Your website design matters
It doesn't matter how many followers you have on social media, if you don't have a website that is working for you. Your website is the online home for your business and should convey clearly what it is that you do.
Amanda Olson, of Anchor <A> Design, believes your website should be more about your visitor than your pretty logo and script style fonts. On this episode Amanda breaks down the most common mistakes business owners make on their website and how a well thought-out design can make all the difference.
Amanda grew up with an entrepreneurial spirit she inherited from her grandfather. From a young age, she sold lemonade to her siblings and convinced them to take gymnastics from her although she knew nothing about it! Her passion still lies in the entrepreneurial world as she helps trail blazing business owners reach their own goals.
Part of reaching your goals does have to do with your website and the message it conveys to your visitors. Amanda doesn't just create websites for her clients, but she helps them with strategies to drive traffic to them.
Why are websites so important
Amanda believes your website should be your online home. All of the other social platforms should drive people back to your website. With algorithms, you are at the mercy of each platform, but with websites, you’re in control. Websites also provide you with a level of credibility. People may find you on social first, but they will definitely check out your website before deciding to hire you. So make sure your website is up-to-date with all of your latest work and information!
Most common website mistakes
Not Planning or having strategy
Before you log into any system, start making intentional decisions about how you want your website to work. What flow should your visitors follow? And what do you want to share to attract them and get them to stay? On your homepage, Amanda recommends stating outright what you do and who you do it for. Photographers can fall into the trap of just using images to relay this information, but you need to go ahead and spell it out. Never assume that people will know what to do; be super clear with your messaging. Clarity over cleverness is key to remembering when choosing your homepage design. Sometimes cute and clever lead to confusion for your website visitors. The last thing you need to think about planning for before your site is your SEO keywords. Use these keywords as you set up your website.
Not having professional photography
These photos are created just for you and are one of a kind. This allows you to start standing out in the market. Ask another photographer to take your photos so you can look the part of the professional you are. You can use these photos in so many ways, not just for your website.
Not having social proof
Make sure you include any testimonials or reviews that you’ve received along the way. Amanda recommends sprinkling your testimonials throughout your website so visitors will see them on each page. Also, have a place on your website to promote where you’ve been featured. Again, this goes back to your credibility.
Don’t check out of the process
As a designer, Amanda prefers that her clients don’t check out. Make sure you communicate with your designer about what you do and don’t like. They should have a process in place for this, but if they don’t, speak up. It lends to your final brand and it should be right.
Small fonts - Google is starting to consider docking your SEO if your font is hard to read (this goes for script fonts as well). Be cautious with how you use your fonts.
Proper contrast with your colors (think white text on light colored background). There are online contrast checking tools you can use to double check.
Image files that are too big. If the files are too big, your site will slow down and this can also hurt your rankings as well
Making your logo too big. Your website is not about you; it is about your client and how you can best help them. If your logo is too big, it conveys the message that you’re the focal point instead of the client.
Just as you need a strategy for getting your website up and running, you need a strategy for how you are going to keep driving traffic to your site. Also, don’t just set it and forget it. You don’t need to overhaul your website every year, but go in and update the photos as you go. Don’t forget that blogging is a great way to get your website out there and shows that you are still active in business. Your website is a living thing and it should be growing as you grow.
Time to take action
Don’t feel bad if you relate to any of these mistakes, everyone is prone to making mistakes along the way. Go through your website with an open mind and see what sticks out. After that, have someone you trust go through it as you listen to see what their thoughts are. (Listen to the full episode to see what Paul helped fix on our site!)
- Make sure it’s clear what you do and who you’re for
- Check your font color and size
- Don’t forget your social proof
Don't forget to join the Focus(ed) Business Owners on Facebook to discuss your thoughts on this episode!
More About Amanda
Amanda Olson is a designer, front-end developer, and dreamer based in Nebraska. With 8+ years of design industry experience, she loves empowering her fellow business owners with magnetic branding and striking web design that makes a big impact to their bottom line. When she’s not pushing pixels or writing code, you might find her reading the latest Sophie Kinsella book, eating cookie dough, taking yet another photo of her cat Minnie, or hanging with the fam. Get in touch on her website &/or connect via Instagram.