The good news: Your website holds magic powers, even in 2019.
It’s working for you 24/7/365.
It’s your round-the-clock online storefront, the open sign is always turned, the lights are always inviting potential clients to take a closer look.
It can be one of your most significant sales assets, turning strangers into visitors, visitors into prospects, prospects into clients.
How is your website still such a strong advocate, even in 2019?
Despite the rumors, websites are far from dead.
True, most small business websites aren’t converting anything but dust bunnies simply because don’t cater to a specific audience and/or fail to meet today’s www user preferences.
To name a few: 70% (and rising) of users view websites on their phone or tablets. They spend an average of 3 seconds on a site before bouncing on. Asked, buyers name two options on why they’d stay longer than those 3 seconds: a highly original approach or precisely the information they were looking for, at first glance.
As you can see from my own website, I went with option number 1. The reason I chose to forgo the content above-the-fold-rule for a landing page that needs scrolling (like a story): I cater to bibliophiles, people who enjoy and appreciate a storyline and don’t usually get it – in its first 3 weeks online, the website has gone and won me 3 book projects. I couldn’t quite believe it myself, but in their initial email to me, all three authors claimed to love my website and that it stood out from the usually slightly dry competing sites.
Ideally, your website communicates your value to the people who need it in a smart, authentic, original way. If it had a job description, this would be it:
- Attract fitting strangers
- Convert visitors into prospects
- Lead prospects from Hi to Hire (or from Hi to Buy)
- Lay the groundwork to delight clients and turn them into promoters
Let’s focus on the first of those today and I’ll dedicate an article to each of the other points in the following weeks.
First, the good news: all you need for a website that’s WORKING for you is some time and elbow/brain grease.
Your website is the place where you make your dream clients (aka business partners that need what you got, are ready to pay your fees, and whose value and morale match yours) feel understood, catered to exclusively (!), and where they realize that YOU are the person they WANT to do business with.
Your website’s look, feel, images, content, colors, contact options, every single thing your visitors experience can, and should, communicate how you’re their perfect match.
Can you see your dream clients?
Traipsing down Web Avenue, they first lay eyes on your storefront window. This is where the spark of attraction happens. Funny, intriguing, dreamy, surprising, even controversial: choose your approach wisely and in line with your prospects’ preferences.
Not an easy feat!
An outstanding first impression: that job falls on your brand (aka colors, fonts, your logo, the look and feel you embody online) and visuals. They’re the ones ensuring your website stands out prominently in every aspect.
Now, just like with RL stores, understanding your clients and knowing your competition is key to success.
Your outstanding performance as a business partner starts with walking an internet mile in your clients’ shoes, learning what they see when they search for – well, you. What do your competing websites look like? Where are they doing an excellent job? Where are they lacking? How can you set yourself apart at first glance? Write it down!
Once you’ve taken a good long look at who else is out there and how you compare, it’s time to work on your first impression.
3 tips to get you started:
- Don’t EVER use free images – and that goes for your website as well as your Instagram, blog articles, all your marketing endeavors. If you’re on a budget but ready to put the time in to find visuals that speak to your clients and can’t be seen just anywhere, check out Adobe Stock’s one-month trial subscription. It’ll get you 10 high-end images for FREE and forever: https://stock.adobe.com/hu/promo/firstmonthfree
- Don’t sprinkle. Sow. Make sure your brand and visuals complement each other and your content. If your favorite images have nothing in common, it’s harder for your visitors to follow your lead. Think Yellow Brick Road: Your brand items and visuals are paving stones that, together, make a path that takes your prospects from Hi to Hire.
- Compare your brand to your clients and competing services: Your colors/fonts/the style of your logo and email signature should be instantly relatable. What are dominant color schemes in client websites? Do they sport lots of content or strategic snippets between visuals? Are they old-school (lawyers) or ultra hip (surfers)? Base your brand message on what feels comfortable and familiar to your clients.
Keep in mind, this all happens before a client ever reaches out to you, before you get a chance to bedazzle them with your expertise and experience.
Once your clients stop bouncing from store to store and actually spend a virtual minute in yours, feeling secure enough in you to take a closer look, that’s when your copy strikes. Content is king, and your content’s raison d’etre is to bedazzle, to weave a connection, to establish you as an expert guide on your clients’ business path.