hey, I'm micaela!
A small-town girl who now travels the world, I boldly decided to pursue my dream of empowering female entrepreneurs with uniquely-crafted brand + web design.
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Like the time I happily headed to the airport, only to realize en route that my tickets were booked for the following weekend (forehead slap)🤦🏼♀️. Or the time I realized I was out of passport pages two days before the start of a trip scheduled to extend over several months (I’m still shaking my head over that one.)
But one of the silliest mistakes I’ve ever made? It’s easily pushing back the creation and launch of my dream website.
If you’re new around here, you’re in good company. The Create & Wander website you’re exploring right now was only launched in July 2021 and let me tell you: Building my new website has already been one of the very best things I’ve done for my business – and myself!
But that’s not to say it’s been smooth sailing. There have been plenty of hiccups and hindsight moments that have made me realize that there’s a huge difference between a pretty website and one that works wonders for your goals.
And while I can’t protect you from showing up at the airport on the wrong day (or running out of passport pages – wait, maybe I can; double check those for me, please?), I can absolutely help save you from holding up your website’s potential success by making these five costly mistakes.
There’s a bit of a, “Build it and they will come” mentality with website design. Which makes it easy to believe you just need the right stuff in the right spots for your website to succeed. But something we often forget is that we aren’t providing our visitors with a passive resource; we’re offering them an experience.
Just like hiking Mount Kilimanjaro is about way more than going for a walk or even reaching the summit, your website is about so much more than just dropping the details of what you do and how you do it.
From landing to leaving (ideally with your offering in tow!), you need to gently guide your visitors on where to go and what to do so they can confidently convert.
This is the role of your UX framework, and it’ll help ensure your audience remains engaged for the time it takes to build a bond and transform them from stranger to customer.
And, nope, this isn’t about your site crashing or taking an eternity to load (… although if your site does do either of those things, you’ll definitely want to fix those issues or risk testing your visitor’s patience.)
Instead, website responsiveness refers to the ability of your site to adapt to fit the platform and device it’s viewed on. And even though over 56.2% of website are viewed on mobile devices (source), website responsiveness is something a lot of businesses forget about.
But you know what happens when your site sucks on a mobile device? They leave. The worst outcome possible.
Which is why your website should absolutely, positively be mobile-friendly.
Psst – did you know Showit allows you to create a separate stand-alone design of your website for mobile devices? Just another reason I love them! Click here to explore why I chose Showit to build my own site on.
When I was dreaming up the designs for my new site, something that was super important to me was that it reflected my personality and style. I wanted it to be more than a boring digital business card; I wanted it to feel like an adventure. So, I added pops of bright colour, animated elements to add movement and energy, and invested a lot of late nights and caffeine into ensuring my site felt upbeat, positive and friendly.
But all of that would have been a waste if my brand style wasn’t bright, playful and friendly. Your brand should be seamlessly executed across all online and offline channels. In design lingo, we call this “brand consistency”, and it can make or break the mood for your visitors. Consistently executing your brand can increase your revenue by up to 33% (source).
So, yep, consistency – alongside authenticity, which 86% of customers use to decide whether they like or loathe a business – is definitely a big deal for your audience!
It’s an easy fix though: Just ensure your brand style, visuals and messaging remains true across all platforms. If you get lost, a brand style guide will help you stay on track, too.
If you’re like me, it can sometimes feel a little weird to talk about yourself. I’m a creative – I want my creations to do the talking for me. Which can mean there’s definitely an urge to downplay our genius and shorten our story.
But your ‘about’ page is your secret weapon for bonding with your audience. And to bond, we have to open up, be vulnerable and share our story … in a way that won’t send them to sleep.
My go-to website copywriting girl, Cass from Wild Spirit Co., has a saying I love: “Being professional doesn’t mean losing your personality. The best brands establish their expertise while also being engaging.”
To take a page out of Cass’s playbook, she suggests:
Think all you need to do is create a high-converting Showit site and the sales will simply roll in? Nope! Something many businesses forget (or never realized in the first place) is that it can take up to eight interactions with your brand for customers to convert (source).
And if you’re relying on your target market to remember to return to your website after the first interaction, well … you might be waiting a while. Human attention is Finding Dory short. Especially if something – or someone – else captures their attention and continues reliably serving them content that guides them through those eight interactions faster than you’re able to.
Which means your website needs to give your visitors a solid reason – and nudge – to return. That’s where your off-site lead nurturing comes in.
A great website creates an experience that allows your relationship to extend beyond the pixels of your website and into other realms so you can remind your visitors of your awesomeness and impress them with the seven + interactions it takes to actually convert them into a customer.
If you’re struggling, a good place to start is to think about opt-ins, lead magnets, newsletters, and social media opportunities where you can turn their one-off visit into a long-term relationship.
Now you know how to skip the most common website mistakes …
Let’s create your dream Showit site! Wander over to check out my website design services!
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