A lot of web designers are mainly concerned with creating beautiful
websites for their clients. They want the websites they create to be
picture-perfect, impressive, and works of art. They don’t put much
thought into a website after they hand it over to the client.
If this is your mindset, you’re leaving money on the table. Also, my
experience training web designers for over 8 years tells me results
(not design) make the biggest difference between the web designers who
earn a lot and those who don’t.
In other words, you should be making websites that make your clients
more money. By thinking like a business owner you’ll be able to charge
a much higher hourly rate. This mindset starts by viewing your
websites as more than just a pretty face.
Business owners care more about the statistics of their website. How
many visitors did they get this month? Is that more than last month?
How many people purchased something? How many people left without
To a business owner, traffic is very valuable. They work hard to get
people to visit their site so they want them to stay a while and buy
If you understand this and can help your clients make more sales,
you’ll be seen as a complete expert. You’ll have more referrals than
you know what to do with and you’ll be able to increase your rates.
The first step in getting a website visitor to remain on a website is
creating a website that passes the 5-second test.
The 5-Second Test
Most visitors will come to a website, give it a quick glance and, if
nothing captures their attention, they’ll hit the “back” button and
disappear forever. Sadly, they don’t read every word and most of them
ignore 95% of the stuff you worked so hard to create.
You can try this test now with your portfolio website or a client’s website…
- Go to the site you want to test. Spend just 5 seconds looking
at it. Then, come back to this page.
- Then, answer this question: Did the website grab my attention? Was
there anything that made me want to find out more?
If you find it difficult to answer this question about your own
website, ask a handful of people to do the same thing you just did to
your site. You might be surprised to learn that your visitors aren’t
looking at what you expect.
Here are two steps to make sure the websites you create pass the 5-second test:
1. Fix the headline.
The headline should be the first thing a visitor sees and it should
practically force them to read more. Don’t make the mistake of
assuming your visitors will read all the text on the page. Studies
show 80% of visitors read the headline, only 20% read the rest. Can
you see why the headline is so important?
So what makes a good headline?
- Good headlines are specific. Make sure the headline you write
could only be at the top of the website you’re creating. If it could
work on a competitor’s site, it’s not specific enough. Dig deep to
find out how your client is different from everyone else and use those
- Good headlines use powerful words that grab attention and inspire
action. Some examples are Shocking, Limited Offer, Effective,
Rewarding, Irresistible, Discover, Critical, Fascinating, Masterpiece,
Tempting… (Tip: Look through your client’s customer testimonials to
see what words they use.)
2. Ask the visitor to do something.
Most websites ask the visitor to do something, but they don’t give
anything in return. If you want visitors to take action, you need to
Let’s say your client wants to get the name and email address of
everyone who visits his site so he can follow up with them. He should
offer something – like a free report, a trial, a consultation or maybe
a sample product – in exchange for their name and email address.
This is known as an irresistible offer. It just means the visitors are
going to get something for giving something. It’s based on a promise
from both parties: If you give me your name and number, I’ll give you
this widget worth $27. To get more people taking you up on the offer,
it should be something they can’t walk away from.
Without a great – and obvious – offer, visitors will come to your
site, glance around and leave. With an irresistible offer, you can
turn visitors into loyal fans who return and buy.
Each paragraph of the rest of the copy should support this goal
(visitors exchanging their info for the offer). Remember to be
specific and explain what the visitors will get out of the deal.
Remove any distractions that get in the way of the message. Get rid of
extra info, any links that take them away from the main message or
away from the site, and images that aren’t relevant.
At this point, you might be wondering why your client would want the
The answer is so they can follow up (by email or newsletter) with
these visitors, gain trust, build a relationship, get repeat visitors,
and increase their chances of getting a sale.
Web Designers Beware
I often see websites where web designers let their ideas and design
get in the way of the message. Beautiful sites are great, but design
alone won’t make money. People buy because of the message. Work with
your clients to create compelling copy and irresistible offers and
you’ll be unstoppable.
To learn more about creating websites that get results, join our next
WordPress Bootcamp here.
Seats are going fast so grab yours today!