If you have a savvy web designer you will hopefully be leveraging your search engine optimisation strategies to get your site found. But too many business owners drop the ball at that point and fail to make the most of the golden opportunity they have once visitors actually arrive at the site.
What your website does.
A lot of website owners get confused about what a website is for. To cut it back to its bare bones, your website is there to create 3 outcomes
- You want to create engagement with your reader
- You want to create qualified leads for your business via the opt-in
- You want to create sales
What most people never realise is that creating engagement with your reader is the lynch pin of that list – because without it you’ll never get to the next two steps of creating leads and then sales.
There are some key strategies you can use to make sure you’re creating engagement with your website visitors:
Create a sticky site!
The best way to create engagement with your website visitor is to firstly to always provide great content! Give them a reason to stay.
This has the bonus of creating a “sticky” site. This simply means that someone will stay on your site for a longer browsing, and enjoying the content. The advantages of this are two-fold : you’re starting to connect and create a fan, and you’re reducing your bounce rate (how quickly someone leaves your site) which is important for your search engine rankings.
You can increase your site’s stickiness by smart use of internal linking between your pages and blogposts. For example, if you’ve put up a blogpost and something in your content refers to something you’ve covered in another post, create a link to that separate post so that the reader can be guided by you to explore the related topic.
Too many business owners leave site navigation to chance – just hoping that a visitor will guess where to go next. It’s far better to spoonfeed a visitor – always give them a suggestion of what to do next, with a well placed link or call to action.
Confronting a site visitor with a wall of dense text is a real turn-off which will quickly have them clicking away from your site.
There are some simple tweaks you can make to avoid this happening.
Breaking up your text with pictures, sub-headings, bulleted lists and short paragraphs will make a page of text much easier on the eye.
Likewise you need to ensure that you cater to what’s called the dual readership path.
Some people will start at the first word on the page and diligently read each and every line.
However many of your website visitors will be ‘scanners’ – they literally want to quickly scan the page for the key details – pausing for just long enough to read headings, sub-headings, lists, bullet points and bolded or italicised text. You can check that you’ve catered to the readers who scan by going through your page looking at just those parts of it – to see if it still makes enough sense for someone to get the gist of what you’re saying.
Usually if a scanner likes what they see, they will then go back and read the detail of the page, but if you don’t construct your page to make sense to a scanner at the outset you won’t get that second chance.
Another big mistake I see website owners make is that of speaking over the heads of their readers. They mistakenly think that to be taken seriously as a business owner they need to fill their website copy with complex sentences and convoluted reasoning. This could not be further from the truth.
The copy which gets read the most is the copy which is easy to read, and written in a simple style.
You can see how readable your website copy is by checking what’s called the Flesch-Kincaid score. Ideally you want to be aiming for a score of about 8 or below so that the majority of readers will find it easy to consume.
This FK score of 8 or less is known to be a strict criterion of one of the largest and most successful newsletter publishers in the world, Agora Publishing – so it’s well worth emulating!
(Note : to check your score, just run your copy through Word, go to Spelling and Grammar, select options, then tick the ‘show readability statistics’ box)
Remember, the first step to building a relationship with a potential prospect is to get them to consume your content. There’s no way someone will buy from you if you can’t get them to first consume your marketing message – which will be through your blogposts, and your webcopy, then leading on to your salespage copy.
Simple, readable compelling copy will get consumed more, it’s a fact!
To me this seems obvious, yet I still see a lot of business websites with NO pictures of the people who are the business. Nobody will recognise, care about, or warm to your logo, unless you’re a very well established business in the ranks of the Nikes and Coca-Colas of this world.
We’re hard wired to connect more readily to faces – so show your face on your website and be approachable!
Also make sure you’re using your website as an opportunity to personally connect with your prospects. This is so simple to do with your blog and social media plugins. Be sure to always reply to someone who takes the time to leave a comment on your blog – or at least attempt to reply to most of the comments. To me it’s the height of rudeness not to reply. It’s no different from having a face to face conversation with someone and not replying to them – which of course you would never do!
Responding to comments on your blog is a perfect opportunity to quickly build a connection with someone, so use it to your advantage, and remember that anyone who comes to your blog at any time will then see these conversations – all great business building strategies.
Avoid call-to-action A.D.D
It’s a well known fact that a confused mind won’t buy, and along the same lines, an overwhelmed mind won’t take action on your website either.
For every section of your website – both pages and individual blogposts – you should be giving one clear call to action. Yet too often I see messages such as this at the end of a post or page “Leave a comment below, Like this on Facebook, Tweet this out to your friends…oh, and come and check out my programme on this separate page too”
As soon as a reader sees that they’ll think it looks like hard work, and do nothing instead.
It’s far better to be clear on your most wanted action for each page – then focus on giving a compelling call to action to encourage that one outcome.
So there you have it – some simple strategies to plug the leaks in your site. Taking the time to implement these will mean you’ll be rewarded with better rankings, and a more engaged audience – both of which will help to grow your business!
Be sure to leave a comment below about which strategy you’ll implement first.
About the Author:Tanya Smith is known as the Marketing and Mindset Mentor with a knack for simplifying the complicated! She helps Service Business Professionals (Coaches, Consultants, Therapists, Trainers and Solopreneur Business Women) to consistently attract more ideal clients and make more profits with step by step simple marketing and sales strategies which work. She shows you how to use leverage in your business, to make a bigger difference, positively impact more clients and make more sales without being left overwhelmed and time challenged. You can check out her FREE resources at http://www.InnerGameProfits.com/free-stuff starting with the ‘Get More Clients Marketing Plan’ which gives you an easy audit of where your marketing is now, then the 6 simple steps to rapidly get more clients and make more money, with step by step strategies and fill in the blank templates to apply in your business today.