaden my appeal? Um, I don’t think so. Let’s not get too far down the rabbit-hole of brand voice here, but I just want to say that my brand voice is articulate, sassy, and lots of fun and I only really want to work with people who are after that level of service. Nobody puts baby in the corner. Last time I updated my website I did tone down my authenticity and made my web content more ‘professional’. I pretty much hate it.
So, the task for this part of my home page is to:
What is the purpose of your website?
My purpose is to tell people what value I can add with my service and help direct them towards getting in touch with me so that they can start their ‘customer journey’ (this lingo for getting people to continually buy stuff from you is gold isn’t it?). So I need a system that acts like a virtual usher to push them through the whole ‘experience’.
How to guide your customers towards your service
Here’s how I plan to do this:
How to build trust
We’re nearly at the end of the homepage audit, hang in there! As you can see below I’ve got a contact form which invites people to contact me. Tick. I also have a testimonial slider that helps to ‘build trust’ because it shows why people love me and my work.
Now that we’ve finished my homepage web content audit it’s time to put things into action! I’ll let you know when I’ve ticked all the things off my to-do list so that my website is shining as brightly as I do which is so, so bright!
You can get your web content performing like a superstar
I can help you out with your web content too. Just click this link and let’s talk about how I can make your website an absolute beast!
Now that you know you need a website for your business you’re chomping at the bit to get started on creating it--right?
My recommendation is that you hold your horses!!! I am one of those fools who rushes in and has regrets later (and before you do too much tut-tutting I just want to point out that fools like me have strengths too, we get shit done). I desperately want to be one of those people who restrains themselves while they perfect every part of their plans (I’m improving, honestly) but I’m not, and I did exactly what I’m advising you not to do. I grabbed the first website-builder platform I found on google search, wrote some very hurried and poorly planned copy and boom, my website was online. So my website situation was a bit like a speed-dating relationship and it’s working out okay, but I probably could have done better if I’m honest.
So how do you decide between building your own website or getting a Web Developer to build it for you?
One of the major determinants of this will be financial. If you have bucket-loads of money and you can be as free with it as confetti then hire the best Web Developer possible and get yourself the most beautiful and functional website that you can. I’m not trying to throw shade at Web Developers here by the way, you can get a huge range of prices and specialties among web-development professionals who will deliver what you need for your business. I would definitely employ the services of a graphic designer and web developer if my business required it.
The more complex needs your business has the more likely it is that you’re going to need a website designer to build your website for you.
You should start by thinking about what sort of website you need, for instance, do you need a shop, are you wanting to automate some processes like invoicing etc? Knowing what your needs are as well as your future plans will help you narrow down your options.
Some things to consider when you are choosing a Web Designer are:
If you’ve decided that you can, or have to, build your website yourself then you have a plethora of options to choose from for your website builder.
If you want to make a measured decision to select the best platform for your needs and not the speed-dating style selection I made then I suggest doing your research. There are heaps of articles with information out there about the pro’s and con’s of different platforms. I’ve selected this article to share with you because it ranks the most popular ones and tells you everything you need to know about what sort of website they’re appropriate for.
You will find that Wordpress is the most popular web-building platform and often used by developers.
The drawback with this, and the thing that made me avoid it, is that it takes a bit more technical nouse to build on this platform (though I think this is improving all the time) but ultimately it is probably worth pushing through the pain and doing it anyway. I didn’t, but hindsight being 20/20 and all that, I would totally choose it now.
I chose Weebly for mine which ranks at number seven on the Best Website Builder in 2019 chart. And, like I said before--it’s okay. It is easy to use with drag and drop functionality, has a good selection of templates and I have had minimal problems trying to achieve what I want on there. The downside is that it can be a little restrictive and apparently can be a bit problematic with SEO (if you don’t know what that is, don’t worry, I’ll write a blog about it in the future--you're welcome).
Where do you start?
Well, regardless of whether you’re building your own website or employing an agency or web developer you will still will need to gather some resources. I did a poor job of this initially but once again a small amount of getting yourself organised ahead of time will pay big dividends in the end.
You can build your own website with beautiful professional looking logos
I had a graphic designer create my logo and when I replaced the absolutely shit one I had initially made with the beautiful one the designer made I felt so much more pride and legitimacy in my business. If you’re strapped for cash and you can only afford a small amount of outsourcing then I’d recommend spending it there.
You’re going to need some high-quality photos
Do not use shit photos on your website. We’re not arguing about this, just don’t do it. If you don’t want to employ the services of a photographer to create a good selection of photos for you then at least get some high-quality stock photos online. I can’t remember where the one on my home-page came from but in general I use Unsplash for their free photo library.
You’re going to need a domain name too
That's the www.yournamehere.co.nz address, the address of your website so choose wisely. This article will tell you everything you need to know about selecting a good web host where you'll be able to buy your domain name and host your website. It's sort of like choosing a theme for a party and then a place to host your party.
What will you write on your website?
How will you tell your customers what you do? How will you make it sound interesting? This is where you need to really juice yourself for every drop of creative writing /marketing expertise that you’ve got. Here’s some help to get you on your way by way of another article not written by me. If you’d like to have a fairy godmother turn-up and take the pain out of writing your boring and ineffective web content then you should:
Hire a top-notch copywriter who knows a thing or two about writing web content.
I know of a great one--it’s me. Contact me here to get started. Tell your friends. Follow me on Facebook here, or keep an eye out for the next handy blog so that you can learn all the tips and tricks to DIY it!
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