If your business doesn’t have a website, it’s time to get one – one with your own web address. Websites are no longer optional.
And if your website is looking dated, cluttered or if it’s not mobile ready, you’ll need a website makeover.
Website makeovers are not just for aesthetic reasons
Websites is your brand’s online representative. It gives web visitors their first impression of your business. If you don’t make the most of it, you may not get a second chance with visitors who don’t come back to your site.
Some reasons for a website re-design include the following:
- Sites that are cluttered and not mobile friendly give web visitors an unpleasant experience. They take forever to load and it’s hard to read what’s on the site.
This sends audience away, even though they were initially interested to check out your site.
- Google, the search engine that wants to give users a good search experience, has started punishing sites that are not mobile friendly since April 2015 (you may have heard of “Mobilegeddon“).
- As business expands or when there’s a change in business model, there may be a need to add a membership area or install a learning management systems to cater for the continuous learning of your audience.
Keep your website streamlined
Keeping only relevant information on your site allows web visors to find what they want in an instant, something that’s important for those on the go and with short attention spans.
This is the time to take out sections that are no longer relevant, confusing or do not add value to the site. You can also update web copies to reflect your business progress.
Go functional, not fancy
While it’s natural to want a site that wows prospects, a site that is functional helps you achieve critical business objectives, the more important criteria.
Aim for a site that generates subscribers especially if this is your first website. Test out brand positioning and web copies before adding other features.
The 7 essential elements to have on a subscribers-getting website
1. Clearly show who you are and what you stand for
A simple About Page lets visitors know the person and philosophy behind the brand. In an age where visitors look for authenticity and veracity, vagueness add doubts while showing a little of your personality helps build trust.
Track record and social proofs are still important as they provide a level of comfort to new contacts.
Stock photos, on the other hand, needs to be ditched. Use your own photos, real photos. Be real. Be you. Describe your brand values and share how you are different from other similar providers.
- Tell your story.
- Why are you in this business?
- What do you hope to accomplish?
2. Clearly define the benefits you bring to your ideal audience
Visitors need to know how you can help them specifically. A Service or Product area would need to address the following:
- Why should your visitors be interested in wanting to know more about your business (brand)?
- How does your solution alleviate your audience’s pain?
- What can they look forward to at the end of using your product?
3. Address your ideal clients directly
Let your ideal audience know that your site is for especially for them, so they know they’ve come to the right provider.
If you are serving solo-prenuer and micro-businesses, welcome them with something like, “I serve solo-preners and micro-businesses …” so your ideal prospect immediately feel welcome and at ease.
They’ll know that your solutions are tailored for them.
4. Give something super useful to your visitors with an opt-in form
Offer something useful for free in exchange for an email address. This allows prospects to get a foretaste of your solution while you get their explicit permission to continue the conversation with them over a series of follow up emails.
Use an email marketing system to build the relationship until it is ready for a commercial offer. You must integrate an email marketing system into your website for the follow-up effort.
M.U. S. T. This is the bare minimum.
Not having an email marketing system is wasting precious promotional efforts. Without this you don’t have permission to continually email them about your business, let alone segment your market or use marketing automation to accelerate your business growth.
5. Have a landing page dedicated to collecting emails
This works hand in hand with the free gift and the email marketing system. Make sure there are no distractions on the landing page.
The sole purpose of the landing page is to share the benefits of your free gift so you can make a clear call-to-action for an email address in exchange for the free gift.
6. Set aside a hub for content publication
Brochure-type websites with static, dry information do not give visitors a reason to come back for another visit. They are boring.
Boring does not sell.
Have a content area where you regularly post useful articles or audio podcasts that provide web visitors with practical tips. This gives them a reason to keep coming back to your site. Over time, they’ll get to trust you and connect closer towards your brand.
7. Let contact information be visible
If you are a local business, let your address and contact information be visible so visitors can easily get in touch. Opening hours and what you have to offer need to be front and centre.
Remember that half your visitors are probably accessing your website on their mobile devices.
The easier you make it for them to find the information they want, , they higher the chance for them to connect with you.
The 7 must have elements for any website
Whether you are a solo-prenuer or a small business owners, these are bare minimum, the essential elements you must have on your site.
Once these are in place, you can always add in more features later, like a catalogs of service offerings (or products), a membership site, sales pages and even online courses.
I’ve summarized the above 7 essential elements into the infograph below. Click on the image to see the larger version.
And if you would like to embed this on your site, just copy the codes underneath the image.
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