The following message teeters right on the edge of SNARK. Those with thin skins (and those suffering from ego blows or recent break-ups) need not read on. Go have a cuppa tea, and swing back next week.
BUT :: if you’re harboring the suspicion that your website isn’t reflecting your highest intentions…that you’re leading your clients, customers & readers on a digital wild-goose chase…or that there’s polishing up to be done, if only you knew where to begin…read on, sweet thing. I want only the best for you, your web presence, and your fine work, on earth.
10 Ways Your Website Is Breaking My Heart (And How To Take The Pain Away)
1. I see the words “Coming Soon!” Like, anywhere.
The only time the phrase “Coming Soon!” is even remotely exciting (or believable) is in the bedroom. And you know it.
If you’ve got a new offering on the horizon — but it ain’t time to launch — write a mini-teaser sales page, drop in a few pieces of advance praise, and create a “Sign up to find out the MOMENT we launch!” mailing list form. So much sexier (and more credible) than the lust-draining promise of a “Coming Soon!” page…
2. You took your headshot in a dimly lit room, with a webcam. And I can see your terry-cloth robe hanging on a hook, behind your pretty face.
Get a set of professional headshots. Natural lighting or studio brights — it don’t matter. Hire a starry-eyed art school undergrad, if money is tight. Give yourself the gift of YOU…looking your best.
3. When I go to your testimonial page, all pumped up to read your Rave Reviews, I see…three bits of praise. No headshots or avatars. And everyone’s name is something akin to “Jane P., USA”
I don’t care if you’ve been in maximum security prison for the last ten years, or living in your momma’s basement, or hiding out in a Hooverville shantytown. EVERY service provider, freelancer, product maven or professional creative can curate a MINIMUM of ten testimonials. With headshots. And full names.
4. You’re a local business with a brick ‘n mortar location, and it takes me five minutes to figure out where the heck you’re located.
For the love of sweet Kwanzaa, put your geo-location at the top (and bottom) of every. single. page. Preferably with a hotlink to a GoogleMap. And take a cue from Marie Forleo, and get yourself registered with Google Places (it’s FREE!) so that when your prospects Google “holistic lavender-scented colonic + New Orleans” your biz pops up on the map.
5. Your sales page feels custom-tailored to exacerbate my greatest fears, and click “BUY NOW” from a place of sheer agony & self-loathing.
I wrote about (slash viciously mocked) this phenomenon, here. And Fabeku put together an entire teleseminar on how to create loving, compassionate sales pages that (still!) pull in the cashola. You can download the full conversation right here.
6. I see generic Twitter, Facebook & LinkedIn widgets or nasty yellow PayPal buttons that don’t match the aesthetic of the rest of your site.
Why put on an Alexander McQueen couture gown, and then slap tawdry Velcro sneakers on your feet?
You know you can upload a custom image when you’re generating your PayPal payment & donation buttons, right?
Luscious details matter. Especially when money is involved.
7. You’ve got images or badges that link to nowhere…or link to the exact same image, only bigger, on another page.
FACT :: human beings instinctively click on images. They might as well lead somewhere useful. Like, say, your sales page. Contact form. Or a hyper-popular blog post that you want to highlight.
8. Half of your blog posts start with something along the lines of, “Gosh, I haven’t posted in so long! Sorry, sorry…self-flagellation, etc.”
I don’t care if you publish a new blog post every ten micro-seconds, every week, or once a month. You don’t have to be a content factory — but nobody wants to hear you whining about missing your self-imposed (and vaguely irrational) internal deadlines. Some of my favorite bloggers post once a month, or less. But when they do, it’s mind-blowing quality, from tops to tails.
9. You haven’t updated your “Upcoming Events” page since last March.
If you only do workshops or speaking gigs (online or off) once in a very blue moon…does your navigation bar really warrant a separate “Events” page? (Mine doesn’t.) Maybe promoting your on-stage gigs in your blog is sufficient. Or plopping a lil’ “See Me LIVE. Here me RAWR!” calendar run-down widget in your sidebar.
10. You write your webcopy in the third person. Or worse…the Royal We.
You’re a solopreneur. A one-woman (or gentleman) show. You’re running your own game. You know it. WE know it. So what’s with the arm-at-a-distance third person jargon? And the “we can’t wait to serve you!” nonsense? If you’ve got a biz partner, a split personality disorder, or happen to be her Majesty the Queen of England, well, fine then. “We” it is. But if not…get Ayn Randian and embrace the heroic powah of “I”!
Revamp. Retool. Reveal the best possible version of you.