These 3 mistakes are killing your website
Everyone starts off as a total newbie in something.
Bill Gates probably didn’t know shit about computers or running a business at some point. Empires aren’t built in a day, and mistakes on your website when you’re DIYing yourself is pretty much unavoidable.
This post isn’t a negative hand spanking for anyone creating their website themselves, but I want to draw attention to some of the common mistakes I see that are easy to fix right now and/or allow you to add some personality and functionality to your web game.
Making these fixes below will make your website more personable and authentic, and it can turn your website into the best employee that you have.
I design exclusively on Squarespace, but this post can be applied to any platform. If you’ve stumbled onto this post and haven’t gotten your website together yet, scroll to the bottom to grab my popular Website Content Planner to help you get started.
Stop making your about page about you
Your about page isn’t about you. I know that sounds pretty opposite of what an about page is, but trust me it’s the truth.
Think about it: you’re trying to market your services towards your ideal client right? Your ideal client wants to know how your services and how your business is the right fit for them.
They want to know why you do what you do and the types of people that you help.
So yes for sure, tell them your origin story. But make sure you talk about why that matters to them. Talk about what makes you different than your competition. What makes you the right fit or what makes you the wrong fit.
This is also one of best places to let your personal creative story shine through and to talk to them like a human. No third person.
Be authentic, tell the truth, and be yourself.
Once you answer those questions, place that content at the top of the page. Once that’s said and done, add some info about yourself (can be non business related) and you’re good to go.
Oh yeah, and make sure you have a high quality image of yourself on this page. No iPhone photos!
Your homepage is as lazy as a rainy sunday afternoon
I don’t know about you, but I LOVE when it rains. Why? It gives me an excuse to not do work and laze around the house all day. It also gives me an excuse to get out of any premade plans with friends I said I would go too (don’t judge me, we’ve all done it).
Whether or not you choose to laze around in your underwear all day is up to you, but don’t pass that onto your homepage.
Your homepage has to be you on your best day. Your homepage is you on your A-game.
Think of the best day that you’ve had at work. Or those days when no matter what, everything you produce/did that day was BAD ASS.
That’s got to be your homepage. Always on 100%.
Now that does not mean that you have to pull out all of the graphic bells and whistles (remember white space will always be your friend) but it means that the content on your homepage needs to be top notch.
Your homepage is your welcome mat. Your landing page. Your first impression.
So what’s the first step to creating a bad ass homepage?
Recognizing your goals:
I wrote a post about homepage layouts and the best way to layout your homepage in regards to your goals more in-depth in this post, and I’m going to run down a bit of that here:
Your designs will always fall flat without two things in mind: copy and strategy.
Things can’t just be pretty. They have to function. This is the one page on your website that has to be a well oiled machine.
So ask yourself: what are the top three things that I want people to do when they visit my website? Write those down.
Then think about how you can get your audience to commit or take action on those three things from the homepage. The easiest way to do this is through homepage “options” or “doorways”.
Doorways are exactly like they sound: doorways that lead your visitors down the pathways that lead to the end result that you want.
This is going to depend on your goals: want people to sign up for your newsletter? Make one of your doorways a landing page to your best freebie.
What people to take a look at your services? Lead them there.
Same things goes to sending visitors to your blog or to your contact page.
Make sure you’re clear on your goals before you make these.
Sidenote: If you don’t have any content upgrades yet (click here to find out about my easiest and most converting content upgrade EVER) and you only have a portfolio and contact page for example, use those too.
Dont depend on visitors to only use the navigation bar. Guide your visitors where you want them to go. Create a journey that is tailored to your goals.
Making it hard to get in contact
This ties back into the contact form rant above. Always remember: the name of the game is to decrease the amount of clicks someone has to complete to get from the page that they landed on, to contacting you or purchasing your items.
One way to increase clicks and have people looking at your website like WTF, is when you make it a doozy to try to get in contact with you. Don’t make things difficult. Keep things simple, and keep things concise. One contact form (two at the max if needed) filled with some quick questions to start weeding people out are great.
I've seen some debate on Twitter about putting a link to your email on your contact page or in your footer, and I have a problem with this for two reasons: One: this can definitly increase the amount of spam that get's sent to your inbox. Which is always a no.
Second, I've heard of marketers taking these plain text emails (that's when an email address is plainly visible on the site, as opposed to an icon that opens up an email program) and adding them to their newsletters. Crazy right?! I know that you wouldn't do that, but you can never be to careful. Plus, I know I get really angry when I end up on an email list that I didn't sign up for.
Website mistakes are common, but a professional will catch them and take care of them while you worry about ruining that bad ass business of yours. The value to your business that comes with a strategic web design will propel you forward towards your goals and will have you looking damn good while doing it.
Your business deserves the best shot that you can give it to thrive and succeed.
The first step? Investing in your biggest employee: Your website. Click here to see how I can help you whip your website into shape.
Plan the right content for the most important pages of your website in a few hours with help from this content planner!