Your website is your home base on the internet, and the only place that is all about you and your business with no distractions.
It is also the only place you have complete control of where things go and how things are styled - you choose the fonts and colors and you’re not competing with anyone else for your audience’s attention.
So how do you make the most of the attention you have from your audience at that moment?
There are many important building blocks to a great home page, but the first should be excellent navigation. Someone visiting your website needs to be able to move around easily and find the information they want. The best way to do this is to make your navigation as clean and simple as possible.You have just seconds to catch a visitor’s attention, so don’t waste it with confusing or misleading navigation.
Try to look at your website through the eyes of someone seeing your website for the first time. Or someone looking for a specific piece of information on your site. Can they find it? How many clicks does it take to get them to the page they want to see?
Although drop down menus can be helpful, they can also be overwhelming for the user. If you find yourself with a lot of drop down menus here are some questions to ask yourself:
Make it easy for someone to work with you by placing your contact information in the footer or header of every page.
Although you may have concerns with receiving spam if you place your email on your website, you also don’t want to miss the opportunity to work with someone because they couldn’t find a clear way to contact you.
A Contact page can also be useful if you prefer to use a contact form instead of putting your email on your website.
If you use a contact form, be sure to make sure it is still active and working properly every couple of months. Sometimes they start sending completed inquiries to spam and sometimes they stop sending them anywhere at all.
The saying “A picture is worth a thousand words” is especially true when you are trying to be concise, but still get your message across.
Think about the colors and emotions represented in your type of business. If you’re an accountant, then you probably see a lot of calculators and other tools. If you’re a lawyer, then you see desks and strong colors. If you’re a therapist, you probably see softer colors and possibly some art work.
Do you need a picture of yourself on your home page? It really depends on the kind of business you have! If you do put a photo of yourself on your site, use a professional head shot rather than a selfie. Your business deserves good photos!
What You Do
What do you do that makes you unique?
How is your approach or team different than what else is available?
How do you stand out above the noise?
You need to be able to communicate what you do and why your audience should care.
But don’t fall into the trap of confusing “features” with “benefits” - a feature is what your service/product does, a benefit is how your service/product impacts someone who uses it.
A feature of a laptop is that it connects to the internet. A benefit of a laptop is that it keeps you connected to friends and family, no matter where they are. See the difference?
A tagline can be a part of this, but it isn’t required. However, you do want someone leaving your site to be able to tell the next person they meet exactly what you do. If they can’t verbalize it, your message may be confusing or not clearly stated.
The right amount of copy
It can be tempting to put everything about your business on your home page, but it can also be overwhelming. A better plan is to use your home page to direct visitors to the pages you want them to see.
How much copy does your home page need? Your home page needs enough copy to convey the best information for your clients about what you do.
If you haven’t looked at the text on your home page lately, this is a good opportunity to update and streamline.
Call to action
Once someone has visited your home page, what do you want them to do?
Sometimes this is called a CTA or Call to Action, but it just means clearly directing your reader to the next step you want them to take.
Try to limit the calls to action on your home page - too many can be confusing.
Some calls to action:
Think Above the Fold
If you aren’t familiar with the term “above the fold” it goes back to newspaper printing - the most important front page headlines went “above the fold” - meaning above the place where the newspaper is folded in half.
On a website, above the fold generally means on the upper part of your website (before someone needs to scroll down to see more). With smaller screens that require scrolling anyway it isn’t as vital as it once was, but it is helpful guide and reminder not to bury your most important information.
Navigation, obviously, goes above the fold.
It is a good idea to put your call to action above the fold.
Your tagline (if you have one) should go above the fold.
Now that you've polished your home page, here are more resources to make your website pop!
Anatomy of Blog Post
Where to Find Diverse Stock Photos for Your Website
Understanding How Visitors Look at Your Website
Gwen Montoya is the CMO of the MOB Nation as well as a marketing strategist and coach. She loves making marketing accessible and empowering mom business owners.
Learn more about Gwen at www.gwenmontoya.com or on her podcast Adventures in Marketing.
We're thrilled to welcome Camilla Hallstrom to the MOB Blog. Camilla is content marketer who helps her clients grow by creating content that works and creates raving fans. Learn more about Camilla and how to connect with her at the end of the blog post.
Have a hard time focusing?
Your to-do list seems endless… But at the same time, you just can’t seem to buckle down and get to work.
Here are 4 simple strategies to improve your focus so that you can grow your business and spend more time on the things you love.
Understand your “why.”
You know, for the longest time, I had such a hard time focusing.
I just couldn’t figure it out.
Until one day, it all changed. Shifting my goal from a monetary goal to my “why” made all the difference.
What’s the “why” of your business?
A “why” is the driving force behind your business.
It isn’t the ‘what’ or the ‘how’ but the fundamental reason you work on your business.
And it’s much deeper than “taking more vacations” or “being my own boss.” Instead, your “why” is the one thing that makes you jump out of bed every day.
And why is it such a game changer for your focus?
If your biggest motivation is money (or another material goal), that’s an external goal. And external goals are not nearly as motivating as internal goals, like your personal development or the “why” of your business.
That’s why your family (instead of, say, a bigger house) can be a powerful motivator.
Whenever you feel unfocused, think about your “why.”
If you need to feel it, journal, look at a photo of your family, or write out your “why.”
Develop the Right Mindset
Second, your mindset makes a huge difference for your focus.
And I’m not just talking about things like positive thinking and affirmations.
Nope. It goes as deep as your self-belief.
You see, procrastination (what you do when you can’t focus) is a way for you to handle your emotions.
Maybe you’re working on a task that feels scary (like selling or marketing). Or boring or just plain uncomfortable.
By procrastinating, you’re giving in to quick rewards.
But to grow your business, you’ll need to get past procrastination.
And that’s where your mindset comes in.
There are a few things you can do to trick your mind into accepting the uncomfortable task you’re working on. These are:
Now that we’ve looked at the fundamentals, let’s move on to tools and tricks you can use to become more focused.
One of my favorite ways to keep me from procrastinating?
Tracking my time.
When you see black on white how much time you’ve wasted on being unfocused, it’s hard NOT to focus.
These will help you keep the urgency fresh in mind.
For example, as a freelance writer, I like to set my deadlines a few days earlier than my actual deadline.
That way, I make sure I don’t procrastinate and sending a last-minute version of my project.
To-do lists are a great way to take away any mental work needed to figure out what I should do next.
I use a combination of a notebook and project management software to list all my tasks and cross them off.
Set Up a Rewards System
The final step?
Set up a reward system for yourself.
Maybe it’s a bigger reward after hitting a new sales goal.
Or something small, like brewing yourself a cup of coffee and eating a piece of chocolate after you’ve finished a task. Or a walk while listening to that latest podcast episode.
By setting daily rewards for yourself, you could just push yourself enough to get that task done.
Plus, let’s face it:
You deserve it.
So, how will you reward yourself today?
How are you going to use these tips?
There you have it, that’s how you can improve your focus and use otherwise wasted time on building your business.
It all comes down to using these strategies consistently - and you will see results.
Camilla Hallstrom helps women who crave more freedom get started as freelance writers at Write From Anywhere. She’s been published on sites like HuffPost, Yahoo News, and more. If you want to get started freelance writing, get the free PDF "The 3-Step Plan to Earning $1000 on the Side in the Next 30 Days as a Freelance Writer (Even if You Have Zero Writing Experience)".