Right now, when we’re slowly approaching a post-pandemic world where in the last 12 months most businesses had to create an online presence or face going under, pretty much everyone has a website. But not all websites were created equal, there are a few things to keep in mind creating content for a website that actually converts. Luckily for you, I’m here to fill you in. So sit up, buckle yourself in and let’s get to it
[Note from Katie…wait, why the lack of pictures? In an effort to reduce the carbon footprint of my web presence, I am only using images at the very top of my posts, as well as where they serve a true purpose, such as headshots or infographics. That’s why you won’t find any purely decorative photos here anymore.]
Every website needs 1-2 goals (hint one of them should be to build your email list) otherwise you’re just chucking spaghetti at the wall. Unless you know what it is you want to achieve from it you won’t be able to create content for a website that actually does anything for you.
So for example, if you want to use your website to sell online courses, that’s going to look very different from a site that wants to sell 1:1 services.
A website where the goal is to sell courses should have a dedicated section on the homepage promoting that course with clear calls to action on how to buy that course. The about page content would be written to show how all your experience and skillset is set up to provide transformations through this online course.
Versus a website selling 1:1 services would likely have calls to action prompting visitors to book discovery calls.
See where I’m going with this?
If you want your website to do all the things, it’s likely not going to do any and you’re going to be left wondering why you’re not getting any enquiries or course sales.
When a visitor lands on your site you have 3 seconds to convince them to stay. So it’s really important that it’s very clear what you do and who you serve as high up your homepage as possible (this is usually the gateway to your site for new visitors).
Clarity trumps clever every single time when it comes to creating content for a website. In today’s busy world people aren’t going to hang around if they have to think, they’ll just be on to the next site that appeared alongside you in the search results.
Harsh but true.
Repeat after me, a website is not a virtual CV.
When people land on your site they want to know what’s in it for them? Why are you the person, instead of your competitors, who is best placed to help them get the transformation they want?
Honestly, they don’t care if you were voted businesswoman of the year 3 years running by your local chamber of commerce.
What they really want to know is that you understand them, their problems, and how you can help them.
No matter which page on your website you’re writing content for, this is what should be at the forefront of your mind.
I get a lot of people telling me that they can’t write the copy for their website because they’re not creative or don’t know how to use fancy words. The reality is that your dream clients are drawn to you because you understand them and you talk like them. So don’t be thinking you HAVE to hire a copywriter to get this done because you don’t.
You just have to tap into what makes you unique, be yourself and keep your ideal client front of mind.
Images are often an afterthought when pulling together content for a website.
People want to do business with people. So make sure your face appears across your website. The only exception is probably the contact page, but I would recommend that there’s at least one photo of you on the other pages.
I know it feels scary getting your face out there, it was an issue I had to get over early on in my business when I realised that I am my business. People aren’t going to want to work with me if I don’t even have the confidence to put my own face on my website.
Don’t let not having professional brand photos hold you back from getting your website built either. A website with non-professional photos of you is going to help your biz a damn sight more than no website at all. Take baby steps. Get the site live then, when you’re in a position to have them done get your brand photos taken and update your website.
Before I go any further I should probably tell you that I have a bee in my bonnet about testimonials on websites. So I could get ranty here (don’t say I didn’t warn you).
My biggest pet peeve is landing on a website where the only mention of a testimonial is on a single page all alone with no one to play with. Seriously, if you do this you’re totally doing yourself a disservice.
Social proof is one of the biggest factors in converting someone from visitor to client/customer, so it needs to be front of mind when you’re pulling together content for a website. And if you whack it on a virtual island that visitors have to go out of their way to click on you’re gonna get very few eyeballs on it.
When you’re telling the world how amazing you are at what you do you need to be backing it up with testimonials from real people (with their pictures if you have them) so that visitors can see that you help people just like them get the results that they want.
If you don’t have any testimonials, grab any that you have on your Facebook page or Google My Business account. If you don’t have any there, go and ask your previous clients, it feels scary but satisfied clients rarely mind providing you with testimonials.
Also, make sure that you add collecting testimonials as part of your client offboarding process so that you always have new ones coming in.
If you don’t have an email list yet then you’re totally missing out on a reliable way to send content to dream clients. I’m not going to go into the nitty-gritty of why they’re so important, but I will say this – at least 90% of the people on your list will have your emails reach their inbox. Much better than the 2%~ that will see your social media content.
When thinking about content for a website you need to be thinking about collecting email addresses for your list. That way if a visitor doesn’t convert into a client on their first visit to your website, but signs up to your email list you’ll be able to send them content, via email, which will hopefully convert them into a client later on.
And don’t think that just because you don’t have a freebie/opt-in/lead magnet/whatever we’re calling them this week, you shouldn’t promote your list on your website. A simple section highlighting the awesome content you’ll send to subscribers has more chance of growing your list, than not promoting it, until you’ve created your first opt-in.
Calls to action (CTAs)
CTAs are often overlooked when creating content for a website. It’s really important that you make it clear what the next step is for website visitors. Often we can’t see the wood for the trees because we’ve spent so much time working on our sites and think that it’s obvious what visitors need to do next to work with us or buy our thing.
Make sure your CTAs are big, bold and are a contrasting colour to the background. Use buttons instead of links, because links are easily missed. As people navigate your site they should be in doubt at any point what they need to do to work with you.
Social media icons (bonus)
Technically not a content tip but it needs to be said. Don’t put social media icons anywhere but in the footer of your website. We work really hard to get people onto our sites, the last thing we want to do is give them an easy out to social media for them to get lost in the scroll never to return.
About the author
Kim is a web designer with over 10 years in the industry including 8 years spent working on software for the NH and 3 years building and designing websites and email funnels for female entrepreneurs.
She started her business in 2017 after the birth of her daughter when she found that she needed more flexibility in her life than her 9-5 was offering. So she started her own business helping mum bosses with their tech problems.
Kim now helps mum bosses build authority by designing and building the online homes that their brands and businesses deserve, as well as taking tech stress off their plates by taking care of email lists set up.
Find her over at kimscotland.com