If you have a website up for your freelance business and are still complaining about landing client leads, then something is wrong. It’s time to reevaluate your website and make some changes.
But what’s going on? What do you need to do to make your website actually work with you, rather than against you?
That’s what I want to help you figure out.
By asking yourself these critical questions you’ll get to know where your website stands, and hopefully realize what changes you need to make to get your website as efficient as possible.
What’s the focus of your website?
Before you think about your website’s design, the first and most important thing to know is it’s focus. What’s your goal with your website?
Do you wish to bring in more traffic? How are you going to do that? Unfortunately visitors don’t just show up out of nowhere.
What if you’re just using your website as a brochure – a place where you showcase what you do and how people can get in touch?
Do you have the necessary information in place that effectively sells your services? Do you have call-to-actions that convert visitors into leads or sales?
These are all things that should be highly considered and planned way before you think about your website’s design.
Are you overloading your visitors with unnecessary content?
I’ve dealt with clients before where they thought it would be beneficial for their customers if they had a bunch of pages plump-full of content about their field of expertise.
The truth is, no one wants to read through paragraphs of content pulled from some book or other web page… So reference to resources if they’re that important rather than copy them, and keep the focus on why your visitors are there in the first place.
You have to always think like your website visitors. What tasks are they looking to accomplish on your website? Provide them with the necessary content and include some form of call-to-action to convert those visits into leads. Most of the time you’re looking to get some sort of interaction with your visitors, so make that your priority in your content.
For me, I have two types of visitors on my website:
- Potential clients – looking to review my work, learn a bit more about me, and looking to contact / work with me.
- Peers – other designers wanting to learn from my blog or review my work.
Know who you’re targeting with your website and learn from my mistakes by not overloading your visitors with unnecessary content.
Is your website aesthetically pleasing and easy to use?
Take a look at your website, or even better, ask someone else to look at your website. Does it look professional, and is the useability the best it could be?
Are your graphics clear and content easy to read? Are you taking typography into consideration? Are you sticking to a color scheme?
There are so many important factors that play into a well-designed website, and you need to be aware of what to stay away from.
Here are some common design flaws that you need to avoid at all costs:
- Blurry, squeezed or stretched images
- Auto-playing video or audio
- Blinking or flashing imagery (flash-based content)
- Using more than 3 different typefaces
- Clashing color scheme (e.g. blue text on a red background)
- Stock imagery
- Unaligned elements
- Not enough white space (cluttered)
If your site falls victim to any of these design flaws above, then you’re doing yourself a disservice and need to make some immediate changes.
The best thing you can do is have someone evaluate your site for you. It always helps me to get a second pair of eyes on something I’ve been working on for hours.
Ultimately, a well-designed and effective website comes down to having a clean layout, great usability and easy to read content. If you have those, then I’d say you have a pretty good website.
Are you tracking the right stats and using them to improve?
I know I check the traffic of my website daily, and as fun as it might be to watch my growth, it’s next to worthless. Same goes for my share count, Twitter followers and Facebook page Likes.
Those numbers are nothing if I can’t do anything with them.
Aside from your website traffic and online followers, what else is important to keep track of?
Here’s a list of my priorities that I feel are most important to me and my freelance business:
- Email subscribers
- Site traffic (popular content)
- Link conversions and content interactivity
- Audience satisfaction (comments and surveys)
- Customer satisfaction (clients, and shop customers)
- Personal gain (how much fun I’m having and impact I’m making)
The visuals that Google Analytics give me are pretty straight forward. My site data is automatically calculated and presented in the form of graphs.
The other stuff I typically track manually through surveys, newsletter replies (email), or by using Google Drive to update and maintain my other stat reports (like my monthly income report).
But here’s the important part: you should be keeping track of these stats for a reason, and that’s to know where to improve.
Find out where your revenue is coming from, and focus more in that area or choose to diversify it in other ways.
Find out where most of your traffic is coming from or maybe what content is popular, and do more of that.
It’s also important for you to get as much feedback possible on everything you’re working on, and put it to use!
What other metrics do you like to keep track of and how can it help others improve their business? Add to this post and leave a comment!
So where does your website stand?
Do you feel like your website is working with you, rather than against you?
As hard as it might be to admit that your website may be lacking in areas, it’s good to be aware and willing to fix them.
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