How to attract more clients to your website with LOVE
If you’ve been following along with me for a minute, you may have noticed that I love analogies, acronyms, and mnemonic devices. The reason being twofold:
- First, it’s just the nature of my brain to want to form connections between parallel concepts (I once wrote a 20-page paper on the link between quantum physics and eastern religion).
- And second, different people have different learning preferences and sometimes it takes hitting on the “right” analogy before a concept really clicks for them.
So, as long as you’ll tolerate me, I’m going to keep using analogies and acronyms throughout my teachings. Today’s acronym, LOVE, should actually be OLVE, but that doesn’t form an easily memorable word (and I’m big on spreading the love), so just remember that the “O” really comes first and you’re good to go!
Here’s how to attract more clients by working on your Objectives, Layout, Visuals and Evaluation.
The very first thing to do, before mapping out the site architecture or planning the layout, is to clarify your objectives.
What are your goals (as a business)? Why are your creating this website? And what specific metrics will you use to determine if you’ve met those goals?
And, equally as important, do you know what your website visitor’s objectives are? Why is she coming to your site? What is she struggling with right now? What solution is she looking for? What are her pressing goals?
Before we can create effective websites, and thus attract more clients, we have to understand those 2 sets of goals.
And, more than that, we have to blend those objectives when we’re laying out our websites. Without this, we could be guilty of serving our business without serving the needs of our audience (or vice versa) and neither of those things leads to a sustainable, successful business.
I’ve got a special workbook for you where you not only get clear on your biz goals and your dream client’s desires, but you learn to blend those two together into a unified brand message which will, of course, help you attract more clients.
The second part of the formula (though it comes first in the acronym) is the layout of the website. The layout is one of the most important aspects of a website, yet it’s often the most overlooked. By website layout, I mean:
- How the content is laid out on a page
- How pages flow together
- And the overall site architecture.
That’s a lot to think about, so I’ll break it down.
First, start by listing all of the pages that you’ll include on your site.
Then consider how your website visitors will flow from one page to another. You’ll need to answer these questions:
- Why are they visiting your site?
- Where did they come from?
- Which page will they land on, initially?
- Where will they go next?
And, along these same lines, you’ll want to have a single primary call-to-action per page (for example, on the Home page, my primary action is to download the free homepage blueprint and on my About page, the primary action is to visit the Services page — you get the point).
Now that you’ve decided on the site architecture and flow, it’s time to decide on your top navigation or menu.
Ideally, you’ll have no more than 6 links in your top navigation. You don’t need a “home” or “start here” link because users are savvy these days and expect that, by clicking on your logo, they’ll be directed back to your homepage.
Display these links in the most logical order, from left to right, the way that your site visitors would flow through your pages (for example: About, Services, Portfolio, Contact).
After that, you’ll want to consider the layout on each individual page. The way that I like to think of page layouts is in terms of rows, which is a modular approach to design that makes it easy to expand or collapse a page based on its content.
White space is critical, so make sure to have plenty of padding around and between the content on your page.
Use text headings, images, and other graphic elements to lend form and flow to the page (to keep visitors moving through your content without feeling overwhelmed by walls of text).
The visuals are what come to mind when we think of “design”. But, as we’ve learned, there’s much more to a website than aesthetics.
That’s not to say that visuals aren’t important because they absolutely are. But it’s a cohesive experience that we’re creating, and by placing equal emphasis on all of these website pillars, we’re building a more solid foundation.
To learn more about how to DIY your logo in a way that looks professional (instead of looking like something you bought on Fiverr), you can follow my step-by-step tutorial.
To read about the foolproof method I use for putting together color palettes, you can read more (just scroll down to mistake #1).
And I also wrote a detailed post about personal brand photography (on the cheap and easy), which can really up level your digital presence.
Lastly, it’s important to keep a scientific mindset – meaning to keep constantly testing assumptions, evaluating results, and proposing new experiments. I won’t go too in-depth into how to run user testing now because I’ve written about it before.
But, you want to set aside time every week or month to go over your analytics. Look at what pages have higher bounce and exit rates, check out the user flow and see where your peeps are dropping off.
I also recommend installing a heat mapping service so that you can see what parts of your pages are getting the most clicks and what parts aren't even being noticed.
Lastly, brainstorm a few ideas for things you could test to improve your metrics and then run some user testing and get feedback. (Hint: you only need about 8 participants to have enough data).
To get more TLC from your website, focus on the LOVE
And by “TLC”, of course, I mean “traffic, leads, and conversions”. You may not think that having a visually appealing, user-friendly site that speaks directly to your intended audience could bring in more website traffic and attract more clients. I mean, isn’t that what content marketing, Facebook ads, and social media are for??
And you’re right, creating valuable content and putting it out into the spaces where your ideal client hangs out is the best long-term strategy for website traffic (IMHO).
But, you will actually get even MORE traffic if your website is more effective, because more people will share your content and, soon, it’ll feel like your corner of the internet is buzzing about you. And that’s exactly what I want for you.
So, if you’re interested in getting started on the first step (i.e. getting clear on your objectives), then download my Web Foundations Workbook: the 3 steps you need to complete before starting your (re)design.