So, you've finally done it. You've started your own business. You've found something you're really passionate about. You know it's a good product/service.
So now that you have a business, you know an important first step is to create a website. You contact good people, throw down some cash, and voila - you've got a good lookin' website.
There's just one problem. You're not getting any results from it.
I know. I've heard from all sorts of women (and men) who are just as frustrated as you are. So in a series of posts, I'm going to look at some of the most common problems when creating a website targeting women (since most of you ARE targeting women), and how to fix those problems.
Jean Johnson at All Moms Go To Heaven has bravely volunteered to be our case study. Her site has many of the most common problems I see, so it's the perfect example to work with.
Websites for Women - Common Mistakes - Part 1 - The Home page
All Mom's Go To Heaven suffers from an ineffective home page. Visitors see nothing but images and very little copy. (see example to left as the actual page may have changed by the time you view this) Your home page must do two things.......
One - Your home page must have copy that lets her know who you are, what you do, and why she should care (how it is a benefit to her)
Two - Your home page must have links that create persuasive momentum and engage her, driving her forward into your website.
Number One - Copy that explains who you are, what you do, and why people should care
All Moms Go To Heaven's home page (see image above) has some great images, but the only copy says "Where it's Mother's Day every day." What exactly does that mean? Who exactly are they? And what do they do? And why should you care?
Jean deals with a lot of confusion as to the nature of her business. Some people think there is a religious affiliation. (there is not) Others think perhaps it is some kind of funeral service. (Not that either) All Moms Go To Heaven is dedicated to honoring moms and all they do. Jean feels that moms are too hard on themselves because they are not perfect. She's created a forum where mom's can get some much needed acknowledgment, respect and appreciation.
She needs to add copy to the home page that explains who AMGTH is, what they do, and why you should care.
Number Two - Links that engage visitors and create persuasive momentum
There are no links in the active window (the center area of the website where your eyes are focused) Visitors aren't sure where they go from the home page. For every website you need to decide - "What questions are my visitors asking" and "what are the actions I want my visitors to take".
For All Moms Go To Heaven, there are three actions Jean wants her visitors to take:
- Nominate a mom
- Buy Merchandise
- Sign up for the newsletter
The big question her visitors are asking is:
- "What is All Moms Go To Heaven? Is it something I'd be interested in?"
So the home page needs links in the active window that will encourage and allow visitors to take those actions and answer these questions.
Look at your own home page. Does it do two things:
One - tell her who you are, what you do, and why she should care (how it is a benefit to her)
Two - provide links in the active window that create persuasive momentum, taking visitors to answers to their questions, and providing clear pathways to the actions you want them to take.
Remember, the number one reason women use the web is to save time. When she lands on your home page, you have less than 8 seconds to engage her and get her clicking. If she doesn't immediately understand who you are, and see an easy way to engage with you, she is gone.
Coming up next - the most common problems with forms. Stay tuned.