How to make your website your 24-hour salesperson
What if you never had to sleep? How much work could you get done? How far could you take your business?
Personally, I love sleep, so I prefer if I could have someone else stay up for 24 hours a day selling my business for me. The thing is, there is something that will do that: your website.
But simply having a website doesn't mean it is selling your business. There are some key ways you can put your website to work, even when you're sleeping.
1. Make it clear who you are and what you do.
Sometimes we fall into the trap of thinking just because we understand what we do, everyone else does too. I can't tell you how often I've gone to websites where there is a large artsy hero picture and nothing else on the home page. So I go to the about page and it talks about making life better or "healthy living" or something equally vague. The problem is, I don't know how the business makes life better or healthier. That can mean different things for different people. It's crucial that you use straightforward language in clear English.
This is not the place to make up new words or introduce new concepts.
If you are a doula, don't call yourself a labor concierge. If you are a life coach, don't say you are a "Lifestyle Enhancement Consultant." Use words people understand. You have to pretend that the reader knows absolutely nothing about your business. Don't get flowery or esoteric here. Be plain, succinct and direct. Use your content to talk about what your customer's problems are and how your product or service will solve them.
2. Share the customer love.
If you are in business, there are people you have made happy. Why not have them share their love on your website? Testimonials are a powerful way to draw people to your product. The vast majority of buyers will read reviews or testimonials as part of their online research.
So how do you get a testimonial? Ask. Be direct but polite. If you are a service-based business, make it part of your wrap up process. If you sell a product, schedule emails to ask for reviews after a product has arrived. There is no shame in asking. If a customer is happy, they will want to tell people.
3. Structure your website: Think direct path not labyrinth.
Labyrinths might be fun in gardens, but they are not something someone wants to get stuck in while shopping for a product or looking for a service. Take a tour of your website as if you were a client. Are there any dead ends (where people get stuck not knowing how to get back to where they started)? How many pages does someone have to click through before they can check out? Does one page direct to the next logical step in your sales funnel?
Make it as easy as possible for anyone who visits your site to take the next step you want them to take.
4. Optimize for SEO.
You are either groaning or asking, "What is SEO?" I know, Search Engine Optimization can feel like this mysterious, illusive thing.
But if you get the basics down, it can be the difference in your site hiding in the bowels of Google searches or being on page one of search results.
This is a big topic I will have to cover more in depth at a later date. Put yourself in the position of the customer. If they sat down to search for your service, what words would they use? Do some keyword research around the phrases you come up with. Try using Google Adwords for your searches, SEO Book or Moz. (SEO Book is free. Moz is the best tool I have found but is on the pricey side) You can even try searching a keyword on Google, then going to the bottom to look at Google's suggested alternatives. Make sure your website has your keywords and variations of them interspersed naturally through your content. Don't neglect "long tail keywords," which are longer, more specific phrases someone might use to find you. For example, "nail salon coeur d'alene ID" instead of just nail salon. Or "red wedge canvas heels" instead of high heels.
5. Give a clear call to action.
At every step in your website, it should be clear what your customer should do next. For example, once they get to your home page, make it easy to get to your about page by including a button with a link. Once they are on your about page, if you want them to sign up to your email list, include a form there.
Decide on one big goal for your website and some smaller side goals.
Is it getting people to sign up for your mailing list? Offer a freebie or discount in exchange for an email address. Is it to follow you on social media? Make sure your social media links are front and center. Is it to read your blog? Include blog excerpts on your home page with links to "read more." Obviously, every businesses' goal is to get people to buy, but there is often a course a customer will follow before they get to the point where they are ready. So it's your job to guide them down that path.
6. Invest in your copy.
I can't talk about this enough. Often the written copy of your website is the place where it's tempting to take the discount route. After all, you can write words and put sentences in a paragraph, right? Businesses will spend thousands of dollars on the design of a website, and then drop in some random paragraphs here and there that kind of describe their business. Your copy is probably more important than the design of your website.
When your customers read your copy, you want them to feel like you are speaking to them, to their problems, and offering them a solution.
It has to be strategic in earning their trust, relating to them, and guiding them to your product as the thing that will make the difference.
Your website is the single most powerful marketing tool you have at your fingertips. It can make the difference between building your credibility or confusing your audience. A confused audience doesn't buy. But if you structure it strategically with copy that makes sense, it will sell your product or service 24 hours a day for you.
The New Year is a great time to revamp your site and take your online presence to a new level. I'm booking website projects for January, but my price is going up next year. If you book a January project and pay your deposit before the end of the year, you can lock in this year's rates. Book a free discovery call here.