Alright, friend – it’s confession time…
Have you ever launched a beauuutiful website that you were DANG PROUD OF, but shortly after wrapping up your launch celebration… you heard crickets?? 🦗🦗
If so, you’re not alone!
Unfortunately, this is oh-so-common…
Launching a website for your business might be one of the best feelings in the universe, but when it’s followed up by a whollle lotta nothing, it can be really deflating. I mean, you spent SO much time on your website – why isn’t it working? Why aren’t people hiring you??
Sometimes the answer is as simple as: you’re not TELLING people about it (which you should be!). But other times the issue might be a bit more design- or strategy-related. So in this post I’m going to teach you 5 super quick and simple things you can fix that might currently be hindering your website success.
Oh, and when I say easy, I mean E-A-S-Y. You could probably knock out all 5 of these things in just an afternoon. So let’s get to it!
1. Your website doesn’t have an introductory one-liner
On average you have about 8 seconds to catch someone’s attention before they leave your website… EIGHT seconds. That’s less time than it takes me to wrestle the cork out of a bottle of wine… so you realllly need to make those 8 seconds count! The key to making sure people don’t close the tab before you’ve even started celebrating is having an introductory website one-liner.
It’s so, so important that people know WHAT you do, and WHO you do it for, as soon as they land on your website. Have you ever visited a website, scrolled around a bit, and still weren’t quite sure what the heck this person or business offers?
If your website doesn’t have a clear, concise one-liner at the top (or very close to the beginning) stating what you offer and who you serve, there’s a good chance your website visitors are experiencing a similar, confusing fate.
Once you’ve whipped up the perfect introductory one-liner, make sure you place it loud and proud at the very beginning of your website for all to see! Remember, you’ve got 8 seconds – make them count!
2. Your main menu has too many options
In addition to short attention spans, ya know what else most of us humans suck at?
One common mistake many people make on their website is putting wayyyy too many options in the main menu.
While it may feel counterintuitive to EXCLUDE a page (or pages) of your website from your main menu, it can actually help make your website more effective if done the right way.
There’s no hard and fast rule as to the number of options you should include in your main menu, but I would recommend aiming for 4-5 menu items, and definitely no more than 6.
This doesn’t mean your website can’t have more than 6 pages, it just means some pages won’t be listed in the main menu. It’s a matter of priority!
For instance, I currently have 12 informational pages on my website, but only 5 of them appear in my main menu. The ones in my main menu are THE most important pages of my website, and the ones I want new potential clients to be reading through.
For me, these pages include: Home, Services, Portfolio, Contact, and Blog.
I used to also have a Testimonials page included, but the main menu began getting too cluttered which then causes visitors to get distracted and makes my website less effective. So I evaluated the importance of each of these pages (and checked my analytics to see which pages were the most visited pages – i.e. the ones clients are interested in) and removed the Testimonials page from my main menu. It’s still accessible on my website – it’s just no longer in the main menu is all.
Typically the main pages people choose to include in their menu include: Home, About, Services, Portfolio, Testimonials, and Contact.
The exact pages (and number of pages) may vary depending on you and your business, but these are a good starting point!
Pro-tip: Make sure the names of these menu items are SIMPLE. Your main menu isn’t the time to get witty or clever by calling your “Contact” page a “Let’s Be Friends” page.
What does that even mean?!
Is that how they contact you?
Is it going to lead them to your social media?
Is it to schedule a meet and greet?
Be as witty as you wish throughout your website, but your main menu isn’t the place for it – your uniqueness can shine bright elsewhere! Be clear and concise in your menu so people know what the heck they’re clicking on.
3. Your website doesn’t have a clear goal
I’m about to drop a super secret website wisdom nugget on ya… you ready?
The secret: In order to have an effective website, you must establish ONE specific goal for your website.
Your website goal is the action you want visitors to take after visiting your website.
The keyword is action. Your website goal should not be simply providing information.
You want your website visitors to take that next step… to DO something that will further your relationship with them. If people are just visiting your website, browsing around, and leaving – you’re missing out!
You need a clear, action-oriented goal!
Some common website goals include:
Get in contact with you (the business owner)
Book a Consultation Call
Register for a free training (or other lead magnet)
Purchase a product/service/course
For my business, my client process starts with a Complimentary Consultation Call, so appropriately so, the goal of my website is to get potential clients to send me a message (from which we will schedule a call).
So think about what action you want website visitors taking once they get through your website – THAT is your website’s goal, and your entire website should be strategically laid out with that one goal in mind.
I’ll elaborate more on HOW to set this strategic path up in #5, but first, let’s talk about CTAs…
4. Your website doesn’t have CTAs
A CTA (call-to-action) is something that prompts your reader to do something – to take an action. And CTAs are absolutely essential to allll websites!
I don’t care if you sell homemade goat soap, blog about the best brunch spots in your hometown, or if people pay you to sing “Happy Birthday” at their dog’s birthday party – you HAVE to have CTAs on your website.
“Send me a message”
Those are all examples of CTAs you’ve probably read on plenty of websites without even realizing it, and they’re key to making your website more effective.
It’s simple: If you don’t tell someone what you want them to do, they won’t do it.
The most common type of CTA is simple, clear text followed by a button.
Example of a CTA:
Click below to schedule a Complimentary Consultation today
(This button would lead to your booking calendar.)
Take a look through your website and see if you’re explicitly telling people what they should be doing, and if you’re not – fix it!
Pro-tip: Never, ever, ever leave the bottom of a website page without a CTA. You don’t want to leave your visitors wondering what to do next. Be clear in what you want people to do next, and continue leading them down the pre-determined, strategic path you want them to follow.
Which leads me to the final reason your website might not be working for you…
5. You never laid out a strategic path to your website
All effective websites are designed with a strategic path in mind.
In other words, the best websites are literally designed to lead visitors down a strategic path with a specific end goal.
The first step in creating your website’s strategic path is: determining the goal of your website. (If you haven’t done this already, go back to #3 and make sure you get your website’s goal established).
Once you know your goal, you can design your website to lead visitors towards that goal – so you (and your website) can stop getting ghosted, once and for all.
To help visualize the overall path of your website, I’m going to break it down like a scenario we all might be a bit more familiar with: the typical 2019 dating scene.
Let’s say your bestie’s guy posts an Instagram pic of him out at the bar with another super cute guy that you’re TOTALLY interested in. What’s your first step?
Are you going to immediately leap into said hot friend’s DMs and ask him on a date?
If you said yes, you go Glen CoCo – more power to ya! Butttt we all know you’re probably going to do a little digging on them first….
You’ll probably start by clicking on the photo tag to be properly plopped on their home on the internet – their profile. If you’re lucky, they have a quick and sweet bio right at the top of their profile so you can learn a bit more about them before you dive into a thorough profile stalking #noshame
Then if they pass your initial investigation and have piqued your interest, it might be time to shoot your bestie a message and get the details.. I mean, if she gives the seal of approval then you’re golden!
Good news, she says he’s a great guy and much to your surprise, she’s actually been meaning to set you two up for ages because you’d totally be perfect together!
Whew! What a relief! With your FBI-level investigation complete, you muster up the courage to send a casual message, which later lands you a date – SUCCESS!!
So how the heck does this relate to your website?
Actually, a lot!
Think of the path you took to learn more about who this person was BEFORE reaching the final step…
You started with a quick glance at their most easily accessible info. Once they had your interest you dug a little deeper, and deeper, and deeper. Then when you decided they might be a good fit for you, you sought the opinion of others that know them before making a final decision.
In a website, that would look something like this:
Land on your website where an introductory one-liner tells you what the business offers. (Home Page)
Read more high-level information on what the business does. (About Page)
Read more in-depth information on what the business does. (Services Page)
Read reviews. (Testimonials Page)
Make contact. (Contact Page)
So in this case, your strategic website path would be:
Home Page → About Page → Services Page → Testimonials Page → Contact Page
Knowing that this is the path you want people to take, you would create this path by making sure that the CTA at the bottom of each page LEADS to the next page along the path. This allows your visitors to get all the necessary information they want and need about your business, without you rushing them into contacting you before they’re ready.
Just like with dating, people will probablyyyy wanna do a bit of stalking before getting to the final step, so make sure you’re providing them the information they want while also guiding them towards your end goal.
Keep in mind that this is just an example of a website path. If you have a Portfolio page (or other page) you want people to view, think of where it would make most sense to fit this into your website’s strategic path and add it in!
So let’s have a quick recap
Improving your website can be as simple as making 5 super simple changes that we’ve gone over in-depth in this post. These improvements include:
- Creating an clear, concise introductory one-liner and placing it at the beginning of your Home page.
- Only putting the most important pages in your Main Menu, with no more than 6 options maximum.
- Establishing a clear, action-oriented goal for your website that will positively impact your business goals.
- Incorporating CTAs to tell your readers what they should do next.
- Creating a strategic path for your website that provides visitors with all the information they’re interested in, while also helping them move towards the goal you established in bullet #3.
Still feeling a little unsure about your website?
Click here to download my (totally free!) Website Must-Haves checklist, where I give you the 7 key things that all websites need to totally kickass! Or drop your info in the box below and I’ll send it over to you faster than my pups when they hear the crinkle of a cheese wrapper…