As an entrepreneur, having a website is no longer "a good idea" or "helpful." It’s vital. As of January, there were more than 3 billion active Internet users (an increase of 7 percent from 2014). With this exponential growth, staying on top of these trends will determine the success of your business both off and online.
While having a website is a step in the right direction, there are a few things most entrepreneurs may be missing that are affecting their conversion rates, online growth, and a genuine connection with their audience.
1. Speak to one person.
It is so easy to want to be liked by everyone and afraid of being in too much of a niche (or afraid of turning anyone away). However, even if you are just starting out, you need to start focusing on who you are speaking to throughout your website. This will come across in your copy, branding and even the images you use throughout your site. Why is this important? As Marie Forleo once said, “If you’re speaking to everyone you are speaking to no one.” Take time to narrow your target audience to one specific person. By doing so, you will not only become clear on what to include on your pages but you will also establish a stronger connection with your audience making them more inclined to subscribe to your offerings.
2. Stop focusing on social media.
Many entrepreneurs rely solely on social media as a way to interact with their audience. While there is nothing wrong with using it as a tool, the one important factor that is taken away is control. By only using social media to promote your business and engage with your audience, you are at the discretion of that platform as to what you can do, who will see your posts, and, should they close up in the morning, so will that list of followers. The solution? Ensure you have a clear opt-in on your homepage (Nathalie Lussier's PopupAlly is a great tool for WordPress users) and regularly engage with those subscribers via email. Including a free offering (such as an e-book) is also a great way to encourage sign-ups, but always ensure you are offering something of value that would truly benefit your target market. You can then promote this offering on social media but the intention is now to drive people back to your website.
3. Invest in your photos.
This next tip is less obvious but can really slow down your online growth if it is missed: your photos. Even if your budget is small, I cannot stress how important it is to have professional photos of either yourself, your products or business on your website. No matter how “kind” your friend is to offer to take photos of you with her new camera, investing in a photo shoot with an experienced professional is the key to making a strong first impression and establishing credibility with new web visitors.
4. Be clear.
Think of your website as your “online storefront.” Whenever a new web visitor stops by your website, you want to make it clear exactly what you want them to do. Without an obvious “next step” on your homepage, your visitors will either lose interest or be confused and leave. Avoid cluttering your homepage as well and focus on a clear call to action above the page fold. Doing this will take out the guess work and you are now no longer relying on your web visitors to scroll through your page.
Use these tips throughout your website and I know you will notice a difference not only in your conversions but also the genuine connection you are making with your audience. While there is no “magic solution,” by knowing your website’s purpose and being clear, you will make the process so much easier and enjoyable for your web visitors.