This week I’ve been busy with a slew of new clients. I love getting involved in completely new projects – it helps me come up with new ideas, and I love seeing what different people are doing to grow their business.
One of the services I offer is a 21 Point Analysis where I go over a businesses website, and make suggestions. This week I’ve had the opportunity to go over three different websites, and found a several common themes between them.
It Has To Be User Friendly
Have you ever shopped at Amazon? I love it, and am there all the time. With a simple search, I can have a ton of options at my fingertips. I can add things to a wish list, or pop them into my shopping cart with a click of a button. The buttons tell me what to do “check out now” “ad to cart” and even make suggestions to me along the way. Learn from Amazon, don’t fight it. They have the big bucks to refine their website again and again, with the ultimate goal of creating more sales.
Your site should be set up the same way. Where do you want people to go? Create navigation that brings them from one step to the next. Don’t be “cute” with your terminology or set things up to be different than the rest. Instead, stick to a standard setup, and wow them with your photographs instead. They should be focusing on you and what you can do for them – not on how to navigate your system.
Did You Really Want To Say That?
When was the last time you read through your text? Have you read it from your clients’ perspective?
Some people are writers. Others aren’t. Yet with today’s simple tools, almost every business owner jumps in and starts writing the copy for their site. Yet when the visitor heads over and finds blatant errors, typos, and sentences that make no sense whatsoever, you lose credibility.
If you can’t afford to hire a copywriter, at the very least have several people read your site and give you suggestions. Not just your spouse, kids, or parents. Step away from your closest friends and relatives, and get an honest opinion. If you know another business owner, switch sites and offer to critique theirs as well. You’ll be amazed at what you find.
Project The Right Image
I visited a photographer’s website today. And instead of modifying a photograph to fit into his header section, he stretched the image out to fit within the measurements. So what was possibly a beautiful image of a teenager ended up being a stretched out image – making her head double the width. Is this really the image you want to project as a photographer?
When people visit your site, they read and look through the photographs to see if they can put themselves into what you do. They want to see a photograph and say, “that’s what I want”. Or they want to read about you, and feel an instant attraction.
Fill your website and gallery with images you want to take and sell in the future – not your clients favorite images. With every shoot we’ve ever done, we take the images we know our clients will love, and we try something new and out of the box. Our “out of the box” images are things we’d love to do more of, that we have fun doing, and that would make us happy if we could do it again and again. [Like the current trend of Trash The Dress.] Once you start filling your website with your preferred images, your client base will quickly change.
People want what they see. If you give them the “boring” images your client loves, that’s what you’ll be hired for. If you vie them the “out of the box” images, that’s what you’ll be hired for.