Are you sabotaging your own website? Barriers To Buy On Your Website

Are you sabotaging your own website? Barriers To Buy On Your Website

It’s amazing how we do this, even I do it! Most of us create websites to sell our products and services, so you would think that we would want to make buying from us really easy! But sometimes we just seem to make buying our thing, really, really hard for our customers. In this blog, I’ll be going over the Top 7 ways we sabotage our own website and prevent ourselves from making those sales.

So, why do we sabotage our own websites? Well it’s mostly down to mindset. If we’re feeling our products, services, course or widget isn’t good enough (or finished enough or big enough…) then we can tie ourselves up in knots trying to sell it.

I had a client a couple of years back who would apologize every single time she added her pricing onto her site. Not just to me, to her visitors! She even apologized for the inconsistency and randomness of her own newsletter in her own opt-in box! She was just so uncomfortable with putting herself out there and asking for something back – even an email address. And, she was really, really good at what she does!

We can get super scared of talking about exchange whether it’s for money or even contact details…

So many of us were brought up to believe that money was a bit of a dirty exchange, that we should never ask for money. When we’re creating a business all about asking for money in return for something, that can give us that icky feeling. Then, we sabotage. we apologise and we hide. Add on a bit of that old imposter syndrome and we’re ready to avoid doing anything to sell! We tell ourselves we aren’t good enough, we don’t know enough or think “who am I to teach this?”. We tell ourselves that that is why our course, products, or services aren’t selling when actually we’re throwing up big barriers to buy all over the place.

Top 7 ways we sabotage our own website

The trick is to recognize that we are doing it. Once we know what is going on, we can change it and some of those changes aren’t massive, technical or complicated.

Sabotage #1 Adding reams of text.

The first way that we sabotage our website is by adding reams and reams of text to persuade our website visitors that we know our stuff. Or to prove that we have a good product and are worthy. However, this means the main call to action just gets buried under information overload.

This happens to so many of my clients so when I design a website even though I leave them sections and guidelines of where and how much text should be used on each page. Still, so often they will insert an essay into that section even though they’re not actually adding anything much to the page. They’re just trying to make themselves feel better. Believing that they are going to have to persuade someone by talking and talking about their product. Whereas, on a website what you actually need is for people to very, very easily get your point and scan through the page so they can make the decision.

Sabotage #2 We don’t make it easy to find

Another way we sabotage our own website is by not adding our products to the places where people can find them. For example, like our menus! I did that once: I created a really lovely sales page for my big website course and I completely forgot to add it to any menus. I was focused on driving traffic over from Facebook and I’d forgotten that people need to find it in the right place on my website!

Sabotage #3 We don’t guide them to buy

The next thing form of sabotage is…we don’t guide people to the actual thing they can buy from the home page. That can be a mixture of what I did, which was completely forgetting how to use my own website (as a website developer that’s great isn’t it!) It just shows that it’s so easy to get wrong. We also don’t guide people through to the right place. We assume people know where things are, we assume that people are going to know to click on the right link. They don’t so we need to guide them through the websites.

Sabotage #4 We just hide it

There’s a little bit of hiding going on, we’re hiding our content just in case people don’t buy it! I get it, it can be quite a vulnerable thing putting things out on our website. Even if we’ve spent hours and hours creating that sales page for people to buy from. We also hide the thing that we want people to buy in the middle of loads of other information. Pages, posts, other products… information overload. This again is partly because we don’t have the confidence in that one particular thing that we’d like to sell on our website. We don’t have the confidence to make that the headline product and so it just gets hidden in all the noise. This goes back to a lot of the mindset around trying to persuade people that they do need this. Rather than focusing on offering a great solution to their problem.

Sabotage #5 Camouflage our buy buttons

We also camouflage our buy buttons and links! Whether that’s as images, titles, or tiny little words right at the end of the sales page. Nobody is going to find it, let alone click on it! Read here to learn more about sales buttons.

Sabotage #6 We ignore broken links

Even if we haven’t camouflaged our actual buy button, sometimes we just don’t check that the links actually work. Even links to sales pages, lead pages, landing pages, from ads, or even to our checkout. There have been instances with clients, where they’ve had inactive links and buttons on their website from calls to buy and they knew that those buttons didn’t work! But they had frozen…they were too scared to do something about it. Or maybe they just believed nobody would click there. Make sure all your links, all your calls to action and all of your buttons work.

Sabotage #7 No way to buy

Lastly, perhaps you don’t have a way for anybody to buy from you at all! Maybe you have a website that’s set up to sell your products or services but there’s actually no way that you’ve put on there for people to buy from you. I see all sorts of ways that my clients try to wriggle out of this one. They might have a contact form that’s hard to find at the end of sales pages. That can be quite good if it’s something that’s one-to-one or bespoke but not when they do it for something that’s really low ticket. That really shouldn’t need that interaction.

Again, this goes back to the “nobody’s going to click to buy it” or “I don’t trust people are going to buy something that’s right for them”. Or “I’ve got to persuade them to buy my products through a personal call”. So they have another hurdle that people have got to get over to buy. Make sure that you have somewhere where people can actually buy from you.

There are loads and loads of ways that we try to get out of feeling uncomfortable about selling on our websites. Are you guilty of any of these? Or do you have a sabotaging secret I haven’t listed? I’d love to know, just comment below this blog or check out the YouTube video here.

Understanding what’s going on with your website sabotage is the start of getting it all sorted. So, if you’re guilty of sabotaging your own website, this blog is made for you.  

Kat x

Make better buttons for your sales page!

Make better buttons for your sales page!

This may sound obvious, but if you camouflage your sales buttons (aka call to action buttons!), you are making it really hard to buy from you! And if your customers have to root around in the fine print for a link to buy your thing, they are very likely to just give up. Buying from you shouldn’t be a challenge. It should be as easy and obvious as possible.

So, this blog is for those of you who are struggling to convert your website visitors to sales. You could be throwing up those barriers and not even knowing that you are preventing people from buying from you!

 

We self-sabotage our sales pages all the time. I know talking about making the sale and asking for money can feel super uncomfortable sometimes, but this is why we are in business. We’ve created something that will help, inspire, entertain or improve the lives of our customers and so we need to actually help them get their hands on it.

There are two parts to creating a website that actually sells for you. One, getting people onto your website in the first place. Getting that all those eyes on your stuff. But then the second part comes in – converting them to actually buy from you.

And this is where so many of you get stuck.

You send people over to your carefully crafted sales page from your socials, advertise your new thing to your email list, or maybe even use ads to drive traffic to your page. And then, crickets. People aren’t buying. You can see they are visiting the page, but you aren’t getting the ding of sales in your inbox.

What is going on???

One of the easiest ways you can convert those visitors to sales is to improve the design of your call to action buttons. Those sales buttons should shout CLICK ME! Like those big red buttons that kids (and me) can’t resist pressing!

Here are 9 design rules for making your sales buttons irresistible.

1) MAKE obvious call to action buttons

As in really obvious – no silly shapes.

There are certain rules of the internet that we are all used to. One of them is that buttons are there to be clicked. Camouflaging your call to action buttons to look like images or titles or simple links will harm your conversion rates. I see them all the time, even on professionally designed sites, and especially on ‘pretty’ websites or sites where they are trying to be different. As a website designer and arty-farty sort, I actually fell into this trap on my early website. I designed a button that was a giant watercolour splash. Looked great. Sold nothing.

A button should look like a button. Rectangular, rounded rectangles and sometimes circles (thanks Apple) get clicks.

2) Use contrasting colours

A BUY button needs to really stand out.

If you have a set of branding colours then pick one of them to be your call to action colour and use them throughout the whole website. This keeps everything consistent and teaches your visitors what to click to navigate the site and buy from you. But make sure that your call to action colour stands out. Using opposing colours on the colour wheel can really make them pop out.

colour wheel website

So yellow against a purple background. Pinks against greens. No pretty blush pink buttons on a white background surrounded by other blush pink elements. It might look lovely but you are actually camouflaging and hiding the good stuff!

3) Make the text easy to read

Another branding trap we can fall into is using hard to read fonts on our call to action buttons. I know, you love that pretty handwritten script and it looks great written huge across your header, but a hard to read button will confuse people. And confusion causes no sales. Use your plainer, body copy, font big and bold. Something that immediately catches the eye without the customer having to work out what it says. They’ll read it without even trying. That’s what you want because people scan through.

4) Be really, really, really clear

Tell people what to do. A call to action button should tell people exactly why they should click it. What action they will be taking. It may sound obvious, but it will up your sales conversions. Using ‘inventive’ calls to action don’t work here. So, no ‘join the party’ (unless they are going to a party or ‘ready to love myself’. Use things like:

  • Download the free ebook
  • Click here to get instant access
  • Sign me up!

These do what it says on the tin and people will click it because they know what they are getting.

5) Lift it up

This can be a stylised frame to make it stand out or a subtle drop shadow to give it a bit of depth.

website frame call to action buttons

But this is a simple way to get your call to action buttons to stand out against the rest of the sales page.

6) Use subtle animation.

I’m not talking about video here or buttons whizzing around the screen. But that subtle little animation that shows that you have clicked the button. Why is this useful? Well, even fast websites aren’t instant. I’m often left hanging after clicking the button, wondering whether I’ve clicked it or not or if I’m hovering over and I’m wondering: Is it a button? Is anything happening?

You can mimic that satisfying click feeling – ooh I love a good click – by changing colour on hover and click. It doesn’t even have to be a huge colour change, it just gives the impression of action. Or you can add an arrow on hover or an arrow animation. You can get super fancy with some animated CSS effects that don’t slow down your page (people love clicking things that move).

But don’t overdo it and don’t use a whole bunch of different animations throughout your site because that will cause confusion. And as we know confusion and distraction causes no sales.

7) Let it breathe

Make sure your whole call to action section is free from clutter. This section of your sales page should be focused on price and the ‘click to buy’ button. Nothing else. This is not the place for distracting fancy graphics or more info on what they are buying. Make it super easy to see with lots of space around it. I even narrow the area down so people are literally working their way down from lots of detail through to one Call to Action.

8) Buttons for everyone

Make sure your button actually works on mobile. Grab your phone and click your button. If it is hard to click, the font is too small to read, not obviously a button on mobile view or just doesn’t show up (yes, a common problem!) then you are throwing half your sales page visitors in the bin.

More than half of your website traffic is probably viewing your page on a phone or tablet. If your button only looks great and works on desktop then… Eek!

9) Simplify your offer

If you are offering a payment plan. Great. But don’t offer more than one. Too many decisions at this stage and buttons all over the place can put people off and you want to make it easy.

Put your payment plan button first. People don’t want to feel embarrassed that they need a payment plan. Make that your most important BUY HERE button. Make it easy!

——————–

So, all your sales buttons should now get more clicks because at the end of the day none of these rules are difficult or hard to apply to your sales page.

And when you’ve sorted out your sales page buttons, you will need to get more visitors to your site to click them…so check that blog out next!

Thanks for reading and leave a comment below if you have any questions!

Kat xx

10 ways to make your website look more professional

10 ways to make your website look more professional

How many times have you visited a ‘professional website’ that is bland and boring? Almost enough to send you to sleep! GOOD NEWS! You don’t have to create a boring website to look professional.

Injecting fun and personality into your website won’t make you look like you don’t know what you are doing. In fact, having a site with bland office businessy images will harm your brand and stop you from forming those all-important connections with your audience.

 

10 things you need to make your website look professional

So how can I make my website look more professional?

Ah, my friends, there are some surprisingly simple things you can do to professional up your website, give yourself more authority online without boring your customers to tears.

#1 Get a custom domain name

When you first start out it can be tempting to go with the free website name that you get with WordPress.com, Wix or Squarespace. But free is good, right? Well, no, because if it is obviously a free domain name your business will look cheap and inexperienced. And it will harm your rankings in the search engines and stop people from finding you. You want all that hard work you are putting into creating a great online experience for your customers to count, from day one.

Choose a domain name that is memorable and relevant to your business without being a chain of search terms. ‘Leedsdentist.com’ is not going to get you ranked higher for dentists in Leeds and will stop your loyal customers from searching for your business direct.

#2 Add a favicon

Ah, sometimes it’s the little details that count. A favicon is that little icon on your browser tab that indicates what website is open.

A pro website will change that icon to reflect their brand. Having the standard WordPress, Wix or Squarespace favicon can make your website look cheap and unfinished. So get that sorted!

#3 Get SSL

Ever been shown the warning insecure site notice when visiting a site?

A little bit off-putting! SSL is an easy way to offer security to your website visitors and give them peace of mind when visiting your site, especially when buying online. It stops the nasty warning screens and gets you that little safe site padlock at the top of the browser. Visitors look for it now! Google looks for it now! So, make sure you get SSL on your website and that means it’s secure. Don’t be penalised for not having it on your site.

#4 Keep it simple

The temptation is to squeeze everything onto the home page in the hope that something tempts visitors to click through. But when it comes to websites, we have the attention span of a SQUIRREL! We pick out headlines, scan blocks of text for keywords and then press the big button at the bottom. Clutter up the page with new things, look at this blog then we won’t be able to pick out the most important message and are likely to just wander off.

The big pro websites cut their home page info to a few big words and short paragraphs of text to guide us through to take an action. Be ruthless with the amount of text on each page to make it super clear what action your visitors need to take. Just don’t confuse people by trying to pack too much in, particularly on the front page and the header.

#5 Use white space

This leads me on nicely to the use of white space. Give your text room to breathe. Nobody wants to feel like they are reading an essay so chop it up into little bitesize chunks with lots of space between them.

Then add more padding around your sections of text. So much easier to scan and a great way to make your website look professional. It will capture the interest of visitors to that page rather than making them think “ugh I have to read reams of text”.

#6 Only use TWO fonts (and make them really good ones!)

I suggest a characterful title font that reflects your brand and an easy to read body copy font. And then stick to them! No adding that gorgeous swirly font you found because you fell in love with it or choosing a random title font to make your text stand out!  It just ends up looking tacky and unprofessional. Stick to your branding font on and off your website and people will bond with your brand and you make your website look ten billion times more professional.

 

Speaking of professional…

#7 Choose your colours wisely

You don’t want to look like a closing down sale. Choose your colour palette and stick to it. The temptation to add a new bright neon pink to highlight that new product may be pretty strong, but it will make your offer look bargain basement and less professional.

Pick one of your colours to act as your ACTION colour throughout your website and that will guide people to take the actions you want them to take. It will cut down the confusion and really build your brand. So, choose your colour palette and stick to it!

#8 Upgrade your images

Images can make or break a website Blurry, badly cut and pixelated images can really bring down the quality of your website. Getting the right, high-quality images on your site is such a powerful way of creating connection and communicating your message that you don’t want them to be saying, cheap, old fashioned, not genuine and unprofessional.

But you don’t have to rush out to get a professional photo shoot right away. There are loads of free and cheap photo sites out there where you can find professionally shot images. The trick is knowing what to look for so you can avoid the cheesy stock photo. If you need help with this, check out this blog post where I show you how to find great images.

#9 It needs to look good on mobile too

Most website builders are responsive, which means that the text and images rejig themselves depending on the size and format of the screen. BUT that doesn’t necessarily mean that your website will be a good experience for visitors on a mobile device. Text can be too large and split between lines, or too small to read. Images can make NO sense, buttons can be too fiddly to press and menus may do odd things in mobile view.

Mobile is more and more important these days as over half of web traffic is now from a mobile device. That’s a lot of people! You need to make sure that your website looks good and gives your visitors that professional website experience, no matter how they are viewing it. Grab your mobile phone and check it out. Navigate through your site and make sure you check all the links, menus and buttons. Be truthful with yourself: Is it looking good? Are they getting the same experience no matter the screen size?

 #10 Be yourself

I know, this may be squeaky bum time. Especially if you don’t like having your face against your brand. But it’s time to show off exactly why you and your business shine. What makes you different, what makes you stand out in a crowd of other similar businesses? Why should anybody choose your brand over another?

Not all medical sites have to be green

Not all accountants have to be blue

Not all consultants need to show that handshaking shot or a photo of a random city.

A professional website is a site that connects with your audience. And the best way to do that is to be yourself. Consumers look for that personal experience and connection with a brand that simply isn’t possible if you are trying to look like everybody else in the market. There is a reason that the about page is the most viewed page on any website.

Don’t be scared to brand your business to reflect your values and passion for what you do. Love purple? Go for it! Want to create a business that feels warm and welcoming? Then use those soft colours and handwritten fonts. And if you are building a personal brand then people need to see you. Invest in some professional pictures that show you off as being you, doing what you do. No staid business headshots are welcome here. Your website will stand out, make a more impactful impression on your visitors and help you build a more cohesive and professional brand. Having your branding nailed will make your marketing so much more professional both on and off-site.

It’s not rocket science…

A few little tweaks and some solid branding choices can really make the difference between an obviously DIY-ed and a professional website. Please don’t bore your website visitors to tears or give them a strobe headache just looking at your site. If you feel your website is unprofessional then it probably is and it is time to do something about it.

Let me know in the comments what your biggest professional website struggles are! Like, follow and remember that building a professional website is as much of a journey as building your business.

Kat x

Scared of starting your website? Try this!

Scared of starting your website? Try this!

Yes, getting started on your website can feel pretty scary and website overwhelm stops many business owners from getting online at all. So, if you’ve got this in your head….

Maybe you’ve tried something before and ended up completely tangled up in the tech. You have no idea how to get out or you’ve tried to get started on your website only to be confronted by the white screen of death! By the end of this blog, my five fixes will get your website finally off the ground and less ‘argh’ and more ‘a-ha’!

5 fixes to stop Website Overwhelm!

I’m Katherine from the business beautician and I help business owners get profitable online without getting tangled up in all the tech. Let’s get you started!

Tip 1: Identify your website’s purpose.

The first thing you need to consider when creating your website is what is your website for? What do you want it to actually do for your business?

It’s no use getting a website just because you think “I need a website!” if you don’t know what it’s going to do for your business. Do you need a shop? Do you need to sell products on there? Or do you need to show people where you are? Do you need to include a map with directions to your shop? Do you need to have sign-ups? Are you going to be concentrating on list building? Identify the function of your website because if you don’t know what your website is for, then you may as well not have one.

You can do very well reaching your audience on Facebook or TikTok or whatever is your thing. You don’t necessarily need a website to do that. Yes, I know I am a website builder and I am telling you that you may not need a website! However, that might be the case. If you don’t have a purpose for your website, then don’t get one. So, to begin, write down exactly what you are looking for from your website. What your objectives are. This cuts down your options and it cuts down exactly what you’re going to include on your website. Then you can get super focused when it comes to building that website.

Tip 2: Get planning

Step two for starting a website with no overwhelm is to plan it out.

Now, this may seem obvious but it is so often the step that business owners skip over. They go straight into the “I want a pretty template and things all looking lovely” mode. You wouldn’t sit down to write a book when you hadn’t sorted out who the characters are, what the beginning is, what’s going to happen in the middle let alone what’s going to happen at the end! You wouldn’t start writing a book that way and you shouldn’t start writing your website that way either. People like to be taken on a journey from A to B so you really need to step back and plan out exactly what you want your website to include. What pages do you want on there? What do you want those pages to do for your business? Or what actions do you want people to take once they’ve landed on those pages?

Once you’ve got that figure out, you’ve started to build up the shape of your website, considerably cutting down the overwhelm of starting out your website. Having a list of what your business needs on there and not what the template says you need means you won’t be trying to fill out all the little bits and pieces just because it tells you to. This is your business’s website and it should be planned as such. At this stage of your website building, I would keep it simple, simple, simple! Start with a couple of pages, up to five pages and a blog. Make sure you are not giving yourself a mountain to climb when you start because remember, it’s not set in stone and you can develop it as you go.

Tip 3: Choose your platform

The third step to building a website without overwhelm is to choose your platform.

Now you might be thinking at this stage ‘Oh my God, I’ve got to choose what I’m doing right now and invest lots of money and it might all go wrong!” This is often where people really do get stuck because the many options can cause website overwhelm! Do you use WordPress, Wix, Shopify, Squarespace…what do you choose for your website? This is where people can then get stuck in the overwhelm of searching through templates, trying to find the best thing that fits their business. Luckily, after you’ve done the first two steps on my list, you will have a plan of what you need and know exactly what your website needs to do for you. With that information, you’ve already made some of that decision.

You know whether you need the flexibility of WordPress or whether Squarespace would do for just having a very good-looking website. Or if you need a shop, maybe you want to go for Shopify. So, you’ve got a little bit of the answer there about which tech (sorry I said the tech world!) would actually be best for your website. If you’ve got some experience in any of those, then maybe that’s the one to go for. However, don’t worry this isn’t a huge commitment that can’t be undone. This is something that you can work with, develop and as your business develops so will your website. So, if you start out on Wix and find you hate it, you can move! You can move your domain name, you could go to a different platform and making a commitment now to one of these platforms isn’t for life.

Wait…

You may be thinking “hang on I thought you were going to show me how to build a website” This blog is not about how to build a website. It’s about showing you how to beat website overwhelm because the overwhelm tends to happen before you have chosen how you’re going to build your website! Most of the overwhelm and the reason that people get stuck with building a website and don’t even start is because they haven’t chosen how they’re going to do it. This blog shows you how to overcome this and this leads me on to the fourth step.

Tip 4: Get learning

The fourth step in how to build a website without overwhelm is to learn how to use your website.

Learn how to build it go on and find something that is going to help you! Googling everything as you go along is just going to tangle you up and confuse you more. Find a tutorial that will take you step by step through the exact process you need to build your website. There are thousands of tutorials on all of the platforms that can help you do this. You don’t have to do it alone, you don’t have to google every single little thing and guess how to do things and get yourself all tangled up and in a mess. You can get somebody to hold your hand and take you through every single step.

Most of getting rid of this overwhelm has already been done for you! You’ve already made the big decisions that are going to enable you to buy or even find a free tutorial that will take you through step by step. Then, you can build that website confident that you’re doing it the right way for your business. Yes, I do indeed help people to build websites and I have a DIY step-by-step course. If WordPress is your thing and you either want to build a WordPress shop or just a simple site then I do have tutorials and follow this link to find out more.

and Tip 5 to beat website overwhelm: Have fun!

My fifth fix for cutting the overwhelm with website building is to expect to have fun with it.

This is playtime, this is where you can get creative! This is where you can take everything in your business online and show it off to the world.  However, your website does not have to be perfect straight away. Everything you do will change, it will develop, it will grow with your business. If your website isn’t changing and growing then your business is not doing too well. It needs to constantly change and a great website is never finished. It’s never perfect and it never should be, it is a continually evolving thing. It will continually develop with your business but doesn’t that take the pressure off!

Another thing that might make you feel better is to see how other people’s websites have evolved. Below is what Marie Forleo’s website looked like before she became famous:

For those wondering, this was mine!

You see, it doesn’t have to be perfect it just has to get out there, so get started! If want to know how you can tell whether your website’s a success, you can read my previous blog here and it might not be what you think it is.

Like and comment on this blog, I would love to know what your biggest overwhelm is with your website so I can help you out!

Kat x

8 ways to get more visitors to your website!

8 ways to get more visitors to your website!

Today I’m going to be sharing 8 really easy tips on how to get more visitors to your website. Which is what websites are all about!

8 Tips to Get More Website Visitors 

These eight tips are not huge things you need to change on your website. I’m not going to be going delving deep into the world of SEO and looking at a load of stats. No, these are really simple tweaks that you can make on your lunch break or just before putting the kids to bed. These are things that you can action in your business really easily to get more visitors to your website. So, if you like what I’m writing about and you want to find out more keep reading! As always, if you’ve got any comments on this topic, leave them below and I will always respond.

Number One: Make sure your website is speedy

We all do it, if it doesn’t load almost immediately we go back to the search results. So, make sure that your website is fast. “How can I do that?” I hear you say! There are a number of different tools out there for this purpose. There’s Pingdom Tools which I really like. Their speed test is very easy to use. GTmetrix is another one you want to may want to try out. Google PageSpeed as well, although I find that’s a little trickier and doesn’t give you as many hints on how to change things. All you need to do is pop your URL into the search on any of these tools and it will give you a list of ways that you can improve your website speed. What you’re looking for is a time of under three seconds. If you can do under five seconds, this could work but if it’s a longer load than that people get turned off. We don’t want that, especially if we’ve invested a lot of time and energy trying to get people to our site.

So, take that list of suggestions from any of these tools and you can either implement some yourself. If you need any help I’ve got other videos and tips on how to speed up your website on my blog and on my YouTube channel. A speedy website means more visitors to your website!

Number Two: Add your website to Google my business

This is useful particularly if you are a local company. When people search for, say a hairdresser in Leeds, Google will show your business as a local option. It will show a map with all the local options, so you want your business to be on there. It can bump you right to the top of Google search results, increase your website visitors and it’s free!

Number Three: Blog!

I know you’ve heard that a blog is so important but you might be thinking “I do not have time to write an article every week” or “I don’t have time to show up there all of the time”. However, this is the huge blog secret: you don’t have to! Unlike social media, a blog is evergreen content. It will always be there. It used to be that Google would be looking for new content but not anymore. Instead, it wants helpful relevant content! If that helpful content that you wrote two months ago is still relevant, it will still show up in the search results. If that lovely article that you wrote two years ago is still helpful, it will show up in the search results, thus increasing website traffic. The love of a blog goes on and on and the important thing is to remember it’s quality and not quantity. You are on a win-win there because you don’t have to keep rewriting the wheel and churning out content. This is why I love it!

So, if you don’t have a blog get going. You can answer people’s questions about who will come into your business, they will get to experience working with you. They’ll get to experience the information they can get from you. They can really understand what you’re all about. A blog can do so many things for you. If you don’t have a blog then that’s quite a big tip for you to start but most website builders have a blog that you can use straight away. Don’t overthink it, just write something that you know will be helpful for your audience and that will bring in more visitors to your website.

Number four:  Share via your social media platforms

As I said, this is evergreen content! The way that social media works is that not all of your audience sees all of your content every time. So, take snippets from your blog and post them through to your Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. I hate Twitter but you might love it, for Instagram reuse your blog content, again saving time. What will happen is that you will drive more people through, even if you post the same blog that you wrote two years ago. If it’s relevant, people won’t have seen it, they won’t have read it so send them through from your social media. All great for increasing website visitors. It’s the thing that keeps on giving! Always use those links to drive traffic through and don’t assume that people have already seen your brilliant blog content.

Number five: Add interesting images, video and audio files to your post

Again, we’re talking about blogging because it’s the place that people can sneak in through the back door to your website. It’s the place you can give them more information. Adding videos, images and audio files is all looked upon really well by your customers and visitors to your website. People are more likely to read the content if it’s broken up with good images. They’re more likely to stay on your website, they’re more likely to interact with you and then they’re more likely to buy. So, it really does win for getting more visitors to your site and making them stick there. It’s also looked upon as a really good thing by Google because it knows that your customers and your visitors like lots of images. Options to learn from you in different formats is loved by Google so it rewards you for adding them to your blog. It doesn’t have to be a complicated image, graphic or video.

What I do is, take my YouTube videos and create a blog from them. I can imbed my video into my post so that Google sees it and it thinks ‘video fantastic!’. This is particularly good for a how-to post because people watch videos for how-tos. The more types of media you have in your post the better as far as both your visitors are concerned and Google.

Check out this post on finding the best free images for your site!

Number Six: Use more list articles

You know those articles where it’s ‘six ways to get more traffic to your website’ or ‘five ways to get the best boyfriend ever’. Or ‘three ways to train your cat to climb the stairs’ (they don’t need training to climb the stairs do they!). These sorts of list articles with a number in them are proven to be clicked on more in the search results. So even if you aren’t at the top of Google, people are more likely to click through to your article. That can be a really good way to frame your blog post. It’s also easier because it breaks it down, meaning it is better for people to digest and read.

Number Seven: Add share buttons

Having share buttons will mean people will share to their own outlets. You get them to do the work for you and you can have like buttons and share buttons. Also, you can use a great plugin on WordPress which is ‘click to tweet’. This means you can take a little bit of your content and people will tweet it for you. So let them do the sharing if they like your stuff and it’s quite likely that their group of friends or colleagues will too. Meaning an increase in website traffic. So that is a winner and it is very easy to add to your site.

Number Eight: Create a really good advert for the Google search page

When you do a Google search, you will see the ads at the top. Then you might see the local pack or videos and then you get the organic search. Well, you can write that little advert that will get people to click through to your website! You can improve your click-through rate, even if you are lower down on the search results. This is so important to do for every single post that you write because this is what gets people in. It’s no use being at the top of the Google search results if you’ve got a really naff ad so people don’t click on it. What you need is to improve your click-through rating to get people onto your site. Once you get more people onto your site, Google will then know that you’re a really useful article and you will get yourself further up on the search results.

So, writing that little advert is so, so important and I do have a few tips on how to make that clickable. Make sure that it’s relevant to the article. If you’ve done some keyword research, make sure that your keywords are first on the title. Once you’ve got this title, you need something to entice them in. You’ve got a certain amount of characters so make sure you use them well. Entice visitors by letting them know what they are going to get from your article or page and why they should click.  Make sure that compared to everybody else on the search results page, yours seems more clickable. I use WordPress and the YoastSEO plugin and it’s fantastically easy to do. It gives you a little box of where to put both the title and the description and shows you how many words you have left on both so that you don’t overrun. Then, you know you can craft the perfect clickable ad for the Google search page.

There we have it…

Eight really useful quick and easy tips on how to get more website visitors. So, speed up your website and get yourself on Google My Business. Blog away and make sure you get all that blogging goodness to your website. Link from social media, make sure you’re always telling people about what you’re writing about. Add more images, videos and audio files to your post. List articles are fabulous for getting noticed and clicked on. Share your links on your post so that people share to social media and make sure you write a fantastic Google ad!

…and I have one more sneaky tip for you

It’s the secret one because you read all of the way through! The ninth tip is to put some internal links within your posts. We all know that Google loves us linking from other people’s posts but it also likes us linking from within our own blogs. So make sure that, if you’re writing about something you’ve talked about before link through to the other article. It becomes a chain and Google loves this because it sees that you’re giving them relevant information. You have a topic you are an expert in!

If you are loving my posts and if you have got anything out of this one comment below, click like and please share. I will be posting here every week so I would love to see any other suggestions for anything you’d like to hear from me about website marketing. Post below and I always answer.

Kat xx

How to find the best free images for your website

How to find the best free images for your website

Today I’m going to be talking about how you can find brilliant, free images for your website. This is particularly relevant if you’re just starting out, haven’t got a big budget to get a photoshoot but you really need images on your website.

You might not have the money to invest in some of the big stock photos. Maybe you’re not sure what sort of thing to look for because it’s quite hard to know if you don’t have images of your business. Perhaps you’re a service-based business and you don’t have a big office. Maybe you don’t have a lot of things to take photographs of. You may think you can only have images if you are a product-based business because you’d have an image of a product.

Whatever the situation, I’m going to be showing you where you can go to get really good free images. Images that you can use on your website and actually do the selling for you! I’ll also be showing you what I look for when I look on any image site. Knowing what you’re aiming for is key to getting the right image for your website.

Why is it important to get really good images on your website?

  1. You can really target your audience, you can really make people feel at home. That’s why all the big stores have pictures of who they’re aiming for. For example, a really young store will have teenagers dressed up in their clothes. You can do that instantly with images.
  2. You can also up your branding because people expect images on the website. They expect to have a really nice welcoming experience and to have pictures breaking up the text. Having a very text-heavy website will do you no favours because images are everywhere in our culture. They connect with us, we connect with them and they’re so instant they can give an impression immediately. Whereas, having to read through a bit of an essay text, people have to invest more time to get through that content. So images can be very instant and helpful.
  3. Images are really good at evoking feelings in us without us really paying attention. They can make us feel happy, they can make us feel comfortable, they can make us feel welcomed. Images can be very powerful things and getting the right image is very important. You don’t want to be evoking the wrong feeling about your brand or product. You really want to be showing people exactly how your product or your service is going to make people feel.
  4. Images set the seed. You might be welcoming people into your website, it might be your About page where you’ve got some images of your business. It might be your Services page where you want to show the results of your business and how you’re going to make them feel. You’re really setting the scene for how your products or your service really works for your target audience.

What not to look for in free images!

Before I dive into my four top free photo sites, I want to mention what not to look for.

What you want to avoid are those very posed images that we see absolutely everywhere. If you’re a marketing professional and you really want to show that you mean business, you may search in a photograph site for ‘business’. You will get some very generic images of handshaking, power stats, and weird meetings where everybody is either really beautiful or really wooden. These sorts of images are absolutely everywhere and they’re not very believable. They’re obviously really posed, they’re not to do with your business and they don’t show off what your strengths are. It’s just an image to fill a space.

Data backgrounds, although you might think it looks very high-tech and would make a website look fantastic, are used so often that people just turn them off. Images that you may think show serious business, wealth, and strategy actually have been used in so many places. It’s not about your business, it’s not about your building, it’s not about who you work with and the results that you get. So, stay away from those very staged images.

One image that was popular on most people’s ‘About’ page was the call centre, smiley girl. She was all over the place, so people will be aware that’s not a real person in your business. Those are the sorts of images that will turn people off because when they contact you, they want to know they’re talking to a real business, a real person, and not just a stock photo.

Top 4 websites for free images

Now, I’m going to work through some of my favourite free image sites to show you exactly what I look for. To compare the four, I’ve looked for photographs as if I were a life coach, looking for images that will suit my services. Those that will attract my target audience, and make my website feel right for whoever visits.

Pexels.com

Pexels is created by photographers who want you to see the best of their work. So, you can get something a little different from your average stock photograph. For this purpose, as a life coach, I’m looking for images that will reflect my business: working with women and making them feel happy. I typed in “women laughing”.

I got ones like somebody jumping for joy so that could be quite good with a nice comment about what I do. One showing a happy woman could hint she is happy she’s been working with me. We want somebody similar to the person we’re working with, showing what result they can get after working with me. I like images with nice soft colors so if that matches your brand that would be great.

This is a nice free image, it’s really not posed, it looks like my target audience and she looks very happy and relaxed. So that would be showing my target audience exactly the results they can get through working with me.

Unsplash.com

Again, this is created by photographers so it’s very creative. It’s not your normal stock photographs, you can get something that’s a lot more natural. Sometimes I actually use free image websites even though I’ve got a paid subscription because I get something more natural. With this search I want to evoke a feeling, I want to look for an image that really evokes the feeling of working with me. I search for “freedom” and we get some really great photographs that really evoke an emotion.

 

It really gives you that feeling of flow, it gives you some awesome gorgeous colours. It’s evoking emotion, and having images like these on your website can really set an emotion so people know how they’re going to feel through working with you. If your life coaching is all about looking inside and changing from the inside, we can evoke a lot of emotions through photographs even on a free image website.

Pixabay.com

This one tends to be a bit more stock photography. Again they’re all free images so you’ve got no worries about downloading. For this one, I’m just going to look for more scene-setting images. I look up “calm” this time, so I want to evoke that sort of calm scene-setting for my website.

We could use any of these as background drops, just to set them behind the words. It just makes you feel calm and it makes you feel rested, it gives you a slower start to your day. It’s very warm colours so these are the sorts of images that you can set the scene with. Free photograph sites do give you a big choice of things that you can look at so have a look at the sorts of emotions you want to describe in your images.

This time I use “meditation” and some of them look a bit posed, some have mountains and faith. It gives you some good ideas of what else you can then type into the search afterward. There’s a lot more selling that goes on Pixabay which is worth noting.

Canva.com

You might know this one for making socials images for Instagram for Facebook. You might know it for making various sorts of posters and logos and that sort of thing but it’s also really good at finding images. Especially if you’ve got the pro account which you may already have to create images in your business. You get a lot of photographs included, so again with the life coach arena, there are successful woman images or well-being ones.

You do get a lot of free images on here, with a mix of pro and free. There’s also one from Pexels that we saw before, so some images are shared between sites. This time I typed in “happy woman” and had a search through. I quite like the ones for women in business on here, they are quite relaxed. Look at your age group and note that people react well to images of people. There’re some good choices on here and really worth looking through, especially if you’ve got a pro account on Canva.

I hope I’ve given you some really great ideas of the types of websites you can find these free photographs. As well as what sort of thing you should be looking for when you get there. I hope that they will provide you with the images you need for your website and your social media. They’re very useful and actually, I think you can often get better images on those free sites than you can off the paid ones.

Comment below what sort of images you could get for your website. Or if you’re struggling to find images that are right for your business, ask away because I’d love to help you out find those right images for your website.

Kat