Are you aware that your website may be costing you fistfuls of money?
An eye-catching website design will set the stage for your business, obviously. But that powerful first impression only buys you a few seconds of attention.
If what you SAY on your website gives visitors the wrong impression, you’re chasing potential clients away.
And that problem is far more common than you think.
People visiting your website subconsciously look for reasons to bail. They’re not asking themselves, “Why should I stay here and look around?” They’re thinking, “Is this website wasting my time?”
Make them struggle to find the answers they need, and they won’t bother hanging around.
Don’t hustle for nothing. Instead, anticipate the questions your prospects are probably asking themselves. Use this checklist to make sure potential clients will easily believe hiring you is the best choice they could make.
1. Who Are You?
Many writers make the answer to this question the entire focus of their website. They list qualifications, awards, degrees, credentials, and anything they hope will help “sell” their expertise.
But people don’t buy credentials. They buy what you can do for them.
So you’ve got 3 advanced degrees. You’ve been featured in glossy magazines. You have writing experience a mile long. So what?
Ever been around someone who talks only about himself? That’s the only person he cares about – he doesn’t care about what you have to say. And all you can do is nod and smile automatically while hoping your phone rings so you can flee the scene.
That’s how your visitor feels when your website is all about you.
2. Why Should I Care?
Talk to readers about themselves. “You should care about me because I can boost your sales. Unlike hundreds of other writers, I meet your deadlines. I know how your business works. I help your business grow. That’s who I am – to you.”
Tell your visitors enough about you that they know you’re qualified for the job, and then put the bulk of your efforts on showing people that they’re dealing with a human being who cares about them, their problems and helping them find a solution.
Then focus on why they should care enough to read further.
3. Can I trust you?
While reading your website, your potential client is skeptical. Everyone is. And that person is thinking, “Yeah, right. Why should I believe any of this?”
Do you answer that question?
Collect testimonials that speak to your expertise and the results you’ve helped create for other people. Offer free information that solves real-world problems. Demonstrate you can help in a tangible way that makes your message credible.
Without trust, your website is worthless to your business.
In fact, it could be making things worse if you aren’t showing you back up your big claims.
Bonus Question: What Next?
If your website lacks a clear call to action, you can assume your reader won’t take any action at all. They may trust you, like you, and even believe that you can help solve their problem.
But don’t assume they know what to do next. Take them by the hand, show them the way and leave nothing to chance.
Want them to click the red button to subscribe? Say, “Please click the red button to subscribe.” Want them to email you? Tell them, “Email me at this address.” “Call now!” is a better call to action than none at all.
And even if the action you want people to take seems obvious to you, point it out anyways.
Don’t hide your call to action in a link that may or may not be misunderstood. Ambiguity is not your friend. A statement like “contact us for more information” doesn’t tell your reader HOW to contact you, either by email or telephone. Why send people on a scavenger hunt for your contact information?
How about this, instead? “Call now for a 3 minute recorded message about how you can put $500 cash in your pocket – as early as tomorrow. No pressure or obligation – limited time offer.”
Now I know why I should bother. I know it’ll be hassle-free. If this is true, I don’t want to miss out on that money. Heck, it’s only 3 minutes – what do I have to lose?
See the difference?
Read your own website today. Go through it line by line. Make sure your marketing message packs power. Answer the questions your reader is already asking. Show that you understand where your potential client is coming from, and tell him why you’re the solution he needs.
Your turn: What else is important to answer on your website? What more do potential clients want to see? Let me know in the comments – and by the way, what’s stopping you from making that change to your site today?