Over the last two years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with many amazing women who run service-based businesses or classes and are struggling with their website. They’re smart, driven, wonderful women who do so many things right.
And you know what I’ve noticed? They are all making the same mistakes that are jeopardising their business.
So today, I want to discuss the three most common mistakes in the hopes that discussing them will help you recognise similar mistakes on your own website. And offer some alternatives that just might make it a whole lot better!
Mistake # 1: No Newsletter Subscription Option
One of the biggest mistakes I see all the time on websites (both DIY websites and professionally designed ones) is that people are losing out on the opportunity to collect email addresses from their site visitors.
Why should you care about collecting email addresses? Well 95% of site visitors are not ready to buy anything on their first visit, so if you can get them to give you their email address, you can build a relationship with them over time and nurture the relationship with email marketing.
How can you get them to allow you into their precious inbox? We connect with people that we know, like and trust so you need to earn your stripes sister! A lot of this is down to branding; the look & feel for your business that includes creating a brand personality and tone of voice that people will feel connected to.
You can offer them something of value (like a free guide) in exchange for their email address. When creating a guide, think about something that will help your ideal client prepare or get ready to work with you. It should be something of REAL value that you feel should actually be paid for. You want your ideal client to think, “Wow, if she’s giving me this for free can you imagine what it would be like to actually work with her!”.
Don’t forget to make signing up for your newsletter optional. You don’t want to force people to sign up in order to get the freebie. That’s not cool, and it’s not GDPR friendly. This small act can also help to build trust - ain’t nobody got time for spammy mcspamsters.
Mistake # 2: No Call To Action
Another common mistake I see all the time is that there’s no Call To Action (CTA) visible when you first land on a website.
A CTA is basically a simple action that you want all your site visitors to take. It’s usually in the format of a button, with a short instruction on it like BOOK A CALL, DOWNLOAD NOW or SIGN UP FOR UPDATES.
You can also get creative with the instruction, but keep it simple.
In the example below you’ll see that Laura uses "ME WANT" as her CTA which basically prompts site visitors to sign up to her mailing list.
So think about what your main website goal is, and work backwards from there to work out what your CTA should be.
If you offer classes, or run a service-based business like coaching, you may want to offer a free taster session or discovery call. Your CTA could be one of these:
Book my free taster session
Download my freebie
Make an appointment
Sign up for updates
Book a free call
Make sure your CTA button really stands out on the page.
You can add a short line of text under the button if you need to describe what you get in a bit more detail. But keep the text on the button very simple, clear and direct. No pleases and thank yous! And use the words that your site visitor would say to themselves in their head - in the first person. “Grab my freebie” or “Show me how”. As with Laura's example above, consider your tone-of-voice and use words that align with your brand personality.
Mistake #3: Leading people off your website
Oh this one is a biggie. You’ve put in all this effort to drive traffic to your website, but when site visitors get to your website they see a pretty Instagram feed and click right off your website and down the Instagram rabbit hole of distraction, never to return. Ouch!
You don’t want to send anyone off your website until they have given you their email address. Have a look at Marie Forleo’s website. You won’t see a social media icon anywhere! She gets you to sign up to her list before she promotes her social channels (and she uses social media to send traffic to her website so she’s all over Facebook, YouTube, IG etc).
Yes you can still have social media links on your site, but just be mindful of where you place them. I like making them small and at the bottom of your footer or do what Marie does and only show them in the "thank you for subscribing" pop up window or in newsletters.
Remember that you own your email list. You don’t have any control over what happens to the algorithms and social media platforms going forward. So it’s best to prioritise growing your list over growing your social media following.
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