You’ve built a business from the ground up, whether it’s a side-hustle, or a deep-dive straight into entrepreneurship, it’s a challenge.
Congratulations are in order.
Not only do you have to figure out your business name, offerings, pricing, shipping, bookkeeping, and taxes, you also have to market your business.
When your website is just one of a million things you’re managing, it can be easy to let it slide, or slap it up in a hurry and then move back to your overflowing inbox of tasks.
But your website is a front door for potential clients just learning about your business. So believe me, it pays to invest in making it a good one.
I write and review small business websites for a living...so I see a lot of them. And let me say first, many of them are beautifully designed, and a lot are already optimized for user experience. A good portion also has meaningful, heartfelt copy.
But if you're not sure if your website copy is entirely up to par, then hopefully this article will be helpful. Before we jump into some mistakes and problems I see frequently, I want to first invite you to congratulate yourself for getting this far.
Building a website is time-consuming. Even with the templates and all-in-one hosting services available today, it's still a significant time investment. So if you've got a domain with your name and contact info on it, that's an accomplishment to celebrate.
Great copy is a work in progress - especially in the early stages of your business journey. You may still be refining your product or service offerings. You're probably gaining new insights into your ideal client base, and getting new ideas for your own brand positioning.
So there's no shame in having multiple revisions and edits. And hopefully, you'll be able to identify if one of these three mistakes needs to be fixed and corrected to make your site even better.
Not Having an Easy Way to Get in Touch
Don’t leave your readers searching for a way to work for you. Every single page on your site should have an invitation for your reader to take the next step.
If you're a service-based business in the creative space, you likely need your website visitors to contact you for more information or a consult call. So make it super easy to do so.
Have a "Contact" button in the upper-right hand corner of your header - that's where more people expect to see it when they're looking, so don't confuse them.
Consider having it in the bottom footer of your site too. And then make sure you have an actual email address easily accessible—not just a contact form. It might not seem like a big difference, but some prospects are put off by contact forms. They might not yet know their wedding date for example, but know you're their dream wedding planner.
This applies to product-based businesses too, no matter how perfect and seamless your checkout system is, and no matter how complete your product descriptions, people will think of questions. Questions they'll need an answer if they're going to proceed to buy, so make it easy—have a way for prospective customers to get those pesky questions answered so they can enter their credit card digits with confidence.
Not Providing a Clear Explanation of What’s for Sale
There's a trend in the wedding industry to use ultra-minimal cover pages as your entire site.
I'm all for having an aesthetically pleasing landing page. But sometimes when I land on a designer's site, I'm not sure if they're available for weddings, or if they only do editorial shoots.
And when brides are rapid-fire googling "best wedding photographers in my city" it's easy for them to pass you by and go to the next site where there's more transparent information.
So don't leave your visitors guessing. Have a clearly labeled "Services" or "Shop" button on your top navigation and lay out exactly what you sell, and to whom.
Talking too much about ourselves
Okay, this is a tricky one, and I don't want to step on any toes here. But I see it over and over again. About pages—and whole websites—become absorbed into the founder's personal backstory, their passions, hobbies, and even quirky facts.
Personal connection is essential in business. None of those elements are bad. In fact, they all have a place on your site.
But, they all need to be secondary to your client who gets to take center stage - even on your site. Check out this post for some helpful tips on having the right mindset before writing your about page, or really any page, on your site.
These are all super common mistakes, but they’re also easy to fix. So nothing is holding you back–go out there and make your website awesome.
By: Anna Bradshaw
Anna Bradshaw is a copywriter specializing in helping creative entrepreneurs promote their businesses with confidence. In her free time, you'll find her curled up with a book, or strolling the beach, ice cream cone in hand. Anna lives in Orange County, CA with her husband of almost a year.