Okay. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that if you’re a entrepreneur, copywriter, freelancer or business owner, you probably have a website or blog.
No surprise there.
But let me go even further out on that limb and say you’re probably not sure if it’s a good website or not…
First of all, you’re not sure if people are actually making it to your site. Second, you’re not sure if the people who are finding your website or blog are actually finding what they need.
Am I right?
To make matters worse, it costs money to host your website or blog. [Not a lot. But if you’re not making money, even a little money is hard to lose, right?]
You’ve got two options, really. Ditch the hobbling website/blog…
…or make it kick butt.
If you answered “make it kick butt,” then you’ve come to the right place.
1. Make It Big, Simple and Short
People come to a website for one reason and one reason only: To get information.
They’ve got a burning question or need–”how do I get rock hard abs?” or “I need to sell my house…now!”–and you’ve got to answer that question or satisfy that need…
See, people won’t look long or hard. More than likely they’ll skim and scan web pages. That’s why you need to make everything you write clear and concise. And the most important details must stand out.
If you want them to call you for a free consultation…spell it out loud and clear on your home page. In fact, every page should include a call to action.
2. Know Thy Audience
Who are you writing for? You should know your audience. And know them well.
Only then will you be able to convey a message that will reach prospects personally. Find out what your audience wants to know…and then write to them specifically.
3. Empty Your Home Page
This may surprise you, but your home page should NOT contain the bulk of your information. Your home page is more for branding and encouraging people to find what they are looking for deeper in the site.
The links and short descriptions on your homepage should be clear enough that the reader doesn’t have to guess where they’ll end up.
Bottom line: Simplify your home page.
One more thing. It is always helpful to have a search box. It makes the reader feel more comfortable on your site.
4. Think Pathway Pages
Your pathway pages [pages channeling off your home page] contain the answer to your reader’s question–they exist as a path to your reader’s ultimate destination.
This could be the article they are looking for. The free book they want to download. The product they want to buy.
Clarity is key here as you drive them deeper, with more specific information.
And keep in mind, it doesn’t really matter how many click-thrus you have until your destination, as long as the path is extremely clear along the way.
Also, don’t forget that call-to-action on every page.
5. Prevent Reader Overload
When thinking about how long to make a web page, think about what the reader is looking for: cerebral palsy symptoms? Recipe for rum balls? Secret to poisoning your neighbors destructive cat?
Are they going to print this page out? Is this too much information?
If it’s too much information on one page, consider breaking your pages down into topics and sub-topics.
By the way: Use PDFs sparingly. PDFs are miserable to read online. They should only be used when a reader needs all the information on the document.
And if you must use a PDF, warn the reader.
Okay, you’re making your website or blog drop-dead easy to find and use. But is it compelling? Are you writing sizzling content? Do you want to add firepower to your copy?
If you need help then join me tomorrow where you’ll discover 101 ways to writing clear, concise and killer web copy.
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Danielle Lynn says
Great points — Especially #3. Right now, my blog lives on my homepage… which it shouldn’t since it creates a confusing user experience. But you’ve inspired me to schedule some much needed time to update things on there. 🙂
Not sure whether to be happy that it’s going to make my site work better, or frustrated because yet again I’ve over-piled my plate for this week.
*shakes fist at you in a friendly way*
Demian Farnworth says
Yep, been there, done that. The upside is you’ll have a better experience, and hopefully better conversion.
Thanks for the comment Danielle!
Jeff Faldalen says
I ran across your name from comment you left on another site.
I totally agree with your suggestions and hope others implement them.
Action seem to always be the hardest part
Look forward getting to know you better,
Demian Farnworth says
Well said, Jeff. Well said, indeed. And hey look forward to getting to know you better, too. Take care, champ, and let me know if I can do anything for you.