Day 21: Creating a Website Your Viewers Never Want to Leave
Welcome to Day #21 of the 31 Days to Better Branding series! To learn more about this series, click here and find links to the other days so you'll be able to follow along or catch up if you happen to miss anything. I am by no means an expert but after hearing a lot of the same questions, I figured others could benefit from a few lessons in branding. Hopefully it will give you a place to begin or even just a few tips to improve your business and bring you more clients. Feel free to add in your thoughts and what has worked for you in the comments!
I love to visit websites that are seem never ending (in a good way). There is always something new to explore or another link to follow to great content. I'm probably making up this term but I like to say that these websites have really good "clickability." I want to just keep clicking, pinning and saving links so I can come back and read more later. So I tried to think of what those websites had in common and listed out some steps to enhance our clickability.
Step one - Direct Your Traffic
Ideally where would you like your viewers to go first when visiting your website? You can actually influence their decisions by the way you set things up. For example lets say you want new visitors to go in this order: About Page> Blog> Subscribe>Store. You could make a "New Here?" button on the homepage that leads to your About Page. Then at the end of your Bio on the About Me Page you could add a link to read more in the blog or a list of your most popular posts. If you wanted them to subscribe once they reach the blog, you could mention it in your posts or add an attention grabbing button in your sidebar. Then once they subscribe, add a link back to your store on the "Thanks for subscribing" page. Does that make sense? You can do the same thing for repeat customers by directing them to your new content or featured items. You're actually creating a trail of interesting links for them to follow. Keep in mind though that there's a fine line between what's helpful and what's annoying. So be purposeful.
Step two - Add a Fun Page (or two)
If you feel like your website is all business, it might be a good idea to add in a couple pages that are just for fun. Picture your ideal client and ask yourself what might add to their experience and help them get to know you. Maybe it's a "10 things you don't know about me" page or a "What's in my bag" page. Maybe it's a page with your music playlist or a group of freebies for them to download. I love how Madewell put together all of their links in a fun way on their Inside Scoop page. I also love how Gabriel Ryan Photographers' About page includes links to what's in their bag and ways to geek out. What could you add to enhance the fun experience of your clients?
Step three - Show Images of Yourself
Don't groan! Haha. I know a lot of us would like to hide behind a camera instead of being in front of it. But this adds so much to an online presence.Your clients want to feel like they know you so it helps so much to have a face to go with what they know of you. Show images of yourself or your team sprinkled throughout the website. Include images of yourself in any personal blog posts. If you're a photographer, you should be able to take a quick creative shot of yourself too. If you're not, just grab a friend or family member and make them do a little mini session with you. You can always set a timer and take a few shots in natural light (like near a big window) if you want to take them yourself. I like these 5 Tips for Better Self Portraits from A Beautiful Mess. If you're pictured, you'll be much more memorable and make your ideal clients that much more likely to come back.
Step four - Keep Updated
Every season or as often as you can, update your website. Add in new content, events, images at least once every 3 months. Not only are you giving your followers a reason to come back, but you're also probably showcasing your best work. You can also test out what is working and what isn't. With Google Analytics for example, you can find out what links are being clicked on or at what point clients are leaving your site. If you know this information, you can make changes to create a better experience for your clients.
Homework: Go through these four steps and write out how you want to make your website more "clickable" or maybe a little more fun. If you already have a website, double check to see that you are doing all of these things. Maybe challenge yourself to add in one new element this week. Make it fun!