So I don’t get bored while I’m on one of my walks, I have a small bunch of podcasts I listen to. One of my favourites is Wil Anderson’s Wilosophy. Another is the Problogger podcasts. Aside from the fact (in a non-stalker way) I like Darren’s voice, his podcasts are filled with some brilliant advice for bloggers. But don’t be put off by the ‘blogger’ bit in his podcasts, most of them apply to small business owners as well. I think they are necessary listening if you run a small business.
And that’s where you come in! Every single one of my website clients is a small business owner – whether you’re starting out or a little bit the way in to your small business. I’ve said it numerous times before and I’ll say it again…most of the time, the process of building a website is a daunting one so here, I’ll talk about how to keep visitors on your site. Most of it is totally ripped off from Darren’s wonderful podcast 11 Techniques for Lowering the Bounce Rate on Your Blog.
Obviously it’s completely rude to just rehash what Darren mentions but there were a couple of points I thought would really resonate with clients who are building a new website for the first time or are revamping an old, out of date website.
Firstly, and it’s sooooo obvious – first impressions count. Often small business website clients aren’t really aware of what that first impression should be. You need to think of your target market and think about what would appeal to them in terms of branding and images. I mean REALLY think about it. Work with a brand consultant or if that is out of your price range, a beautiful website to view colours is Design Seeds. I can help you with colour and image choices. I can’t tell you the amount of times clients have chosen some godawful images that are all wrong for whatever reason. There are plenty of paid photo stock sites or even some pretty decent free stock images. Unsplash is one – though it is a bit hit and miss. If you have the cash, go have a photo shoot done. First impressions count and images and branding are mega important. Kate from Total Balance does this very well – I know from working with Kate over a number of years that her target market (small creative and wellness businesses) are very much drawn to her site.
As well as making a good first impression, make sure your site is easy to navigate. The menu items should be easily visible and tell the visitor exactly where to go to look for the info they’re after.
Pop in a call to action. On the homepage of this website I have a button which says View My Portfolio. I know that aside from fees, the next thing people want to do is take a look at the work I’ve done previously to see if it resonates. I use the View My Portfolio button as my call to action because I know that once people see the excellent work I’ve done in the past, then price isn’t going to matter :))))
There’s a squillion more things you can be doing to make sure visitors stay on your site but I’ll list one final one, is it clear what service you’re providing? You could have the prettiest, most dynamic site but if we don’t know what you’re offering then we’ll click off straight away – we’re impatient like that. Perhaps a tag line is required and/or a short, concise blurb on what you offer. Again, my tag line is visible once you hit my site: Beautiful and professional websites for small business, creatives and bloggers. Once you scroll down, I provide a little blurb and there’s links to What I Offer, my Portfolio and Contact page. It couldn’t be more obvious! Truly, don’t make it more complicated than it is and don’t clutter up your homepage with irrelevant stuff.
Head on in and listen to Darren’s podcast. Even if some of it isn’t relevant to you today, once your business or blog is established, there’s some really handy tips to avoid people bouncing off your site quicker than my kids eat a Magnum icecream. And that’s quick…