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 domain name for your website.
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!
Have you started thinking that websites are a bit of an old-fashioned way to do business? Here's why you need a website more than anything. . .
You’ve started your business and you’re set-up on Instagram and Facebook and you’ve got a growing number of followers--awesome! So far you’ve managed to conduct your business via social media, you’ve got an engaged audience who are buying your services, and you can’t see any reason why you’d need a website (congratulations by the way). You can use Facebook and Instagram Ads to boost posts and do advertising so it’s all good right? Well, maybe…
But, what happens if you accidentally violate Facebook’s terms and conditions and before you know it your page is deleted? Now you’re in cyber solitary confinement and you are not considered innocent till proven guilty, you are guilty, guilty, guilty and not allowed to have your Facebook business page back. No one will hear your cyber screams because you have disappeared into hot cyber air and your followers are just carrying on liking and commenting on other business pages and maybe even buying their services. What a shame that you didn’t have a website with a blog and an email sign-up form so that you could still write to your business family.
It might seem like I’m being dramatic, I can be pretty dramatic, but this is actually a genuine problem. Just google “why did my facebook page get deleted” and prepare yourself for the equivalent of a business horror show. This handy article might help you avoid getting your page deleted and offers some advice about what to do if you do find yourself wearing Facebook’s cloak of invisibility. I don’t want to double-down on scaring you into realising that you can’t rely on just Facebook to run your business from, but I’m going to, here’s another article that explains some of the ways that Facebook may end up deleting your business page and maybe even pages that haven’t made any violations yet just incase they might do so.
I’ve made my point haven’t I?
There are a ton of reasons why you really should have a business website, even if it is only a homepage with some contact details. I’m not going to reinvent the wheel here and regurgitate all the reasons myself when there is actually hundreds of articles out there that explain it all perfectly well. So I’ll just direct you to a good one and honestly if you need more information than what this excellent article provides, you probably should level-up and stop reading my blog because it is not going to satisfy your hunger! Here you will find out everything you need to know, including what you need to think about before you start building your website, what things can really make a bad impression, and how your website should be the anchor for your marketing.
Here’s the takeaway message:
You should have a website for your business if you want to be in control of your online presence.
If you’d like me to walk you through the process of getting your website set-up and doing what it needs to then just keep an eye out for these handy blog posts where I’ll share mine and other experts opinions.
I talk and think a lot, here I share the love and the words and the thoughts. Take it or leave it...