YOU HAVE 7 SECONDS TO MAKE AN IMPRESSION
In todays society having an online presence is incredibly important in order to attract new customers. It gives your audience an easy way to find out everything they need to know about you whilst also having the ability to compare what you offer with similar companies – without even needing to leave their own home.
There are countless tips available online on how to make a website that works and although a great deal of these are valuable which you might want to implement into your website, but we will be candid with you. There isn’t a perfect formula to a successful website.
What is important is that you should ensure that you have a clear picture in your mind of the type of client that you are trying to attract, and you should then design and structure your website in accordance with that.
You only have one chance to make a first impression, so it’s crucial that your website attracts and adds value to your customers and potential prospects.
A successful website can be broken down in to three key actions – planning, presentation and content and when done correctly will be your foundation to lead generation and the greatest piece of kit in your armour.
YOUR AUDIENCE & YOUR GOALS
Website creation or website updating is an exciting adventure to embark on and although you may feel like you want to get it up and running as soon as possible, you need to make sure you don’t let this excitement get ahead of you as it may damage the end outcome.
You need to make sure your website ticks the fundamental boxes of working as a lead generating machine. Does your website provide prospects with a strong, clear and compelling call to action? And does your website contain social proof in terms of customer testimonials of real members achieving results?
Making sure you can answer yes to both of these questions once your website has been built will show you are on the path to success.
Start by planning your website and identifying what your end goal is, and then most importantly think about your target audience and what they would be looking for in order to be attracted to your website.
Make a list of keywords that you think your target audience will be searching for on Google and start planning the design and visuals of your website to suit that of your target audience. For example, if you plan to target older women looking to stay active, you should use photographs that resonate with them as opposed to using images of young 20 year old females who are visibly very athletic.
MAKE YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION COUNT
Within the first seven seconds of meeting, people will form a solid impression of who you are and some research suggests a tenth of a second is all it takes to start determining traits like trustworthiness. You might think just applies to in person meetings, but you would be wrong. The same applies to your website.
When it applies to the online world, visitors spend roughly 7 seconds or less on 90% of the websites they visit so making an impact is crucial.
You need to capture your visitor’s attention instantly, so make your homepage crystal clear.
1. What do you do?
2. Who do you do it for?
3. Why is your service the best?
Have a headline which is short, snappy and gets your visitor straight to the point. If you’re not sure whether what you’ve written is clear enough then its time to test, test, test!
Testing your website is a great way of not only seeing if features work, but also the perfect way to determine whether your website gives the reader enough information within the first seven seconds. Ask your friends to visit your site and see whether they are able to understand what your business is and what your business does in a short amount of time. If they get it right first time, perfect! If not, you need to make changes in order to make your website clearer.
TURN YOUR VISITORS INTO LEADS
Getting visitors to your website and making a good impression with a clear, concise and well designed home page is only half the battle. You then need to turn these visitors into leads. What can you do or offer to your visitors to encourage them to interact with you?
90% of visitors to your website aren’t ready to purchase straight away, which is something you should bare in mind when
building your website. So think about things you can offer to them such as free sessions or consultations, these low barrier offers are a way of nurturing your visitors into become a paying customers by promoting to them through their submitted details.
The way to do this through your website is by using a variety of CTAs. A CTA is a call-to-action and consists of a button or a line of text that prompts your visitors, leads and customer to take action.
A CTA can be quite literally anything and can be placed anywhere in your marketing, on your website, email, even in your blog posts. Maybe you’d like to encourage your visitor to sign up for a free consultation, book a class or watch a video, whatever it may be having a call-to-action is a must for a high converting website.
PRODUCE HIGH QUALITY CONTENT
So you’ve got your visitors to your website and grabbed their attention, so keeping them on your website is the next step. We’ve discussed having call-to-actions in order to engage your visitors and guide them down the path to conversion and something that makes up some of these CTAs is your content.
Without content it’s harder to tell your story, attract your target market or explain the problems you solve and how. So developing content that is clear, easy to read and of interest to your customers is incredibly important.
The content you produce should work together with your brand and website design to provide a seamless and compelling experience. And more importantly, it needs to have a good readability factor. Ensuring that visitors to your website find your content easy to read will allow your reader to move through your content quickly and with ease.
Adopt the use of bullet points, subheadings and short sentences in order to boost emotion as well as structure any of your ideas into a quality piece of content.
OPTIMISE YOUR WEBSITE
In this modern age people are accessing the internet from a variety of devices, whether that be on their desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone. In the last couple of years smartphones have surpassed the desktop in internet browsing, so as technology continues to evolve it is safe to say your online business should be too.
The impact this has on your website is huge, this brings forward the consideration you need to have that your website needs to be, not just viewable, but optimised for all types of devices.
Responsive web design will ensure that no matter what device your audience view your site on, it will display the content in the most effective way. Depending on how your website is built, this optimisation might be done for you! Websites built within WordPress often have basic mobile optimisation, but for more complex website designs, some custom mobile design might be necessary.
Regardless, it is important to remember that having a website design which is mobile & tablet friendly may be the difference between a successful and non-successful website.
EXAMPLE WEBSITE STRUCTURE
Now you’ve got your visitor to your website, it’s time to make that 7 second impression count. You want your visitor to figure out exactly what it is you offer and who you are by your landing page alone, so here are your landing page essentials.
First and foremost your logo needs to be on the site. Usually placed at the top within your menu bar or in a prominent location. You don’t want your logo too large but make sure its large enough so people know who you are!
A CALL TO ACTION
Right at the top of your landing page, whether that be in the menu bar or placed somewhere at the top which is visible before the user has to do any scrolling – show your visitors what it is you want them to do. And make it easy for them to do it! The best websites are direct and uncluttered so don’t place scattered CTAs all over your page, you might confuse your audience.
SCROLL FOR SIMPLE SERVICES
Just below your fold, its time to present a little more detail about what you do. Keep it concise, yet with enough of a description that users don’t need to search for more information. So what are the top things you offer?
Make sure to let pictures do some of the talking. Using bright, well lit and focused material provides you with the chance to showcase what you offer so your visitor can have an idea of what you do without having to delve deeper.
CREATE A SENSE OF FAMILIARITY
You’re confident in what you have to offer, now is your chance to use the words of your clients to help bring in new customers. Display testimonials to begin building trust with your prospects and create a sense of familiarity.
WHAT PAGES SHOULD I INCLUDE?
Websites are designed to push clients towards actions, not to allow them to wander aimlessly, leading themselves to confusion. Although you hope to entice your visitor to click your call to action whilst just on your landing page, you will need to include other elements just in case your audience do want to explore and find out more information.
Similarly, including other content can also be beneficial to your current members and help with retention. So what pages should you include? Here are our top recommendations:
- About Us/Company History
- Meet Our Staff
- Discover Our Facilities
- Discover Our Classes
- Pricing/Membership Options
- Contact Us
IT’S TIME TO UPGRADE YOUR GYM’S WEBSITE
With your website often being your member’s first impression when it comes to your club, this means it needs to be fast, look great and most importantly, get them signing up there and then.
At Ashbourne, we build amazing gym websites that will help you get discovered on Google and get your members signing up online.
And the best part is, we’ll handle all the hosting and keep your website completely up to date, so it’s one less thing for you to think about.
If you’d like to find out more about how we can help transform your existing website or get you set up with a great website from the beginning, do not hesitate to get in touch!