I always say social media should be the handshake and invitation to continue the conversation somewhere else… And that somewhere else is your website. When is the last time you gave your website the love and attention that it deserves? It’s the place we have the most control over our content and user experience and yet it’s often overlooked and neglected.
Today I want to talk with you about 5 ways you can update your website that will make the biggest impact on converting visitors to actual fans and paying clients.
Give it a simple facelift
I think far too often entrepreneurs make updating their website this huge daunting task and guess what? They never get to it because it’s too overwhelming and they just don’t know where to start. Instead of overcomplicating things, let’s spend a little time making small tweaks that could make a big impact.
The first step? Update that bio image. I’d place a bet that yours is a few years old and this simple step can make things feel fresher and up to date right away. Take it a step further and challenge yourself to update 5-10 other images on your site. Most people wait until they have time to rebrand or update ALL of their galleries or product photos, but even a few changes will make it feel like a whole new site.
Now that you’ve got some fresh images, let’s take a look at updating some of the brand statements on your site and specifically your home page. Are they clear and concise? Do they even exist? If you don’t have a brand statement check out some previous podcast episodes I’ve done on this topic like Episode 2 with my very own web designer, Jen Olmstead, about creating an unforgettable brand or Episode 59: Why You Need a Brand Not a Business.
And if you ARE rebranding and updating your site, you have to check out The Tonic Site Shop. My friends (and web designers) Jen Olmstead and Jeff Shipley designed a collection of customizable websites that are stunning and so easy to update. If you need a little bit of help in this area but can’t afford to hire a designer 1:1, head to jennakutcher.com/tonic to save $100 on your site and to learn more from our favorite designers.
Evaluate the opt-in process from start to finish
Slapping on a “sign up for my email list” is not good enough my friends. If we want to be successful in converting someone onto our email list, we have to be in their face about it. I can’t even tell you how many websites I’ve been to where I’ve WANTED to sign up for more information and simply could not figure out how. We can’t make this mistake because people do not have patience and will click away so fast, never to land on our site again. At a minimum, your email sign up form needs to live:
- Prominently on the homepage of your website
- On your About Me page
- Linked on social media pages
- In calls to action within blog posts
- Your email signature
Now for what I call the mom test: ask someone not familiar with your website to see how easy it is to sign up. Take their feedback and make adjustments if it’s not a 100% seamless process.
How can we take signing up for your newsletter to the next level? You might have heard me talk about pop-ups. And I know, some of you are uncomfortable with how in your face this strategy seems. But here’s the thing… I know I create awesome content that serves my audience and I want as many people to receive it that are interested in it. The fact is, so many people who would love my emails, just haven’t heard that I write these weekly love letters. I want you to be excited about your email list and treat it like it’s a gift for people (because it is!)
The other thing to note is that pop-ups just plain work. Their conversions are really successful and because list building is my #1 priority in my business, I’m OK if I’m attracting the right people and repelling the people that aren’t the right target audience for my business. Currently we’re adding 1,200+ new people to my newsletter every month JUST with our pop-up strategy. We use a site called Opt-in Monster and it allows you to get really targeted about your strategy.
We have about 10 main buckets of topics we teach about and have a freebie related to each one. Whenever I blog or podcast about one of those topics, the correlating freebie has a pop-up attached to that blog post or show notes so that the reader (who we assume is already interested in this topic) can opt-in to get my awesome freebie that’s in line with the topic.
You can also create a pop-up for any traffic that’s referred to you from a certain site or a general topic if you are in launch mode and promoting something big and want every single person who visits your site to be notified of the opportunity. You can also install cookies so if someone has already opted in and visits your site often, they will not be bothered with future pop-ups. You can create rules that say “if this person opted in for this freebie, give them this pop-up the next time they visit” to cross promote other products or services. You can get really detailed here and it’s a great way to make sure you’re capturing as many people that visit your site as possible.
Change Your Headlines & Conclusions
Take a fresh look at all of your headlines and conclusions. Why is this so important? Have you ever read a compelling headline and wanted to know the answer so bad you simply scrolled to the bottom of the post looking for the quickest answer? My guess is the answer is yes, and this is why it is so important that you start and end every page on your site strongly.
The crazy truth is that if you don’t have a strong headline, no one is going to read your awesome content. I always say we should start with the headlines and spend almost as much time crafting them as we do the actual content. What good is an awesome blog post if no one actually clicks through to read it?
One of the best ways to get better at writing headlines is to pay attention to what types of posts YOU actually click through to read. What words do they use? Are there any commonalities? Start to write down strong copy and tweak it and make it your own. Strong headlines are clever, they use triggers, spark curiosity and make us wonder what is waiting for us in the post. Here are a few ideas to get your wheels turning when it comes to evaluating headlines on your site:
Pique interest: 10 things you’d never know about… The #1 question I get asked about… The biggest secret to… 5 things everyone should know about…
Teach something: The best cheat sheet for… Free guide to… How to solve (insert problem)… Here’s my exact guide to…
Spark curiosity: 12 things you’d never guess about… The biggest mistake you might be making… The never before told secret to…
It’s not good enough to just have a strong headline, we also have to deliver with the content we promised. But the next most important part is a strong conclusion. If you look at all of the content on my blog, I’ll end with a concluding paragraph summing up what the post was about, ask people to take action in some way as it relates to the post, include a way to opt-in to continue the conversation, and often end with a question to entice people to engage and comment on the blog.
How to take action on this advice: Check out your most read blog posts with Google Analytics and go back and breathe new life into them. Can you make the headline stronger? Can you add a more compelling conclusion? Do you have a way for them to opt-in to continue the conversation?
Update the #1 Visited Page on Your Site
Did you know that your About Me page is the number one visited page for websites? This just proves my theory that people want to buy from people and brands (not businesses) and they want to see the face behind the content they are reading.
When you write your bio copy, write it as though you’re sitting next to someone new at a party and they just asked what you do. Imagine that they don’t yet follow you on social media and have never heard your name or visited your corner of the web. They don’t know who you are, what you do or how you serve the world. If you start with a boring title, you might not ever get a chance to share the “why” behind what you do or who are you are able to serve with your passion.
Instead, keep it light, use your own voice like you speak to your friends and share who you are beyond the work that you do. People will expect to hear about your product, service or business — what they won’t expect is your personality and THAT is what will keep them reading. Remember that this page is not meant to be written for everyone, and instead you need to focus on writing for your ideal clients. If you’re pleasing everyone, you’re likely pleasing no one so remember that it’s OK to attract and repel. Tell us something we don’t expect, or something that makes us want to know more about you. This is the handshake that’s meant to encourage a further conversion in the future. Here are some prompts I love to encourage my students to use when revamping their bios:
- Most days you can find me…
- I am mostly known for…
- People often refer to me as…
- I love serving the world by…
- The things I’m most passionate in life are…
- When I’m not busy _____ you can catch me _______
- As a _____ I’ve been featured/showcased/honored ______ (share your work)
And finally, do not miss the opportunity to have a way for them to opt-in on this page. If it’s the only page on your site they ever get to, we need to make sure we capture them so we can continue the conversation. Include a link to your best freebie or at a minimum your email newsletter and also lead them through your site once they’ve learned more about you. What’s next? Can you direct them to your most read blog posts to put your best foot forward? Maybe your goal is to grow one of your social media accounts — make sure you encourage them to follow you there!
Add social proof to your site
What is social proof? It’s the testimonials and praise you’ve received from people who have worked with you in the past in their own words. They key here is to make sure that it is on every single page where people might make a sales decision and not just buried under a “reviews” or “testimonial” page. Why? Because people just aren’t always going to click there and read them. We want this information to be present when they are making a decision if they should take any action with your business. Social proof can help drive people to make a decision and we want this to be in our favor, whether it’s signing up for an email list, purchasing from us, or choosing to follow us on social media. Slide testimonials into your sales copy, on your bio page, in sidebars or footers of pages and anywhere else you can naturally integrate them.
If you need help gaining high quality testimonials, you can download my Testimonial Quickstart Guide for a step-by-step process to obtaining killer testimonials from your clients that will help prospects say “heck yes, I want to hire her”.
A few other ways to add social proof is to include numbers where you can. People find safety in numbers. If “1,000 others” have experienced your product or service and you have that in your sales copy, people will find more comfort in making the same decision. Also, mention places you’ve been published or big brands you’ve worked with, etc. Scattering these details will help impact conversions and people choosing to work with you. Again, make sure this information is on pages other than just the formal testimonial or “featured on” pages that people likely won’t get around to clicking.
So, that’s it, Goal Diggers! You can take these five steps to evaluate your website and make small changes for a big impact today. Give your site a little facelift with new photos, dig into your opt-in process, improve your headlines and conclusions, beef up your About Me page, and don’t forget that a little social proof goes a long way. I hope this episode inspires you to take a look at your website with fresh eyes and see it as a way to invite people to invest deeper into you and your business.