10 Ways to Prep Your Website for Success

by Justin Parsons | 24 Jan 2019

rough hand drawn website wireframes

Look back at your website and see how it performed over the last year. Has it been a quality asset for your business? Has it brought in plenty of new leads? Or has it been stagnant and something that you’re embarrassed to show?

If you’re not happy with how your website is performing, the good news is, there’s no better time than now to start improving your website. Here are 10 simple tips for ways to prep your website for success.

1. Create a clear and compelling value proposition.

The first element that’s an absolute must for your website is a good value proposition. Your viewers need to know exactly what you do and what you’re offering them within five seconds.

Answer these questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What do you do?
  • Why your visitors should care?
  • What’s the benefit for them?

Don’t get creative, make sure it’s understandable to all viewers. Say it exactly like you would if you were talking to someone in person. If you miss the mark here, you aren’t providing any compelling reason for viewers to read on. They will leave your site and never come back.

Five-second test: Grab a friend or family member who isn’t familiar with your website. Show your site to them for five seconds, then close it. What do they remember? Can they tell you what you do and who you do it for? If not, go back to the drawing board and simplify your message.

2. Remove social media icons from your navigation.

Social media icons in your navigation are a distraction. You give viewers an open invitation to leave your site before they even see any of your content.

Instead, place your social icons in your footer, your contact page or even a thank you page. This way it’s deep in your website and not a distraction. Encourage users to be social with you after they review the content of your website.

Side note: Similarly, avoid linking to any other sites, especially in your navigation and homepage. Your viewers came to your site to find answers to their questions. Guide them to those answers, not to someone else’s site.

3. Stop talking about yourself, talk to your audience.

Your website is not for you, it’s for your target audience. Make sure your viewer’s needs are first, not your business goals. A successful website will speak to your viewers and their pain points. Understand the questions that your website visitors are asking and answer them.

Craft your copy so viewers feel like you’re speaking to them, not to your ego. Help them relate to you and feel that you understand their issues. Wherever possible, change “we” to “you” in your copy. Look through your website. How many times do you talk about yourself? If most of your sentences start with “we”, start rethinking your copy.

4. Get rid of confusing industry jargon.

Show some empathy and write plain and clear messaging that anyone can understand. Avoid making any assumptions about what people know about your business and industry. This only leaves viewers confused and unsure of what you’re telling them.

5. Communicate value and list benefits.

Talk about the benefits that you provide through your services. How are you different from your competitors? List what makes you different and the benefits clients receive when working with you. Make it easy to understand and hard for them to not want to convert.

6. Address any objections.

Address objections that your ideal clients have. For example, let’s say you have an expensive offering. Address that, but then focus on the benefits you provide. Show them how that price is worth it to them. Follow it up with a testimonial from a previous client that talks about how they overcame that objection and the results they received.

7. Add social proof and increase trust.

Social proof is a great way to increase your website conversions. Anything such as client testimonials, client logos, certifications, awards or statistics. Social proof helps build trust with new viewers who don’t know you yet. Client testimonials let your current or former clients do the talking for you. Any time your site makes a claim, back it up with a testimonial or other evidence that proves it.

8. Use strong calls to action to guide users.

As a website owner, it’s your job to help guide viewers through your content. Help them easily find what they need with a strong call to action. Make your call to action clear and descriptive. Make it easy to take action and tell your audience exactly what they’re going to get.

9. Show your face and real people.

Be personal and authentic by including photos of yourself and your team on your website. Don’t be a faceless corporation. You and your team are unique to your business and your business alone. This is a major selling point and should be emphasized on your site.

Put real photos on your homepage, not stock images. Your viewers would rather see lower quality images of real people over high-quality stock images. If possible, put a large photo of yourself in the hero section of your website to support your value proposition. Your site should be warm and welcoming by making a friendly face the first thing that a viewer sees.

10. Don’t hide anything and minimize distractions.

Avoid sliders, carousels, tabs and accordions—anything that a user needs to hover over or click on to see. All these elements hide content as people scroll through your site.

Instead, stack items in order of importance. Viewers scan your site, so make sure your information is visible at all times. Most importantly, your site and its elements need to guide users, not interfere with reaching their goal.

How did your website do?

Your website is a complex piece of your business. And there are a lot of elements that all work together to make it a successful, lead generating machine. Hopefully, you can use a couple tips to patch up holes and stop those leaks. Even if your website is doing well, there’s always room for improvement.

Unsure where to go next? Have questions about ways you can improve your website? Contact Insight Creative and have our team work with you to improve your website.

Written by

Justin Parsons

Web Developer/Designer

Justin builds, designs and maintains custom websites for Insight’s wide-ranging client base. As a former business owner, Justin understands that your website should work as a major conduit for achieving marketing and sales goals. His strategic, results-oriented approach—combined with a can-do attitude, exceptional tech savvy and constant desire to learn—makes Justin an incredible asset to Insight’s creative department. Prior to joining Insight, Justin ran a website design and development company providing full-service creative solutions. He holds an associate degree in software application development from Rasmussen College.

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