Website Design: Q&A
Okay, so we're going to dig into Q&A from the studio audience, so if you guys have that, we could dive right in. So I'm going to have you stand up and make sure you have a mic. Careful for your head, okay there you go.
I forgot (audience laughs).
Oh gosh, that could've been bad.
Maybe it could've!
It's all right; it's a hard head. First of all, I'm glad you include alcohol in all your things that you do (Jasmine laughs). They say one glass really loosens up ...
What you didn't see was that she was sipping on rosé all morning, so she is feeling warm and fuzzy.
Oh really, I can not even smell it from here. First question, are the templates you have at your website company, are they reactive? And second question is, are they subscription or pay once?
Yes, they are responsive, so they are going to adjust to all the different devices, so if it's on mobile, iPad, laptop and all that. And you pay Squarespace, is the monthly fee that you pay.
And Jasmine may ...
have some information on this, but the biggest thing that's held me back from creating a website, I've started on Etsy and I've stayed on Etsy for eight years. It's a little bit embarrassing. I make wedding veils, and so with each wedding veil there are so many variations. I have over 12 different color options, and then like 12 different length options. And I feel like I'm overwhelming my customer, but if I create a different listing for each bride every time it's a lot of work. It's easier to have the options there for them to pick and choose when they come to my site. So here's my question: I'm overwhelmed with all these variations; do you think I need to outsource my website, or do think this is something I can actually do on my own, like with one of your themes?
Yeah well, the good thing about having a shop, especially using Squarespace, is that you can enter in all the different variations. And with a product like that it sounds like, it sounds like you make one product and then, do you make that same product over and over again for people?
It's made to order.
Okay, yeah, got it.
I see what you're saying here.
This length, this color.
So I think ideally, and we'll see what Jasmine says about this, I think ideally if you were able to know what people liked a lot and then mass produced those, so then you have a "line" or a collection, and then you only have to put it on your website once and you're selling multiples of those, even in the different sizes that are chosen. That would be ideal.
So don't offer all the different options.
I can lean so heavily into this; it's like no. Run so far away from that because, when you put yourself in the shoes of a bride, you understand that she's making 10,000 decisions. I mean everything, from the forks that she uses to the type of paper for her invitations. She doesn't want to go through a litany of color options; and then a litany ... She just is overwhelmed. What you want to do, is you should say, "We make this process so easy for you." So you do a ton of visuals: everything's going to be beautiful. And then you're going to say, "We break it down in three easy steps. "Do you want a short, medium, long veil? "Do you like off-white, cream, or this? "We're going to send you a custom quote "based on what you want." It's going to require more work on the back end, but once you know what people are wanting more of, then your website's going to be redirected towards long veils in off white, and you could still do all the other custom work, but first and foremost, just get them in the door. Build the trust; get them on the hook and then reel them in.
Thank you Kat.
So at what point do you need a website? I mean, without a funnel, without Facebook Ads or something to drive people to your website; I'm asking out of experience, because my business runs on referrals, like word of mouth referrals, and I'm trying to get into the online space. But I have a janky website that's out there, but no one visits it. Or if somebody does it's one or two people.
Yeah, you need a website (Blonde Woman laughs). You need a website because even though those word of mouth referrals, they might look you up, you could be getting a ton more word of mouth referrals, but you just didn't know it, because people go to your website, they hear about you, they go to your website, and it's like, "Actually she doesn't really do it. "Or I thought she did, "but I don't think she's doing anything, "so maybe my friend's just her friend or something."
Do you help with the funnel kind of system? Or is that ...
"Funnel" in, like ...
As far as how to get people to your website so that they're finding you.
Well yeah that's what this class is about, it's like, getting you, targeting your target market, getting those people in, to attract your ideal client.
By and large, how I'm getting, people may come across my website, but I'm pointing them to my blog which is associated. You know, Promise works with Squarespace and Showit, and I have a Showit, and I have my blog and my website combined, so if I'm driving traffic to my blog, it's all in one; they can click on my homepage. So, I just want to make sure that it's a seamless experience from start, middle, and end so they end up on my homepage, they can still get to my blog; if they're on my blog, they can go back to my homepage.
And I would say to start out for you, a website is your credibility. When people hear about you, to google you, they go to your website, you want to have that credibility there like, "This is what I do; this is how I do it." Boom (clicks fingers)!
That's great. Let's go to an online question. "The idea of less content and simpler sites makes sense, "but search engines want content. "Rule of thumb is 2000 words per page "So, what to do?" Oh my gosh, Esther, Esther! Okay, so we did talk about content, and content is king and queen, and gets the jack too, not going to lie. But the content, if you have your blog on your website, becomes one and the same. And that is something that's very, very, very important; I have the domain JasmineStarBlog.com, and I also have JasmineStar.com/blog. So theoretically my website is getting updated every time I post a blog post. And so that is counting as content, but no I do not, please for the love of God and all things holy, do not have 2,000 words on a scrolling website; you're going to totally overwhelm an audience. Do you agree?
Yes, totally, completely.
Okay; let's go to another question. "What is the best way to market your products or services "when you're starting a new business, "and your products or services are limited? "For example, wedding filmmaker "now making documentary films." Okay, I think it's a great question, and this just simply goes back to hustle. So right now, what I'm reading, is that you're making your bread and butter from weddings, and so you still have to continue to do that, and there's a really good chance that you're not going to make money making documentary films. So you have to get paid, and then whatever you can do on your side hustle, understand that's going to be your passion project, and instead of saying "I need to make a documentary film," my highest, biggest ode to you would be, you need to make a documentary short. And by "short," I mean very short. I mean two to three minutes short. Because all of a sudden it takes away the arc and the narrative and how we draw people along, is instead of you dedicating over a year to build this one labor of love piece that people look at and they absorb, and how many people are really watching 60 Minutes online and on Facebook? Very, very small. Build your tribe first with micro pieces of content to articulate your voice; find their pressure point, what's resonating; and then over time, when you're ready to make a big investment, go towards the documentary filmmaking when you already have a base built for that. I think there was another in-class question that I wanted to get to, yes, yeah!
So is golivehq.co, that's the one-stop shop where you get on there, and like, it does SEO, as well as the website, and everything you need for a company?
It's all done through Squarespace. And they include all that, everything's built in the Squarespace platform.
Okay so like, if I go to your website, then like there's a tutorial of some sort for SEO?
Because SEO is one thing that just blows my mind; I don't get it. You know there's so many different trains of thought for it.
Yeah, and with like WordPress, you need a lot of different plug-ins to make different things work on your site, like you need an SEO plug-in and all these things; Squarespace has built their platform so it's all encompassing all of that. So you don't really have to worry about that; you just create good content, and your website will be found online when people search it, depending on the content you're creating.
And I need to take a second and like, there's this like aura cloud of like, SEO, and people are like, what is this deep, philosophical thing? And at the end of the day, let me tell you, that the best SEO comes from showing up, period. You can use the best keywords, and index your site, and you can hire a specialist, but if you're not creating the content, it is null and void. I have never paid for SEO. I don't even know how to use SEO, but I am ranked extraordinarily high, why? Because I show up; I write words. And you get indexed higher when other sites are linking to your blogs, and that boosts your ranking. When you consistently update, that boosts your ranking. When people are interacting and clicking to other pages in your blog, boosts your ranking. You don't have to pay for it, you just have to do the work. And so often we're so busy with so many other things that doing the work, we would either abdicate that responsibility, pay somebody to say, "Okay I checked that thing off the box; "oh why isn't anybody coming?" Because you're not doing the work; it only works when you do the work and you could pay somebody else to wear the mask for it, and you could feel better, but really, do the work. Hands down; sorry I gotta get off my little ...
That was good; that was really good.
This is my soapbox (audience laughs)!
Stay on that one for last.
Shoot, shoot! Okay let's do one more online question. Oh god, it's haunting me! "From the SEO standpoint, does your website URL "have to be the same name as your business?"
No, I would say no to that. You want to choose a website URL that's memorable for people, and sometimes that means getting creative with what you have available. URLs now are really hard to come by for your business name, so you really do have to get creative.
Absolutely, I mean I firmly believe if you can get a .com with your name, buy it, invest in it, keep it; but it's not a standalone. I actually think if you have a short tagline, and your tagline becomes your URL, that works extraordinarily well, as well too.
For the URL you want to go as short as possible, and then the .com is your first choice.
Absolutely. Yes, we have two questions side by side.
My website's WordPress-based, so switching to another platform ...
Could you grab the mic? Sorry.
I'm switching to another platform, how will that affect what I already have on the website, can you just take everything from WordPress and then ...
If WordPress is working for you, I would say stay with that.
It's not really.
It's not working for you, okay.
So the SEO, you get like a little light; I've got no idea, but it's red, orange, or yellow, or how good is your ... And I never have a green light on SEO in my content like on a blog or something, but it sort of sucks. So, just restarting is just too much, overwhelming to work, but with everything that's on there, should you like, reload everything, or what is your best advice?
So it sounds like you would probably need some help with that; maybe you have a lot of content that needs to be transferred over. Are you blogging?
Yeah, sort of, yeah.
So, if it's not working for you at all, it might just be worth like, starting all over; pull the Band-Aid off, move on, and start over. If it's worth going back and saving some of that stuff for you, then it's worth thinking about but if it's not working and you're ready to move on, just rip the Band-Aid off and move on.
So I had a custom-built blog back in 2007. And I had posted over 2,000 blog posts, and so when I went to a new blogging platform, I paid somebody to transfer all of that content, and it was the biggest pain, but it's still so worth it because I had, I don't know what else you'd call it, but "Google juice." I had acquired so much Google juice that I couldn't lose it. But if you aren't really where it needs to be, it might not be worth the headache, the time, the effort, to transfer everything over. Start over, look at it as a new beginning, and if you weren't really doing it consistently, and you weren't getting a lot of response, and you didn't feel passionate about it, just let it go. It's like carrying a suitcase full of clothes you don't want to wear.
I asked about a shopping cart; I don't see here shopping cart. My website is in Shopify, so it's completely different. What's going on with those, platform.
Yeah, Shopify's great, if you have a shop, if your business is an online shop only, then Shopify is great; you should stick with Shopify. And yeah, that's great.
I would still love to do redesign, so I don't see anything about a shopping cart here.
Oh yeah, well Squarespace has a shopping cart that works great as well. And we create websites all the time for shopping carts.
So it's equivalent, it's the same?
What was that?
They give the same service?
Yeah, same service.
And here's the thing; this is what I love about the conversation because we've leaned in so heavily into one thing. Promise looked at you from across, and knew that you had money to pay her, and she said, "If you like Shopify, and that is what you do, "we're not for you." That's swag. I look at business owners who say, "You're probably going to be dissatisfied "with what I'm doing, and you probably "love your Shopify cart so much, "and perhaps the Squarespace cart "will not be a good fit for you." She's not here being like, "I'll spend my time to customize the Shopify cart. "You want to stay there, okay I'll do that." Then what happens is you guys are both going to end up with a dissatisfied relationship. She just said, stick with Shopify. And then you said "But I would gladly pay for it." Then she said, "Well, Squarespace has a shopping cart "that you can look into." So yet even then, she's pulling herself back; "You can check into that cart "to see how it compares to Shopify, "and if you think it's superior, "then we can talk about working together." That's a very different business perspective. She presented her value; you liked her value but it wasn't a good fit for you and she said, "I'm okay with that." That to me is great, but we don't know yet, because you're going to go and you're going to look at your shopping cart for Squarespace, and if it works ...
If I was happy with Shopify I wouldn't be asking these questions (group laughs).
Then that's great, that's great. Then there's a potential business happening here. But the principle wasn't necessarily to put your business out, it was to say that we should all aspire as business owners to know exactly what she'd do. She niched out, do you know that there's multiple platforms that she can use, across the board, and she's decided, I'm leaning into Squarespace. Does she know she's ostracizing people, yes. Does she know she's losing business, yes. Do she know that she's creating sanity and a system that she can pertain, yes? Does she know that she's going to repel or attract somebody? Yes, good for her. I applaud that, good, turn business away that's a bad fit; keep business that's good, create raving reviews; your business is going to soar.