016: 5 EASY & EFFECTIVE WAYS TO UPDATE YOUR WEBSITE
I heard quite a good analogy recently from Jenna Kutcher which was this: social media should be the handshake and invitation to continue the conversation elsewhere. And that somewhere else should be your website. When was the last time you gave your website some love and attention? It’s a place that we have the most control over people’s experiences with us and our content, yet it’s often overlooked and neglected.
Today I want to talk with you about 5 easy ways you can update your website that are going to make the biggest impact on converting visitors to actual fans and email subscribers.
#1 | Give It A Simple Facelift
I think far too often we make updating our website this entirely daunting task and then guess what? We never get around to it because it’s so overwhelming and we don’t know where to start.
The first step, the easiest one? Update your bio photo. I bet maybe yours is a few months even a few years old and this simple step can make things feel fresher and more up to date right away. Take it a step further and challenge yourself to update 5-10 other images on your site. Most people wait until they have time for a full rebrand before they’re able to update all their galleries or blog post photos. But even a few simple changes can make it feel like an entirely new website.
Now that you’ve got some fresh images, let’s take a look at updating some of the brand statements on your website and specifically your homepage. Are they clear and concise? Do they even exist?
If you don’t have a brand statement check out my Power Session coaching package, it’s only 90 minutes. We can meet in person to talk about creating an unforgettable brand and craft a brand statement that represents:
Who you are
What you stand for
What you have to offer
This is seriously one of the favourite exercises I go through with my clients.
And if you are rebranding and updating your site, you have to check out these three women:
Kayleigh Noele: Squarespace Designer
Meg Harrop: Logo & Brand Designer
Sophie Carefull: Personal Branding Photographer
Each of these women helped bring my website to life and I got guides from each one of them to help me understand how to best use my photos, what my branding elements should be used for and how to navigate the back end of my website. If you need a little bit of help in one of these areas, get in touch with them to have a chat about what you need.
2. Evaluate The Process Of Opting In From Start To Finish
Slapping a little simple “sign up for my email list” box is not enough my friends. If we want to be successful in converting someone onto our email list, we have to be a little more in their face about it.
I can’t even tell you how many websites I’ve been to where I’ve WANTED to sign up for more information and I couldn’t even figure out how. We can’t make this mistake because people do not have the patience. They’re not going to dig deeper or search all of the pages. They will click away so fast and they might never land on our site again. At a minimum, your email sign up form needs to live:
Prominently on the homepage of your website
On your About Me page
Linked on social media pages
In calls to action on blog posts
In your email signature
Now for what I call The Stranger Test: ask someone not familiar with your website to see how easy it is to sign up. Take their feedback and make adjustments if it’s not a 100% seamless process.
How can you take signing up for your newsletter to the next level? You might have heard me talk about pop-ups. And I know that some of you are really uncomfortable with how “in your face” this strategy might feel. But here’s the thing…I know I create amazing content that serves my audience and I want as many people to receive it that are interested in it. The fact is is that so many people who would love my emails don’t even know that I write weekly bitesized breakthrough letters. I want you to be excited about your email list and treat it like it’s a gift for people (because it is!)
The other thing to note is that pop-ups just plain work. The conversions are really successful and because list building is my number one priority in my business, I’m okay if i’m attracting the right people and repelling the people that aren’t the right target audience for my blog or business. Currently I’m adding about 100 people to my email list every week and my pop-up strategy is a big part of that. I use ConvertKit for this and it allows you to get super targeted with your opt-in strategy.
You can also install cookies so if someone has slaready opted in and someone comes to see your site opt in, they’re not going to constantly be bothered with future pop-ups. You’re able to create rules that say okay, if this person opted in for this freebie don’t show it to them again. It really allows you to make sure that you’re capturing as many people that visit your site as possible.
3. Change Your Headlines & Conclusions
Take a fresh look at all of your headlines and conclusions. Why is it so important? Have you ever read a compelling headline and you want to know the answer so bad that you simply scroll to the bottom of the post looking for the quickest result? My guess is yes and that’s why it is so important that you start and end every page of your site strongly.
The crazy truth is that if you don’t have a strong headline, no one’s ever going to read your amazing content. I always say that we should start with the headline and spend almost as much time crafting just that one line as we do the actual content. What good is an amazing blog post if no one is actually interested enough to click through and read it?
One of the best ways to get better at writing headlines is to start to pay attention to what types of posts YOU click through to read. What words do they use? Are there any commonalities? Start to write down strong copy and tweak it and make it your own. Strong headlines are clever, they use triggers, they spark curiosity and make us wonder what is waiting for us inside of the post. Here are a few ideas to get your wheels turning when it comes to evaluating headlines on your website:
Pique interest: 10 things you never knew about… The number 1 question I get asked… The biggest secret to… 5 things everyone should know about…
Teach something: The best cheatsheet for… A free guide to… How to solve… Here’s my exact guide to…
Spark curiosity: 12 things you’d never guess about me… The biggest mistake you might be making right now… The never told secret to XYZ.
It’s not good enough to just have a strong headline. We also have to deliver that content. But the next important part is a strong conclusion. If you look at all of the posts on my blog, they all end with a concluding paragraph summing up what the post was about, and I will ask people to take action in some way as it relates to the post content.
I’ll include a way for people to opt in so they can continue the conversation and often end with a question to invite people to engage and comment on the post.
How to take action on this advice: Check out your most read blog posts, use Google Analytics. Go back and breathe new life into them. Could you make a stronger headline? Could you add a more compelling conclusion? Do you have a way for people to opt into continue the conversation?
#4 | Update The #1 Visited Page On Your Website
Did you know that your About Me page is the number one visited page for websites? This just proves my theory that people want to buy from people and brands, not just businesses. They want to see the face and feel a connection behind the content they are reading.
When you write your bio copy, write it as though you’re sitting next to someone new at a party and they just asked, “what do you do?” Imagine that they don’t yet follow you on social media, they’ve never heard your name or visited your corner of the web. They don’t know who you are, what you do or how you serve and show up in the world. If you start with a boring intro, you might not ever get a chance to share the why behind what you do.
Instead, keep it light. Use your own voice like you speak to your friends. Share who it is that you are beyond the work that you do. People will expect to hear about your products, service, business or what you blog about. What they won’t expect is that your personality shines through above all of that and that is what is going to keep them reading. Remember that this page is not meant to be written for everyone, and instead you need to focus on writing for your ideal clients or readers.
If you are pleasing everyone, you’re likely pleasing no one, so remember that it’s okay to attract and repel. Tell us something that we don’t expect or something that makes us curious about you. This is the handshake that is meant to encourage a further conversation that is to come in the future.
Here are a few prompts that I love to encourage my clients to use when they’re working on revamping their bios:
Most days you can find me…
I am mostly known for…
People often refer to me as…
I love serving the world by…
The things I’m most passionate in life are…
When I’m not busy _____ you can catch me _______
As a _____ I’ve been featured/showcased/honoured ______ (share your work)
Finally, do not miss the opportunity to have a way for them to opt-in on this page. If it’s the only page on your site that they ever get to, we want to make sure that you have the chance to capture them so that you can continue this conversation. Include a link to your best freebie or at minimum your email newsletter, and also lead them through your site once they’ve learnt more about you. What’s next? Can you direct them to your most popular blog post? Maybe your goal is to grow one of your social media accounts - make sure you are telling people where to go next after they land on your bio page!
#5 | Add Social Proof To Your Website
What is social proof? It is the testimonials and the praise that you’ve gotten from people who have worked with you or found your content valuable in the past in their own words. The key here is to make sure that it is on every single page where people might make a sales decision, not just buried under reviews or a testimonial page. Because people aren’t going to always click there and read them. We want this information to be present when they are making a decision on if they should take any action with your brand or business.
Social proof can help drive people to make a purchasing decision and we want this to be in your favour. Whether it’s signing up for an email list, purchasing from us, or choosing to follow us on social media. Slide testimonials into your sales copy, on your bio page, in sidebars or footers of pages and anywhere else you can naturally integrate them.
A few other ways to add social proof is to include numbers where you can. People find safety in numbers. If you can say, “if 1000 others have experienced your product or service” and you have that in your sales copy, people are going to find more comfort in making that same decision.
Also, mention places you’ve been published, big brands you’ve worked with or sites you’ve been featured on. Scattering these details where you can will help impact conversions and will help people have confidence when they go to choose to work with you. Again, make sure this information is on pages other than just a formal testimonial or “featured on” page that people probably won’t click around and get to after all.
So, that’s it, Blogging Bosses! You can take these five steps to evaluate your website and make small changes for a big impact today. Give your site a little facelift with new photos, dig into your opt-in process, improve your headlines and conclusions, beef up your About Me page, and don’t forget that a little social proof goes a long way. I hope this episode inspires you to take a look at your website with fresh eyes and see it as a way to invite people to invest deeper into you and your brand.
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