When I was in college, there were a number of things my professors drummed into my head.
One of those things was to back up everything multiple times in at least three different locations - on a physical drive, a cloud drive, and an internal hard drive.
Another one was a website. Even though I was just a college student, a website was so closely tied to our online persona that it was crucial to have in order to market ourselves to future employers.
So, I created one. It wasn’t very great - it had a cheap WordPress template and a logo I pieced together in my pre-graduating class. But it was there and it told people what I did.
Now that I’m a business owner, a website is core to how I market myself. After all, a website is the epitome of an online presence; it’s where people can go to learn anything they’d need to know.
Your business’ website is your digital storefront; it’s where potential customers go to learn more about you and, ideally, buy from you. But if your website doesn’t answer a few basic questions, you’re going to find yourself with a lot of lost opportunity and that back button is going to get a lot of action.
So, without further ado, here are 6 basic questions your website must answer in order to convert website browsers into loyal, paying customers:
1. Can you solve my problem?
When a potential customer lands on your website, the first thing they want to find out is whether you are able to solve their problem.
Depending on where they are in the buyer’s journey, they may not yet know what they need; all they know is they have a problem and they’re looking to solve it.
For example, let’s say you’re a career coach. Your ideal customer is at a point in their life when they’re tired of their current job path and are looking to make a change. They’re not quite sure what that change is or how to get there, but they know one thing: “I’m tired of my job and I’m looking for other options.”
Assuming this is what they’re thinking, your job is to tell them, right off the bat, that’s exactly what you can help them with. On your website header, your heading should say something like: “Tired of your job? I can help you find that new spark you’re looking for.”
Right off the cuff, you’re capturing their attention by explicitly stating their problem and offering a solution. You’re in! They’re curious and are ready to continue exploring your site.
2. What makes you qualified to solve it?
You’ve captured your customer’s attention by telling them you can solve their problem. Great!
But here’s the thing: anyone can do that. In fact, I can go back to my website header right now and tell people I can fix their cars. Can I? No - at least not without a great deal of education - but I can say that.
The next step, then, is to show you’re the right person to solve your customer’s problem. You can start by sharing some stats, a story of how you’ve solve that problem in the past, and/or sharing how many years of experience you have doing so.
Another way to show your qualifications is to talk about it on a regular basis through a blog. Using the coaching example, you can share weekly blog articles with tips on how to start transitioning career paths, how to job hunt effectively, and so on.
If you have any certifications, you’ll want to throw those in, as well. This way, you’re showing your customer you don’t just talk the talk; you’ve walked the walk, as well.
3. How can you prove it?
As much as explaining your qualifications helps, it’s still technically something anyone else can do. All it takes is a few made-up facts and stories about fictitious clients.
Humans are social creatures and we’re much more likely to trust what other people say about someone than what they say about themselves.
That’s where customer reviews, testimonials, and awards come in. The point of these isn’t just to show off how awesome you are; it’s to prove to potential customers you know what you’re doing enough to have actually done it before.
As you continue doing business, ask your clients for testimonials to share on your site and/or your Google/Facebook business pages. If you sell products, do everything you can to get customer reviews on those products.
Awards are also another great way to get that 3rd-party approval. They show that people like what you have to offer so much they went out of their way to congratulate you for it.
4. What can I expect from working with you?
Now your customer knows you’re someone who can solve their problem. That’s a great step! But you still have a little ways to go before making that conversion.
You see, as human beings, we don’t like not knowing what we’re about to get ourselves into. This is especially true when we’re considering a large purchase - the more money they have to spend, the more work you need to do to convince them it’s worth it.
One part of that is to explain, up front, what your potential customer can expect from working with you. Lay out the process clearly on your service pages and explain any deliverables they’ll receive. If you sell products, this is where the product description comes in.
Stating the price is another great way to make expectations clear right from the beginning. Not only does your potential customer get a chance to anticipate the interaction, but they can also take a look at their budget and keep that as part of their considerations.
Many service providers choose to keep their prices off the website because they vary or they’d rather not share up front. I firmly believe in sharing at least a starting price on my website because it gives the right expectations right from the start so, by the time I talk to someone, they’re not surprised.
Of course, the decision is up to you, but remember, the more you can make clear from the beginning, the more your customer knows what to expect right from the start.
5. What makes you different from your competitors?
At this point, your customer knows you can solve their problem and you’re a great contender. But even still, you’ve simply made it on a list of options to consider.
It’s like being nominated for the Grammy’s: you did a sh*t ton of work to get there; but you still have to compete against other, just as incredible, options.
Your UVP is a simple statement where you uncover exactly what it is that makes you different. Going back to the coaching example, perhaps you specialize in career transitions from health to creative industries. Or, perhaps you work exclusively with people who have been in their careers for 10+ years and therefore are much more ingrained in their industry.
Your brand personality is another way to stand out from your competitors and engage with a certain type of customer. For example, if you’re working with younger, adventurous customers you might want to take on a fun and exciting brand personality.
Finally, your brand story creates a resonating narrative that engages your customers and helps them resonate with your brand in a deeper way. You can do this by sharing your backstory, your values, and your vision on your About page.
6. How do I contact you/get started?
Your potential customers have now gone through the entire funnel - they know you can solve their problem, they’ve seen it proven, they know what makes you different, and they’re deeply engaged with their brand. Now they want to get started!
Your job, then, is to make your contact information as easy as possible to find. In other words, put a link to your contact page in your primary navigation and on your website’s footer. Include obvious call-to-actions in multiple places on every single page on your website.
Once your done, your website audience should have no barrier reaching out to you.
If you’re looking for someone to help you incorporate more personality in your content, schedule a consultation. I offer everything from one-off brainstorming sessions to full website copywriting services.
Not only do I offer an unbiased third-party perspective on your story, but I can help you tell it in a way that captivates your audience and turns them into loyal customers.