Want to know how to create a website that sells? Of course you do – especially if you’re planning to make money from your online space!
Whether you’ve already booked someone to do it for you, like Your Marketing BFF, or will pull something together yourself from a template, preparation is everything.
*This post contains affiliate links.
There’s a lot to consider when creating a powerful website for your business, but I pray that my guidance below will help you to create a website that sells!
1. START WITH THE END IN MIND.
Start off by asking yourself…What do you want this website to do? How will you know it’s a success?
If you already have a site, consider how successful your current website is and what your goals are for the new site.
If you’re starting from scratch, determine your goals for the new website.
2. WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW, THINK AND DO?
How should your visitors feel when they arrive on your site? What do they need to know about your business? What do you want to tell them?
Having a clear idea of what information you want on your website and how you’d like it to be structured is essential to creating a website that sells.
Make a note of the pages you think you need for your website and revise this as you work through the questions below. For each page, ask yourself…
- What should people know?
- What should people think? and,
- What should people do?
Note: Even if you plan on having a one page website, you still need to view each section as a page and treat it the same way.
3. HOW WILL YOUR CUSTOMERS JOURNEY THROUGH YOUR SITE?
Think about your sales journey. If you want people to book you for their wedding, they’re unlikely to do that via a PayPal button on your website, it just doesn’t work like that. In this example, what you actually want is for people to inquire about your availability. Think about ‘What do they need to see in order to do that?’ ‘What do they need to know?’ Knowing all of this means that you can structure your website in a way that makes sense to your perspective clients and make it easy for them to do business with you.
Here’s a real-life example…
When I wanted bloggers (my ideal clients) to come to my free live webinar, I created a CTA (call-to-action) pop up on my website seen above. The button linked people to an opt-in page to sign up for the webinar seen below.
Using the example above and walking through the journey on my site…
‘what did people need to see in order to sign up?’ An “invitation to the webinar” that helps the reader quickly discern whether or not this free webinar was something of value to them.
‘what did they need to know?’ The Who, What, When. Who = who the webinar is for. What = free live webinar training + a button to click and register for the webinar. When = date and time of the webinar.
By registering, people were added to my email subscriber list and received an email nurture sequence – before and after the live webinar.
Do you see how I structured my website in a way that routes people through my sales journey, making it easy for them to do business with me?
Think about the content you need to engage your clients
Think about the content you need to engage your clients, to get them excited about your product or service and ultimately, to get them to take action. Making notes, create mind maps or spider diagrams and sketch out thoughts for banners or buttons that compel people to take action.
Side note: What is a banner?
Like the cover of a magazine, your banner is the first thing readers will see when visiting your website. A well-considered header is a blog must. Be sure it grabs the reader’s attention and includes your blogs name (and tagline, if necessary) as well as some graphics or main photo imagery that hints at your blog content.
4. DO YOUR RESEARCH.
Who in your industry is doing well at blogging? Take a look at the websites of your competitors or other bloggers that you like/enjoy. What can you learn from them? Ask yourself: what’s our take on this? And how can we differentiate ourselves? Use this as an opportunity to create something even better. Look at what isn’t working as well as what is. Make notes and learn from what you see.
5. WHO ARE YOU TALKING TO?
One of the hardest, and most powerful, things you can do when writing any copy or creating any piece of marketing is to visualize specific clients — this would be your ideal client! You want to put yourself in your ideal client’s shoes. What do they need or want and how does your business help them? Really understand this from your client’s perspective and you’ll find the words will flow.
If for instance you know your ideal client’s 3 biggest desires are;
- more followers that buy from them
- to work less
- to realize their dreams
Write blog posts and create products that provide your ideal clients with solutions that help them obtain their biggest desires.
This is what it means to put yourself in their shoes, understand their needs, their perspective. Once you do this, you’ll find the right words to convey your message.
6. CREATE CONTENT THAT ENGAGES YOUR VISITORS
It’s not all about the hard sell.
Create content that draws people in, that helps them gain an understanding of your brand and enables you to start to build a relationship. That might be a portfolio, a ‘how to’ or specific featured content from your blog.
But it’s about more than just the blog…
It’s about giving people an insight into your world that feels more authentic – while still providing them with solutions to their problems or inspiration to learn something new. Do you create new collections every season? Show people how you got there. Share the journey, it’ll sell your expertise and spark interest with your visitors.
7. CAPTURE EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS
Not everyone that visits your website is ready to buy or even make an inquiry.
Make it worth their while to join your mailing list – I like to do this with a lead magnet. What can you offer them? When you join mine, I promise valuable content, special offers from time to time and news on upcoming courses and future masterminds.
Make sure you ask people to join your list, give them a good reason to do so and of course, make sure you use the list!
8. WRITE COPY THAT SELLS
Take the time to be clear in your own mind about what you’re selling, who you’re selling it to, and why they will want to buy it.
Consider how to communicate clearly and with words that resonate with your ideal client.
You want your ideal client reading your copy and saying, “She is talking directly to me. She gets me and is the solution to my problem!” When you write in a way that speaks directly to your ideal client, it will resonate with them, make them want to act and buy from you!
9. DESIGN YOUR WEBSITE
Once you’ve completed the planning work, it’s time to either hire someone to do your website design or pull together a website design using a template by yourself.
Here’s a few WordPress theme templates that I like (and can be purchased):
17th Avenue Designs – Favorites: Harper WordPressTheme, Mia WordPress Theme, Ivy WordPress Theme, Audrey WordPress Theme
Restored316 themes – Favorites: Anchored Theme, Captivating Theme and Market Theme (the theme I’m currently using for Your Marketing BFF).
Bella Creative Studio – Favorites: Isabelle Theme, Lola Theme
Hello You Designs – Favorites: Hello Blush, Hello Rose, Hello Maker
If you’re looking to purchase a template, make sure to look at the individual theme’s demo. In order to make a good decision, you’re going to want to look at the layout and functionality, AND how it looks on a mobile and desktop because they don’t look identical.
If you’re planning on making money from your online space, it’s time to follow my guidelines 1-9 on how to create a website that sells!
Wishing you the best and lots of fun along the way.