How to Create a Website That Actually Works

Website Design that Converts

Do you have a website that works? As in, is it actually converting website visitors into leads or it is just sitting there looking pretty (or not so pretty?)? Did you know that you have 0-8 seconds to entice a visitor to stay on your website. After 8 seconds, the majority of visitors leave. That’s crazy, right?! I wanted to run through four ideas that will help you create a high converting website for your business whether you are a coach, photographer, creative or small business owner, all of these apply to pretty much any service based industry.

The main components that I believe your website needs to have are the following:

  1. Genuine and targeted copy
  2. Kickass freebie or opt-in offer
  3. Opportunity for a consultation call
  4. Ease of navigation and clear direction

Let’s dive into what each of these means in my personal opinion, as well as ways you can make sure you are implementing them on your own website! Most are simple enough to put into action but some will take some time and brainpower to get right for your target audience or niche!

Genuine and Targeted Website Copy

In my opinion the most important factor for creating a high converting website is having killer website copy. Your copy is your wording and the message that you are portraying. It’s not only your language but the vibe you are giving off. The big thing now a days is to drop the professional hat and just be yourself. Of course you still want to be knowledgeable and accurate in what you are saying, but how you say it is totally up to you and your brand’s personality.

The first step is to figure out who your ideal client is and what niche you are serving. Once you have that figured out, you’ll write as if you are speaking directly to them.

You aren’t trying to appeal to the masses here, and if you are, you should stop and focus on one person. Because if you can nail that one client type on the head with your copy, there will be clients lining up behind them who caught your exact message meant for them.

Secondly, remember to speak TO that ideal client, don’t speak AT them. Focus on their needs, their wants, their pain points. Don’t focus too much on yourself and everything you do and how amazing you are. If a person feels like you “get them” they’ll be more apt to work with you because you have a solution to their problem.

Based on that, the best method that I’ve found is the Storybrand method by Donald Miller. Imagine that your audience is the hero or their story and you are providing clarity of their problem and a way to the solution. You are their guide. Write with that in mind and it will help you truly speak to your target market!

Kickass Freebie / Opt-in

The next item that’s important for building an audience and creating a high converting website is an amazing opt-in or freebie. If you have a standard “join our mailing list” with no clear benefit to them, why would people be enthusiastic about joining? They aren’t and they won’t. You need to provide something of value in exchange for their email address and in turn for their eyeballs looking at your stuff on a consistent basis. I’ll have a future blog post about all kinds of ideas for freebies that you can offer your audience to get them signing up.

Remember, you own your email list, you don’t own your followers on IG, FB, wherever. Growing your  list should be high up on the totem pole of priorities for making your business a success.

Where should this opt-in live? Everywhereee. It doesn’t have to be that specific main opt-in or freebie everywhere but there should be a way for people to connect with you on every page of your website. A lot of people achieve this by having a mailing list signup in the footer of their site which is totally fine as long as you have a more enticing opt-in a couple other places. You want to make it super easy for people to grab your freebie – the more complicated it is or the harder it is to find, the less people you will reach.

Once they are on your email list, you have a greater chance of staying at the forefront of their mind when it comes time to launch a product, course or session.

Just make sure you are serving them and not just pushing sales on them though, that will have the opposite effect. Give them more fun freebies as you go, they don’t have to be as substantial as your main opt-in but make them worthwhile and valuable so that your audience will continue to see you as the expert and look forward to your resources!

Offer a consultation call

Chances are your services are not cheap. Would you spend that much without at least the opportunity to talk it out? I get it, not everyone loves to talk on the phone. I, for one, am not a huge fan either. But everything I’ve read says it can make all the difference in your client conversion rates. Open up, show that you are available and people will respond and inquire.

This also allows you to have the chance to make sure you and the potential client are on the same page regarding your services and are a good fit.

A bonus is that some red flags may come up during this call and you’ll know right away if this your dream client or a nightmare client. Email communication can take much longer to hash things out, think of the phone call as a time saver but make sure you set boundaries and keep them. If you are offering a 15 minute consult, stick to it. If they need longer, feel free to offer a followup 30 minute session for such and such price or you are happy to correspond via email for any additional questions they may think of.

Also, I’d recommend having them go ahead and fill out an inquiry form after they book their call. This will allow you to gather more details before you jump on that call so that you don’t waste either of your time if that person’s project is completely off-base somehow from what you do or their timeline is not achievable with your current client load, etc.

Ease of navigation and clear direction

Last on my list of how to create a high converting website: your site needs to be easy to navigate and have a clear message or direction. Seems like a no brainer but it needs to be said as so many websites like this. The easier your site is to get around, the less frustration a potential client will have deciding whether or not to work with you. Provide your message clearly and concisely with as few words as possible but make them impactful. People rarely read long paragraphs, format your copy so that the important items are easily skimmable, it’s just so hard to keep our attention spans these days so you want to again, remember to speak directly to them and keep it simple but relatable. As they go through your site you should have clear objectives for them to follow – i.e. your services, about me, contact me, book a call. The more complicated it, the sooner they’ll give up or get bored.

Quick notes to keep your navigation simple and intuitive:

+  Your menu should consist of only the main pages – about, work with me, contact, etc. Save the other ancillary pages to be linked elsewhere throughout your site, the fewer the options, the more of an impact they will have and your visitors will know exactly where to go.

+ Don’t leave a dead end at the bottom of any page. Provide links to other pages or provide an opt in, or at least provide a “back to top” button to get them back to your main navigation to keep them on your website longer. If you provide a dead end, they will be more apt to close the window.

+ Keep your opt-in sign up simple – name, email only. The more fields, the greater the commitment in your audience’s head.

+ If you have a blog, keep your sidebar minimal and not overwhelming – a short bio, a few of your top categories are perfect, maybe a couple links to your most popular posts or resources.

Hopefully you found all of that helpful and now have a game plan for setting up your high converting website! To learn even more check out this post that talks further about website strategy. What is one thing that you know your website needs some work on? If you have any questions or need anymore advice, feel free to shoot me an email, I’d love to help!


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