Your homepage is an essential part of your website. In this episode, you’ll hear 5 tips that will help you direct people to your homepage. Because if they don’t see it, then your homepage will not serve people and it won’t make you money.
071_Why you can’t forget these 3 areas of your website
The Goodness Squad Podcast Episode #71
Missed Opportunities. I don’t want you to have any of those when it comes to your website. These three areas on your website are often missed opportunities but if you make a few changes you’ll be able to help more people.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
I want to start by telling you an embarrassing story. It’s funny, but it is a little bit embarrassing. A few years ago, our family went to California Adventure Park and we were about to ride Toy Story Midway Mania. We were in that line for probably a good 7-10 minutes just talking and enjoying each other. Mostly I was talking to my husband and the kids were talking to each other.
While we are waiting, my phone rang and my husband says, “don’t answer that, we’re on vacation.” But I looked at the number and it was from Anaheim; I don’t know anyone in Anaheim so it was strange that someone was calling me from Anaheim. So I said, “no, I’m going to answer it.” So, I answered and the person on the other end of the line said “Hi, is this Mrs. Marsh?” I said, “yeah, it is.” And they said, “do you have a daughter named (we’ll call her Anne) Anne?” And I replied, “yes, I do.” And after they identified themselves as a Disney employee, they said, “well, she’s here with me.”
I looked around and realized that Anne was not with us. She wasn’t with us. Oh, my goodness. I ran out of that line and I did not tell my husband where I was going. I ran, I got out there and I found her. She was crying and scared and I gave her a big hug and she said, “mom, I did what you told me. I tried really hard to find a mom with kids and tell them what was wrong. But before I could find one, a Grandma and Grandpa came up to me and they asked if I needed help. I didn’t know if I should talk to them, but I told them that, yeah, I did need help.” And so then they took her over to the Disney employees who then called me. Embarrassing, right?
We then headed back to hop in line with my husband and my husband starts getting mad at Anne. Demanding to know where she went. And I jumped in saying, “Why are you yelling at her? What what’s going on? I don’t understand.” It took me a second to realize he still didn’t know who was on the phone. He thought I left the line to get a snack or something and that Ann had followed me out.
So he’s standing in line flipping out because he doesn’t know where Ann is. And when I come back, he’s like, “why did you leave with mom? Why did you follow her?” I had to set him straight that she didn’t follow me, that it was our fault, we totally forgot her.
I want to be like this friendly Disney employee, reminding you that you have forgotten something very important.
The 3 areas of your website you are forgetting
It may be a bit obvious that our vacation and our life is entirely better with Anne with us. I don't want to create panic for you, but I do want you to know that there are areas of your website that you have either neglected or forgotten entirely, and you should not leave them out. If you pay attention to these three areas of your website, you will make more money and be able to help more people.
So what are these three areas? First, is your contact page. Second, is your 404 page. And last, is your Footer. I'm guessing you probably have these three pages on your website, but you have forgotten that they can actually make you money if built correctly.
Your Contact Page
Let's start with your Contact page. Many of you probably have a Contact page that either has just a way to contact you and that's it. Or maybe it has 5 ways to contact you, but that's pretty much all you have on your contact page. I know this because when I ask my clients what copy they want on their Contact page, they don't even know what to say. They're like, "uh, uh, um, There should be copy on my contact page? What copy? Like my email address, but that's not really copy that I'm writing? So what would I put there?"
I know that many of you have this concern. You're like, what do I put there that's going to make me money? So I have a few suggestions.
#1 - I want you to only give them one way to contact you. It's either an email address, a contact form. If there's something that you want them to do, that's fine. But I want you to only give them one way to contact you.
Why? Well, because I don't want you looking in five different places for all the different ways people are trying to contact you. This is going to be a waste of your time. And I would rather you spend your time building products, creating courses, serving your clients. That's where I want you to spend your time. So you need to take some control of your contact page and give them just one way to contact you.
In addition, the second reason for doing this is because if you give people too many choices, they will almost always default to no action. So if you say, "you can email me or you can DM me over here on Instagram, or you can message me on Facebook or here's a form you could fill out." They're not going to consciously think that they're overwhelmed, but they're going to be like, "ah, I don't know. I don't want to choose one right now. I'll do this later," and then you've lost them and they don't contact you at all.
#2 - I want you to put an FAQ on your contact page, even if you don't have a list of FAQ's I want you to just brainstorm what are questions that my ideal customer has? Either questions that they ask you often that really are FAQ's, but also just questions that you know they have, that they might not even know they have. I want you to put these on your Contact page as an FAQ.
Why you need an FAQ on your Contact page
First, it goes back to saving you time. Some people will read that FAQ and they'll realize they don't need to contact you. And this is going to protect your time so that you can spend your time on things that actually do make you money.
Second, it also gives you an opportunity to guide them. Like I said, sometimes, you know that they should be asking a question they don't even know to ask. This is a very simple way for you to put yourself in that expert place. They'll think, "Oh, I didn't even think about that. What's her answer. What are her thoughts on that?" They will learn from you right there on your Contact page. You're going to be building the know, like, and trust.
#3 - I want you to have a freemium. I want them to have the opportunity to join your email list. This should be everywhere on your website. Your email list is when people who don't know you, or are acquaintances, become your friends. So you want to get people on that email list every opportunity you possibly can.
On your contact page, you could phrase it like, "you can reach out to me here. And if you want to hear from me often, here's a gift. I'll give you my freemium. Here's why it will help you. Here's the problem it will solve for you." And there's an opportunity for them to join your email list. This could be an actual form that is embedded on the contact page. It could be a button they click that then opens a pop-up where they can join your email list. I don't care how you put it there, but it needs to be there. They need to have the opportunity to be on your email list.
Your 404 Page
Let's move on to your 404 page. You might think why the heck do I care about that? That's not even a page I want people to go to and my website is all set up so they probably don't go there very often.
You'd be surprised at how often people end up on your 404 page. It could be because you typed out a link wrong on Facebook a year ago, and they randomly found that post and they clicked it and the link goes nowhere. Or it could be because that post no longer exists.
There are so many reasons why people could end up on your 404 page. Lots and lots of human error. You are a human, you will make errors and they will end up on the wrong page, particularly the longer you are online. Do you want to fix 404 errors? Do you want to fix those as often as possible? Yes. So if you realize there's a link there that has a typo in it, you can then redirect that link to the correct page. You can do that. But it is really hard to stay caught up on that all the time. People will land on your 404 page and I want you to take advantage of that opportunity.
4 Things To Include On Your 404 Page
#1 - Brand it. For example, I have a picture of me making a funny face and I'm holding a sign that has a "#Oops." So it's like, oops, I messed up. You're here. You shouldn't be. I'm so sorry. This picture is communicating this, "Oops, sorry. I made a mistake," in a funny and cute way.
There are lots of ways you can brand your 404 page. It gives you an opportunity to build that know, like, and trust factor. Instead of it just being a frustrating experience where they land and there's nothing there. And then they're frustrated. You do not want to create that experience on your website. That is going to decrease the know, like, and trust factor. So let's increase it instead by branding that page and making it a fun page in some sort of way. What does your brand stand for? How can you tie that in on that 404 page?
#2 - Help them choose where to go next. Just like the contact page, I don't want you to give them too many options, 2-3 at the most. I want you to help them, help guide them. Where is it that they should be going? No, you don't know what they searched for or what page necessarily it was that they were trying to land on tbut you do know where they can get the information they need.
I highly suggest that, especially if your homepage is built according to the MAP method, that you link them back to your homepage. You can say, "you can go back to home here. I have a lot of information there that will hopefully help you find what you were looking for." You could link them to a work with me page. You could link them to a really, really popular blog post. One where you get a lot of email signups.
#3 - A search bar, some sort of search function so that they can then go in there and choose to search for what they were looking for. If the link was just wrong, maybe the page really does still exist so they can search on your 404 page.
#4 - Give them an opportunity to join your email list. I want you to tell them about your freemium and invite them to join your email list.
Let's move on to your footer. You probably have a footer, it's built into most things. Sometimes it can be hard to customize, sometimes it's easier. But, you want to use your footer wisely. It's actually visited quite often. Many people will go to a website and simply scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page, because they're looking for something specific and they know that it's often in the footer.
So what sort of things will they be looking for there? Your contact info, a link to your blog or your podcast, your social media icons. You want to have all of those things in your footer so that if someone does skip your entire homepage or does skip your entire about page and just kind of scrolls down to that footer, they'll find what they're looking for.
You want to make sure your visitors experience is as easy and carefree as possible. So put that information in there. I also want you to have an opportunity for them to join your email list. I want you to tell them about your freemium, in your footer. They will hopefully sign up.
And last, I want you to mention whatever it is that you are currently focused on promoting in your business. This will change in your footer. When I was promoting Tech School, there was something about Tech School in my footer. Right now I am promoting the Homepage Makeover Masterclass, so that is in my footer. Whatever it is that you are currently promoting, I want you to have that in your footer.
Now, if you're wondering "how in the heck do I do all this, Misty? That all sounds nice and fine and dandy, but I don't know how to create all that. I don't even know how to edit my 404 page."
Why you need Elementor Pro
I have a solution for you and it's called Elementor Pro. This is the tool you need if you have a WordPress website. It lets you edit every single portion of your website through a drag and drop editor. You can put anything you want in any portion of your website. There will be a link to Elementor Pro in my show notes.
If you want to watch me use Elementor Pro and actually see how it is used, then you need to come to the Homepage Makeover Masterclass. The live masterclass was held on the 30th, but you can still go back and watch it because there is a recording. So head on over to DesignedForGoodness.com/makeover and you can sign up to get that recording and you can watch me take my client, Erin's, website and completely make it over using the MAP method and Elementor Pro.
You'll see me use Elementor Pro live so you can understand better if it would work for you and your business. You will also learn the questions your homepage must answer if you want to make money, what not to put on your homepage and why your website is not currently making you money.
I am so excited for the next episode. It's going to be a special one. I don't have guests on my podcast very often, but in the next episode, you are going to meet my friend, Sarah Allred of Sarah Grace Live. We're going to be talking about lots of stuff, but at the very end, she talks about why you need to tell your story and I want you to hear it. I hope to see you there.
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