Create Your Own Website With These 10 Surprising EssentialsMar 12, 2021
Ready to create your own website for your personal brand or business?
Any old fool can slap something together. But it takes someone ‘in the know’ to craft a site that truly makes its Audience happy.
First let’s agree to agree on a few things!
Thing #1: Not all sites are the same. Each should be different. Why different? Because each Brand is different. That means the content on each site (not necessarily the Wordpress theme) needs to be unique. Each Brand has a specific Audience who has specific hopes, dreams and fears.
The most successful sites have Visionary owners that understand what will make their Audience happy and convert them to Guests.
Thing #2: Next let’s agree that there are a million ways to accomplish the 10 Essentials below. There is no one size fits all solution.
Some Brands will want their site to sell products and services (and thus would have a store on their site), while others are selling consulting that require Visitors to complete a contact form. Still other Brands might be for a community (like guitar playing) that has nothing to sell. So the 10 Essentials are simply recommendations on best practices. They’re not ‘one size fits all’.
1. HOME PAGE
Typically 90% of your site Visitors who google your Brand will only visit your homepage. That means your homepage should contain all the necessary info your Audience needs in order to decide if they want to start a relationship with you (by either exchanging their email for some Free Treat or buying one of your products or services).
Brand Name - This is a no brainer but some sites forget this important info. The name of your site should be on your homepage so your Audience will know they’re in the right spot.
Brand Logo - Just like having your Brand Name on your site, your logo should be prominently displayed near the top of your site so you can begin to establish your Visual Branding with your Audience.
It takes about 7 times for your Audience to get familiar with your Brand, so why not get them seeing your logo immediately?
Header Headline - This is a short sentence that clearly communicates the benefit you’re offering your Audience. Examples of this are ‘Are you ready to find the easiest way to get fit?’ or ‘The Web’s #1 Place To Buy Discounted School Supplies’. This headline should make it ‘idiot proof’ what your Brand does and how it will benefit your Audience.
Header Headshot - You are your Brand! People will be putting their trust in you, not your Brand Name, Brand Logo or Offers. That means Site Visitors will want to see who you are, and determine if they believe you’re legit or a deadbeat.
Having a professional headshot, where you have a very authentic and friendly expression will help you win your Audience over!
Social Media Feeds - Like mentioned before, you’ll want to link out to your top social sites. We recommend these are near the bottom of your homepage. This is because the primary action you want your Audience to take is to register for your Free Treat or buy your stuff! Asking them to immediately follow you on Social Media causes them to leave your site.
Free Treat Offer - When you go to most sites you’ll see some sort of offer to get a free thing. This can be a sample of software, a free training course or a thing to download. We call this the Free Treat because it should be a wonderful ‘treat’ you lovingly created for your Audience. It’s like a present!
This thing should solve, or educate on, one specific problem and let your Audience sample all the amazing goodness you have in store for them. Therefore your homepage should have an offer for Visitors to exchange their contact info (email or social media sign up) in order to access your Free Treat.
Once you have their contact info you can attempt to get them to buy your Offers.
Destination Articles - How does Google determine what your site is about? They scan through your great content! How do Visitors determine if they trust you enough to buy your Offers? They get to know you because of your great content!
Therefore you should feature your top content on your Homepage.
Our Visionary Planner training teaches you to divide your large Audience into smaller groups based off what they ultimately desire.
For example, if you’re teaching dog training all your Audience wants to get a well behaved dog. But if you drill down deeper you’d find that 1/3 of your Audience wants to train their puppy, 1/3 wants to correct dangerous dog behaviors like biting or anxiety, while the final 1/3 wants to train their dog to do normal actions like walk on a leash or sit.
Breaking your Audience into 3 Desires will let you deliver them a better Audience Experience.
That means you’ll want to create a killer blog article that speaks to each of the 3 Desires. We call these 3 articles Destination Articles because we want to create ‘Destinations’ for your Audience’s to visit on your site. Remember that a great Site creates an amazing Audience Experience! Having kick-ass content they can easily find (because its on your homepage) will give them exactly what they’re looking for.
2) ABOUT PAGE
Only about 5% of your Site Visitors will see this page, but those that do are very interested in knowing more about you. These are often people who are seriously considering buying form you.
So what elements should be on your About Page?
Your Story - This is often called your ‘bio’, but we find biographies incredibly selfish. They’re usually all about how great the person is.
Who is reading your ‘bio’?
In order to give the what they want, you should tell an entertaining story that shows how you can help them! That means your story should communicate why you want to help others and the benefits people whom you help receive.
About Photos - They say a picture says a thousand words. That means your about page should have 2-3 images of you doing interesting things.
We recommend to have one picture of you doing something authoritative (like speaking on a stage, teaching a class, getting an award or being interviewed), a second picture of you doing something you truly enjoy that shows you’re a well rounded person (like helping a charity, climbing a mountain or jumping from a plane), and the third picture should be you and your loved ones.
Nothing shows you’re a human being like being affectionate with your family and friends.
3) CONTACT PAGE
Your Audience is going to want to contact you. These can be Guests who have customer support issues, media that wants to request an interview or potential Guests who have questions about your products and services.
A good contact page has a contact form that let’s the user easily fill it out. The submitted form is then sent to an email address you’ve designated. Having a form is better than simply having your email on your site for the world to see. This will reduce the amount of spam you get, and also let you track how many people are using your site’s contact form.
Contact Form - Use a Wordpress Plugin to generate this form. We recommend ‘Contact Form 7’.
Contact Details - Google recommends, especially if you have a physical location for your business, that you prominently display your address, phone number and support email on your site.
This transparency shows people you have nothing to hide (like stealing their money and running to the Bahamas). We recommend you have your contact details in your site’s footer (the lower section of your site) in addition to having your them on your Contact page.
4) PRODUCT LISTINGS
Let us give you some marketing tips so you can sell your Offers (products and services) on your site.
Make it very easy for your Audience to find your Offers and buy from you!
A lot of Brands have tons of products and services but make it impossible for their Audience to find and buy them!
They have the theory that you need to hear a bunch of marketing messages before you’d even think of buying. And that theory is correct! But, what they fail to realize is that often people hear about a product but aren’t ready to buy. They may return to a site later and be ready to buy but won’t be able to find the sales page!
There have been so many online products that I wasn’t ready to buy, or that were recommended to me, that I couldn’t find. Those product owners lost massive sales from me.
Don’t be short-sighted like them!
Make it easy for your Audience to buy your Offers. If you sell a few information products (like we do) then have your products listed on your homepage. This makes it ‘idiot proof’ for people to find. If you have have an e-commerce site then you can have a ‘store’ tab where all your products can be clearly organized.
In order to properly educate your Audience on your awesome Offers, here are the elements we recommend you have for each Treasure you’re selling:
- Descriptions - Very clearly describe what you’ve got, what it will do for them and how they can get it.
- Images - People are highly visual. They want to see what they're going to buy. If you’re selling non-physical info products or software then you can use an image of someone using the product on their computer, or a screen shot.
- Success Stories - Nothing sells your products like third-party recommendations. Don’t believe us? Check out how integral reviews and comments are to Amazon’ product pages. Try to include testimonials (we call these Success Stories) as social proof that your Treasure is high-quality and delivers as promised.
5) BLOG PAGE
Blogs are great. They let you act as a publisher. In other words, you don’t need a newspaper printing machine or a team of expensive writers. Instead you just need to commit to writing regular pieces of content. This content will be displayed on a ‘blog roll’ page of your blog. Each individual blog will be a blog post.
Destination Articles - As we discussed earlier, you should break your Audience into smaller groupings based off their desires (the problems they want to solve). For each Desire you’ll want to create an outstanding piece of content between 2500-4500 words that we call a Destination Article.
You’ll also want to create a Content Treat for each of these 3 Destination Articles. A Content Treat is simply a downloadable Free Treat that compliments the Destination Article. Your Destination Article should educate on the ‘why’ and the ‘what’ for your topic. Your ‘Content Treat’ should tell ‘how’ to accomplish the topic.
Episodes - You’ll want to have numerous blog articles (which we call Episodes and recommend you publish one at least once a week). All of your blog articles should be aligned with a Free Treat.
In our Visionary Planner system we teach how to create a Free Treat for each of your Desires. Therefore you’ll want to create blog categories, and then offer up a ‘content Treat’ (one of your three Free Treats) that is most aligned with the subject of each specific article.
For example if you’re teaching ‘dog training’ and you have the 3 Desires of ‘puppy training’, ‘dog obedience’ and ‘dog tricks’, you’d align your blog articles to one of these 3 Desires and then have a sidebar and popup that offers up your Free Treat for that specific Desire. So if your latest blog article was ‘Top 10 ways to train your puppy to sit’ you’d naturally want to offer up your ‘Puppy Training 101’ Free Treat.
6) LEGAL PAGES
Unfortunately there are unscrupulous people out there who want to take advantage of you. If you don’t have the required legal disclaimers on your site you open yourself up for drama.
- Terms of Service - This policy should make it clear the terms of a user using your website or any products and services. It’s important you include a clause that states you’re not liable for any info that may be incorrect on your site.
Again, hire a lawyer to consult you on this because the Visionary Planner (and any of its Coaches or Team Members) will NEVER give you any legal advice*.
*This makes our lawyer very happy. ;)
7) SUCCESS STORIES
The number way for potential Guests to feel confident in hiring you, or buying yourOffers, is to show them that you’ve successfully, and repeatedly, gotten results for others.
This means it’s a good idea to have a ‘testimonials’ page. We like calling this page ‘Success Stories’ because it sets all your Guests up as achieving success with you.
- Person’s Quote - The cornerstone to any great testimonial is having a quote from the person!
A lot of people do this wrong and include a massive paragraph of text. No one wants to read that. Find a snippet of text that highlights the benefit you gave the person.
For example ‘Bob helped be accomplish all my goals after just a 23 minute call’ specifically states the benefit Bob gave their client. To make your lawyer happy, never use testimonials that promise any sort of financial result such as ‘After 5 minutes with Bob I made a billion dollars! So can you.’ That will get your booty sued. Talk to your lawyer about what you can, and can not say so you’re up to date with the latest laws.
- Person’s Name - Include the person’s name. First and Last is ideal. If you’re in a niche where people wouldn’t want their real name known (like fans of Justin Bieber), then use their first only, or a pseudonym.
- Person’s Image - Your testimonials will be much more powerful if you can include images of the person. Ask the person to submit their photo to you, or grab their pic off Facebook (after you get their permission!)
8) SIGNUP PAGE
The whole point of running an online Brand is to sell your Offers.
In order to properly do that you need to collect emails of your Audience who are interested in how you may be able to help them. That means you’ll want to offer them the chance to download your Free Treat. Their payment to you is their email address.
Because you want to remove any distractions from them supplying you with their email, you’ll want to create a page called a ‘Signup Page’. We like to think of this page as a very excited clerk in a store trying to offer up a free sample of a life changing Treasure!
Here are the elements your Signup Page should have:
- Free Treat Offer - What do you have for your Audience? Your Free Treat should be educational and help them overcome one simple common problem. It should also tell your Brand Story and showcase all the great things your Brand can do for them.
- Clear Promise - What precisely will your Free Treat do for the person who signs up? You must be able to state exactly what your Audience gets and how it will benefit them.
- Email Capture - You need to have a way to capture their email. We recommend using ActiveCampaign to manage your emails, and Clickfunnels to create your email capture forms.
- Welcome Gate - Sometimes you may want to turn pages on your site into ‘Signup Pages’ This means an intermediate page greats your Audience and asks them if they want your Free Treat.
- SumoMe has a free ‘Welcome Mat’ that you can install on your Wordpress Site that will do this for you.
- Homepage Optin - We recommend you place a ‘signup’ area on your Homepage. Most Visitors to your site will either visit your Homepage or Blog Pages. So make sure your homepage has a way to entice your Audience to sign up for your Free Treat.
- Exit Intent Popup - While they can be annoying, exit popups (that offer your Free Treat) can boost email list signups by 10%. Why leave ‘money on the table’?
Instead of having an annoying popup that shows immediately upon visiting the page, try using an exit intent popup. This only shows when the Audience’s cursor is heading towards their browser’s navigation buttons (presumably intending to leave your site). This triggers a popup to appear and offer your Free Treat. SumoMe also has this feature.
9) WELCOME PAGE
After a member of your Audience signs up and gives you their email in exchange for your Free Treat, you need to send them to a Welcome Page.
This page merely confirms that you successfully got their email and are having your email software send them an email with a download link for their Free Treat.
Any idea why you want to make them confirm their email before they download their Free Treat?
Because it helps you filter out the bogus emails.
Your Email Service can help you remove every Audience email addresses that didn’t click to open your email. This keeps your email list ‘clean’. When you have a list of legit emails it helps your email deliverability rates which means more of your Audience receive (and consume) your messaging emails.
If it’s right for your Brand, you can make a special sales offer on this page. This could be a 65% off discount on one of your Offers. Typically less than 10% of your Audience to this page will buy. But the revenue you generate here should offset your ad costs.
10) ACCESS PAGE
After your Audience sees your Welcome Page they’ll go and check their inbox.
Your Email Service should have sent them a Welcome Email with a link to access their Free Treat. The page they access it on is called an Access Page. This page must have a download link so your Audience can download the Free Treat you promised them.
Beyond educating them about the specific subject you promised to teach them about, it should also educate them about your Brand. It should serve as a sales letter for one of your otherOffers.
Now that you know the 10 surprising essentials every site (including yours) should have, what are you going to do about it?
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