When a potential client stops by your website, what is the first thing you want them to see?
Is it your coaching packages, your latest digital program, a sign-up form for your mailing list? All too often we have so many products and so much information to share we don’t take the time decide what is most important.
When there’s no obvious starting point visitors can get quickly overwhelmed and leave before you have a chance to make a connection.
Give your visitors a roadmap
Think of your website as a roadmap. It should direct clients to the information they are searching for as well as the items that you deem most important. Whether you’d like them to learn more about what you do, buy a product, or follow you on Twitter, your website needs to tell them where to start and what to do next.
In order to get organized, you’ll want to take stock of everything you’re publishing/promoting on your homepage and then rate each item from most important to least.
Say you have one link to download free worksheets and another link for the top 10 books you recommend to clients. Why not group them into a drop-down menu item called “best resources,” or create a bright, bold button that says, “Click here for my favorite resources to get you started!” so that people see exactly where you’d like them to go?
Make the #1 item the focus of your homepage, whether it’s an upcoming event, your best selling product, or your latest blog post. Then showcase the next three to four items at a smaller scale, lower on the page or in the sidebar.
Finally, evaluate the rest of the potential avenues available to web visitors that are on your list. Is it important that users see these items immediately upon opening your site? Remove anything that doesn’t make the cut and transfer the rest of the list to the bottom portion of your site or combine items into one button or block.
I recommend updating your homepage on a weekly basis. You want to keep it fresh and relevant so your clients and readers will keep coming back to see what you have to offer. If you aren’t updating weekly, one alternative is to at least refresh your opt-in freebie on a monthly or quarterly basis.
Your Website Check-up
If you’re not sure whether your website is easy to navigate and directs users to the most important stuff first, there are two things you can do.
First, take a look at your Google Analytics and check your bounce rate. This is the number of people who visited your site and didn’t move to a second page. AKA, the number of people who opened your site and were smacked in the face with so much information they turned around and left.
According to Google, the average bounce rate for content sites is 40 to 60 percent and 70 to 98 percent for blogs. Lower bounce rates are better! You’ll get much more conversion if only 20 percent of people leave your site after looking at a single page, than if 90 percent do.
Second, try having someone who didn’t grow up around computers check out your site (moms and grandmas are usually good for this! 😉 Next time you visit, have them open your site and ask for top three things they notice. Then ask them to find a piece of important information, such as your coaching packages or how to contact you. It’s the ultimate test to see if your site is user-friendly. If grandma can do it, anybody can!
By creating a homepage that is easy to navigate and content that is easy to locate you’ll be able to grow your traffic and point new visitors in the direction that will turn them into clients instead of stopping them in their tracks before they have a chance to get to know you.
Sarah Morgan is an award winning web designer, blog and business consultant, circus performer, and aerial instructor from just outside Detroit. She thrives on helping people grow their own websites, make the leap from unfulfilling jobs, and be brave in business and in life. In 2012 she quit her corporate design job to literally run away with the circus and get back to what she loves – working with bloggers and small businesses to create a killer online presence. Through her blog and ebooks, Sarah inspires readers to turn their passion into a job they love and build strong, successful online brands.