In a world where social media follows us wherever we go, having a website may seem like an unnecessary step in your marketing. However, I’d urge you to reconsider. Why? We may live in a world consumed with social media, but social media sites change all the time. Having the stability of a website is the single most significant thing we can do for our business, product, or book. And today, there are a number of ways for you to build a great-looking site for free. If that seems to be too good to be true, it is.
What you cannot gain from those free services is an understanding of how to make your site effective, as well as attractive.
Below, I’ve outlined important things to keep in mind for those of you who are looking to build a site, and for those of you who think you site may need a tune up. At the heart of every website must be the marketing principles that include well-defined goals, a mission, and an understanding of the principles that go into creating something that isn’t about you, but about your end user.
Establish your goals: First and foremost, it is crucial for you to understand why you are building this site. A site that lacks a single goal is a site without any real direction. Will you use your site to build your mailing list; attract more business; sell your book; book more speaking events? For many of you, you may want your site to do more than one of those goals I listed, however, you must choose which objective is the most important – that is what you will build our homepage around.
Understand your customer: When designing your website, it’s important to know that it’s not actually about you, but how you can help your customer. Design your site to clearly communicate how you can address their problem. Until you understand your customers, and their single biggest reason for visiting your site, you will very likely stumble through the rest of this piece. When you pinpoint what drives visitors to seek out your site, you can create a homepage that will not only welcome your consumer, but convert them, too.
It’s not about “you” it’s about YOU: On most websites, a lot of the language uses words like “I” or “we.” What’s wrong with that? Saying things like “I” or “We” is takes the focus away from your visitor. Again, design your site to revolve around your consumer, and their needs. Consider the following: This financial guide will help YOU understand YOUR debts and retire early. As opposed to: We’ve developed a financial guide packed with helpful information you will benefit from. Which website would you visit?
Website copy: Now that you know the importance of you and your, let’s talk about the rest of the words visitors will read site, i.e. your website copy. Creating website copy that is effective is critical, however authors and business owners will often write their own copy, but do not include copy that is effective from a marketing perspective. If you feel like you’re hitting all of the points in this article but still aren’t selling off of your site, it could be your website copy. Your website copy should include compelling calls to action to convert visitors into customers. How do you know if your copy isn’t working? Ask someone who knows. This might be your end-user or a professional who can evaluate it. There are some automated evaluation systems out there but I’m not a fan of those. You want an actual person to look at this and tell you what’s working and what isn’t.
Stay tuned for Part 2 next week!