I often ask my clients if they could have one thing on their website home page, what would it be?
To be clear I would never push a client to have only one thing on their website home page unless it worked for the project, like a phone app website. It’s more of an exercise to focus on what is important.
It can be hard to choose what to highlight on our websites in part because we want to showcase everything. We spend the time to create something and we want it to be seen. It’s also the case that websites lack the width or height restrictions that are found in print media so it almost becomes a license to include it all. When faced with that decision on what to include, how do we choose?
The best place to start refining what’s on your website is by tying your website to your business goals.
Bring the Focus
When you run a business you set goals. Maybe you want to bring in a certain amount of income this year, create and sell certain programs or services, or be able to bring on an assistant of some kind, be it part- or full-time.
Once you decide on the overall goal, you typically break it down into smaller milestones and then finally into the tasks needed to accomplish each milestone.
You then keep tabs on those goals so you know whether or not you’re moving toward them. You know you need to sell so many of your products or services to make a larger financial goal happen, for example. As the weeks pass, you make adjustments where necessary if those smaller milestones are not being met.
When you design your website, those goals you set for your business should be top of mind.
Think of it like this.
If you hired a salesperson, you wouldn’t just throw him out there, right? Just BOOM, go sell some stuff! No – you would give him guidance, specific people to target and let him know what goals you are trying to attain otherwise, he would be flying blind.
When your website is not based on your business goals, this is essentially what you are doing. You are putting it out there without clear idea of what it should be doing for you. When you think of your website as a salesperson it changes the way you think of your site. Because that’s what it is – a salesperson out there representing you 24/7.
Use the Focus
With your goals in front of you, take a look at your website. Do the focal points on your website match what your business is currently focusing on?
Some goals of course won’t be making it to the website since they aren’t customer-focused. If you’re looking to streamline a back-office procedure, that’s probably not a big selling point. You might get a good blog post out of it – one of those here’s what I learned or how I made this better type posts but it’s not going to be front and center.
Focus on the goals that are tied to financial goals. These could be selling a service, an event, a new product or getting hired as a speaker.
I will use speaking as the example since that is something I want to focus on this year and will need to adjust my own website accordingly. Please use your own goal in place of speaking so that it makes sense for you and your business!
If I went to your website looking to hire you as a speaker, is that information easy for me to find? Often speaking pages are listed in a dropdown menu or linked to from an about page.
Up until this point you’ve probably been focused on earning money through a specific type of service, like coaching, but now you want the focus to be on the speaking. You’re not giving up coaching immediately, or even ever, but if speaking is what you want to do how will anyone know if you don’t tell them?
Assuming you want people to purchase your specific product or service or hire you for speaking here are some changes to the website you can make to bring it more in line with your goal(s).
Make the Focus
Quick fix. Get your speaking page on a top level of your menu, not hidden in a dropdown or just on your about page. You want the link to be easy to find and not make a customer have to dig around for it because she probably won’t. Change speaking’ to whatever your goal is so if you have a new event or new course, treat it the same way. Don’t bury it.
The page itself. If you haven’t already, it’s time to gussy up the page. Having a title, a small paragraph and Book Me’ doesn’t really say hey, I’m serious about speaking. For this example, a page like that doesn’t give event coordinators any insight to your topics or what you have to offer the audience. It may seem like an afterthought. Give the page some depth including more descriptive copy, images or video and specific calls to action letting your audience know what you’d like them to do.
Home page. The home page often has a lot going on. While customers can come in through a blog or other page, the homepage is still often where little bits about everything are shown. But does the thing you want to focus on stand out or is it on the home page at all? If you are able, give the main thing you want to focus on the largest block of space and move it higher up on the page. While the fold’ has become more flexible with people accessing websites from various-sized devices and needing to scroll, they’ll see it sooner if it’s closer to the top.
Launch it. You may think launching is about marketing strategy and you wouldn’t be wrong. Don’t forget that your website is a piece of your marketing strategy. If you don’t get out there and say to people hey look, I made this thing, go to my website to read all about it, how are they going to know?
Track it. Like your business goals, you won’t know what’s working if you don’t see what is and isn’t working and make adjustments accordingly. When installed on your website, Google Analytics can (for better or worse) provide a wealth of information. You can see page views, track links that are clicked and downloads, just to name a few. If you see your link is not being clicked you can make adjustments like changing the call to action or even the button color.