Do you suffer from ‘Website Anxiety’?
- You start cleaning the oven during the time you set aside to work on your website.
- You know a visitor to your site will click on a subject and go nowhere because you haven’t published all the pages.
- Your site is so difficult to navigate you feel as if you should include a GPS.
- You’ve been told blogs are important, but your writing sounds like an instruction manual, or worse, you fail to edit anything so it looks like Grand Central Station during rush hour.
- You offer to walk your neighbor’s dog to fill your time so you can avoid working on your content.
- You are tempted to write about yourself and your business instead of writing to your audience.
Do you suffer from any of these symptoms? You may have Website Anxiety. The good news is that it’s treatable.
What purpose does your website serve?
It should act as a ‘hub’ for other business activity. It must clearly communicate your brand, and be a home for many other marketing activities.
Your website should turn visitors into clients or customers. What problems or desires do your visitors want? How can you help them?
When you post a blog on Facebook, it should draw people back to your website for more information.
If someone recommends your business, the curious Web Traveler will go to your website to determine if you know what you are doing. You want the tourist to become a client.
If a current client has a question, they should be able to obtain the answer from a visit to your site.
It is a place to inform, educate and remind people that you can solve their problems, give them what they desire, and help them.
There are two distinct aspects of a website:
- The web design and navigation.
- The content
Web design: As a writer, I find it much easier to get the message across if the design works. It should be easy to look at, the navigation should be flawless, and it should be simple. Lots of animation and loud color combinations might get someone’s attention, but it is usually the wrong kind of attention. Most people are looking for answers, information and reassurance that you are, indeed, a professional they can trust.
You have 2.6 seconds to grab their attention and keep it. With ‘busy’ sites, too much print on the page, flashy animation, or hard to read colors, you might get their attention, but they will run like a gazelle being chased by a cheetah. A great web designer will work with you to create a design that represents the best of what you have to offer. She will work with the content writer to ensure that the appropriate photos are placed where they really can ‘speak a thousand words’, and that they represent the point the writer is trying to make. The navigation will work so seamlessly, you won’t notice it.
Content: Poor quality content is like showing up for work in your pajamas. Very few entrepreneurs can write to their audience. Most will tell you they write well. Just putting sentences together in the proper way is not nearly enough. Writing to engage and more importantly sell is a different animal altogether. Only a tiny percentage of business owners can write objectively and truly speak to their audience.
Let’s play make-believe:
You are a physical therapist. You love helping people recover from life-changing injuries and return to normal activity. You have studied long and hard to get where you are. Can you write? Certainly, your grammar and spelling will likely be quite good. But, while good grammar and spelling are necessary, they are only the beginning.
Would you want me to work with your clients? Sure, I could give them exercises to do, and cheerlead them into trying harder. But, there is a reason you became a physical therapist and NOT a writer. It’s probably because you are better at physical therapy than I am.
Your success will be greater if you stick to what you do well and hire other professionals to focus on the things in which they specialize. You’ll accomplish more when you can focus on your job.
(I was going to use a dentist as an example, but the thought of me holding a dental drill was just too much even for me to imagine without cringing. Make-believe can only go so far.)
If you have Website Anxiety, hire a professional web designer and a professional copywriter to create something stellar that truly represents your business. We promise to leave the drills alone. Oh, and those blogs I mentioned earlier? Hire someone to write those for you as well. You’ll be glad you did. It will make you look approachable and professional.