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11 tips for website content that shines in the New Year

It’s an easy mistake. As the New Year approaches, we’re tempted to join the masses with their overwhelming resolutions and ridiculously complicated to-do lists. But really, this madness has to stop. Improving your business, boosting sales and income, and creating something “new” can start with something you already have – your website!

If you’re planning on launching new products or services in the New Year, (and who isn’t?) your website is an essential part of your future success. It’s the place potential customers will visit to learn more about you, decide if they trust you, and make the decision if they are going to click that Buy button or not. Your products may be amazing, but if your website falls flat, you risk losing a good portion of your sales to people who are undecided and fail to make the connection they need when visiting your site to learn more about you.

Whether a big launch is in your future or not, the New Year is the perfect time to review and refresh the message your website is sending. Businesses grow and change constantly and your website should do the same. Get a jumpstart on the New Year by following these quick and easy steps for updating content on the three most visited pages of most websites and you’ll be ready to sparkle and shine all year long.

Your Contact Page

Let’s face it, a lot of Contact pages are pretty boring. A name, a number, a fill-in-the-blank form, and that’s about it. This is probably one of the most neglected pages I see on websites – and yet probably one of the top 3 pages that people visit their first time on your site.

  1. First on your list is to check that all information and links are correct. Duh, right? But seriously, how many times have you clicked on a link that didn’t work, or called a number that was out of service? Plenty, I bet. So take a minute and make sure everything is correct.
  2. If you have an office or store, add a Google Map to help people find you. If you are located in an out-of-the-way or super subtle location, include directions that will help. Creating a stressed-out, running late, frustrated situation is not the way to nurture loyal customers.
  3. Even better, share some photos of your store, office space, and friendly faces. Create an emotional connection with people before you even meet them by giving readers a taste of your business, your products, how things work in your office space, or how you interact with clients and customers.
  4. Bedazzle your page by making a statement – literally. Write a statement for the top of your page that welcomes, offers understanding and help, and makes them feel wanted, heard and loved. Add in a few details like how long it usually takes you to answer inquiries, who will they be talking to (you or a member of your team), what you can do for them, etc. It doesn’t have to be long. Just a sentence or two can say a lot, and it’s guaranteed to make your Contact Page ever so much more interesting.

Need ideas? I love real-life examples, and people like Marie Forleo and Melissa Cassera have super good Contact Pages. But one business I think really knocks it out of the park is Inkwell Press, who managed to turn their Contact Page into a delight filled with infographics, fun facts and insider information.

Your About Page

One of the most visited pages on any website, the About Page is critical for capturing readers’ attention and inspiring them to want more.  Even if you’ve kept your bio up-to-date, About Pages have changed a lot in the last few year. First of all, they are much shorter. Think less magazine-length stories and more bullet points, manifesto statements and sassy conversation starters.

Here are a few ideas for adding some serious sparkle to your About Page:

5. If your bio is super long, take a fresh look at it and remove all the extras – do your readers really need to know about your lemonade stand when you were 5 years old? It’s cute, yes, but probably cluttering up your content. Save that story for when you’re speaking live on stage, and give readers just the good stuff that’s pertinent to your business right now on your website.

6.  Add a short and sweet statement to the top of the page sharing what readers can expect from your site – and from you.

7.  Make a bold declaration of who you’ll work with – and who you won’t. Clarifying your target audience can help people decide right away if you’re the one for them.

8.  Write a manifesto or mission statement.

Your About Page is where readers go to learn about you, so don’t let them down. For all of your content, write like you speak, let your personality shine through, and show them why you stand out in the crowd.

The Home Page

Oh, the pressure. A website’s home page is arguably the most important page. It’s usually the first place readers land, it has to catch their attention, there are multiple pieces and parts to it, and you need to get the right message across in mere seconds. Here are a few ideas for getting your Home Page ready to make a memorable impression:

9.  Write a “Home Page Declaration.” When I work with clients to create website copy, this is one of the very first pieces of copy I write. And it’s what I use to guide me creating content for the rest of the site. It’s that important. The Home Page Declaration is a few short sentences that focus on sharing – very simply – who you are and why readers should want to learn more. That’s it. Copywriting legend Joe Sugarman always said that to sell what you do, you need to focus on the benefits to your readers. Don’t focus on new products or programs, or share the step-by-step process of how you work with your audience. That’s for other places on your website. Because really, people just want to know “How are you going to help them?” That’s what you need to declare right up front. Do this, and the rest of the page is just extra bling.

10.  Pay attention to your sidebar: Many sites use a sidebar for free giveaways, newsletter signups, social media info, etc. Don't let that space get stagnant. Mix it up and share new things regularly like new free resources, “best of” blogs, or an offer to join a free challenge.

11.  And last, check to make sure all content is correct and up to date and all links are working. Go through and click on each one, you never know. Proof your page for errors in spelling, typos, sentences that are cut off in the middle, etc. You wouldn’t believe how often I see these types of mistakes in websites. And when I do, it immediately makes me question that person’s professionalism.

When I think of New Year’s I think of parties.

And the perfect website is kind of like the perfect party – great design and lots of shine that makes your business look its best, along with captivating content/conversation that captures the attention of all the right people!

Take a few of these tips and put them into action right now and your website will be ready to help you sparkle and shine all year long!

This was a guest post by Dawn Mena from Captivating Copy. Dawn Mena works with people who’ve got fantastic ideas, but have trouble finding the words to share them. She shares lots of fun, fresh, and fierce ideas for creating content that engages audiences, gets biz-boosting results, and never makes you want to bang your head on the keyboard again. Learn more at www.getcaptivatingcopy.com

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