Five tips for an effective website
by Melissa Birchler
Imagine visiting a website where within the first five seconds you are immediately clear how this company is going to solve your problem.
You feel like the owner has actually walked in your shoes and understands your frustration.
You can quickly see and understand the different products and services available and it is easy to take the next step and buy. There is nothing left to do but to click on that “buy now” or “call me” button. You feel relieved, your problem is solved. Done.
Unfortunately, many websites are not like this. They may be visually stunning but they contain all kinds of confusing messages. In an increasingly crowded internet space, many coaches and consultants run the risk of losing potential sales because they are not communicating clearly enough.
Your website may look modern and clean, but if it doesn’t pass the “grunt test”, then it is still a waste of money. Could a cave man grasp it? Could a complete stranger immediately understand what problems you are solving and who your target clients are?
Don’t make it too hard for people to buy from you. People don’t read websites, they scan them in a Z-shaped pattern. Here are five tips to improve your website so you can attract more of your ideal clients.
Tip 1: Create a clear tagline
One of the most powerful changes you can make on your website is to have a clear and simple tag line. Clients need to understand immediately how you are going to solve their problem, meet a need, make them money or save them time. Your tag line becomes more engaging and effective when it focuses on your customers’ pain points.
Some examples include:
• “Europe’s most highly rated corporate coach”
• “Effective coaching for a better quality of life”
Avoid using jargon in your tag line and use short common words. Try not to be clever or cute. As messaging guru Donald Miller from StoryBrand says, “Clear beats clever every time.”
Tip 2: Have a clear call to action
When it is not clear what steps a customer has to take to purchase your product or hire you, you have most likely lost the sale. Don’t be afraid to position a strong call to action button in the top right hand corner of your website and then midway and then again at the bottom of your front page. It is critical to make it obvious how to set up an appointment or buy your product.
As a coach, this could be: “Schedule a call”. Other calls to action include:
• “Buy now”
• “Get a quote”.
A visually stunning website means nothing if you are making it too confusing and hard for customers to engage with you.
Tip 3: Focus on your clients
Many companies fall into the trap of spending too much time talking about themselves and not enough about their customers. While you are certainly important as a business owner and have much to offer, it’s not about you. Your client and their problems should be front and centre. This means that you need to use images of what life will be like for your clients after they use your products or services. How will their life have changed after working with you as a coach? Images can be a powerful way for potential clients to step into your vision and see themselves in the future – problem free.
Tip 4: Focus on your main product or service
Too many choices can actually cause visitors to click off your site. You need to make it easy for a reader to find what they’re looking for, fast. If you offer many different products or services, then see if you can categorise your offering into only three categories. On your website front page, focus on promoting your dominant revenue earner.
Tip 5: Be generous
Giving away something for free in exchange for an email address is an easy way to start creating a relationship with potential clients. It could be a checklist, a quiz, an interview or an article with information. It must add value to your clients and help solve a problem they are facing. In marketing jargon this is called a lead generator and helps to position you as an authority in your area of expertise.
Remember, content marketing today is not about you. It’s about your ideal client and how you can you serve them.
Melissa Birchler is a Swiss-based Co-Active Coach in training and a certified StoryBrand Guide. As a freelance communications specialist since 2006, she helps companies communicate clearly and simply. www.wordpeople.ch