Your business may do ok with a lackluster website, but it should be thriving because of a well-designed, strategic website!!
These days, it’s pretty easy to build your business website yourself. Just set up an account, pick out a template, add your photos and content, and abracadabra – you now have a “legit” online presence! It was cheap (most likely), fast (maybe), and simple (perhaps).
Or, maybe you have a fancy design from an expensive web designer that is super cool! Sliders, popups, moving backgrounds, a lot of images, and a lot of repetitive content that was obviously written for search engines.
Whether you went the DIY route or hired out, are you absolutely sure your website is helping your business?
Is it really doing the job you are paying it to do? If an employee continually confused and overwhelmed your customers, and lost sales for you on a regular basis, would you keep that employee?
What if your website is performing just like that terrible employee?
How do you know if your website is helping your business or hurting it? Answer these two simple questions:
- Are people actually contacting, visiting, or purchasing from you as a direct result of your website?
- Are your sales increasing as a direct result of your website?
If you answered “no” to either of these questions, your website can and should be working better for you.
There are two main reasons your website is hurting you.
- Confusing Content
- Distracting Design
Today, we’re focusing on confusing content. You can learn more about distracting design (note fancy, expensive design as mentioned above) in our recent article “Cool” Design is Not Worth Losing Conversions.
“If you confuse, you lose.” Donald Miller, StoryBrand
1. Is it clear what you’re selling?
Typical answer: “People come to my site looking for my products and services. They should know what I’m selling.”
The problem: Your information is not broken down into “digestible” content. You need one amazing headline and a well-thought-out supporting “one-liner” that resonates with your target client and makes them want to continue reading. It has to solve their problem. The difference between knowing what you’re selling and purchasing what you’re selling comes down to fewer words and a clear message that directs them to take action. Pick one thing and hit it hard. (If you have multiple things, see #5 below.)
2. Is your content all about you?
Typical answer: Most people would say “Yes, of course, it is! My website is about my business and the skills/products/services I have to help others. I have a lot to offer!!”
The problem: We completely understand. No one knows your business as well as you do – and you’re excited about it! But, your visitor wants one thing when they view your website. They want their problem solved. It’s not about you telling your story, it’s about inviting your customer into a story. Your content should be written with empathy and authority so your visitor will build trust in your business and see you as a guide that can help them. When a visitor is invited into that story, they start seeing themselves using your product or service in their real life. Once they truly visualize and relate in that way, they are more likely to take the next step with you.
This takes work! It is not easy to simplify and clarify, especially when you are too close to your business. This is the time you need someone with an outside perspective and maybe a little tough-love (because it’s going to hurt!) to get your content where it needs to be so you are gaining customers, not losing them.
3. Is your language too industry-specific?
Typical answer: “I think it’s easy to understand. It makes perfect sense to me.”
The problem: Usually, your visitor isn’t coming to you with in-depth industry knowledge about your product. Again, they just want their problem solved. If you can’t simply and clearly explain how to do that, they check out. Your content should simply answer these questions for your visitor in a language they understand. Less is more!
- What do you offer? (What does your potential customer want?) Pick one thing!
- How will it make my life better? (What’s in it for your potential customer?) Eliminate frustration, save money, save time, have more energy, etc.
- What do I need to do to buy it? (How do they take the next step with you?) Schedule a Call, Buy Now, Request a Consultation.
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4. Do people know how to take the next step with you?
Typical answer: “Well, yes. There’s a Contact Us button in my menu and my phone number is on the site.”
The problem: Those are great standard features to have in place. But, if your visitor hasn’t been invited into your story and isn’t aware of your main call-to-action, they are not really sure what to do next. You need to eliminate confusion and make it super clear what the next step is. Have ONE main button link on your landing page that is clear: BUY NOW. SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION. REGISTER ONLINE. That button should be the same size and color everywhere and be in multiple places on your page. It needs to stay in front of your visitor at all times so as soon as the connection to purchase your product makes sense in their brain, they simply click it and are on their way to solving their problem with your product or service.
5. Are you offering too many things?
Typical answer: “I have many exciting products and services! People need to know everything I offer. I don’t want to forget anything.”
The problem: Remember, people are typically coming to your site because they have one main problem. Don’t give them way too much information to break down. There’s nothing wrong with offering multiple products and services. But there is something wrong if everything is listed on the same page – it gets lost in a big cluster of clutter. This requires way too much brainpower for your visitor to sift through. People want information quickly – in less than 10 seconds they have decided if it’s worth the time to stay on your site or go to a competitor. What’s your most important product or service (what brings in the most money for you) – hit on that first. Then you can have a sub-focus on other products via links to landing pages or clear menu navigation. Set up each of these other pages using these 5 tips!
Is it time to partner up?
Hopefully, you found these tips to be of value and can implement them all! But, you might be stuck. Really stuck. The above tips barely skim the surface of a fully effective website content strategy. We understand your small business marketing challenges. You want a website that is working for you! You’ve probably already invested a lot of time and money on a website only to realize it is not really helping your business. We totally get how frustrating that is. (Been there, done that.) Your website should be like your rockstar employee of the month while working for you 24/7! You’ve worked hard for your business and you deserve to have an online presence that creates confidence in your brand and helps your business grow.
This is where we knock it out of the park. We are your outside perspective and your second set of eyes – helping you to clearly simplify your message when you realize you can’t because you are just too close, or completely overwhelmed. We work together with you to clarify your content using a proven 7-step framework that has significantly improved results for tens of thousands of businesses. Once you have this method down, you can apply it to your website, print pieces, advertising, and social media. It is a game-changer, and we believe one of the best investments of your time you’ll ever make.
It’s easy to get started with us. Whether you need a whole new website or just a content strategy, we are here to help.
- Schedule a Call – We’ll meet with you over the phone or video conference to determine if we’re a good fit for working together. We will review your current website and goals in the time it takes to enjoy a good cup of coffee (or tea, or wine, or beer, or pop – whatever makes you happy!).
- Partner Up – We will work together with you to clarify your content. You will have a fully branded script to use as an outline for other products/services going forward. We will create your new strategically messaged website with simplified, complementary design or provide you with wireframes if you have someone else helping with your website.
- Move Forward Confidently! – You now have the tools to apply your content strategy to all marketing materials going forward. See better results from your emails, ads, social media posts, etc.
Schedule a call with us today if:
- you know your message could be SO much better
- your website is not accurately reflecting you and your business
- you’re overwhelmed and feeling frustrated
- you’re tired of losing your potential customers to your competitor (or losing them to confusion!).
Since 2008 we’ve helped over 300 businesses with their online presence. We would love to help you as well!SCHEDULE A CALL