5 Mistakes to Avoid when Building a Personal Website
It doesn’t really matter if you’re trying to develop your career and personal business online, offline, or in both realms – you need to have a personal website. Your website is your online storefront, your resume, your brand, and your connection to clients and customers from around the world. As such, it needs to spark the right emotions, establish a meaningful relationship with your audience, and boost your personal brand to inspire conversions and customer loyalty.
Needless to say, this is not something you can achieve with a website that looks like it belongs in the early 2000s or a site that doesn’t have a clear value proposition or domain that personalizes the whole experience for the customer. Let’s put all of these problems into perspective and go over the five mistakes you need to avoid when building a personal website.
Being vague instead of clear and concise
If there is anything that first-time visitors hate, it’s the feeling of not knowing where they are or what is going on when they land on a website. You have a very narrow window of opportunity to grab their attention and tell them that they’re in the right place by showcasing your unique value proposition and what your personal brand is all about. Try to do this with vague wording and overly-fancy storytelling (leave that for later) and you will invariably drive them off your website.
People want fast results, and they want to know who you are and what you can do for them right off the bat. To that end, you have to put your UVP and your opening statement front and center. If you’re a graphic designer, make sure that the first thing people see is that you are a graphic designer – it’s pretty straightforward and extremely effective. Apply this reasoning to your industry and tell the visitor what you do as soon as they enter your site, followed by how you can help them and how you do it.
Focusing on yourself instead of the customer
The “how you do it” part leads us into the next important mistake, and that’s focusing too much on yourself. You might be the most talented person in your industry right now, and you might be the most experienced of your peers, but none of that matters if you can’t show the customer how you can fix their problem. Focusing too much on yourself and your process or your products is a common mistake that solopreneurs make because they think that people care about them and their brand.
Remember, people don’t care about you, they care about getting their problems fixed quickly by someone who is skilled and trustworthy. Talking about yourself won’t get them to trust you, it will bore them and inspire them to click on that back button. Instead, focus on your customers and the pain-points that they are experiencing. Convey immediately how you approach their challenges and how you can help resolve problems A through Z.
Using the wrong domain name extension
It should go without saying, but if you’re running a personal business, then you need a domain name to match. Typically, you will include your name in the core URL along with a keyword relevant to your business and industry. This is how you ensure people remember your URL, but you also need to create a more personal domain name to make it even more memorable by choosing the right extension.
It’s important to choose a top-level domain that will tell Google that your website can be trusted, but instead of using a generic .com or .net, you can use a more personalized .me domain extension that will give your website a more approachable look and feel that the customers will appreciate. Whatever you do, make sure that your domain name is clear, concise, and personal.
Putting your work in the back
People think that there is some unwritten rule and a hierarchy to website pages that they have to follow no matter what. The truth is that, after the homepage, you can arrange your pages however you like, and the last thing you want to do is to put your portfolio at the back of your site. People want to get quick access to your work, so you need to showcase your best projects immediately.
You can do this by leading the home page content straight into your work or put a CTA that will lead your visitors to your portfolio. You should also put your portfolio high up on the menu page or the menu bar instead of leaving it far away from the eyes of your visitors.
Designing the website for desktop only
Finally, don’t shoot yourself in the foot by building a website for just one type of visitor. People consume online content in a variety of ways now, and more often than not, people will try to access your site on their mobile phones.
Make sure that your website uses AMP (accelerated mobile pages) to make mobile browsing seamless and ensure that all pages fit properly on all screen sizes. This will not only rank you higher in the search results, but it will also boost user experience and satisfaction and inspire customers to make the best decision possible.
Running your own business as an entrepreneur can be a much more efficient and rewarding process if you have an amazing website on your side. Be sure to avoid making these mistakes so that you can build up your brand quickly and earn the respect and trust of your customers.
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