If you have a business, you need a website.
But the bar has gotten higher since the early days of the internet.
It’s no longer enough to simply have a website. In fact, unless you do more than just input your hours and location, no one will ever find your website.
It’s the modern-day equivalent of a tree falling in a forest.
But it can be remedied!
If you want to turn your website into something more than just an online brochure, you’re in the right place.
What do you mean, an online brochure?
Great question. We mean that all websites contain the information required when someone is looking up a particular business. Things like hours, location, services, etc.
And just like a regular brochure, your website isn’t going to get much attention unless people are specifically looking for it.
But your website can be so much more than just an online brochure.
How to make your website more than just an online brochure
In order for your website to be more than just an online brochure, you need to make it do work. The work that you ask your website to do can be any one of the following:
- Get more visitors (and turn them into leads)
- Build trust and authority
- Turn leads into customers
It’s better if you think about your website as an employee.
You measure how well your employees are doing based on some sort of metric. You know when someone is under-performing because they start slipping when it comes to meeting deadlines or coming up with deliverables.
But my guess is, you’re not doing that with your website. You have one, you make sure it has accurate information, and you don’t really think about it all that much.
But what you may not know is that done right, your website can be the highest performing and lowest paid employee on your staff.
Simply by giving it a job.
Or, several jobs.
How to make your website attract more visitors (and, more importantly, turn those visitors into leads!)
Let me ask you a question:
How easy are you making it for someone who visits your website to join your email list?
Chances are, not very easy.
Especially if you really don’t like thinking about your website.
That’s okay. It’s time to start thinking about your audience.
Think of your business as a stage performance.
Is it Othello? A punk concert? A comedy show? A political rally? Hamilton? The symphony?
Now, with that in mind, who is coming to sit in the seats?
I probably don’t have to tell you that, while there might be some overlap between the audiences for the performances listed above, the makeup of the audience as a whole is completely different.
If you’re putting on a comedy show, you do not want to attract Shakespeare buffs and vice versa.
But how do you attract the right kind of people to your “stage” anyway?
The answer is simple, but not easy.
You need to provide answers to the questions your audience is searching.
How do you find those?
Keyword research is one of those phrases that gets tossed around by people who end up wanting to charge you money, and it’s in their best interest to make it sound more complicated than it is.
Essentially, keyword research is the two-word phrase for “what kinds of phrases do we want our audience to search for, then land on our site to find?”
How to brainstorm your keyword research
Start with questions:
- What kinds of questions are your audience members asking? Write down each and every question you get from people. Ask the people who work in customer service for their input here.
- What sorts of questions do you WISH they would ask? Now, in my opinion, this is where it gets interesting. What are the questions you want people to ask so they reach your site — and ideally, your sales page? This is different from what your current customers are already asking. Instead, what should people be asking before they learn about you?
Next, start thinking about the different search terms people who are looking for the solution you offer might type into a search engine.
What sorts of phrases do you want them to type in order to get to you?
Now, start creating content
Chances are, you’re not a natural born writer.
That’s perfectly okay. You can hire someone to write blog posts based on your research from above, or you can do what comes more naturally to you.
Remember, YouTube = Google
So if you’re the kind of person who’s really comfortable on camera, start creating videos! Add them to your site, then commit to creating one question + answer video per week.
Soon, you’ll have a lot of content on your site, as well as a rather robust playlist on YouTube.
Why does it matter that YouTube and Google are the same?
Easy — you’re using the fancy keyword research to create content.
Who loves keywords?
Google loves keywords.
If you don’t want to create videos, that’s okay, too — create audio content and post it on your website.
Feel free to start a podcast with that audio content if you’d like, or simply transcribe your audio into text so you have multiple ways for people to consume your content.
The things you write/record today should embarrass you in a year. If they don’t, you haven’t progressed enough.
And the point isn’t perfection here. The point is to get more leads to your website.
To fill the theater, if you will.
The second thing your website can do for you is to build trust and authority.
The dark side of this point is that if your website does not build trust and authority, it erodes trust and authority.
Without throwing shade on anyone by linking to any site, your website needs to look like it has been updated in the last year or two.
That means no crazy backgrounds, no kindergarten fonts (unless, of course, you’re building a preschool or kindergarten!), no animated backgrounds. No jarring colors.
You want the design of your website to be secondary to your content.
The only way to do that is to create a simple design and optimize that for conversions.
What do you mean, optimize for conversions?
It’s easy to start sounding like a marketing robot because, like any industry, internet marketing is full of jargon.
A website that is optimized for conversion makes it VERY EASY for the right kind of people to join your mailing list.
Sadly, it’s not nearly as easy as it once was to capture email addresses.
And that’s a good thing.
Because when I give you my email address, I’m signaling that I trust you.
Trust you to send me emails that interest me.
And that’s big.
My inbox is something special to me.
I’m not going to just let anyone in.
And I’m not interested in simply joining someone’s newsletter.
Because there’s nothing in it for me.
Even just “join my newsletter” has nothing to do with me — it’s all about you, and your newsletter.
So, in order to get the attention of the people you want, you need to give something away.
And it needs to be something GOOD.
If potential customers come to your website in a buying mood, offering a special discount for VIP subscribers will go a long way toward growing your list.
They might just sign up for the discount, then use it, and unsubscribe, but so what?
They still bought from you instead of your competitor, didn’t they?
If you don’t have something that people buy the first time they land on your site, that’s okay. They’ll still be interested in a members-only discount.
Then, you can let your website and emails handle 75% of the sales process.
Even if you have to close the sale on the phone, your website can do a lot of the heavy lifting for you.
- Discussing what working with you looks like
- Talking about price, even if it’s just a ballpark (people want to know if they’re committing to hundreds or thousands before they pick up the phone)
- Discussing the transformation that occurs when someone works with you (before & after works for everything, not just remodeling!)
- Building trust
The best way to build trust: let others do it for you
Unless you’re brand new to business, you have happy customers.
Let them tell your prospective customers how great you are — no one believes a braggart (“Trust me, I’m the best!”) but everyone trusts reviews (otherwise Yelp wouldn’t get any traffic at all).
Any which way you want.
Video testimonials are great, but if people aren’t interested in taking a video of themselves, simply ask them to evaluate how they feel about working with you. Get them to focus on the transformation, or the speed at which you worked, or the quality you produced.
Get a variety of these, because the more the merrier, really.
Get a fresh coat of paint on your website, so to speak
One of the things we love doing is updating websites for our clients, then creating something that will entice visitors to sign up for email.
Our packages start at $3500, which means a fresh new look for your site is significantly more affordable than you think.
You don’t need to spend $20,000 unless you’re doing something complex.
We’ll get your website turned around quickly, and with results you can be proud of.
The third thing your website should do is help turn leads into customers
This means you need written/video/audio content for each stage of the sales process.
Again, this goes back to creating content that people would enter into a search term and end up on your site.
Then, use links at the end of each piece of content that will lead them to the next piece.
And of course, make sure every blog post ends in a way for people to give you their email address.
That way, you can continue the conversation, and lead people through the sales process, ending with a “book a call” option or a buy button (or hey, test both!).
Your content isn’t intended to push the sale when someone isn’t ready.
Instead, it’s much more about staying top of mind so your prospects don’t have to search for you again when they’re ready to buy, and also guide people to their next logical step.
Some sales take a lot longer than others, so make sure when you email people you’re always providing value. And if you start a regular (aka more than once a month) email cadence, make sure you’re not asking for a sale in every email.
That’s it. Is your website doing these jobs for you?
Your competition knows how to use their websites to get more leads from the internet. If you want my help, book some time on my calendar, and I’ll help.