I create hundreds of WordPress sites a year for clients, and while they all look dramatically different I do have a method to the madness. Each website is strategically set up to do one thing and one thing only…make money! Like snowflakes my clients services come in all shapes and sizes, but when you strip away the the fancy designs you are left with the bare bones of my proven method for client conversion.
Define What Your Client Conversion Will Be
To know how to achieve client conversion let’s first define what that is. For some people client conversion is different. For me it is someone coming to my contact page and sending me an inquiry to obtain a quote from me for their WordPress site. For others it is signing up to become a member either free or paid. There are also those who are simply are wanting to achieve more comments on their posts and community building. Whatever your client conversion is, it basically comes down to the question “What do you want your visitor to do?”. This should be the very first question you ask yourself before you begin laying out your site. Once you have a clearly defined action you can proceed to actually laying out how to get them to do what you want them to do. Think of it as the ending to your novel. You need to know a good ending before you write the beginning.
Start With Basic Wireframes
Now that you have your clearly defined goal for your vistor let’s look at how to get them there. Because I am a WordPress web designer I start laying out my website with wireframes. Wireframes are really ugly basic versions of your website, and they will save you HOURS of design/ development time just by spending an hour or so. I use Go Mockingbird for my wireframe creations.
I won’t get into a tutorial on how to use Go Mockingbird. I think you can do that on your own time, but rather how I go about laying it out. I begin with the homepage. ALWAYS begin with the homepage because this layout and what you include on it will carry over to the interior pages. As I begin to lay out my wireframes keeping my client conversion goal in mind, I create a list of items I need to include on the homepage. A typical list will look like this:
- Navigation menu
- Slider (featured area/ about statement)
- Services and or 3 to 4 reasons why they are awesome
- Some content ( not always but typically needed for SEO purposes)
- Footer widgets ( about, recent posts, categories, social and subscribe)
- copyright and footer links ( 2nd nav menu)
This is my typical list for creating wireframes with some tweaks here based on what the client is offering. If it is membership or a client that wants users to sign up we will push that up at the top above the fold since this is the client conversion goal. Whatever you client conversion goal is typically you would fair well to have it be above the fold ( what the user lands on before scrolling).
After you have your basic list of items you need to include on the actual page we will next follow the method in which to lay out those items.
As an example of how to do that let’s look at a recent website I created.
Hammer Prep is a tutoring company for high schoolers. The basic goal and client conversion they wanted to achieve was for users to sign up for SAT & ACT and personal tutoring by way of scheduling a free consultation. They could do this via the homepage or interior page. When laying out my items in the above list I create the wireframes like a story, and here is how I lay it out. This is the method I use for EVERY client I have.
The 3 Most Important Items to Include for Laying out the Wireframe and Website
#1 Who They Are
#2 What They Do ( The client coversion goal)
#3 Why They are Better/ Best ( If you need more convincing, and a great way to get in some content for SEO)
I know it seems like there should be more here, but it really is that simple. Who, what, and how. No gimmicks, no website throw up and bouncy castles. Clear cut message to tell the user who you are, what you do, and lead them how to obtain what you are offering. If that didn’t work remind them one more time with the “why”.
How to carry over your lay out to the interior pages.
Some people spend so much time on their interior pages, when really it is super simple. Everything that I had in the content area above the widgets in the footer. I simply move to the sidebar. That way all the featured items are still up top above the fold , and the user can still select them if needed. Thus, still following the model of Who, what, and how.
And here is how that translated to the interior page
If you follow the simple plan of who, what, and how to lay out your WordPress or any website for that matter you will get those client conversions you are looking for. If you already have a site. Take a step back and look at it from this angle. Am I really stating the 3 w’s? If you are missing 1 try and reconfigure and see if you can make your current theme work. If not, try a different theme. If you are having trouble diagnosing if your site achieves this goal ask a friend or even people on Facebook to look at it. It is one of the best ways to drum up some traffic at the same time. Good luck!