All too often I hear from both clients and friends,
“I have a website, but it is just not me” or, “I have a website, but I am embarrassed to tell people to go to it.”
If you have thought this, or know someone who has, you are not alone. A website is often an afterthought to many starter businesses.
More often than not, people almost always think.
“I can do it myself, how hard can it be. ” or “I saw a, Create your website fast, easy and free ad”
Though, those options are always OK, they are usually not really your business a lot of options and end up being more like a personal one pager.
Websites should be considered your tool for communication. They are there to talk to every person in the world about what you do, sell or offer when you are not available. It is a method of giving your future clients, or your current clients access to you 24 hours a day.
Did you know that the majority of the people in the world spend less than 15 seconds on the average website searching for potential information of interest? Even less on sites that they happen upon, or click ads to get to your website.
So that it is important to to get someone’s attention withing that 15 seconds.
Now if you were talking to people on the phone, you could only speak to 1 person every 15 seconds, but with a website, you could potentially speak to hundreds at a time, every 15 seconds.
So you might be thinking, “that’s easy” no? So allow me to ask you a couple questions.
- Are You a Graphic Designer?
- Ever configured hosting services?
- Do you have html and css knowledge?
- Do you know php?
- Ever set up an ecommerce site or membership site?
- Do you have knowledge of joomla or wordpress?
- Do you have a branding package?
- Do you know how to setup security for a web?
- Do you understand how SEO works?
These are just a few of the pieces of knowledge or expertise needed to create a truly captivating site. Although not every site requires all of that, and many can be done by installing simple plug and play WordPress plugins, so no big deal right?
Well I won’t tell you, you can’t or shouldn’t build your own site. I will say that if you want a site that really delivers you need to do a few things first.
- Talk to a Coach
Talk to a Coach if you have not already. This will help you get a true understanding of the direction your business needs to go. It does not matter if you are a coach or an entrepreneur, having an outside perspective who works to help you get your business going is not only a smart move. It helps with separating your personal feelings out of the way and keeping your website goals in focus. We all think to ourselves “I know what I like.”
Of course you do, we all do, however what we might like, may turn off another person. Often people like things that do not really work or are not in the best interest of the business.
For example, your favorites colors are Bright Neon Green and Hot Pink.
To you this sounds really good, and you want your branded colors to be that, however your business is Coaching Executives to look more professional. These colors most likely wouldn’t really work. I know, I know, if you were a Professional Coach for Executives you would not be thinking in those colors, however you would be surprised the ideas people have for branded colors that do not understand the finer points of branding.
- Talk to a Designer
A designer can really help you. They can take your branded colors and your information and organize them into a truly captivating site. You may consider yourself a designer, or may even be one, however if you are not, now is not the time to try to become an artist. Visually captivating does not mean Van Gogh or Jackson Pollack on a website.
Clean and beautiful are the keys of a great website. A designer will lay out your web ideas entailing use of color, ease of navigation, simplification of information, and know how to squeeze everything you want to say and the images you want to show into your website, in a way people can easily see. A well designed site will know what makes people want to stay on your site and to want to learn more.
- Know your Targets
You should know always your target audience, this will help the designer. This is another thing a coach can help you out with, if you do not know who your audience is. A site that is visually captivating for a millennial may not work for the baby boomers. Knowing whom you are wanting to target will make sure your site is built to stand out.
Yes that’s right SEO (Search Engine Optimization), if you are unfamiliar with this, then you have some more research to do. It is the key to making sure that when people go searching Yahoo, Google or Bing or whatever search engine they may choose, they will find you.
This is accomplished by seeing that your content, use of words, traffic and Social Media, site architecture, trackers and more are organized in a way that makes it easy for the search engines to find and list you.
Back in the early days it was as simple as a couple lines of code that had your keywords and key phrases. But this system was abused by people using the alphabet as keywords and would type in keywords that had nothing to do with the actual content of their site. And of course this lead our searches ending in mountains and mountains of porn, sales pages, spam or just plain junk.
Now the system is refined. It is made to work for business like yours and ranking them, instead of the porn site first. With a designer who knows how to set those systems up in your favor, you can get listed near the top of the categories pertinent to your website.
- Someone to talk to.
Some designers just want your info, badda bing, badda boom, they build a website. Your input is not necessary, they just want to cookie cut the sites. In and Out and they are done.
After they are done, it is like you sat down at a busy restaurant, was served a meal and the Waiter is hovering around your table waiting for you to leave so he can reset your table for the next. You are mow left not knowing even how to use this website you just paid for, how to update it or even how to post your own blogs.
It is important to find a designer you can talk to. Someone who is not just emails, but will get on the phone, will screen share, and will be there to show you all about your site. One who will teach you how to manage and control the site as a tool in your business. You want to be able to know how it all works so if you need to, you can maintain it, or tell another you hire to maintain it the way you want.
No different than any device you own, you may not care how it was built, and every part that went in it, but you do want to know how the remote control works, in full.
One last and final thought.
Many people believe once a site is built that’s it. It is done no need to worry about it anymore. Here is my web address go check it out and have a nice day.
Wrong, so wrong. Your website, as I stated earlier, is a tool in your business. What I did not say then, is that it is a living breathing part of your business and should be as flexible as you are. It should be capable of changing quickly without the need for a full redesign. Your business is constantly moving, you have new programs or products, webinars, seminars, retreats and all the great things you all do.
So your website should also reflect that, a site that is a living and breathing part of your business will continue to get visitors, both new and repeat. No one is going to go to a site over and over that never changes nor offers anything new. They have been there, seen it, have the t shirt to prove it, and no need to go back.
Your website should be more like. “Oh Wow, there is a new video on SOandSo.com about “This Guy is a Website Superstar” (see how I did that?)
That is what makes people come back over and over, and they want to know what you have to say or offer. They tell their friends who tell their friends, who tell their social media channel, who like your page and retweet your message of the day. And so, your audience is buzzing and a “Star is Born” on the good old interwebs.
Thank you for reading. (Tips his hat)