If you happened to come across my article because of my wonderfully click-baitey title, welcome!
If you’re offended, I’m sorry. I can’t help you there.
If you think your website is absolutely on point and its shit don’t stink, this article isn’t for you. Congratulations, you’ve won the internet! I’m truly impressed.👏👏👏
For the rest of you, I have some simple tips that can help your website suck a little less.
And the best part? You won’t need to hire a web designer to make these changes for you.
So let’s get to it!
First off, nobody knows what the F**ck to do
When a visitor comes to your website for the first time, what is the first thing they see? Is it a slideshow? A photo with no text? Maybe a photo of just your face?
This doesn’t help you.
When a visitor comes across your site and sees that kind of shit, you’re going to leave them utterly confused. They shouldn’t have to start digging through your site to find out what you’re all about.
When I see that on a website, about 9 times out of 10 it’s because you don’t have a clear brand message. How do you know if you have a clear brand message? You’ll know if your visitor can pass the “grunt” test. And the grunt test is asking these 3 simple questions:
Who do you have to offer?
What does it make the customer’s life better?
How does the customer pay you?
To learn more about the grunt test and how to clarify your brand message, I HIGHLY reccomend you read “How to Build Your Story Brand”. I am not affiliated with the author in any way, I just think it’s a really good read.
Impenetrable walls of small text are ridiculous
I see this a lot on small business websites that have been DIY’ed.
For whatever reason, people feel it’s necessary to have HUGE WALLS of text on their web pages with the font size of 14px and under.
When you do that, you’re going to make visitors click away from your website faster than you can blink. And this is especially true with blog posts.
THINK about it.
The majority of people will be looking at your website on a smartphone or tablet. How is that going to look when you’re website has tiny text? Don’t make your visitors have to put on their reading glasses.
If you find your webpages containing a lot of text. Again, you should really think about your messaging. Break your text up into smaller and easier to read sections, incorporate graphics, AND put it through the grunt test!
Remember this is your website copy, not a novel!
Nobody wants to hear your life story
I need to clarify something:
There is a HUGE difference between sharing your story to build a relationship with your customers and being completely irrelevant.
Here are some example scenarios where your life story WORKS for your website:
- You blog about working from home and you share your story about how you lost your job and learned how to be an entrepereneur
- You’re a nutritional coach and you tell the story of how you beat cancer
- You’re a lawyer and you share your story of how you became passionate about law
Do you notice something here?
The stories are personal. But they also help to establish an emotional connection and authority. Don’t talk about when you started your business, bought your office, or graduated college. Don’t even talk about your family or your kids.
THAT’S TOO BORING AND NOBODY CARES!
However, if you can tell a harrowing, emotional, or inspiring story that explains why you do what you do, and why you’re the best person to work with, tell that story instead!
Please, stop it with the cheesy stock photos
Have you ever used stock photos of overly smiley faces? Maybe they have a headset?
Please stop it.
This is the most impersonal thing you can do, and NOBODY is buying it.
If you have a small business, you’re better off having photos of your ACTUAL employees and the work environment. Even if they aren’t high quality, adding personal photos are going to have a higher impact.
This is especially true for bloggers.
If you’re a food blogger, take pictures of your food! If you’re a fashion blogger, take pictures in your curated outfits. I know this might sound insanely obvious, but because you can get a stock photo for almost anything under the sun, it’s so easy to use them as a substitute for your own photos.
Use your best judgement on this one. Think about the impact you want to make and how it relates to your brand. In many cases a stock photo will be appropriate, but if you overdue it your website will miss the personal touch that’s needed to establish a relationship with your visitors.
Well, does your website suck?
hopefully these tips help you to improve the quality of your site. Trust me, your visitors will be much happier about it.
Also published on Medium.