Hey there! Thanks to Maggie Perotin who provides many online spaces for women to connect, learn from each other, and cheer each other on in our respective business journeys. I am a web designer and tech consultant for rockstar women business owners. I’m passionate about raising the voice, economic level, & impact of the female solopreneur!
One thing that I really enjoy is doing website assessments, where I get to take a look at all aspects of a website, including its usability and design, branding, copy, customer journey, site speed, mobile responsiveness, and SEO. These are 10 things I tell my clients again and again. Often these minor improvements can make a huge difference in attracting your ideal client and establishing yourself as a professional in your field.
1. Include a photo above the fold
I’m talking to you! Yes, you! I see you trying to hide way down low on your home page, or maybe way over on your about page. My friends, we want to get to know you, and the quickest way to do that is to see your friendly face. Plus, putting yourself first shows you are confident in your brand, what you are selling, and is a model and reminder to other women (and all people) out there: we are confident, we are brave, we are putting ourselves out there, we are successful, and we are doing great things!!!
2. Have a short eye-catching headline that conveys what you do and who you help
You have maybe 10 seconds to capture a visitor’s attention and keep them scrolling on your site. And that window of attention span is sadly getting shorter and shorter. What do you think the first thing people want to know is when they come to your page? “Do I like you?” and “Can you help me?” Seriously – that’s it. Catch them with a great headline so they know immediately you’re the one to help them with the transformation they are seeking with whatever it is you do.
3. Include an email option above the fold
Next question – what is the first thing you want them to DO on your page?
If you’re selling a personal brand or service, most likely BUY NOW isn’t going to work right away. It can take some time to build relationships. People need to get to know you before there is enough “know, like, and trust” for them to make a purchase from you.
So what’s the best way to do this?
Get them on your email list! You want to have an opt in above the fold so right when they get there and after they see your photo and read your headline, they say to themselves “heck yeah, I want to know more!”
4. Come up with a great freebie and call to action
Ok, you might have to use a little bribery to get them on your email list. Bribery is not all bad – I sometimes have to bribe my daughter with candy to get her through a difficult hike (don’t judge).
She gets the candy, I get a hike free of complaints. Win-win. The point is people might need a little motivation to say yes and get on your email list. And people LOVE getting something they need or find valuable for free. Just make sure you are being responsible and respectful with their private information.
So how do you come up with a freebie?
Well, obviously you’re good at something if you’ve decided to make a business out of it. What are some of the best freebies you’ve received when you’ve signed up for an email list? There are tons of great ideas out there. Come up with something that gives away a little of your golden knowledge and skills. People will see how amazing you are and want to learn more.
Again tell them about this bribe, I mean freebie, ABOVE THE FOLD.
5. Don’t put too much text on home page
Remember that super short attention span? This one is difficult for me to convey to clients because they have obviously spent a lot of time and care writing the copy for their home page.
I’m sorry to tell you this, but most people will simply scan your home page copy to see if they like the “jist” of you, what you offer, and what you’re all about. Then, once you impress the socks off of them with your succinct and professional home page, they will decide to explore your other pages or get on your email list to learn more.
Especially on your home page, don’t overwhelm your visitors with too many details, your life story, or how you met your cat (a photo is ok though if it works with your vibe – I do want to meet your cat, but save the story for another page or another day). Think headlines, bullet points, short and sweet copy to make them super curious to get to know you better.
6. Your copy is written in the first person for and about your ideal client
Speaking of copy – you need to be talking to and about your ideal client and what THEY need. Again, no offense, but your website is less about you than you might think. People want to know if you are talking to them in particular and how they can benefit from your service. Get inside your ideal client’s head – what are they struggling with? What do they wish they could improve? What would life look like if their problem was solved?
7. Lookin’ good on mobile
Yep, it’s true. So many people will use their phones to check out your website for the first time. They are going to have 10 minutes while they wait for their kiddo at kung fu practice and be looking up divorce coaches. They might be decompressing from a stressful work meeting on their way home on a crowded post-Covid bus and be thinking “I really need to find a good massage therapist”. They might be stuck on the side of the road waiting for AAA after being forced into a snowbank by a semi and be looking up women-only small group travel options for next spring.
The point is, make sure your site looks awesome on mobile too.
8. Consistent branding throughout your site
Branding is really fun. It’s where you get to be creative, show the personality of your brand and what you’re all about. It consists of your logo, your brand colors, fonts, imagery.
It also gives your viewers a pretty good clue about your professionalism.
Often I see sites with inconsistent branding: different colors or fonts on each page, buttons with different shapes or colors, images that don’t really go together. Spend a little time choosing one “theme” for your brand and go through your site with a fine-tooth comb to make sure everything is consistent throughout your site.
9. SEO basic hygiene
I get it my friends, SEO is a huge rabbit hole you could get lost in for weeks. It’s like another 400 level class. Ugh, not another one on this entrepreneurial journey…! Don’t worry! Let’s just clean up the basics, ok? A plugin like Yoast SEO really can help.
At the minimum make sure every single page on your site has a Title and Description. Understand keywords and how to use them. Use appropriate header tags. And that’s it – now you know how to brush your website’s teeth – ok that’s maybe not such a great analogy.
10. Make sure your site is accessible!
An accessible website gives your readers the ability to consume your content, use your services, or purchase your products, no matter their device or ability of your end-user. Make sure your fonts look good together and are sized appropriately. I know it’s fun, but use fancy fonts sparingly – these can sometimes be difficult to read.
Make sure all images have an alt-text description – this is super important! The alt-text is the description screen readers use when “reading” your image – make it as descriptive as possible so you don’t end up frustrating your end-user (plus it’s helpful for SEO). Check out Hannah Wolfram’s website and services if you want to learn more about this!
Well, there you have it – the top 10 mistakes I frequently see on the solopreneur’s website.
Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or would be interested in a website assessment for your site. You can find me at meadowlark.tech
Enjoy the journey!!
Meet the author – Cory Peterson
Cory is the founder of Medowlark Consulting works with women business owners to build their businesses and share their talents with the world.
Visit her website here at anytime, especially if:
- You need a new website in order to attract your ideal client.
- Your current website is feeling old or clunky, or you are looking for more functionality. (Do you want your clients to be able to make appointments online? Would you like to be able to accept online payments? We can make that happen!)
- You’re curious about what you can do to get more online presence and more clients.
- You want to establish a more professional look for your website or your business as a whole.
- You want to establish yourself as an expert in your field and showcase your strengths and/or your portfolio.