If you intend to sell your products or services online, you’ve likely been told on countless occasions that you need a website that converts. I mean, what good is having a website if it isn’t helping you translate eyeballs to customers?
In my world, I get to work with a variety of business owners: There are those who think Facebook is a website, those who have a website they purchased ages ago and it doesn’t stack up, business owners that have a website that no one ever visits, and those that made their own and are constantly tweaking. I’ve seen it all.
Today, I want to talk to you about why you need a website, how to determine your website’s purpose, and how to ensure that you’re building a website that converts. Pay attention, this is going to be info-packed.
Why You Need a Website
It may not be obvious, but a website has nearly become a necessity. Big businesses, small businesses, non-profits, products, each and everyone needs a web presence. Never mind the fact that it’s an online gateway to potential sales, it’s also three other things.
Your Customers Want It
They may not be coming up to you and telling you, they tell you by not giving you their business. Our society continues to move more and more into a digital environment so it’s the expectation of a large portion of your patrons that you hold space in that digital world. Make it easy for them to find you from anywhere, anytime.
Your Business Value Needs It
It can be tricky securing a loan, doubly so when you are your own reference. Having a website that speaks to your capability can certainly come in handy. Not to mention, it speaks to your business image. The perceived value of your business will be inherently lower as will the value your customers perceive.
SEO You Control
If someone tells you SEO is dead, they are wrong. It’s alive and well. The powerful leveraging tool behind having your own website is SEO. It’s a means to bring organic traffic, as in people you don’t know, to see who you are and what you offer. Especially if you’re giving them a reason.
There are even more reasons, but I’m hoping these impress the point. However, having a website doesn’t immediately mean it will help you meet your million-dollar sales goal. You need to know your site’s purpose to build a website that converts.
How to Find Your Website’s Purpose
From where I’m standing, there are 3 possible purposes; Selling Products, Selling Services, or Sharing Information. I’ve yet to meet a website that doesn’t fall into one of these categories. Knowing which one directly impacts the purpose of your website.
Are you trying to sell a product?
To fall into this category, you need to be providing something tangible. (Or mostly tangible.) You could be selling bibles or chickens, miracle cures or kitschy crafts. You all fall into this category.
Your website’s purpose is showing potential customers how much better their life would be with your product. It’s about the features and benefits, the reasons they should never be without. Your goal needs to be helping your customer see why they both need and want what you’ve got.
Are you trying to sell services?
This category is all about what can be done for the customer. Services aren’t tangible, but they do have value to the customer. The problem with purchasing something you can’t see is that you are selling based on trust.
Your website’s purpose is to both gain that trust and invite them to connect with you. You’ll need to show them proof of concept and why you will deliver better than others in your field.
Are you sharing information?
I consider this the catch-all. If you aren’t trying to sell something, you’re trying to draw attention to it instead. These are the bloggers who do it for the likes, the fan sites for boybands everywhere, and even dating sites. (You aren’t selling your body but trying to share your message and find a mate.)
Your website’s job, in this case, is to be informative and entertaining and encourage the audience to share it with others. When you’re only in it for the applause, you need to build that audience.
Building Your Website That Converts
Now, with the purpose in mind, we must create the website that converts. To do this, I encourage my clients to fill out THIS WORKSHEET. It directly addresses the key points of a website that converts.
Reason to Visit
We’d all like to think that we are super awesome, and the world will JUST KNOW when we hit the scene. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. It’s our jobs either as business owners or web designers (Or both, if you’re reading this!) to keep giving them reasons to come back. For me, it’s this blog. My endless source of SEO possibilities and chances to connect with my tribe. For some, it’s videos. Others, it’s free downloadable content. Whatever you decide, please make sure you have a reason for them to return time and again.
If you put your website in front of someone you don’t know or have never met, would they instantly be able to figure out what you do? Your job is making sure the answer is yes. Laura Allen, The Pitch Girl, has the right idea. She teaches business owners how to pitch themselves in 15 seconds or less. I mean, when was the last time you spent 2 minutes in an elevator talking to strangers? Elevator pitches are dead, but the 15-second pitch is alive and thriving.
EX: Hi, My name is (INSERT NAME HERE) / I help (INSERT NICHE HERE) /Get more / Create more / Lose more (INSERT PROBLEM YOU SOLVE HERE)
Clear Course of Action
It can be easy to get wrapped up in the idea of having millions of pop-ups and opt-ins. My advice? Don’t. Learn about click triggers and use those, but otherwise keep the point of your website simple. Buy It, Contact, or Like & Share. The more options someone has, the harder it is for them to make a choice. All roads need to lead directly to your purpose.
Positive User Experience
Even been to a website you couldn’t figure out how to use? What about those you can’t find information on? Or how about the sites you can’t see on your mobile device? These are all user experience concerns. You want to make your purpose clear and then the paths even easier to follow. You don’t need 400 menu options or pages. Follow the KISS principle and KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID!
Lasting Brand Image
Being memorable is important. You need to make sure your brand is apparent in all things. This isn’t just your logo. It’s your colour choices, layout and design, website activities, and the voice you use to express your brand. All these things, when coordinated ahead of time, will help you write for your brand and for your audience. If you’re still struggling to understand how to create your brand message, check out another of my posts here.
Search Engine Optimization
It’s not dead. It’s alive and thriving, though often shifting. It’s also the best way to convince search engines to list you higher in searches. While I wouldn’t call creating a website around your SEO structure easy for the average business owner, it’s necessary. The basic idea is to use keywords and phrases that your clients search. Dedicate each to its own page, ensure proper word concentration, and include it in a header, a subheader and your alt-tags. Rinse repeat for each page and post you set live. There are a few exceptions, and tools to make it easier but my recommendation is to get help if you’ve never tried your hand at it before.
If you want to take a stab at doing your own SEO, read this first. Also, I recommend using a keyword search site like neilpatel.com/ubersuggest to prepare the keywords that are going to get searched and a tool like YOAST (if you’re on WordPress) to learn how to implement the keyword into your webpage properly.
Last but not least, how are you going to know if all of your hard work paid off or if you need to keep tweaking. You need analytics. One of your best options out there is Google Analytics, though it can be tricky for those new to it. WordPress often features Jetpack as an analytic tool as well. The idea is to find a means to keep track of where they go, what they look at, and at what point you (potentially) lose them. I take a step further and use heatmapping (offered by companies like Hotjar and Sumo) so that I can see where, in what order, and how long each user looks at anything on my website. I use that data to adjust what I present.
Get Your Website That Converts
Use the worksheet and DIY, contact me directly and ask questions, or even book with me to discuss letting my team do it for you. Just DO SOMETHING. Up your website game because business in the 20-somethings demands it. Get with the times.
Oh, and please don’t forget, “If you build it, they will come” only worked in the field of dreams. You’ve got to do it right.
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