You know it already, but I’ll just spell it out for you: Your website needs work.
You know it. I know it. Your customers know it.
But you don’t know how to make it better. And you feel overwhelmed by updating it. You have enough going on as it is.
If that’s you, I made this video for you.
In the next few minutes, I’ll explain five reasons most websites don’t work well, along with practical changes you can make RIGHT NOW to make it work.
My consulting company has worked with many people in construction, e-commerce, nonprofit, coaching, and more, over many years to help them create websites that work. This advice is based on suggestions I most often make to them regarding their websites.
Believe it or not, they’re stunned when they hear this advice. One time, after sharing similar advice, a client looked at me and said, “Why didn’t I think of that?” And to be honest, I think #4 holds the most helpful piece of advice that seems to click for everyone.
Okay, here are the five reasons. Let’s get into it.
1. Your website is about you
Your website should be all about your customers. What they get, how you can help make their life better, and what jobs you or your products help them do.
This principle could be summed up in five short words: you are not the hero. Let me say that again, you are not the hero.
You see, what a lot of companies do is they think they’re the hero of their customer’s story. I mean, after all they have the problem and you’re coming with the solution. So you’re the hero right? Right. You solved their problem. You changed their life. Except, while every story does have a hero, in your customer’s story it’s not you. It’s them.
If you do what your competition isn’t, and make your customer feel like the hero that they want to be, they’ll come back to you because you’re the only one they know who makes them feel like you do.
So, how do you do that, you ask? You just do a 180 degree shift in your messaging and you reposition yourself as the guide, the helper.
Even your about page needs to reflect this principle. Your about page isn’t about you, it’s about your customers, the ways they struggle, and how you can help them. Unless people are hiring you for your team, they’re not coming to you looking for long lists of team members or a company history. They want to know if you can fix THEIR problem.
On your home page, instead of saying, “We do this and that,” say, “We can help you do this and that.” You see the difference? In the first example, you’re the one doing, and in the second example, they’re the one doing (and you’re the one helping).
Make your entire website about your customer and you’ll create raving fans that’ll buy once and keep coming back for more.
2. Your website is overwhelming
Have you ever been to a website that just bombarded you with tons of information right off the bat. There was so much there, you didn’t know what was important or what to look at next. It was just so overwhelming you had to leave.
What most companies do is drown their customers in information before they’re ready for it.
Instead, you need to set up your website to facilitate a process called “Drip, Sip, Drink.”
Here’s what I mean. The first section on your homepage should have your easy-to-understand tagline where you say what you sell and give them a clear call to action.
Then in the sections below, you should talk about the different jobs your products or services do for your customers so they can look at everything from a distance – in other words, you give them a drip. And don’t put it all into one section, break it down into one section per job.
If they like the drip, they’ll go deeper and find your product page that gives them more information about your product – that’s the sip.
Then, if they like your product they’ll read your case study or customer story – that’s the drink.
If you break your offering into bite-sized categories and you communicate it using the Drip, Sip, Drink, process, it’ll be much easier for customers to understand what you’re offering, why it’s important, and how to buy it.
Do this and your website will work.
3. Your website is confusing
As business owners, we think we’re being clear. But in reality, we have tunnel vision. We only see what’s right in front of us.
Because of that, we usually make one of two mistakes: we either get way too into the weeds and tell customers too much about our products too soon and we confuse them or scare them away; or we say generic, jargony, business things using acronyms that work in business world but the human on the other end has no idea what you’re talking about.
This is why fixing the first two problems we talked about is so important. If all you do is talk about yourself and your business and you bombard your customers with information, they’re going to be confused and leave.
There are a few studies that show how our brain does one of two things when it receives new information:
It either makes sense of it by turning it into a story, or, if it can’t make sense of it, it ignores it.
You don’t want customers doing either of those things on your website: zoning out or ignoring everything you have to say.
No, you want them to engage and take action!
But they can’t if your website is just another thing bombarding them with more information that they don’t know what to do with.
I want you to remember this: if you confuse, you’ll lose.
People should be able to go to your website and understand what you offer and if it’s for them within five seconds. If it takes them longer than five seconds, you’re losing sales. Ask yourself, are you being clear? Because if it doesn’t make sense, it won’t make money.
4. Your website doesn’t call people to action
You’d be surprised how many customers have a hard time figuring out how to buy your product.
Your website should include an easy call to action. That means a button that says “buy now, schedule a call, Register today, those are clear calls to action.” Learn more and get started aren’t clear. If you don’t have this, you’re losing out.
You’re not going to scare people away by being obvious. You’re helping them buy from you so they can get what they need and you can get paid.
Let me give you a story. I like to hunt. Recently I was hunting for turkey with my brother in law. We had been in the woods since 4:30a, before the sun even came up. It was so dark I didn’t even quite know what I was sitting on, I just knew it wasn’t my bed. Anyway, we made calls and sat still for a few hours until, around 7:30a, we heard a turkey. It kept gobbling our way. We typically text back and forth when we hear something that might be a turkey. So I sent him a text to tell him which direction the turkey was coming from so that we could go home with a turkey instead of going home empty-handed.
Here’s what I text him. Gobbler at 3:00. I told him exactly where it was coming from so he could see it and shoot it. If I would’ve said, turkey to the right, he would’ve been looking all over the place and may have missed it! But because I was clear with where the turkey was, he knew right where to look.
The good news is that call-to-action buttons can’t wander away like turkeys can. If you’re clear, they’ll work. The bad news is that the turkey wandered away from us and we didn’t come home with anything.
So don’t miss this one. Make it easy for customers to buy by being clear with your calls to action.
5. Your website doesn’t communicate transformation
Your website should visually display the success your client will experience if they use your product or service.
Here’s why: there are two types of problems your customer has: external and internal. Another way of putting it is physical and emotional. One problem they experience and one they feel.
An external problem might be that I have a flat tire. The internal problem is, now I can’t make it to work on time, my boss might fire me, and I can’t afford to lose my job right now.
Every external problem, whether it’s a flat tire or a leaky roof, manifests an internal problem — that being frustration, confusion or even the feeling of “I don’t have what it takes.”
Don’t be mistaken, your customers buy your products to relieve their internal tension. And when you communicate in a way, using words and pictures, that shows how you can relieve that tension, your customers will be more likely to seek your expertise.
If you’ve watched a movie, you know that every story ends in victory or tragedy. For your customers, it’s success or failure. They’re going to feel one or the other and, I can guarantee they want to feel success.
Make your website work
Okay, very good! There are five reasons your website doesn’t work and how to fix them.
- Your website is about you
- Your website isn’t emotional
- Your website is confusing
- Your website doesn’t call people to action
- Your website doesn’t communicate transformation
So, you may be asking yourself where do I go from here? If you took notes, you probably have some good action steps to take. If not, I’ve got a few for you.
First, facts are stubborn things. If your website isn’t getting you sales, there’s a reason. Look at your current website and see if it follows any of the principles I shared with you today.
If you’re following all five, you’re a pro.
If you’re following three of the five, you’re in a good spot where a few small changes will make a big difference. Take them one step at a time and get to work.
If you’re not following any of these principles, you’ve got some work to do. But I understand, you might be totally overwhelmed by all this. It’s okay, start with principle one and make your way through the list, one at a time.
If you’re ready for the next step, I want to invite you to schedule a free discovery call with our Website Consultants.
During this call, we’ll dive even deeper into why your website isn’t working and what to do about it. It’s literally free, there’s no cost, and I’ll help you use your website to create a predictable sales system where you’ll never have to worry about where the next client or customer is coming from.