The Essential Checklist To Create a Website That Works For You
- Created: Thursday, 18 June 2015 11:02
By IICT Member Ginny West, Spirit in Business. Gone are the days where a website could simply act as a brochure for you. Your website needs to be your number one employee, and you need to give that website a list of essential tasks it needs to do to fulfill its obligations to you and your business.
Check out this essential checklist to make sure your website will take you to new heights…
A Clear Message
It should be totally clear in the first few seconds of landing on your webpage who you are, what you do and how you can help. Sell an energy, an emotion, a vision, rather than just a list of services. Think about reinforcing your brand with clarity, love and conviction.
Design & Technology
Try to find someone who can cover both design and technical aspects of your website. It should be easy to navigate, make sales and look beautiful, spacious and clear at the same time. Too much clutter and your clients will switch off. Beautiful design without functionality is a brochure, tech credits without the beauty feels soulless. Do your research, look at the folios of potential web designers and visit the websites to ensure they are functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Keep your content original, relevant and fresh. It should be rich with keywords that attract your customers to your website without sounding like a shopping channel. Quality content always helps with your google rankings, and it will keep your customers really clear on who you are and what you do.
Be yourself, inject a little fun, let your personality come through. Your customers want to buy from someone real, someone they feel they can connect with. The more they feel they know you, the more likely they will be to use your services.
Add some testimonials with photos. There’s nothing like a testimonial to add recommendations for your services, and photos let customers connect to a real person (and know you’re not just making these up in the back room!).
Word press has a vested interest in insuring your website gets great search engine results and it has a wide array of templates to choose from. Think about what your template does, not just what it looks like and make it sure it is responsive (more about that later). WordPress is clear and attractive to Google, and there are an incredible array of plug ins you can add to make your website more effective. Make sure you choose wordpress.org (not .com) for your business. You can get a tech person to switch you from one to the other if you made the same mistake I did!
Newsletter opt ins on every page
An opt in is a option for your clients to sign up for your newsletter. You should have this option on every page, as people don’t have time to go hunting back through your website to find your sign up and a reminder on every page reinforces your ask. You don’t need to have a pop up box if that’s too full on for you, just an opt in opportunity at the top and/or bottom of the page can suffice. Have a great lead attached to your opt in like; ‘stay connected with our newsletter’, ‘want exciting tips and tools? Sign up now’, ‘want to be the first to hear about events?’ and so on. It is also a great idea to offer a reward or thank you for signing up – sign up now for a free e-book, discount on our next workshop etc. Make it fresh, fun and exciting. There are lots of great email providers out there that can be linked into your website. I use mailchimp, and its basic service is free when you’re starting out.
Call to Action
Speaking of which…it is important to add a CTA or call to action for every newsletter, blog or event you post. I know it can sound a little cheesy if done badly, but if you do it with heart and good intentions people will respond. After all you want your clients to come, sign up, join in don’t you? Leaving out a call to action is like saying “oh my God I just found the best wholefood cafe, it has such a great vibe and the most delicious salads, and they were so kind to my kids and they have some incredible events coming up you just have to go there. Ok bye” Hang on a minute! Where are they? How do I get on the list for events? When are they open? Think of it more as an invitation…if you want them to come have the courage to ask.
Have a good CRM system
At its most basic this is simply about having good tech systems behind your website that help you interact easily with current customers and gather new ones. It takes the leg work out of things by integrating sales, marketing, sign up data and responses. It makes things streamlined for you and your customers.
Social Media Links
Choose the social media platforms where your audience hangs out and add links so they can like your pages and connect with you there. Although the aim is always to drive social media customers back to your website, it’s great to connect with your customers on a daily basis through social media. I would also add LinkedIn for a professional resource which adds credibility.
Spend as much as you can afford
Yes you can set up your own website in wordpress, but get a professional to do it for you or you may be missing out on a load of business opportunities. There’s no point having a website sitting there doing nothing. The more you pay the more your website will return to you. As in most things you get what you pay for.
Regular blogs from your website gives search engines new information about you, it lets your clients know more about you, it show cases you as an expert in your field and it is fun! You can also link an rss feed from your e-mail provider so that each blog post you make goes out to people on your mailing list.
Less pages more clarity
It is better to keep the pages fewer and the message clearer. Remember the beauty of the blog is that you can talk more about your expertise. Not every single thing you have ever done needs to become a page. In an increasingly busy world people want clear communication and choices. Take the work away from them as much as you can. Make it claen, clear and simple.
Make it responsive
Having a responsive website is absolutely essential. Responsive means that it is mobile friendly and will look great whether your clients are checking you out via ipad, iphone or on a desktop. More and more people are using their mobile devices to check you out and google will punish sites that are not mobile responsive by pushing you down in their page rankings, and others up.
It needs to make sales
The primary role of your website should be to make sales. That means getting you more coaching clients, selling more products, booking in more yoga clients, filling up your training programs, selling more books or organic products. You want your amazing work to get out there right? What if you had a website that bought clients to you, that took away a whole load of that effort. How amazing would that be? Yes you still need to work your mojo, but you have an incredible support system that is going to be gathering more clients and signing people up to your mailing list while you sleep. How cool is that!
Like all marketing, creating a great website is an art….and a learning curve. Get clear, get passionate, do your research and get a great website that supports and fulfills your calling.
Need a hand with marketing your passionate wellbeing business? Join the Spirit in Business 2015 workshops across Australia starting in August….
About the Author:
Ginny West provides business consultations, workshops and retreats around Australia on creating heartfelt success for Wellbeing practitioners. To find out more about Spirit in Business or to contact Ginny West call 0413 596 784 or follow these links:
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