Top 3 Website Mistakes
My company has worked with literally thousands of clients and customers over the years, and because of that, I've had the opportunity to look at a lot of different websites. All kinds, bad, good, and so we're gonna learn from some of those today. So I want to jump in to those top three mistakes that people make with their websites, and how to fix them. It's funny, when I was putting this presentation together, I was using all these technical terms for my points. And when I went to edit it, I was like, who am I kidding? The bad websites on the internet are overwhelming, boring, and ugly, so we're just gonna start there. So number one, the biggest mistake that I see people make with their website is that their website is overwhelming. Mm-hmm, who's seen that? There's too much content, it's unorganized, and it's unclear. And I don't know about you guys, but when I go online looking for a particular product, I am busy. I got a long to-do list to accomplish, my house is a wreck, my dishes a...
re dirty, right? And so the last thing I'm gonna do is try to sit there and figure out your hot mess of a website. I just don't have time for that. I am not going to, I'm not gonna spend my time or my brain power trying to figure out what the heck this business even does, because at first glance I have no idea. I am not gonna spend my time wondering what to click next, because everything looks the same. And I am not gonna click on all of these navigation tabs in hopes to find what I'm looking for. And last but not least, I am not going to spend my time reading a book worth of content in order to actually understand your product. That is work, people. You're putting me to work so I can give you my money? No, I am not invested in your website or your company enough to go to that much work. I got a lot to do, okay? So, there are thousands of other websites to click over too, so in an instant, I'm gone. These days, people make a decision to stay or leave in the first three to five seconds of landing on a website. That's only one 1,000, two 1,000, three 1,000, gone. And that first impression, the one that literally only lasts seconds, can make it or break it. When your prospective customer lands on your website, and in a few minutes feels overwhelmed, then they feel frustrated. And when they feel frustrated, they lack trust, and when they don't trust you they won't buy from you, period. So let's look at a couple steps for simplifying that overwhelming website. Number one is cut down your content. Oftentimes when a business owner is creating their website, they feel inclined to include everything about their business. They have a detailed account of how they started, every team member and the long version of each of their bios. Every project they've ever completed in the history of their career, which I know some of you are probably guilty of, and anything they can possibly think of. They want to include as much content as possible just hoping that something will jump out and connect with someone. In other words, that could be called desperate. We don't want to look desperate. They want the short version. People do not want the long version, they want the short version. Your website needs to be crafted as a marketing tool so that your message is clear, simple, and effective. I love what Steve Krug says in his book Don't Make Me Think. He encourages people to get rid of half of the words on each page and then get rid of half of what's left. Leaving only the most important information. By reducing the visual noise, you'll make room for the useful content to stand out. Just last year, one of our clients came to us to redo his photography website. His vision was to focus on high-end weddings. But when it came time for us to actually begin working on his project, my team and I were surprised by all the content that he wanted to include. He wanted examples of senior portraits and all the information that came with senior portraits. He had examples of family portraits and all the information that came with family portraits. This was making the website structure for his brand really bloated. And it was getting really, really confusing for the end user. We are gonna need new navigation tabs and separate pages, separate inquiry forms, and there was a ton of copy for all of the services, and the entire website was just getting so crazy. It was getting more and more complicated. And it was making his wedding photography almost disappear into the background, which was not the purpose. Our purpose was to focus on high-end weddings. So when we talk with him about his intention to include all this content, he said, "Well technically I can photograph all that, "and yes I want to focus on high-end weddings, "but I also want to showcase all that I've done." Have any of you been in that situation? I know I have, I want it all on the website. We convinced him that if the goal was to focus on high-end weddings, then we needed to eliminate all the distractions that dilute the vision for his business. And again, I want to say that one more time. Eliminate all distractions that dilute the vision for your business. He agreed, and he really just needed the extra push and encouragement to step out and take that risk. So he cut out all the other photography services and focused his website solely on wedding photography. Now, with less distraction and a clearer message, he is thriving in his business and killing it in high-end weddings. Action step. Grab your favorite drink, find a comfy chair, and conduct a content audit of your website. Simply click through your website as if you had never seen it before, and cut out any product or service that distracts from the main goal of your business, and any extra copy or information that is bloating your website. Simplify your overwhelming website by streamlining your navigation. Now that the content is cut down and refined, we need to simplify the wireframe and organize the existing content so that it's not overwhelming. Oftentimes, I see websites with all 30 pages included at the top navigation. Yep, this is really overwhelming for people because they don't know what to look at next. Instead of having all of the pages in the main navigation, we should only include the pages that showcase the main goal of the business. This is telling people where they should spend their time. For example, if you are a shop owner and the main goal of your business is to sell product, this navigation structure would not be beneficial for you. As you can see, the shop, which is the main goal of the business, only takes up very little real estate in the entire navigation. We can't tell, when we land on this site, we can't tell where she wants us to spend our time, and I'm gonna guess that Karrie would rather have us buy one of her products now while we're on the website than just hope, I don't think she would want us to hope that we're just gonna visit a retailer sometime soon. She wants us to make that purchase. So, this is a better solution. The products need to be on display for the viewers to browse and easily make a purchase, and then any of the other pages that aren't as important can either go on the top or at the very bottom of the navigation, or of the website. Action step, first identify what the main goal is for your website. Then utilizing as little navigation tabs as possible, simplify and reorder the navigation to showcase the main goal. Number three, we're moving on. Simplify your overwhelming website by creating a call to action. This is probably the easiest action step that you can make and implement immediately and have the most results. And it's just a flat out ask for the sale. So you've already positioned your website to direct the viewer to where you want them to go, and now you just need to follow through with the last 10% and tell them exactly what to do next. So for example, last year I did some consulting for a church called Hillside, and I suggested they put a call to action on their website linking to whatever they wanted the viewer to do on their website. And their ultimate goal was to have new visitors visit their church on a Sunday. So they put a call to action that said Visit This Weekend, with a button and a link to more details and how to visit. And you guys, this was crazy. They implemented this new call to action in 2016, and from 2015 to 2016 they had a 35% increase in first time guests on a Sunday. All because of a call to action. So, think about a 35% increase in your sales in your business just by putting a button on your website. Yeah, it's crazy, so let's implement that. So, what will your call to action be? Book now, call now, register? Buy now, sign up? And that's exactly what our next action step will be. Create a clear call to action, with a phrase and a button with a link. Place the button in numerous places on your website so that people know what to do next. Let's move on to the second biggest mistake that I see. The second biggest mistake is that peoples' websites are boring. A couple years ago my creative manager came to me and said, "People aren't reading our website." And Ash, my creative manager, is the first point of contact to people that are looking to go to the next level with their website. And so, she found it really interesting that people would rather hop on the phone and ask questions rather than even reading the basics about what we do. And so we saw this as a problem, and I remember her saying, "I'm getting so many "of the same questions, and the answers "to the questions are front and center on the website, "they're just not reading it." Okay so she's getting so many of the same questions, and so what we did first is we tried to troubleshoot the problem. We're like, okay let's add more information on there, because we though maybe there wasn't enough information on the website, or maybe it wasn't clear enough. But then the problem became worse, because now we had a ton of information on there. And so, we almost started to get frustrated with our clients and our customers. And then we realized that it's not their fault, poor things, it's our fault. It's our fault because we weren't structuring the content so that it was fun and easy to read. So we cut down all the content, and I decided to try an experiment. No more paragraphs. No more paragraphs, so I divided up all the main paragraphs and structured the content so that it was easier to skim for people and more interesting to read, and you guys, this worked. People started reading our website and digesting the information. We got less emails about wanting to hop on a call for clarity, and more emails asking, when can we start? Because we had less information on our website. So let's talk about a couple steps for creating visual interest with our boring websites. Number one is to create visual hierarchy. Not only do people want the short version these days, but they also want to skim it, and we want to make it easy for people to skim. Creating visual hierarchy means to classify things according to the level of importance. Allowing the reader to easily skim and read what they're interested in. One of the simplest ways to create visual hierarchy is by stylizing type, using size, color, weight, and spacing. Let's look at an example with and without designed hierarchy. In this page, this is a list of coaching packages, okay? And for the sake of this example, I heard that one of these packages includes a trip to Disneyland, and I really want to go to Disneyland. But without any hierarchy, it's really hard to sift through the content and tell which package has a trip to Disneyland, and can you imagine if there was more packages? What if there was 10 packages that I need to sift through? This would take a lot of time, and some of you are looking for the trip to Disneyland, I can tell. (audience laughing) But we can make this much easier. As you can see in this next example, the title, the price, the description, and what each package includes are all styled and spaced differently. This allows us to easily scan and find the trip to Disneyland. It was the Transformation package. We're going with the big bones, $5,400. Includes the trip to Disneyland, I'm going. So action step. Make sure your website has different fonts and different styles, sizes, and colors. And use these fonts consistently in your brand. For example, your brand should at least have a heading number one, which is your largest font in a particular style. A heading number two which is a little smaller than your largest font. Some of this may seem very basic for you guys but I tell you, I look at websites and I'm like, woo they need some help here. Okay and then we have a header number three which is a little smaller. Your third smallest, or third largest, and they're all different fonts. Your body copy font which is gonna be your smallest font. Your link style, which is gonna tell the viewer when something is clickable and live, and then a button style for your call to action. And if you're not sure on what font styles to use, because there's some decisions to make here, I've put together a guide for you in how to choose fonts that represent your brand, because fonts elude different personalities, right? And so your brand embodies a personality, and so this guide shows you how to choose fonts that represent your brand. So you can go to golivehq.co/live for your free guide. Number two. Number two is add visuals. This is where it can start to get really fun. People can identify the meaning of a picture faster than they can read an entire sentence, so when possible we want to break up information that looks like this, with just the hierarchy implemented, and we want to, so we want to break up all the paragraphs, and include visuals of icons, photos, and graphics to keep the viewer engaged and interested. So as you can see, in these two examples, this is the same amount of content but this just has visuals incorporated, and it's a lot more fun to read. Let's take a look at a couple real life examples. Here is the About section in one of Jasmine's websites. We designed her bio into a really fun timeline to read. So this is about one of six pages that leads you through and it swipes across, leads you through the timeline of her About section, her bio. And so, it was a lot of fun to make but it's even more fun to read for the viewer. We also worked with Sophia Amoruso of Girlboss to make the Girlboss Foundation stats visually appealing, because sometimes stats aren't that fun to read, so we divided them up with her iconic faces and her branding. Action step. Take a sweep through your website and brainstorm what important information that you can illustrate, so that your readers are engaged and interested. And to get you started, my team and I have created a free customizable graphic pack for you, so you can go to golivehq.co/live, and we're giving you all these graphics that you can customize and then utilize in your website for those important information that you want to illustrate. The third biggest mistake that people make with their website is that their website is ugly. (audience laughing) I know, the word ugly is harsh and subjective, but there are probably a lot of people sitting in this room that really haven't given much thought to the visual appearance of their website, because maybe they just didn't think it would make much of a difference for their brand or their business. But for the sake of being dramatic, I know Jasmine likes when I'm dramatic.
I do, I love it.
Let me start off by asking, have you ever received a gift from someone that looks like this? Before you even open the gift, you have questionable feelings associated with it because of its appearance. You might think to yourself, was this a last minute idea? Were they not prepared with the right materials? Were they just lazy? Was this just something they found laying around? Or worse, was this a re-gift? But then, you get the same gift from someone else that has this packaging. Now the gift seems more expensive. It has a higher perceived value because of the creativity of the planning and the precise attention to detail. And you may even think that if this much effort went into the wrapping, then the gift itself must be beyond incredible. You see, with design, perception is reality. And your website, if your website is carelessly put together, then people will ask questions. For example, if your website is outdated and looks old, people will question whether or not you're using the newest technology or you're hip to the latest techniques. They might even wonder if you're even still in business, because your website is that old. Or another example. If your website looks unprofessional, then people will question whether or not you are a professional. They might wonder if you're just starting out or if you actually have the experience that they need. They're gonna question your credibility. And we do not want any distractions or barriers when it comes to building trust with your potential clients or customers. Like I mentioned earlier, if they don't trust you, they won't buy from you, and so your website plays a huge role in building that trust. So here are a couple steps to beautify the ugly website. Number one is start with a solid foundation. Recently one of our clients redid her site with us, and her story was so familiar. Maybe you can relate. She'd been in business for a little over a year and her website was not cutting it. In fact, it was holding her back. It was built and launched from scratch by Uncle Steve, who only knew enough code to tinker around until something finally went live. And his design abilities were really limited, so it wasn't at all what she wanted or needed her website to look like. And after it was all said and done, she couldn't even update her website or make any adjustments because the foundation of her website was so janky. Janky is a really technical term by the way. When you're working with web design, it's janky. This left her in a really tough place. She wasn't able to upkeep her digital front door, and it wasn't attracting her ideal client. And all of this drastically affected the sales of her business, and it left her with a really messy situation to try and clean up. Here's the thing. Some of you are gonna go skipping home tonight all jazzed about getting to make these updates to your website, because you already have a website that's clean, modern, and easy to use. And if that's you, go you! That is awesome. But some of you are gonna go home tonight really overwhelmed, because like our client, you have a hot mess. I feel you, and to those of you I say, stop wasting your time trying to make this janky thing work. There is no reason to prolong a situation like this. Add to the frustration, and leave sales and revenue on the table because your site isn't built with a solid foundation. Just rip the bandaid off and move on. And if you guys need help, my team and I have worked hard over the years developing clean, modern, and functional foundations for business leaders to start with. Using the ever so popular and really easy to use Squarespace platform. You can have a unique Squarespace site that looks nothing like the original standard Squarespace templates so you can stand out from the crowd, but with their really easy to use interface, which I love. Right out of the gate our pre-designed websites come with video tutorials, dynamic site structure, visual hierarchy, customizable visuals, and a clean, modern design aesthetic. And best of all, you can make endless customizations. Your website like I mentioned earlier is your digital front door, and I want to put the power back in your hands. Action step. If you need a revamp, check out golivehq.co, and use code live, because today I'm really excited to offer a 30% off to anyone watching CreativeLive or anyone in the audience today. Usually we only have like a Black Friday sale all year, so I'm really excited that we're offering you guys 30% off. So, go to golive.co and use code live at checkout. And the next step to beautify your ugly website is to customize it to attract your ideal client. And Jasmine is so good at this. So, so many business owners that create a website, okay, they create a website that they personally like the design of. And that's awesome if you yourself are your target demographic, but if you want to stand out from the crowd, you want to know who you are targeting, and then research that design aesthetic that your target demographic can relate to most. And that's what we want to focus on. When your ideal client stumbles on your site and connects with a presentation of your brand, then they feel like the product was made for them, and that's how you sell. Through all of this, the win for me is not completing the technical aspects of building a website, or just creating a website that you like the design of, although I love that, the real win for me is seeing you thrive in your space and kill it online. Succeed at your dreams, and double or even triple your business. The real win for me is seeing your business change and your life change, because of a website. Thank you guys.