Posts in Business Website Writing
How to get more visitors to your website

You launch a new website, expecting an immediate onslaught of email inquiries and online purchases. But after a few weeks of little to no emails, blog comments, store purchases or lead generating downloads, you realize something: Websites are very needy.

Use my simple, convenient website traffic planner to increase your website promotion and triple your traffic!

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You - and probably a web builder, designer, copywriter (or that rare three-in-one person like me) - all poured your hearts and souls into a spectacular new business website. Then, launch day comes and you glory in your brand’s online presence. You get a few curious drop-bys, but the early hype wears off, and after a few weeks you’re wondering where everybody went - ??

Here’s the thing about a website: it’s only one piece to the marketing puzzle. And it’s a fairly needy piece at that. I hate to break it to you but your website needs ways to get visitors to it. You’re going to have to put effort into getting visitors to your site and it’s work. That’s why people like me do it full-time for large companies.

Okay, so after the website launch, what do you do? How does a girl keep the traffic flowing? Here are a few (non-ad spend) ways to drive site traffic.

Maintain an irresistible blog

There’s blogging to increase your site’s search results and there’s blogging your audience will go frantic over. You want both. Don’t simply blog to get some content and keywords on your site - blog helpful information your fans will devour. You know them and what they’ll take the time to read so make your posts completely irresistible.

Email like a bestie

You absolutely need to be sending out emails. I’ll save the advice on how frequently you should email for another day, but regular emails will make a massive difference in site traffic. Even if you don’t have much of an email list accumulated, start emailing anyway (it’s good practice to figure this part out before you have a huge email list at stake). Aim for sounding like you. Genuine. Thoughtful. Open. Relatable. Try to accomplish something with each email, like: 1. Tease latest blog. 2. Offer an incentive 3. Promote a new product/service. But for a personal brand, your tone should fit how you would talk to the reader in person. Because in our cases, boss babe, business really is personal.

List your website. Everywhere.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many of us can miss the opportunity to plug our site. Is your site linked in your Instagram bio? Your Facebook page? A Google listing? Linked In? Twitter? Is it on your email signature, your proposals? Your business card? Your PDF downloads? Time for an audit!

Push products/services.

This is the real reason you want more traffic to your site - it houses all the goods! Promote them! Pick a new product or service each month to make a big deal about, then get on your social accounts and emails and spread the word. Your call-to-action is to get the customer to go to your website for more info or to make the purchase. Don’t just make it about site traffic, make it about the items, services, events, community memberships you want to sell.

Branding Authentically: Learn from others without losing your voice

You would think authenticity in a marketing message would be one of the most natural skills for a business owner. Simply write like you talk. Convey a thought or idea the way you would standing in your kitchen or brainstorming with your team. 

But how many of you girl (and guy) bosses are with me when I admit to serious struggle in this area? Especially in those first few months of my business' launch. All day long I'm watching and learning from those more successful than me; studying their Instagram feeds, reading their LinkedIn articles and listening to their podcasts, thinking, "oh, okay, that's how I should do it."

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Sure, we need training to improve how we lead, manage and move our companies forward, but all this absorbing others' material can also cloud our communication. It can become very tempting to take on someone else's tone, style, word choices and methods, to our own detriment. Your audience doesn't want another so-and-so, they want you, and the special way you can serve them. Your business will never stand out if you don't decide what's going to set it apart.

I'm still learning this myself, and I'm sure I always will be, but I can tell you what has helped me in this area - and if you'll let me preach for a moment - stress to you that I really, truly want you to fight for authenticity with your business and brand messaging. The world needs your way of doing something that is a little - or a lot - different from the other companies in your field. Learn best practices, but don't be afraid to put your own spin on what that is for your small business. Here are a few ways you can make sure you're branding authentically.

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Write your first draft from the heart

Sometimes, when I begin a blog or content piece, I can't get past the first couple sentences without second-guessing myself. Is this what I should say? Is this how I should say it? Oh shoot, is that even grammatically correct? 

Brand owners, I give you full permission to toss all the rules out the window and let your heart guide your first draft. Just let those thoughts and fingers fly. Who cares about proper punctuation, how someone else may read it or if the sentence is perfectly formed? First drafts are the best time to put your spirit into your words. You can worry about all that fine-tuning after you feel that what you're saying and how you're saying it is truly a reflection of you. 

Learn from your own successes

Hopefully, after you've been at it a while, you can shift your attention off other business owners and focus more on what's worked for you. Gradually decrease the amount of time you spend following your favorite branders and devote more time to what you love about your own branding. This will help you build off what's been working and stay in tune with how you should come across to your specific audience to create more successful leads. 

Create your own stylebook

If there's any point here that I feel equipped to speak to, it's this one. I began in the magazine publishing world, worked at a newspaper, blogged for businesses when it wasn't cool yet and just crossed three years as a full-time copywriter for a mortgage company. Style, grammar and the English language have been my world for about 15 years. 

When it comes to brand messaging, advertising and marketing content, style guides and grammar rules can be held loosely. It's a different type of communication, and you can absolutely feel free to create your own style guide.

What you don't want to do is be inconsistent. Choose how you're going to write a term ( pluralize business' or business's?) or punctuate (do you like more or fewer commas?) and stick with it. Sure, it may not pass a college essay, but college English wasn't about branding your business. In marketing world, your grade is about consistency.

Be firm with your business boundaries

If you hate blogging, don't blog. If you prefer to podcast over owning a Facebook business page, then put your time and creativity into a podcast. You don't have to do all the types of messaging you see others doing - especially in the early years. It's okay to choose the type of marketing you prefer, and what works best for your audience - it's your brand!

Keep putting yourself out there

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When it comes to writing authentically, repetition is the best teacher. I felt super awkward those first couple months trying to "be me" with my own brand. Years of helping other business owners and companies find their voice didn't mean my own came instantaneously. You're entitled to a few awkward social posts, blogs, videos (have you visited my YouTube account lately? Me neither, lol) and emails. 

Don't let those uncomfortable first few hold you back. Keep posting, recording, emailing and captioning. Your voice will come. 

 

Maybe you've been in the biz a while and you've established your authentic brand conversation. Now, your problem is you simply don't have the time or desire to take your marketing to the next level with strategic, lead-creating website writing or email campaigns. That's what I can help with. And please, if you simply found this blog super helpful, leave me a comment because I'd love to know! 

Until next time, bosses!

Four reasons your website is killing your business
website marketing

Fellow bosses, let's have some real talk about your website. It may be killing more business than it's producing. 

I know that's harsh, but here's what I mean: I was recently on the hunt for a hardscape company that does outdoor kitchens (not for myself, for someone else :) and man, the websites made my decision for me.  A couple were atrociously bad. Fuzzy images, cluttered text and buried contact information. Based on their website, I felt like that company couldn't possibly be run well, regardless of how much more skilled the owners were at hardscape than digital marketing.

A couple other sites were decent, but as soon as I pulled up the single site that was actually attractive and well written, I forgot about the others. My decision was made based on the impression I got from their websites. And it turns out the company with the best website has a great reputation and does a lot of business - I get the feeling more than its competitors with the poor websites. Case-in-point why our online marketing is a reflection on the standards of our business overall.

If you're thinking; hmmm, is my website a business killer? I can help you determine that. Here are four reasons your website may be stopping people from contacting you.

1. It's too much information. Probably the biggest mistake business owners make with their website is plastering way too much information there - particularly on the home page. People don't care to read about the 10-year history of your business, or the endless description of how you do what you do. All they want from your website is to learn what you can do for them, if you're up to the task and how they can get it done. If you want to test whether your site is information overload, I explain how in an earlier blog

2. It's ugly. I'm no design pro but with the help of a Squarespace template and some stock images, I managed to make my website look fairly nice. Trust me, if I can do it, you can too. It's going to cost you a little dough (my investment was about $200 total) but when you're attracting more customers, you'll know it was well worth it. If you've been at it for a while and you really want to take your business to the next level, it may be time to hire a web designer and get that thing customized (I'd love to write the content, btw). 

3. It's a conversion black hole. The whole point of a website is to convert visitors to buyers. So often, however, we get really amped about convincing someone to use us and neglect clearly explaining to them how they can do that. You may have a strong "pick me!" message there but are losing people when they're like, 'uh, ok great, so how do I do that?' Make sure your contact info, email form or scheduling link aren't buried and that the path to using your products is spelled out clearly. This is a good point to use my advice in this post on. 

4. It's out of date. Serious pet peeve of mine. Update your information! Websites are great at delivering your marketing message for you, but only if that message is current. If there are references to 2010 or images with out-of-date trends on there, it screams 'my website is neglected and I may or may not still be doing business.' Yikes, huge turnoff. 

Hey, way to care enough about your brand to pay some attention to the quality of your website. If you're ready to add killer writing that will attract - not kill potential business, I'd love to help you do that. Pop over to the contact page and send me an email. Oh, and if you're pretty proud of your website, leave the link below in the comments. I'd love to check it out!