Today, I want to talk about your website.
Is it like a vintage ‘67 Chevy Camaro that looks beautiful but sits in your garage, out of view from anyone else who might appreciate it?
Maybe it’s more akin to a sloth. It’s useful in its own way, but it moves slow and doesn’t accomplish all that much for you on the average day.
Or maybe your site is like a newly-opened Chick-Fil-A with lines around the block of people salivating to get a bite of the pickle juice-soaked goodness you offer (It’s true, check it out).
Too many metaphors? Fair enough. Let’s scale it back.
If your website fits into one of the first two categories and gets little traffic and even fewer leads, you’re probably wondering what you can do to give it a boost. The easy answers are to redesign it, or write new content and start running digital ads to pull in visitors.
But before you get to that point, there’s a question you need to ask yourself that you must understand with certainty.
Here it is: What’s the purpose of a website?
That’s what we’re going to uncover today. Let’s get started.
There’s a lot of answers you could give when thinking about what purpose a website serves.
Create a digital storefront. Establish an online presence. Educate. Inform.
None of these answers are all that bad.
But there’s another answer I hear all the time from financial advisors and other business owners and it goes a little something like this…
“To tell my clients about myself or to talk about what we do.”
If your first inclination when thinking about your website is to say it’s about you, then we may have uncovered the heart of why your site isn’t performing at a level you expect. No further diagnosis needed until we resolve this point.
So if it’s not to talk about yourself, what is it?
The real purpose, the end goal, the ultimate gauge of success for your website is to generate leads for your business.
It’s fine if you’re someone who has a lot of accolades and exceptional experience, but if it stops there, your site is useless.
There has to be a next step. And that next step is always to get people visiting your site to give you their information so you can grow your company.
Getting that information means your sales process begins. And making the sale is the hard part, right?
But unless you’re an e-commerce website (Spoiler Alert: if you’re a financial advisor, you probably aren’t doing business online unless you’ve got something like a Betterment integration) then the sales process comes after your website has already done its job. So we aren’t going to talk about that today.
But we are going to delve into the main issue. If a website’s purpose is to get leads, how do you get them?
That’s what we’ll look at next.
You can build a website that attracts people with these content principles.
Talk to the needs of your (prospective) clients.
Keep in mind, you’re the supporting actor in this play, not the star. To begin, you need to create buyer personas that identify the goals, fears, and objections of the ideal client you want.
From there, write to that person. Speak to them individually and with clarity. Imagine that your website is simply a conversation between you and that ideal client, both sitting at a table.
Speak to them about what they want, and offer how you can help as the subplot, not the A storyline.
Bonus tip: Write in second person to draw the client into the story and make what you’re writing more personal and applicable to them.
Use bold, clear language.
You can’t expect anyone to click past your homepage. Most visitors leave a website within 15 seconds.
So how do you stem the tide?
Be upfront about what you offer. Use an actionable headline that presents your value, and write a subhead that makes it clear to the client that you offer something that fits a need in their life.
Save your peculiar creative style for elsewhere. Your website needs to speak to a relatable problem and offer a simple, authentic way you solve that problem.
Bonus Tip: Use Google Analytics to identify how long clients spend on your site and which pages they visit most often. If you’re not doing a full redesign or revising content one page at a time, update those most-used pages first.
Tell the client what you want them to do.
Telling your idea client what you want them to do as a next step is as important as speaking directly to the problems they’re trying to solve.
You need to make it clear, and make it easy.
In other words, put calls to actions everywhere on your site. A call to action tells your client how to get in touch with you, or offers them something of value.
After your headline at the top of your website, put a link that says “Call us today” or “Schedule a free consultation.”
You are dictating, in clear language, what a person needs to do to address the problem you can help them solve.
Bonus Tip: You may also consider offering your visitors something of value instead of pressing for a meeting right away. These are called lead generation resources and can range from case studies to checklists to infographics.
The idea behind a lead generation resource is that you are providing additional value to a client, before you ever ask them to do business with you. All you need is an email to start up a relationship, after all.
So there you have it. When you’re thinking about your website and how successful it is, start with the idea that it exists to get you leads.
From there, you need to build all your content and values around that idea.
There are so many strategies you can use to approach this, but hopefully the few offered in today’s post can be helpful to you as you turn an eye toward improving the content on your website.
If you’re looking to create a new website and need to hire a writer to help you communicate your message with clarity, click here to get in touch with me.
[Featured photo by Kleber Varejão Filho on Unsplash]