A couple of weeks ago, I sent out an email inviting my community to send me a link to one of their website pages and tell me what the focus of that page was (or what they wished it would help them achieve – y’know, more sales, more sign ups, more engagement etc.). I’ve been responding personally all morning with one thing that they can change or update that could improve the page, but I have been BLOWN AWAY by one thing in particular:
Almost everyone who responded did NOT tell me what the focus of the page was, and on the odd occasion where they DID, it was to say “I don’t know where to start” or “can I get your thoughts on [insert page link here]”.
Now, perhaps this was my fault for badly wording the offer, perhaps people forgot when they started sending the message, or perhaps – as I’m starting to suspect – most people don’t REALLY know what they want their web page (or websites in general) to achieve.
This is fascinating for me, because your website is your little corner of space online. It’s not social media, it’s ALL YOURS. Each of those juicy little pages you put online are not just there to tell people about who you are and what you do, but they’re designed to create communities and sell your products and services.
Guys, I say this with EARNEST; EVERY SINGLE PAGE you have online needs to help guide your readers to achieve something, even if that something is simply “read the page”. You need to get knee-deep in your Analytics (look, at least dip your toe in) to find out what works and what doesn’t.
Stop checking out what everyone else is doing and just assuming chucking a sign up form here and a “Buy my shit” bomb there works because everyone else has it too. Firstly, other people and their businesses aren’t you, and secondly, MOST PEOPLE AREN’T CHECKING IF IT WORKS, EITHER.
My top tips for creating a website that nails the focus for your visitors:
1. For each page (start with one, the one that gets the most traffic is usually a good starter-for-ten), figure out what you actually want people to do on the page. One action is best (sign up? Read something? Watch a video?), but keep the actions to under three per page.
2. Make sure that page includes at least one hyper-easy, uber-obvious way to complete that action (want someone to read to the end? Make sure the copy is readable, interesting, engaging and you’re using a decent font. Want people to sign up? Is there a sign up form and a compelling enough reason to sign up?)
3. Think of being a visitor on your website. Does it flow? Is it as obvious and easy to complete the action as you want? If you can’t tell, ASK PEOPLE and get their feedback
4. Check your analytics software – Google Analytics is perfect for this. Graphs are NOT SCARY (I promise), this is data that tells you what works and what doesn’t. Adjust pages that need improvement.
YOU CAN TOTALLY DO THIS, and you know what? I even CREATED A CRASH COURSE for Google Analytics which dropped this week – GET ON IT!
Always be focusing.