[podcast src=”https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/6958917/height/45/width/700/theme/standard/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/autoplay/no/preload/no/no_addthis/no/direction/forward/” height=”45″ width=”700″ placement=”top” theme=”standard”]In today’s digital world, to make it as a business, you HAVE to have a website (and one that converts).

The problem is not many of us were taught how to design in CSS and HTML, so we throw up a site on a DIY platform (which is a fabulous thing) or hire someone to make it pretty and think we’re golden.

Except you’re not.

I’m just going to go ahead and say it. Branding isn’t everything.

You might disagree, but I’ve spent the past 14 years reviewing websites, landing pages and sales pages for what makes them successful, and beauty doesn’t always equal sales.

So how do you get more conversions on your website?

A large part of my business is reviewing small business websites and giving them a review and recommendations on how to optimize them so they actually start converting. In doing these, I’ve noticed five mistakes that nearly everyone makes. If you fix these things, you’ll learn how to turn your website into a marketing machine.

1. You’re being too general in your copy. 

You only get a second or two to make an impression on your visitor — and if you aren’t drawing them in with the first line of copy, you’ve lost them. They’ll never see the beautiful graphics you slaved over. All the content you painstakingly created. The beautiful photoshopped pictures you posed for.

The first copy on your page should include who you work with, how you help them and what the result is after working together.

Treat your website like the top half of the newspaper. In journalism, it’s called “above the fold.”  The MOST important stories with the juiciest details and best photographs are always at the top of the front page with the biggest headline. It should be the same way with your website.

2. You have too many calls-to-action on your site. 

You’re the expert in your subject. Give your visitors ONE thing to do on your site and repeat it over and over again. If you ask them to optin to your freebie, join your mailing list, schedule a fitting call and join your Facebook group all in the same line on your site, you’ve lost them.

Eliminate the confusion and decision overload by giving them the best recommendation you have and pointing everything to that one thing.

3. It’s not clear what you do. 

Sometimes when I review a site, I can’t tell what it is they do, and I’ve worked with them! It needs to be obvious what your specialty is, how you work/help people and what they need to do to take the next step with you.

4. It’s not clear how to work with you and/or purchase. 

If you are a service based business, as the majority of my clients are, you need to explain how exactly you work with your clients, what all you help with and what the relationship looks like. It’s why I do the live strategy sessions on the podcast. Not only do I want you to be able to take the advice and apply it to your own business, but I also want you to understand what it would be like to do a strategy session with me yourself, and how I could fit into helping your business.

It’s much easier to convert someone to be a client if they can picture how you’d help them.

5. Your website is too busy. 

If you have too much going on in the design and layout of your website, your visitor will leave without a glance back. The more things that are presented for someone to browse, the less likely it is they’ll click on anything.

The good thing about these five mistakes is that they’re easy to fix.

Since my birthday is tomorrow, I am doing something I’ve never done before.

If you would like to get a taste of what a website optimization audit is, and how I would recommend you tweak your site for more conversions for free, email me at mallory [at] divimallory.wpengine.com (so spammers don’t find this post and blow  up my Gmail) and let me know you heard this on the podcast and would like me to give you my top three recommendations.

I will personally look at your website’s homepage, give three tips and set up a quick follow up to see how it’s working for you.  But act quick because who knows how long before I delete this last section. =)