Have you neglected your website for so long that it looks like it should be part of the way back archives? Taking steps to improve your website is the first step in attracting more clients.
For years, I flipped houses with the Hubs. We were lucky that when we looked at a house, we recognized that a little TLC would make a difference in it being appealing and not. The same thing can happen to your website.
The best piece of advice we received was to be sure it had curb appeal, or you'll never get anyone in the front door. People judge by first impressions. That will not change, no matter if they are looking for a house, a new outfit, or something to help them with their business.
Here's the deal, not every website (or business owner) will appeal to every person. However, the basics need to remain the same to get them through your front door.
Here are five things you can do today to improve your website and get people through your virtual door.
1. Improve Your Website with a Professional Theme or Design
Are you shocked that this would be numero uno? The fact of the matter is, no matter what your industry or the value you have to offer, the way your site looks and flows is important.
To improve your website begin by investing in a great theme. Professionally created themes (something like StudioPress by Genesis) are usually well thought out and better yet well coded. This helps with speed and Google Love not to mention you can concentrate on the content instead of the design.
Instead of thinking about it as an expense, look at it as an investment. If you're not willing to invest in the most critical piece of your marketing how do you expect prospects to spend their hard earned money on services you offer.
Your visual design is the curb appeal of your website. Don't force people to drive by without seeing what you have to offer.
2. Make Your Site About Your Visitor and Review Your Content
Are you talking to your visitors or at them? Or worse, is your website all about you?
We want things that will help us. We need persuasion as part of the decision to pick you. I'm not talking about icky, sleazy sales tactics. I'm talking about stories, address problems and getting people to like you. To improve your website add some personality to your brand.
Also having a content strategy will help you go from random information that makes no sense into articles and words that address the needs of your visitors. You want people to think “boy she gets me and comes back over and over again.”
Once people are at the door, are they greeted by a wall of family photos that have no meaning or do you have a cohesive bank of wall hangings that want them giddy and continue to the next room?
3. Check Functionality By Reviewing The Plugins On Your Site
There's a lot of information about how many plugins are too many. The reality is you need however many it takes to give you the functionality you need.
First, look at any that are inactive. Get rid of them. Then look at those that don't serve a purpose for the user, reconsider those. Finally, look for those that haven't been updated in over a year, they need to go too.
Next look at those for newer possibilities that can be several individual plugins. For example, I use Gravity Forms for my contact form, lead capture forms, part of my shopping cart and client intake process. I've automated a whole lot of processes with one plugin.
4. Don't Make Them Wait, Check Your Site Speed
Imagine you visited my home, and you needed to walk down a path with lots of turns. Ever turn takes you to another section that adds more time in getting to the front door. Do you keep going spending more time on the walk or do you retreat and go to my neighbor who in five steps can have you sipping on some homemade vino?
No one likes to wait, especially when it comes to your site loading. Curious about yours? Go over to GT Metrix and run a speed test. This handy app will tell you what you need to change, so your site loads at top speeds.
5. Have a Clear Call To Action On Each Page
One of the secrets to house selling is to bake a tray of cookies and but them out so the house smells good and the buyer feels welcome. We hit this one house that had a full blown spread of yummies. For about 5 minutes (okay maybe 2 minutes), we stood in the kitchen trying to figure out what we wanted to taste. We had forgotten the real reason we wanted to tour that house.
Are you giving your visitors a tiny taste of what you offer? Leading them to the next nugget and moving forward again. That's what they need. Instead of letting them muddle through all the information you have to offer, guide them with a clear call to action.
When they land on any page, you should give them information that addresses their needs and what to do next. It can be as simple as scheduling a consult or signing up for something.
Remember to goal is to get them further into your funnel, and this can happen by giving them one step at a time.
And if you are overwhelming them with tons of choices, stop. More than two (or three) will make them move away or make a random choice instead of the one that will allow you to address their needs.
You want the curb appeal of your site to welcome and comfort your visitors so they know they can find what they need.
These five things are easy to implement and can make a big difference in attracting (and keeping) visitors to your site and drawing the perfect client for you.
Does your website have beautiful curb appeal? Not sure what you need or where to start, schedule a web review today.