HOW TO BAN WEBSITE SHAME

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Alright I’m going to get real honest here. Some websites suck. They look like they came from the 90s and that's not doing anyone any favours. Is yours one of them? I hope not, but just in case please read on to find out if you need a website revamp.

The reason I wanted to talk to you about this is because I’ve been seeing a lot of really bad websites lately. It might sound like I’m being sassy or snarky, but I really mean well. I wouldn’t write this post if I didn’t care about your business succeeding.

The thing is that your website is uber important for your business. And it doesn’t matter if your business is brick and mortar or fully online.  A website can make or break a business. According to Yelp, 85% of consumers use the Internet to find local businesses. So having a professional business website is absolutely necessary. 

Think about your own personal experience. If you went to a website that was unprofessional, confusing and simply ugly, would you stick around? I wouldn’t! I’d find another place to peruse.

The truth is it doesn’t matter how good you are at what you do or how nice you are in this case because the people searching you online have no personal rapport with you yet. So you must impress them with your beautifully designed website to hook them on first impression, so that they are enticed to come and get to know you, which will ultimately get them to buy from you.

One of the biggest mistakes I see new entrepreneurs do is not having professional photos on their website. Selfies DO NOT count as professional photos! Please please please, put a little effort into taking a good photo of yourself to put on your ‘About’ page or any other page necessary for your business. If you don’t know how to do this, you don’t have to hire the most expensive photographer out there (if funds are an issue). There are a lot of fantastic photographers out there who are new at their craft and offer great introductory prices. All it takes is a little research. Pictures of you sitting in your house with random furniture in the background are a big no-no. Getting your hair done nicely and putting on some makeup wouldn’t hurt either.

Secondly, your website should be clear and concise, not cluttered or confusing. It should be your number one ‘sales agent’ to work for you while you sleep. That means, people should be able to log on to your website and be able to purchase your products or services quickly and easily without having to contact you for support. If I ever come across a website that makes it complicated for me to buy something, I’m gone out of there like lightning, never to return. My time is too precious to waste on back and forth communication with support and so is everyone else’s.

Again, this doesn’t have to be the most expensive project. If you have a big budget, you can of course hire a professional web designer who’ll do all the work for you. However, if money is tight at the beginning, there are so many really inexpensive options out there to create your own beautiful website. You can’t say you have no choices. It might take a little longer to do it yourself, but you must be willing to put in your best effort into your business if you want to succeed.

Always think about how you’d like your potential client to feel when they visit your website. Do you want them to feel motivated, inspired, playful…? Perhaps you want them to feel supported and safe, so they want to keep coming back. Do you want them to feel a sense of adventure? Whatever it is, incorporate it into your branding. Not only on your website, but everywhere else. Make sure you’re consistent in how you appear online on different platforms because that’s how you’ll build trust.

Most importantly, make it personable, so your visitors can relate to you on a deeper level. Show off who you really are, be authentic. When you do that, you’ll ban website shame for good because you’ll be comfortable showing it off when you know you’ve poured your heart and soul into it.

The truth is, when you create a website based on someone else’s design, you end up feeling like a fraud. You’ll never feel good about yourself when you copy someone’s style because it will never really suit you.

And if you’re not sure how to judge your own website, ask around! It can be hard to judge your own work. Don’t be shy about asking for feedback. Go to Facebook groups and ask people to give your their honest opinion of their first impressions when they visit your website. For example, you can join my private Facebook group AUTHENTIC ENTREPRENEURS MASTERMIND and talk to all the other boss ladies in there.

Or simply ask your friends. Keep in mind, this is to help you improve, so always welcome constructive criticism without getting your feelings hurt. Another great tool is Peek by User Testing and it’s free! Simply post your website and get strangers to give you feedback about your website.

So how do you feel about your current website? Does it represent you honestly? Do you feel proud of it? If not, what changes can you make now to fix that? Hop in to the discussion area if you have any ideas and start a conversation. I look forward to seeing your comments!

Marta