Getting your own space on the internet is really exciting and takes a lot of effort. But it’s worth it when it becomes the perfect shop-window to show off what you do in a way that feels really authentic.
I’ve got 5 tips I want to share with you as you set up a new website, or take some time to refresh a site that needs a bit of love and attention to work harder for you.
1. Do a home page tidy up
Does it say what you do?
Your home-page is probably going to be your most visited page on your website. It needs to say exactly what you are and what you do the second someone lands on it. Otherwise visitors are going to bounce right back out.
People are lazy these days – we all are. We want to see what we’re getting and what’s in it for us immediately. We’re not willing to browse around to seek out the information we need.
If I can’t see your job title, or a description of exactly who you help on the page I land, I might not hang around.
Can you refresh the imagery?
When you’re just getting started with a website and you don’t have loads of your own photography – either of yourself or anything else, it’s totally fine to rely on stock imagery.
But it’s also a good idea to refresh that imagery now and then and make sure you’re not using really common photos that are being used by a lot of people already. I can definitely spot a certain set of stock images a mile-off now when I look at other people’s websites, and I’ve been guilty in the past of using them myself!
A great place to look for royalty free images that don’t look ‘stock’ read: cringy staged smiling models posed as clients or images of apples with tape-measures round them, is Unsplash. Images are so important to creating your overall brand so make sure you feel the pictures you’re using really represent you.
Is your mailing list sign up prominent?
Once someone is on your website the most important thing you want them to do is sign up for your mailing list.
Make sure the lead magnet / freebie you’ve created to entice people to join your list is really visible, not tucked away at the bottom of your site. Growing a mailing list gives you a chance to get straight into people’s inboxes so feel confident to make this a really important part of your homepage.
2. Give your About Me page a refresh
I’ve done a big overhaul on my About Me page recently with the help of a messaging master and copywriter. Here are a few tips to give your About Me page a lift and really sell you and what you do:
Write in the first person
People buy from people. It’s really important if you want to connect with clients and customers that you talk from your own perspective. Not from a fake larger business that you think you need to be. Use “I” instead of “we” if you are indeed just one person delivering amazing services. Own it.
Keep it shortish
I recommend writing an About Me no longer than 500-750 words. If you have a whole story to tell about why you do what you do, that’s perfect for a blog post which you can link to from your About Me page.
Include a photo of you
Oh man, the amount of people I see that don’t include a photo of themselves on their About Me page always staggers me.
It doesn’t have to be a polished professional headshot if you don’t have one - although I’d recommend getting some if you’re serious about representing yourself online (my lovely photographer was Donna Ford who I’d highly recommend).
If you’re trying to set up a business and you don’t want to put a photo of you on your About Me page then you’ve got visibility issues. Really dig deep into what’s holding you back. Remember people buy from people and they want to see you to connect with you.
If you want to chat about your mindset that’s holding you back when it comes to being visible in your business pop something in my calendar and we can talk it out. I’d love to help.
It’s actually not About You at all
News flash: your About Me page actually isn’t about you. It’s about the reader: your ideal customer.
Think about what they want to see on this page to convince them you are the person for them.
Think about your ideal clients’ struggles and pain-points and talk about how you can help them overcome them. This isn’t about being manipulative. It’s about speaking directly to how they’re feeling right now, so they can’t deny that you must be the person to help them find the answers.
3. Add Calls To Action to increase engagement
Does each page on your website have a ‘call to action’ (also called CTAs)?
I see so many websites that have lovely copy on their homepage, their About Me page and their blog posts. But when I get to the end of reading, I’m not sign-posted where to go next.
So what do I do?
I leave the website.
What a shame.
What do you want your readers to do when they finish reading each page of your website? Sign up to your mailing list? Book a discovery call? Ask a question? Leave a comment? Follow you on social media?
Add a call to action and a link to help the reader take action.
TIP: Try to limit the number of CTAs you add in one place. Otherwise it’s overwhelming and readers will be confused and end up do nothing. Be confident that the CTA you have added is the right thing for the visitor and will also help you connect with them further.
4. Format your content to use more headers
WordPress and Squarespace websites both have the functionality to change text from plain to different types of headers. These appear bigger and bolder and sometimes in different fonts too.
This really helps with readability. As I mentioned already, our attention-spans online these days are limited.
Maybe you’ve noticed on this article for example how I’ve used headers. Different sizes, fonts, bold and italic all help break up the text and help the right messages ‘pop’ to the reader.
Seeing a big block of plain text is a total turn off. In order to make your content more easy to read and help you get found via SEO (more on that in the next step), I highly recommend you use headers on all pages of your site and throughout your blog posts.
5. Do an SEO and key-words update
Oh god, technical language! But it’s really important if you’re going to do lots of work on building a beautiful website that people are finding it.
That means it’s really important to know your keywords. If someone went on Google to find you and your services, what would they be searching for?
Once you know those words or phrases you need to assign these keywords into your pages. In both Squarespace and WordPress there are boxes where you can type in the descriptions you want to appear on a Google search. These need to include those words that you know people are looking for when it comes to what you offer and can help with.
Struggling with keywords?
Use Answer The Public to test out your key-words and see what people are searching for. This is a great tool to give you inspiration to write a new blog post or maybe retitle an old blog post so that it attracts better rankings on searches.
If you want to know more about SEO and getting found online I have a deep-dive 2hr masterclass you can watch right now (or any time you want) explaining everything in simple terms you can actually understand. Click here to find out more.