In this episode, Erik shares what a website should consist of and how to make your website fast and mobile-friendly.
Erik J. Olson (00:02):
So let’s talk about websites first. All right. This is a screenshot of our website. I put this in here, cause I think it’s representative of what we believe is a good above the fold layout for a website. So I wanted to point out item by item, the things that we’re doing here, and maybe some lessons that you could extract from what we’re doing and if you want do it yourself. So the very first thing is the image. This should be one of the first things that catches your eye. You want an image preferably really big that somehow says what it is that you do. All right. So this image has to convey in one image instead of a thousand words, what your business does. So for us digital marketing, it’s difficult because the last thing I want is yet another picture of a person behind a laptop clicking away.
Erik J. Olson (01:03):
Like that’s what everybody sees. So we wanted a picture that was just a little bit different that somehow showed what we do. So we picked a picture of downtown Norfolk with businesses, with some sort of, you know, social media and, you know, uh, eCommerce buy now. Like it, it indicates that there’s something going on electronically as well. Right? So that’s the whole point of this image. The next thing is what’s called the positioning statement. So in one sentence and preferably in a very, very short sentence and even better in just a few words, come up with a statement that encapsulates everything that you want someone to know about you. All right? So for us, it’s bold, <laugh> bold marketing for aggressive growth, right? And this changes frankly, all the time. We’re constantly debating if this is the right message, we had something different just a couple of weeks ago.
Erik J. Olson (02:03):
So it’s okay to change your positioning statement and things like taglines. As long as you believe that the change is a better representation of your business and your value proposition. The next thing that you should see here is a call to action. So for us, it’s very clearly. We want people to literally call us. Sometimes you’ll see up here, contact us. Sometimes you’ll see, download this white paper. It doesn’t really matter what it is as long as it works for you, but we recommend having a call to action for sure. Very clearly above the fold, which means the first thing you see on a webpage and it should be big and bold and very easy to locate. So we want someone to click that button and call us all right, let’s move up to the top. That’s usually where the eyes go from a user experience standpoint. And we’re gonna
Erik J. Olson (02:58):
Talk about the menu, the menu. This is your navigation system. We think should contain no more than five items. Now, a lot of times, people like to just pile in items and they like to have sub items and they make it really complex and difficult for the user. So think about your user and someone, um, not even your user. This is a potential customer is a better way to say it. Think about how your potential customer is going to perceive coming to your website. And they may know nothing about you. You have to just make it really simple. And that’s what we’re trying to do here. Oh, also notice pricing, sorry, pricing. So this is something that we’ve had on our website for a long time. We’ve actually just amplified it. We turned it from like a 300 word article into about 2000 words where we go into great detail about what it costs to get digital marketing from us or someone else.
Erik J. Olson (04:00):
Why do we do that? Most people hide behind the sales process and they wanna get in front of someone before they ever talk about price. But what do you guys do? You know, when you’re shopping for something, you want to know the price now in a situation like ours, it’s it is kind of complex. It’s probably complex for your business too, right? Unless you have a price list and your e-commerce and they can just add stuff to the cart. There’s probably, you know, it, it’s probably a conversation and usually it goes something like this. Well, it depends how much it’s gonna cost based on a lot of different factors. Let me explain some of those factors. And that’s exactly what that link takes you to. It says exactly that. Well, it’s complicated. It depends. And here’s seven or 10 different factors that you need to think about.
Erik J. Olson (04:45):
And here’s price ranges. The exact same way that we would do if it, or that we would say to a prospect, if we were sitting across the table from them, consider putting pricing on your website. And then the last thing is off to the right. You’ve got the phone number. Once again, we want to reiterate the call to action. We wanna make it really obvious how you can get in touch with us. We want to be easy to be found. One last thing is you’re not gonna see up there. Social media badges, the little icons that take you to Facebook. All right, we do not recommend putting social media badges in the header because if you do, you’re just begging for your ideal customer to go off into Facebook land. And once they go there, they may never come out. Right? So I would not put social media icons in the header. I think it’s worthwhile to have them on your website. We recommend the footer. All right, you work really, really hard to get these prospects to your website. Don’t entice them with cat beans and everything else.
Erik J. Olson (05:57):
All right, let’s move on. Humanize. I think this is really important. You need to have a face for your business and the smaller your business. I think the more important this is, people come to small and medium sized businesses because of the human connection. A lot of businesses, I believe make the mistake of trying to look much, much bigger and more corporate than actually serves their purpose. You are a human being and you have a interesting personality, unique trace. You should highlight that. So this is exactly what we do on our about page. We have a video of Kevin and myself, the two founders of the company. And in the very beginning, we’re kind of goofing around and someone walks in front of the camera and we’re just having fun, but we’re introducing ourselves and we’re telling our story. And if a picture is worth a thousand words and a video is worth a million, we also have the written word there underneath of it.
Erik J. Olson (06:57):
But we hope that people watch the video on the right hand side is some snapshots from our podcast. So we have a daily podcast about growing our agency. That’s called journey to $100 million, but we actually put all of that on our website as well. Cuz we’re producing content. We want it to be found everywhere. Put it on the website. You can see at the bottom, right, is show notes, which would get picked up by Google. And if people want to listen, they can click in the middle box there and they can hear us talking about whatever it is that we talk about on the show. It humanizes the content, right? So put a face to your business, put a voice to your business and preferably it should be yours.
Erik J. Olson (07:43):
Lead magnets are very, very powerful. A lead magnet is something that someone can get is something of value to them is something that shouldn’t cost them anything besides maybe their email address. So we have one, we’re gonna send it to everybody here. So it’s digital marketing trends for 2020. We wrote that in December, everything in there is still pertinent. It goes over all the emerging trends. So you’ll get that. But this is also on our website. If you were to go to the homepage and scroll down a little bit, you would see that we have a section with that image and a description talking about it and saying, come and get this thing. And if you click on the button, we’ll ask for your email address because well, we can do a lot of things with that. With that email address, some of the things that we’ll go into later, few more things that are super important for a website these days speed.
Erik J. Olson (08:40):
All right. So your website needs to be as fast as possible. This is an example of an extreme case and I think it, what is it wicked fast is the name of the web page, right? This gets a 100% in Google’s performance tool called page insights. Uh, page speed insights is what it’s called. If you go to, if you Google for Google page speed insights, you can put in any URL and it will bring back how Google thinks is performing from a speed and technical perspective. Your goal is to get as close to 100 as possible. It’s very, very difficult. Actually. I’ve never seen 100, except for in this example, Google really cares about speed. Google also very much cares about being a out, being mobile friendly, uh, a term like mobile friendly is a term that you’ve probably heard about for a long time, but we’ve actually moved past that to mobile first. Have you heard of, um, mobile first or uh, mobile friendly? Has anyone? I mean, I’m sure this sounds familiar, right? Okay. So it used to be like mobile responsive, meaning that, uh, you want your desktop webpage to respond and become smaller on mobile devices. We actually call it desktop responsive now. So Google, when it runs through the internet and it figures out what webpages have good SEO value, it’s doing that as if it were doing it from a phone it’s a mobile first index desktop doesn’t mean much these days.
Erik J. Olson (10:23):
All right. So a couple of key takeaways. And again, I wish I could go super nerdy deep on this, but I can’t. So just to kinda like summarize some of the things we talked about, uh, you definitely want very clear messaging. You want it so that when someone comes to your website, they know exactly what you do. Don’t make them guess don’t be clever. Just say what you do. You want a very conspicuous call to action, preferably a button that they can click on and something happens. Get rid of those social media badges, put them in the footer, be human and generate leads with a lead magnet and then last and very important, fast and mobile responsive. All right, next, we’re gonna move into online ads.