What do you want your site to do?
You may be sitting there thinking you just want to get into building your website already.
But trust me when I tell you this step is the most important. This isn’t the hardest, but it’s definitely the most important, and here’s why:
What happens when your business shifts a little bit in 6 or 12 months? Is your site going to be able to handle it? Is your site going to be up to the task of evolving with your new business direction?
Offhand you might say to yourself, “Yes! Of course it will. Hello?”
Buuut, that’s not necessarily the case. I can’t tell you how many people have come to me saying things like, “I just had a new website built a few months ago, but now it isn’t able to do what I need.”
It’s not enough in this day and age to rush ahead and just throw up a website for the sake of having website. I know it, and since you’re here, I’m betting you do too. The time has long past when it was good enough to just have a simple website that was never updated, and just listed your bio and contact info.
Now your website is a tool for your business growth. It can grow your business, open doors for you, and position you as an expert.
But there’s a difference between having a modern website where you post a blog every now and then and having a website that will actively grow your business.
It’s so important to get clear on what you want your website to do before you actually start developing it as this clarity will shape the direction your website goes in.
That’s what we’re covering in this lesson.
In a group I’m in the other day someone asked, “What should I have on my website’s homepage?”
I was amazed by some of the answers from some designers in the community. Things like, “A clear CTA to get someone on your email list,” “A bit about you and your services,” “Your latest blog posts” and “Just let visitors know who you are.”
While yes, those are really good elements for your homepage, they’re not the end-all-be-all, and depending on what your business goals are, those elements may not be very useful depending on what the business does.
What your website should do will vary based on where you are in your business and what you offer. It doesn’t matter if you have a stunningly beautiful website, if it doesn’t line up with where you are in your business and what you do, it may not be actually helping you. If you’re not building a blog platform, then having your latest blog posts on the homepage may not be helping you.
Regardless of your business model, if you’re actually a business, your website should be converting visitors into leads, but how you do this will depend a lot on your business model.
But before I get into all that, what do I mean by convert?
An online conversion is simply someone taking the action you want them to take.
Your conversion goal will vary based on your business.
This could be signing up for your email list, filling out your contact form, following you on Twitter, scheduling a discovery call. Your conversion goal will vary based on your business.
If you are a coach and you know you can close sales on the phone, your preferred action may be a discovery call.
If you’re selling digital products, your preferred action may be getting someone onto your email list where you can funnel them towards your product, or buy a very small product (under $10).
Most websites suck at conversion from cold traffic. (Cold traffic is someone who hasn’t been to your site before)
1%-2% conversion from cold traffic is about average. When your site is aligned and polished and optimized for conversions, you could be hitting 5%. That’s not unheard of, but a lot of websites — and I mean a LOT of websites — convert at less than 1%.
So what’s this mean?
1% conversion means that 1,000 people come to your website every month, and just 10 convert into leads by taking your preferred action.
5% conversion means 50 people will convert into leads.
Conversions tend to go up when your site is in alignment with your business. And once you’re converting consistently at 5%, which is a really good conversion from cold traffic, it can become a simple matter of scaling traffic. Traffic is easy. Traffic can be bought from Facebook ads, or Google ads.
If you double your traffic from 1k to 2k, and you’re converting at 1%, you’re looking at 20 leads per month, and if you’re at 5%, you’re looking at 100 leads per month. This is the difference between 240 leads from cold traffic annually to 1,200. If you’re converting 10% of your leads into customers, you’re looking at 120 new customers a year instead of 24.
Every time you improve your conversion process, you can see a big difference in lead generation, which — if you’re selling well — will lead to a big change in your bottom line. You can see how aligning your site with your business model and start optimizing for conversions will earn you your investment in this course back many times over.
How do you make sure your site is going to be inline with your business model so you can convert more visitors into leads?
There are a lot of different online business models, but since you’re here in this course, you probably fall into one of these five:
- Digital downloads
- Membership site
The best website practices for a digital product business (like ecourses) will be different than that for someone who sells services (like graphic design).
If you’re having trouble imagining this, just think about how for offline businesses the best practices for a lawn care company must be different from a coffee shop.
A lawn care company will come to you and provide a service for you whereas you go to a coffee shop to acquire something.
For coaches (even if you’re doing group programs) and digital services, you probably have the best chance of a sale by getting people on the phone. If this is you, it makes sense to design your entire website around the act of getting someone to schedule a phone call with you. Your preferred conversion goal here would be to book a call.
For digital products and communities (like masterminds), you probably started those because you didn’t want to be getting people on the phone; you probably wanted something a little more hands off.
If this is you, you should get people into your sales funnel where you can sell to them in your sleep. (Yes, you can sell to cold traffic right on your site, but it isn’t very likely) In this case, it makes sense to design your entire website around the act of getting someone into your sales funnel, which would be your preferred conversion goal.
For affiliate marketing, your income is mostly generated through live joint venture launches and from people clicking links on your blog or in your emails to products you recommend. In this case, it makes the most sense to get people to sign up for your email list where you can drive them to the products and services you’re an affiliate for, with signing up for your email list as the preferred conversion goal.
Your assignment for this lesson is to identify what it is you want your website to do. Not how you want it to look — that’s coming up — but what you want your website to do based on how you’re going to make money.
After you get clear on what you want your website to do, you need to be clear on where you want your website to go.
If you envision your site being exactly as it is when you set it up, you’re being short sighted. If your business isn’t growing online, you’re literally leaving money on the table.
If you don’t want to sell products, services, classes, retreats, workshops, etc., on your site right now, that’s perfectly OK. I understand how that’s completely overwhelming. But you should put a plan in place for using your site as a place to sell within the next two years.
And I don’t want you to get hung up about the technical stuff right now. Don’t worry if you don’t know what tools to use, or if you don’t know how you’re going to make it all work together.
Don’t worry that this isn’t your area of expertise because it is MY area of expertise, and I will teach you everything you need to know.
I want you to envision where you want your site to be two years from today. How many visitors? What’s your conversion rate? How much content? Do you still plan to sell 1:1 or do you plan to move to a 1 to many model?
Spend a few minutes going through the workbook and write down your milestones.
Then I want you to plan out where you want your website to be in one year from now, and think about the same things. How can these goals support your 2 year goals?
And then, break it down. What needs to happen in 6 months so you can hit your 1 year goal?
In the resources for this lesson you’ll find your Website Goals workbook, which will help you get started.