For the end of the year, I wanted to do a series called Foresight 2020. It's based on hindsight 20/20. In other words, we can look back and see what happened. I want to focus on looking ahead to next year to make it the best year possible.
The Twilight Zone
Let me start with this, it is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone. Do you remember that show? You may not be old enough to remember it, but it started in 1959. Recently, my wife and I were sitting around watching TV and ran out of things to watch. The Twilight Zone popped up and we watched it. It was kind of creepy/cool.
That's where we're at. The last part of the year is that place between fear and excitement in the summit of our knowledge. How do we take what we've learned and expand upon that to grow our businesses? I want to focus on one main thing, and that is your website. Now, if you're one of those people who say, “I don't need a website, I've got social media. I've got click funnels. I've got all these other things,” let me stop you right there. You need a website. A website is the home base for your business. It's something you own and something you control. You don't control social media. You can't control what people see. Even if you buy ads, you're still not in control of what people see.
The Best Time To Start…
Recently, I was having breakfast with a friend. We were sitting down talking about marketing and books. I said, “Do you know when the best time to market a book is?” He answered, “I don't know.” I said, “When you start writing it.” The first thing you have to do is create the cover. You can always change the title and you can change the content of the book. You can even change the cover, but you need something to market to, and that's essentially what your website is, a place to market.
With that being said, you have to sit down and think about how your business has changed from last year to this?
Get Your House In Order
Then go look at your website and ask yourself some questions.
What is the main focus of your business? Has that changed? What do you sell? Are you selling exactly the same thing to the same audience? Who do you sell it to? Has your audience changed?
Mine has in the course of a year. The people I'm focusing on now are different from the people I was focusing on at the start of the year. The last thing you have to consider is whether or not their needs have changed. Have your audience's needs changed in the course of this year? Is there something different that you need to add, or augment, or get rid of? Another thing you want to think about is what is the value proposition that you bring to the table? In other words, what is your competitive advantage? How can you stand out from the rest of the competition? What makes you special? Can your clients easily understand that and can they repeat it over and over again without you having to say it?
What's Your Website's Job?
When you sit down and look at your website, as a home base, you have to ask yourself – what do I want out of it?
What is the goal when somebody shows up? Yeah, to give you money, no question about that. But are there different goals that you have? And, do different sections of your website have different needs?
If you're simply doing a blog or a podcast, all you want people to do is read or listen, but don't you also want them to give you their information? Do you want to capture their data? Do you have a form set up to collect that? What happens when you get the forms? What do you do from there?
The next thing you may want them to do is pick up the phone, right? Maybe you want them to order something, or maybe you just want them to share your content.
You have to decide where on what page you want people to do what. Every page needs its own job.
What Do You Sell
As you look through your website, go page-by-page and ask yourself – what do I sell? Who do I sell it to? Have their needs changed? What do I want them to do from this page?
Let's dig a little deeper on the pages. We have our homepage, which is where most people usually end up. It's the most important page in your arsenal. There are some web designers that think your homepage should have everything. You should have this big long page that includes all your information. In some cases that works, but in general, most people are not going to scroll all the way down to get everything. That top portion of your page is the most important. It's what's known as above the fold.
First things first, when a potential customer or client comes to your page, what message do you want them to have? Do you want them to watch a video? Do you want them to understand who you sell to? You have a limited amount of space to do a lot of work. Right below that should be the main calls to action of what you want. Download my thing. Click here to dig deeper into the website. Contact me. Whatever it is. You want to have your to priorities as high up on that page as possible. If you want to fill in some gaps below that, that's fine, but the further you make people scroll, the less they're going to see your messages.
The next thing that you have are your sub pages. These are the pages that describe everything from who you are, to what you sell, to testimonials. You have to ask yourself some key questions here. What's the buzz? What's the purpose behind this page? Do they have questions and can I answer them? Can I build trust and diffuse objections? Is there a higher calling?
What else do we want them to do? Do we want them to click through to more material? What is the path that you want to take them through that will ultimately lead them to pick up that phone or place that order? You have to decide how you want people to navigate your site. Every page has a job – to either give them the information or get them to look for more.
What Should Visitors Do?
The last thing that you have to think about is your call to action. I've discovered a WordPress plugin that I'm using called WP Forms, and if you'd like to learn more about a go to, brianloves.info/wpforms.
Any form tool can collect names, but this does so much more. It not only collects names, but it also will do surveys. WP Forms will integrate with most of your favorite email platforms like MailChimp, Constant Contact, and AWeber. It can even collect data if somebody abandons the form before hitting submit so you can figure out when people are not submitting and not filling out the form all the way. You also get geo-location information so you can figure out where they're clicking from. It won't tell you their address, but it'll tell you the city and state. The other thing that it does too, is it integrates with Zapier. So, when somebody fills out your form or survey, it not only goes to your email list, but also right into your CRM.
That way your contact forms aren't like those business cards sitting on your desk that you do nothing with.
As we move into 2020, use hindsight to have the foresight to look ahead. That way, you won't be leaving your potential customers sitting in the Twilight Zone.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below and share your ideas or questions about how your website could be improved in 2020. What changes will you make to your website to ensure you are presenting clearly to your future customers? What will you do to get your website ready for 2020? Do you have any ideas or insight you can share?
To learn more about this and other topics on Internet Marketing, visit our podcast website at http://www.baconpodcast.com/podcasts/