Assuming you have figured out who you want to attract to your website (you’ve done the work and defined a very specific niche whose problem you can solve best, and for whom you do your best work–because you love, LOVE, working with this type of client/customer), you can make sure that it will. If you haven’t worked on it yet, make sure it is one of your priorities to make future steps smooth and easy. An expert can help you figure this out, so don’t hesitate to reach out to her if you think this is an area you need to define. Before you can make sure your website attracts the right people, you need to figure out who they are, so make sure you do not do yourself and the future of your business a disservice by skipping this step.
Once you know–really “get”–who you want to attract, the first question is how to attract them to your website. After that, how to drive them on the website the right way once they arrive?
The Right Content
Does this seem obvious? It’s not. You have to think like your perfect, ideal client thinks. What will he or she search for online when they need you–your product or service? Does your website speak to this clearly and concisely? Does every page contain relevant, optimized content as it relates to your products and services–the value that you provide for your clients? You can learn how to optimize the pages of your website on your own, or tap into an expert like Tami Smith mentioned above to help you with this process.
The key is to ensuring you’re communicating with them in their language so both of you are on the same page in terms of context. They want to be aware of your entire process in order to solve their problem. They do not care about how great you are (yet). First and foremost answer this question: What will you do to solve your ideal client/customer’s problem? You can back it up with your wonderful credentials, reviews, and testimonials, but this is for your About page and should not be the centerpiece of your message.
The Right Appearance
If you had an office and were taking clients in for appointments, how would it need to look in order for them to feel relaxed and comfortable? Your website is no different. It is your base of operations online and the way it looks and feels matters to your visitor. In fact, it matters so much that it will influence their decision (in under four seconds) as to whether or not you are credible.
Your website visitors are not going to hop over to your about page and read your impressive bio or cv and think, “Well… they don’t know much about presentation, but they sure have a lot of great credentials…I think I’ll work with them even though they made a bad first impression on me.” It’s just not going to happen. Well…unless you are in an industry where scarcity rules and you are the only one out there who can service your market. If not, they will find someone else in one click. Harsh?
Ask Yourself if you would rather do business at Kmart or Target? Why? Think it over and believe me when I tell you that your brand image matters. The way you present yourself and your message matters–a LOT. Don’t neglect it: if your website is not user friendly and doesn’t leave the right impression to your visitors, you’re leaving a lot on the table.
Who do you want to attract and how you want them to interact with you once they’ve found you will deeply inform the appearance of your website. Are you selling to a large base of people who want what you have to offer at a low price point (Kias)? Or are you selling an exclusive product or service at a high price point (Cadillacs)?
If you are unsure about your brand (“Gosh…what is the right appearance for my ideal client/customer anyway?”), and serious about your business (business is for gladiators…so I’m assuming you are serious), you need to contact an expert like Maria Ross of Red Slice for a Slice Session or BootCamp Workshop. In one day, she’ll help you get your brand and messaging on the right track–and your business, and future clients will thank you for it. Actually, you’ll thank her because you’ll be taking your business to the next level by making sure your website has the right appearance and messaging for your perfect client/customer. Now they will know they are in the right place when they land on your website, and be able to get the help they are looking for–the solution that you can provide for them better than anyone else in your niche!
Focused Inbound Strategy
Where do your potential customers hang out online? This is where you need to be; sharing your content, advertising your solution (not your product or service…your solution), establishing yourself as an industry expert, meeting people (online networking), etc. Keep the links back pointing to your website, probably to a page or pages that contain the most relevant. A big part–especially in the beginning–of making sure your people will find you online is getting out there and in front of them. Some of the major platforms are:
- FB Page and Groups
- LinkedIn Groups
- YouTube Channel
- Google+ Communities
- Email Newsletters etc.
The more links you have going back to related content on your website, the more Google will determine your relevance and enable your website to be more easily found in organic search for related search terms. Your social media profiles establish not only important backlinks to your website, but also enable you to begin building a community around your brand–all important for your overall online visibility.
With the right content strategy, you stay on top of the competition that speaks and communicates to your clients how you’re going to ease their work. Finally, with the right inbound strategy, make sure you are getting in front of them by spreading your content across online places you know they are likely to congregate, making your solution visible to them and providing links back to related content at every stop.