If you run a business or freelance for a living, one of the most important tools in your arsenal is your website. Your website should speak to your audience, explain what you do and serve as the contact point between you and your customers.
But it’s easier said than done to build a great website. It’s hard to capture people’s attention and interest in today’s media-saturated world, and even if your website manages to do so, will that be enough to serve as the foundation for a long-term business relationship?
By striving to make your website as inviting and conversational as possible, you can start to build more meaningful (and lucrative) relationships with your prospects. The next time you have a spare moment to look over your website with an analytical eye, consider the following:
The first impression
When you look at your website, where is your eye drawn first? Is your value proposition immediately obvious? Does the imagery and design make you want to find out more?
Your first impression means everything. When a prospect visits your website, they will decide in about 3 seconds if it’s worth investing further attention into learning about you. But while you can’t explain the full depth of your value in just 3 seconds, you can convey just enough to persuade your prospect into reading more.
To improve your first impression, you want to continually test your header image, headline, CTA button copy and CTA button colour. The metrics you want to keep an eye on are CTR and time spent on page. More time spent on page means that people are more intrigued by you and more interested in opening a dialogue. Higher click-through volume means that more people are being persuaded into taking action.
Clarity and meaning
A great website will give meaning to its viewer, rather than leaving the viewer to make or find the meaning themselves.
When you’re reviewing the elements on your site, ask yourself “What do I mean by this?” Will your prospect arrive logically at the same conclusion, or could you be more clear? When you’re telling your story to your prospects through your website, your aim should be to make it impossible to be misunderstood.
Fancy taglines and clever metaphors are for big brands and big brand campaigns. Your website should be like the glass at a shopfront: An invisible window that showcases the product without calling attention to itself. Each element should have one obvious and clear interpretation, and one only.
It takes time, testing and insight to make your website engaging to your audience and conversational. But the potential reward for your efforts is huge. Your website is your business’s home base in the digital world – treat it with due respect, and you’ll find yourself having a more meaningful impact on the lives of your customers in no time.