Are You Using Your Website Strategically

July 22, 2019

Can you believe we are over halfway through the year?! Time moves fast and it moves even faster when you are busy making things happen for your business. Perhaps you are scratching your head looking back at the last six months and wondering… what the heck did I accomplish? Where is the growth? The needle on the dial didn’t budge! Enter all of the frustrated emotions. Or, perhaps you got a taste of how good business can be, but you are left wondering how in the world you make that consistent. So many variables go into getting to the root of these problems. And of course it would take more than one blog post to evaluate ALL of the things and what the root cause is for each individual business, but I want you to sit down and give thought to this one thing when it comes to your website:  Are you using your website strategically?

I get it. You had this brilliant idea, decided to start a business, jumped on Wix and took it live with so much excitement. However, all you have heard is crickets. And you sit there day after day wondering when the money will start rolling in. And then awhile after that the doubt starts to creep in. That maybe you aren’t good enough. Or your product is a stinker. But did you take the time to figure out your website strategy? Your website is not meant to be built and simply sit there. That means you wasted your time and money. Your website is an ever-evolving tool that is a huge piece of your marketing.

Are you using your website with a strategy? I'm breaking a few things down on why you may not be hitting the numbers you want to and why your website should get a lot more of your attention. Catch it on the Kara Layne & Co. blog! #BusinessTips #BusinessManagement #SEO #GoogleRankings

Assume the role of your customer. We’ll call her Dorothy. What tools have you given her to get to Oz? Did you invest the appropriate time to figure out how you were going to use your website to guide your potential customers? Did you plan out a proper way to utilize your blog to solidify your position as an expert in what you do? Does your website offer helpful information or is it merely a pretty visual? I want to offer up a few ideas to get you on the right track.

#1: A properly designed website

This one is a no brainer. Your website needs to be visually attractive. You need to have clear and organized navigation to ensure that potential customers can get to where they want to go and find what they want to find. Every single page needs to be designed properly with SEO, CTA and consistent branding. Why? Because your home page isn’t always the page that your potential customer will land on.

Remember, they are being brought to your sight by other referrals. If they came across your article on LinkedIn, they will see that blog post first and then hopefully stay to click onto your home page to get the full perspective of what it is that you offer. If they searched on Google “how to organize my taxes” they will click on that specific tutorial you shared and be taken to that.

It is imperative that no stone is left unturned when it comes to your website.

#2: Mobility is king

I have talked about this before the importance of ensuring that your site is mobile friendly. And as we move forward with technology, it’s more imperative now more than ever. As of July 1st, Google now indexes mobile web pages first. And if you have not yet taken the proper steps to ensure your site is mobile-friendly, that is the reason you have seen extreme changes in your traffic. Test your site here with Google’s test tool.

And if you haven’t yet looked into all of this for your own business, here is further evidence from my own business. This is a screenshot of my analytics and where my traffic is coming from.

Are you using your website with a strategy? I'm breaking a few things down on why you may not be hitting the numbers you want to and why your website should get a lot more of your attention. Catch it on the Kara Layne & Co. blog! #BusinessTips #BusinessManagement #SEO #GoogleRankings

The blue indicates how much of my traffic accessed and browsed my site from a mobile device. The red indicates how much of my traffic viewed from a tablet and the green indicates browsers using a desktop.

#3: Utilizing space to share promotions and news

Do you have a favorite clothing brand that you subscribe and receive emails for? You know a huge sale is happening because you get the promotions, info and details right in your inbox. But have you noticed that when you go to their website, you are also greeted with the sale info?

Take Nordstrom for example. We all know by the countless of influencers sharing about their favorite sale finds as well as by the emails that yes, the anniversary sale is happening. Take a look at their website and you will see the same thing. For weeks now. Why? Because it is so important to reach traffic in all the ways. Perhaps you think that only the names on your email list are the ones who care about a promotion you are running.

However, what about the potential customer that doesn’t even know about you yet? If they stumble across your site, see that there is a sale and decide to try out your product or service for a good deal, you possibly just gained a life long evangelist for your brand.

Your website, just as your email list and social media, is meant to work for you. So utilize it. Stop forgetting about it!

#4: Using your blog as a resource

I see it a lot. People think they need a blog for their business (and I would venture to say everyone does), but then they forget about it. It starts to collect dust. And potential customers come across your last post in 2017 and wonder if you will give them the same kind of care and attention. This may seem extreme, but this is the psychology of buying and purchasing. These thoughts are what goes through the mind of your potential client or customer.

One industry that I see struggle in this area more so than others are photographers. I originated from this industry so I promise I speak from experience. So many are either not using their blog at all or simply using it to share recent work. Guess what? That’s what your portfolio and website galleries are for!

Now, don’t get me wrong. You absolutely want to share your latest wedding and link to all of the vendors and really utilize the SEO in those posts to show up in search engines for that particular area or venue. However, infuse really solid content in your blog as well. For example, if you are a wedding photographer you could discuss the importance of a first look. You could share about the proper timeline to follow on the big day to ensure the right photographs are taken.

If you are a headshot photographer you could discuss what patterns look best on camera. If you are a family portrait photographer, you could share your advice on wardrobe and styling to get the most out of their annual holiday portraits.

No matter your industry, you have expert advice to be shared aside from your latest work. Use your blog to solidify yourself as the expert and why others would want to invest in you and what you offer.

#5: Incorporating strong visuals

Sometimes a client will come to us with really strong copy for their website, but that’s all it is. A lot of reading for the viewer which doesn’t translate into revenue. I came across these statistics gathered by CrowdRiff and they are so eye-opening.

From those statistics, it is said that the average person only reads 20% of a web page, but will view every image. Take the time to survey your site. Figure out where stronger visuals would break things up and draw in more attention. And don’t forget about video! Shoppers who view video are 1.81 times more likely to purchase than non-viewers.

So friend, now is the time to evaluate. If you are frustrated, seek help in finding the answers (I am all ears so simply leave a comment below). If you know you need to take the step to invest in your business do it. Whether that be professional copywriting, a business coach or to collaborate with a designer on properly building a brand identity and online presence. Or perhaps it’s blocking out time to sit down and audit yourself and your website. Figure out where the holes are. Is it worth more to stay lost, confused and frustrated or to finally have peace of mind and confidence in the direction your business is headed?

If your 2019 hasn’t gone the way you had hoped, now is the time to switch things up. Doing the same thing, again and again, expecting different results is the definition of insanity. And if your 2019 is moving forward, no matter how slow, don’t forget to stop and take the opportunity to celebrate the growth. Because it is a wonderful thing.

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