An easy-to-follow DIY checklist to help you update your website.
Is updating your website one of those things you’ve always been meaning to do? Does it get pushed to the back of the to-do-list, week after week, and now it’s become this mammoth task? Or do you feel like you don’t even know where to start?
Whether you’ve found yourself with some extra time, need to make updates to reflect changes in your business, or want to tackle one change at a time – now might be time to stop putting things off and get your website into shape.
I’ve put together a list of 8 key things that any service-based business can do to improve their website and help turn website visits into enquires.
Note: I talk a lot about your ‘ideal customer’. This is a profile of the ideal person or business you want to work with. Having an idea of who this is means you can develop a really clear message – something you’ll need given that we have just seconds to get their attention online.
1. Be clear on your offer or service.
You know that feeling you get when you’re searching for something online, and you come across exactly what you’re looking for?
Make that feeling happen for your ideal customer. When they first visit your site, make it easy to see what you have to offer and how it relates to them or the problem they are having. Then show them how you, specifically, can solve their problem.
Goal: My ideal customer can easily see how I can help them.
2. Address your ideal customer’s pain points, desires, fears.
There’s a reason why your ideal customer needs your business – they have a specific problem they want to be solved. Think about the problem are they facing beyond a transactional sense, including the emotions they feel about their problem and how they want to feel when it’s solved.
Are they looking for a lawyer who can talk to them in plain English? A photographer who has a knack for working with newborns? A nutritionist who doesn’t follow diet fads or make them feel guilty about eating chocolate?
Goal: My ideal customer feels seen and heard as I’ve directly addressed their pain points.
3. Check your navigation.
The way your site is structured makes a big impact on how long your ideal customer stays on your website. And the easier you make it for them to find the information they need, the more likely they are to make an enquiry.
Your website navigation should be simple:
- Use words your target audience can understand – which means calling a blog, a blog, for example.
- Include pages that they would expect to see from a services business, such as ‘About, ‘Services’, ‘Testimonials’, ‘Blog/News’ and ‘Contact’.
- Avoid being creative with your navigation menu, which can confuse users.
- Think about your ideal customer and how they would logically use your site to find the information they need.
Goal: My navigation is clear, simple and makes sense.
4. Does your homepage pass the ‘standalone’ test?
Think of your home page as a single landing page. It should include everything your ideal customer would want to know about your business, with links to other pages for more information.
Things your home page should include:
- What you do.
- Who you do it for, including a pain point or two.
- A bit about you and/or your business and how that is relevant to your ideal customer.
- An overview of the services you offer.
- Some social proof (see tip 6 for details).
- Include a call to action (CTA) at the top and bottom of the page, giving visitors multiple opportunities to get in touch.
Goal: My home page has it all.
5. So, who even are you?
Your ‘About’ page can help differentiate you and your business from your competitors. And when it comes to service-based businesses, showing the person behind the brand can really work in your favour. This is your chance to connect, make your ideal customer feel like they know you, and get an idea of what it would be like to work with you.
‘About’ pages can be tricky, and there is no hard and fast rule. And while there is no right or wrong way to approach them, here are some tips on how to get the most out of your ‘About’ page:
- Include a photo of yourself. It amazes me how many people don’t do this. It’s a simple step that helps your ideal customer feel like they know and trust you.
- Describe yourself in a way that is relevant to your target audience. That means showcase parts of your work history, skills, and personality traits that will make them want to work with you.
- Tell a story. This is your chance to talk about yourself in a way that hooks in your ideal customer. You can talk about your backstory, any hurdles you’ve had to overcome or something that is unique about yourself.
Goal: My ‘About’ page gives my ideal customer exactly what they want to know about me.
6. Why should I work with you?
Social proof is the concept that people will follow the actions of the masses. And it can be super powerful when it comes to your website.
The more you can show that you have been trusted and recommended by others, the better the chance that you’ll turn website visits into enquiries. This can be difficult for businesses starting out, but is something all service-based businesses should be working on.
So how can you show social proof on your website?
- Client testimonials.
- Links to guest blog posts.
- Links to guest podcast appearances.
- Links to media mentions.
- Showcase collaborations with other businesses.
Goal: I have the proof.
7. Do you have a clear call to action?
Be clear on what you want people to do on your website and give them multiple opportunities to do so. Having a clear CTA means placing the CTA in logical places throughout the site, as well as having it stand out visually.
Goal: I’ve made it easy to get in touch.
8. Are you adding value?
Including value-add elements throughout your site is another way to differentiate you and your business. Elements such as ‘this is how I work’, downloadable checklists or blogs answering common concerns are great value-adds that help your ideal customer know, like and trust you.
Goal: I’ve got added value for my ideal customer.
And that’s it. 8 simple steps that will help you connect with your ideal customer. I think it might be time to update my own website too 😉