Disclosure: Some of these links are affiliate links, meaning that I get a little kick-back if you click and make a purchase at no additional cost to you. This helps to support this blog so I can continue creating content for you. I only ever include links to products that I personally use and would recommend with or without affiliation.
Do you feel a little stuck when it comes to your website? Maybe you’re hesitant to show it off or maybe you love the design but it’s not quite drawing your target audience in the way you want it too. I totally get it.
Without going into full deconstruction mode there are a few small tweaks you can make to, for lack of a better word, just give your website a face-lift. A good website should be visually appealing but it also needs to get you the results you want and that goes beyond your aesthetics.
CALL TO ACTIONS
So you can’t expect people to do something if you don’t ask. A call to action is super important. This can be a button to have someone sign up for your newsletter, or book a free consultation call. It depends on what you’re wanting people to do when they come to your site.
You should have at least one call to action per page and brownie points if it’s placed “before the fold”. This means the topmost part of any page screen before you start scrolling. Of course, everyone’s websites are different so you have to feel where it is best to place.
Regardless of where you put your call to action, you want to make sure it is seen and grabs your audience’s attention. Make sure it is legible, play with colour, bold it or turn it into a banner so no one just scrolls past it.
If you have a newsletter go a step further beyond just posting “subscribe”. If you were on someone else’s site and that’s what you saw would that stop you in your tracks to sign up? Instead, try offering something to your audience. Offer some sort of freebie that will be helpful to them and make them actually stop and want to sign up.
RE-VAMP YOUR ABOUT PAGE
In all honesty, I’m sick of hearing people say that you should remove or leave an about page for last in your navigation because your audience doesn’t care. This is so not true. In the age of social media, people like to follow people. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.
If you are a blogger or own your own business you are very much the person behind your website and people need to see it. Sorry to sound harsh but you aren’t the only one doing what you’re doing. The biggest thing that makes your blog, service or business is unique is you. So show yourself, if people find a connection with you as a person your website will be more memorable I promise.
Think about it, if you need to hire a photographer and you’re down to two people with amazing portfolios and qualifications. You have no clue about Jane Doe and she talks about her years of schooling which is great but you don’t even know how she looks like. And then there’s Janet Doe, she has a few great pictures of herself and she looks fun to work with. She has a super cute dog and you both are obsessed with Game of Thrones. Who will you choose?
This being said if you have a long essay under your about page sharing your life story we need to switch things up a little bit. Most of your viewers are wanting to get information quickly. The majority of people will probably be viewing your website on mobile and you don’t want them to be endlessly scrolling, in fact, most of them won’t.
You obviously want to share what your website is about, but don’t forget to be a little personal. Yes, I know for some of you this makes you cringe. Trust me this was probably my least favourite part it’s so awkward to talk about yourself but it will really help your online presence. Find fun ways to show your personality and have something that your audience can connect to or remember you buy. Try out a fast facts section, a fake personality quiz or picture slideshow to grab your audience’s attention.
TOUCH UP YOUR WEBSITE COPY
So disclaimer, I am not a copywriter. But from being a consumer of information and taking a few short courses I’ve learned a trick or two on how to not bore your audience to death droning on and on. Instead, you can create copy that is easy to read and catches your readers’ eye so they actually read what you have to say and don’t skim past it.
The biggest thing I can tell you is to break up your paragraphs. People don’t want to feel like their reading a book. Remember we want quick and concise so people actually read what you have to say. Here are a few ways you can break up your text:
- Utilise headers – create sections and sub-sections, people’s eyes gravitate to headers to see if the content is something they’re interested in.
- Use bold text, all caps, highlights, colour and italics (not all at once, you don’t want to look crazy) to draw the reader’s eye to important information. If they aren’t going to read everything you say what are the few things you would really want to make sure they don’t miss?
- Use lists, bullets, numbers, etc. to organise information.
GET YOUR BRAND PHOTOGRAPHY ON POINT
This one is hard because although I think we can all agree that having a personal brand photographer at our disposal 24/7 for all our photography needs would be amazing, that’s probably not realistic for the grand majority of humanity.
BUT that doesn’t negate the importance of having on-brand photography. Ever come across a stunning website that just has the crappiest pictures? Yeah, not good at all.
Having a great design to your website is so important but if your pictures are terrible it just takes away from everything. Good photography is a must-have, non-negotiable.
Beyond just having good photography you want it to be on-brand. Meaning it has to match your brand colours, your brand vibe. You want all your pictures to look like they aesthetically fit with each other and your website and branding (all the way through to your Social Media).
In all honesty, brand photography is one of those things that if you can’t quite do it well by yourself it’s something that you might want to consider paying someone to help.
If you just need something to get you by until you can hire someone (because that’s a great deal of us), here are a few things you can do:
- Use stock photography – again this is when you don’t have other options. Sites like Unsplash or Pixabay have really good quality free stock images you can use. I would do some digging because since they are free several people use them and you don’t necessarily want people being able to recognise the image you use because they’ve seen it 20 times already on other sites. That being said this is still a great option.
- Train yourself or your friend. If you have a blog and you’re going to be needing a lot of pictures or even for social media, you might have to learn to take some pictures yourself. It might be worth the investment to get yourself a good quality camera, lenses and teach yourself some basic photography (you don’t and shouldn’t break the bank you don’t need that $2k camera right now). If you are taking mostly flat-lays your phone might even do. Learn to take good pictures and how to edit (and edit with similar settings so your images are cohesive). Take a few classes on Skillshare or Udemy and practice, practice, practice.
LESS IS MORE
Coco Chanel once said before you leave the house look at yourself and remove one accessory. Moral of the story:
Less. Is. More.
Yes, you want to stand out and be memorable BUT you don’t want to have a cluttered, confusing, gimmicky looking site. You don’t need to use every effect ever invented to have a good website. Often times going overboard looks quite unprofessional.
Yes, you want your site to be stunning but you want it to be easy to navigate, easy to understand. Creativity is important (you don’t want to look like everyone else) but doesn’t get so carried away that in the looks of everything your audience is overwhelmed.
I think there is something very sophisticated about simplicity. Look your site over and see if there is anything that is confusing to navigate or “too much” in terms of effects and design.
Better yet, do the mum test. Get your mother or, a friend or family member to navigate around your website. Sit with them and take notes of things they might click on or do and see if there are things you have to fix. Don’t talk just observe.
Well, there it is. 5 ways you can right now analyse your website and give it a little face-lift.