I was on a coaching call with my Black Diamond members last week, and one of the questions was, “Why do I need a website?”
At first, you might think it’s a silly question. I mean everyone knows you need a website if you’re in business, right?
Well, I think it’s one of the smartest questions I’ve ever had.
Because there are so many websites out there that are useless! Yes, useless (even really pretty looking sites).
Asking about best practise before you go off and spend thousands of dollars on a site is a pretty smart move in my opinion.
According to data from the Nielsen Norman Group, most new visitors will only hang around for 59 seconds or less when they first arrive at your site. This is why your website needs to have a clear, and ‘to the point’ message.
Add to that, 75% to 96% of people will never go back to your site if it is too complicated, boring, has a slow server, or is unappealing to customers.
So before we get started, let’s de-bunk a myth I hear often; a website should be like your online business card.
Seeing as most business cards live in your pocket or purse for years, or collect dust on your desk before being thrown away months (or even years) later, it’s probably not a great idea to think about a website as an online business card.
So, what do we need to consider when we’re building an authority site?
There are two main outcomes you should be aiming to achieve with your authority site:
- Authority positioning, and
- Lead generation
So how can you do that? Let’s dive right in!
1. Authority Positioning
Almost every potential customer expects a business to have an online presence. Before they even start to pick what products or services they want to buy, they will first look at your site to look for information.
Prospects always want to know how reliable your business can be before spending any amount of money. Moreover, having an online presence (with information about who you are and how people can reach you) will make it easier for people to trust you. They will know that you are a professional who wants to provide them a solution to their problem.
There will be two types of people visiting your site:
a) prospects who are looking for someone to solve their problem
b) people who are looking to feature you (speaking, media, etc.)
Important things to include on your site for authority positioning:
- The first thing visitors need to see when they land on your site is your professional image. This image must convey you as the authority in your industry. If you want to be taken seriously, do not use a selfie!
- Your authority positioning statement, which is a short explanation of your ideal client, and the outcome you help them achieve. This needs to be right at the top of your page – the first thing people see when they land on your site, that has them knowing they’re in the right place.
- Media citations should sit right under your lead magnet, which provide credibility.
- Media Page – including links to podcast/radio interviews, TV/YouTube appearances, links to publications you’ve been featured in or have written, and information about speaking gigs or trainings you’ve presented.
- If you’re a speaker, a Keynote page is also recommended- this page should clearly explain your topics, and an outline of what someone can expect if they hire you as a speaker.
2. Lead Generation
The second most important reason you have a website, is to generate leads for your business.
There are three types of offers you need to have on your website:
Green Offer – for cold leads. These are people who are just coming across you for the first time, so they want to know more about you. Offer a freebie, also known as a lead magnet, in exchange for their email address so you can continue to stay connected with them seeing they are unlikely to visit your site again.
Orange Offer – for warm leads. These are people who have seen a little of what you do, and want to know more about you. A webinar is a great offer for these people to invest some time getting to know more about how you can help them.
Red Offer – for hot leads. These are people who have the ‘know, like and trust factor’, and want to take the next step with you. A red offer could be a strategy call, or a link to your program.
So when you’re designing your website, while branding is important, you need to make sure your website is positioning your authority, and generating leads.
Is your website ticking both these boxes?