What makes a great website? What makes a dud? Besides all the obvious things like don’t make your text too small, don’t use 1,000 fonts at once and things like that… What are the major keys?! No matter what you do in your work, if you have a website, you should ask these questions. Today I’m sharing 3 things that I consider top things to making a successful website, and people often miss them. I’m calling these “strong opinions”, but this could also be called “unpopular opinions” because these aren’t said enough. I hope this short and sweet episode gives you some business and website ideas to run with!
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Strong Opinion #1: Copying an influencer's website will not give you their success; it will just give you a website that everyone obviously sees looks like "so and so's" website.
How many times have you been looking at someone’s website and thought to yourself “Wow this looks like Marie Forleo’s website!” or “Interesting… this is the same fonts and colors that Jenna Kutcher uses”, or “Lewis Howes site looks like this one.” As a designer, I see it all the time where the big-time entrepreneurs’ sites are everyone’s #1 inspiration.
And guess what? People have been loving their websites since early iterations that weren’t so beautiful and amazing because they love these people’s BRANDS. You may love the business they built, the success they have, the things they teach you, so you say “I want a website similar to theirs”!
Here's the thing: You're cutting your own brand short when you copy someone else's website. You have something special and unique to offer the world. You have something special and unique to offer the world too, and it doesn’t look the same as their sites. (Whoever “their” is to you!)
When someone lands on your site, they should be able to feel YOUR BRAND coming through, not someone else's. So how do you take action on this? First, ask yourself what you like ABOUT the site specifically that you’re feeling inspired by. Do not consider this person's brand outside their actual site; look at the site itself. Do you like the way type is used? Or how things flow? How can you be your own person and be inspired by those things you love without being the same?
Strong Opinion #2: Simple websites with very few pages are amazing! You don't need a gazillion pages for your site to be incredible.
We often think more website pages = better results. But, when you’re just getting started, you may only need a few pages on your website, which means not using every page your template comes with. For example, my templates come with many pages, and that's not because you need all of them from the get-go. This is because I want you to have what you need to grow WITH your business. I want this template you're investing in to be the site you're using years from now after you've gotten more clients, added more offers, started your course, made blogging a priority, etc. If you look at your business and think, "I only need three pages," — that is ok. If you only need a sales page — that's ok! I've seen plenty of people do this with my sales page templates. So, don’t believe the myth that you need a gazillion pages to have a successful website!
Strong Opinion #3: You must have photos of yourself somewhere or your site will feel scammy!
I know not everyone wants to or can invest in professional imagery with a brand photographer from the start, and that's ok! Relying on stock photography can work, but put yourself on your website too! You need to be on your site even if it's not the most “professional” image. Otherwise, it can feel scammy and cause you to miss the opportunity to let your audience put a face to the name.
Your face doesn't have to be front and center, but you need to be on there. The other day, I was searching for accountants and looked over different accountant websites, and I stumbled upon one that was using only stock images, even on their about page. I knew it probably wasn't a scam, but I did have to ask myself, "Is this legit? Where are the people who work here?" So, put yourself on your website — a great place to add a photo of you is on your about page and/or contact page.
So that’s it my friends — 3 opinions! I could do more and maybe we’ll do a part two later on. I appreciate you being here and reading until the end.
November 22, 2022