Podcast: How to Make Your Website Captivating + Why It Matters
When you think of being captivating, you usually think about someone whose personality is magnetic. You probably don’t associate that with your website. But being captivating online is important, too. Here’s why…
Most people give a website an average of 15 seconds of their attention before they move on. Yup, that’s 15 SECONDS, not minutes. This means that making a great impression quickly is crucial for you to actually get the results you want from your website. You need to quickly show who you are, what you do, the quality you offer, and what sets you apart. And it should all be done in a way that’s concise and easy-to-navigate.
This will help you see more results from your website, like increased page views, more inquiries coming in and more sales because you captured the attention of your target audience.
So you may be wondering now, what will capture my target audience’s attention? Well, there are 5 main things that are crucial to being captivating on your website, no matter what the specifics of your audience are industry are. I cover those five things below! The best part is that you can do all of these things yourself (well except for one). Let’s dive into the tips!
Tip #1: Use storytelling on your website.
This is one of the most under-used tactics on websites. You see people talking about storytelling on Instagram and social media all the time but not on a website. Your website is the perfect place to share your story and you don’t have to only do it on your “about” page.
You should be including info about who you are, why you do what you do, and what makes your background in the field different from the rest, in several areas on your website. Have this on your home page, in a sidebar if you use a blog post format with a sidebar, and you can even incorporate a bit of it on your services page or products page.
On my services page, for example, I use story telling to explain who my services are for. I say they’re “for entrepreneurs who have a vision for their businesses and they’re ready to work with a professional web designer to bring that vision to life.” And I tell about how I started online to give a little credibility. I don’t want them to only be able to find out about what makes me qualified to do their websites on the about page. I want this visible on the actual page where the services are and where the form is to contact me for a free consultation to justify the investment and to remove hesitations.
Think about your website and where valuable info on your background will enhance it, so you can connect with your audience better and gain more trust.
Tip #2: Explicitly write about the benefits of working with you or purchasing from you.
Almost everything these days is a commodity. Consumers are more informed now than ever and it’s easy to get caught up in the “price comparison game” when you don’t know the benefits of what you do. You must sell the benefits of what you do on your website and not only the specific package features or just product features.
Here’s an example of this, if you have an e-commerce store that sells women’s shirts, think about how women will feel with those shirts. Will they be more confident? Will the shirts feel luxurious as they wear them? Will they stand out from the crowd? Then, once you identify the actual benefits, sneak that into your website copy.
In your descriptions, you could write things like: “feel more confident with this luxurious fabric, handcrafted to be the perfect shirt for a night out with your girls.” Paint the picture of what their life would be like with your product in their possession. You can even put this type of info on the homepage when you give a little excerpt about your store and of course on the full about page.
The same goes for service-based and digital product businesses. You’re not selling just a service or just a course. You’re selling the benefits that the course or workbook will provide for your customers. For my business for example, I put emphasis on web design strategy because the whole purpose of a website is to elevate your image online and to get more leads, sales, and inquiries. That’s what I’m selling: an elevated image and better business results. I’m not just selling lines of cute code. I paint the picture of what a client would get during our consultation calls, talking about the vision for their website and how that vision will impact their business and they love it! It makes it a much more worthwhile investment.
You could do the same if you’re a photographer. People are usually looking for an elevated image with photos, as well. And with accountants, people are looking for financial security, so sell that. You’re not just selling book balancing. People want to feel secure and confident when they check their bank accounts and know that everything is paid for and in check. Whatever your industry, there are benefits to what you do!
An easy way to start with this, is to write out what your offerings are on one side of a piece of paper and on the other side, write the corresponding good feelings and benefits that each offer will bring. And then, you’ll have a list of words and phrases to reference as you write your website copy.
Tip #3: Invest in high quality photography.
I know, I know. I’ve said this before, but I can’t emphasize enough how important photography is when building a brand online. Even with the best benefits and website copy in the world, if your photos are low quality, no one is going to read what you wrote.
So be sure to hire a great photographer in your area, or invest in a camera and learn how to use it to do your own photos. Photos that are done well show that you’re a business that should be taken seriously and they command attention. This is why they’re so helpful with making a website captivating. Good photos also speak to the quality of your work and your products. If you want people to know right away that you do quality work and your products are high quality, you must have high quality images to match!
For more tips on photography, check out my post on “Why You Must Have a Brand Photo Shoot and How to Prepare for It.”
Tip #4: Offer free incentives that people care about.
An opt-in incentive is something that you give a website visitor in return for their email address. It could be a free training, a free workbook, a free checklist, a discount on a first purchase, etc. Finding the perfect opt-in incentive for your particular business/audience does take a bit of experimentation. I’m still experimenting with this area myself. But don’t give up before you find it. If your opt-in incentive is getting tons of views, but no one is signing up for it, go back to the drawing board and think of another topic or problem that you could create a resource for to help your audience. If your audience isn’t established yet, you will have to keep making guesses until you see some traction, but if you have at least a small audience, ask them what they want to know more about.
You could ask them via social media, where they’re active, or via email, if you have an email list. Getting feedback directly from those who you serve is a great way to create an opt-in incentive that captures attention on your website and it’ll result in more email subscribers, which is great for you because people who subscribe to your email list have a much higher conversion rate than someone who only follows you on social media for example.
For a few ideas on this, check out my post on “5 Opt-In Incentive Ideas to Help Grow Your Email List.”
Tip #5: Make your website easy to use.
I’ve said this before as well, but be sure the website is easy to use and understand. I spoke about this in detail on my “Make Your Website More User-Friendly for Better Conversion” post. This is important because if people are confused, they’re not going to do anything. They’ll just leave your website. With only 15 seconds, you have a short window of time to communicate.
So don’t over clutter the website, make things clean and crisp, and don’t be too vague either. Also, keep buttons and links to be clicked easy to see. You should also make sure sections on the site are easy to scroll through. This will make for a much easier experience, which aids in captivation, so you don’t have to worry about losing someone’s attention because they got frustrated with not being able to find what they’re looking for or because they don’t know what to click on.
So that’s it'! My five tips for making your website captivating! Attention is scarce these days, so it’s crucial to do all you can to set yourself apart, and to connect with your audience, so your business can get the results you deserve!