Recently I had the opportunity to speak with a prospective client. They told me that they had been researching potential digital marketing VA’s for some time. When I asked what had made me stand out they said, “Your website wasn’t written for you, it was written for me.”
I had to stop myself from yelling, “EXACTLY!”
I loved this validation (because, let’s face it, who doesn’t?). I worked hard on my site and I didn’t work alone. I enlisted others to help and I was open to their feedback.
A few common things kept arising with my tribe of website creators. These are great tips I think we should all know. I’ve dubbed them:
“The 5 Things NOT To Do When You Are Writing Your Website.”
1. Enough About Me, Let’s Talk about Me
I hear many times from clients that “our website does nothing for us”. My response is always, “that’s because you built it that way”. The main thing to remember is that your website is built to not only give information but to engage someone enough so they will want to engage with you. In the simplest terms it’s the difference between marketing a school by using the term “our students” rather than “your child”. As in, “Our students are given many opportunities” vs. “Your child will receive the best opportunities”. Now, instead of a faceless student I’m thinking about my daughter, Charly, and all of the wonderful opportunities she will have if I send her to this school and I want to know more. Get it?
2. Having An Overly Broad Target
Sure, everyone could benefit from your product or service. Heck, they could benefit from mine too. However, “Everyone” is a finicky (and expensive) target to connect with. Take the time to get to know your perfect audience. If you know exactly who you want to work with you will know exactly what they need. When you know exactly what they need you will know exactly how to support them. When you know exactly how to support them, you will know exactly how to craft your messaging and your services.
3. Wasting Space
You have a big beautiful space above that fold (before the first need to scroll). Use it! Before a visitor ever has to scroll they should understand who, what, when, where and why. Yes, back to the basics. Who are you? What are you providing? When can they access it? Where do they access it? Why should they care? All before they ever have to move a mouse. If you visit my site (shamless plug) you will see I have 3 boxes that tell people exactly what they get by working with me. They save time, they save money, they save their sanity. Who wouldn’t want that?
4. Writing The Great American Novel
You aren’t writing War & Peace. Use short sentences. Write easily digestible information free of jargon. Use section breaks and photography that looks like your target audience. Simply put if you have someone read your site and they don’t understand what you are offering or worse yet who you are offering it to, you aren’t done.
5. Giving To Much To Soon
Remember, the goal is not to give so much that they don’t need to contact you. You want to give just enough that they need to take that next step. Make sure your homepage has enough information to get them to visit other areas of your website and make sure to link those areas in your text to make them easy to access. Then provide enough to show them you have what they need and continuously push them to take the next action which is to contact you. Every piece of your marketing eco-system is a window to the next. So use it and lead them into a conversation with you and your team.