Before you start getting all self conscious about your website, let’s talk about first impressions.
When you meet a distant cousin you’re not likely to run into again, the first impression you give may not matter a whole lot. But, when your cash flow for the month depends on your online sales, you best bet that first impression is critical.
In the fast paced digital world there’s no time for second chances.
The last thing you want is to be that creepy dude on a first date that leaves the girl with no choice but to start frantically texting her bff Jill to call her with a fake emergency so she can leave. Your website needs to delight the reader and make her want to have coffee with you again.
So, what’s worse than not having a website? Having one that is silently stabbing you in the back.
What your website is not so subtly saying about you
1. You’re cheap.
When you’re just starting out (I’m talking $0 budget), it’s ok to take the DIY approach, heck it’s necessary. But, as with all satisfyingly horrible Pinterest failures, there’s a downside to doing it all yourself. When your website looks like your 15 year old nephew put it together, potential clients notice. It’ll make them wonder why they should invest in you if you’re not investing in your own image.
2. You don’t know who you’re talking to.
This becomes apparent when we see 2,000 word ‘About Me’ sections and a ton of copy that has clearly been written for you and not your customers. Do research, take surveys, talk to people in your target audience. Get to know them and write for them.
3.You don’t know what you’re talking about.
If you don’t ask for and share testimonials from happy clients, you might as well continue to run your business from under a rock.
Customers look for testimonials to validate their decision to buy from you. They need to think, “it’s okay, this is a smart decision. Look how many others have invested and how well it’s turned out for them!”
Business is where modesty steps out from behind the curtain and shows off a little bit of leg. Don’t be afraid to flaunt what you’ve got. Your livelihood depends on it.
While your website whispers,
“You don’t know who you’re talking to.”
“You don’t know what you’re talking about,”
potential customers are passing you by faster than a convertible on the highway.
How to flip the scene and not bore people to death with your website
1. Be Relevant
The most important trait your website needs to have is relevance.
The internet is constantly evolving. Keep up or get left behind.
The content that fills up your page (text, pictures, video, etc.) needs to matter to someone, a lot of someones actually. And no, you do not count. If your content is only useful to you, you need to change your angle. People like facts and they like feeling like their time is well spent. Write for your reader and keep it interesting and up-to-date.
2. Keep it Short
Be concise. Get to the point. Don’t waste your time or anyone else’s.
3. And please, be Human
We’re all human. Speak human. If you’re talking about a super tech savvy or scientific topic, simplify it. Unless your target market is filled with fellow techies or scientists, adapt your language.
Write in words your audience understands.
Even though we all know we shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, we will always judge books by their covers.
Your website is the cover to your business’s story. It’s your job to make the reader turn the page and continue on.
Be authentic. When we’re genuine about what we are offering and how we do it, that transparency grabs attention and helps builds trust. Put yourself in the shoes of the consumer. If you didn’t work for your company and you entered your website, would you be convinced about what you offer?
You don’t want people to run away screaming from your content or click away in disgust. Share your story without overdoing it. All that fluff might give off the wrong impression, and your website can be left in the dust with millions of other sites Internet users have deemed unworthy of their time.
Not sure how your site compares? Check out our 9 website must-haves and start taking a cold, hard look at your digital home.