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5 tips to improve your website

5 tips to improve website

Welcome to today’s episode of The Agency Accelerator Podcast.

It drives me crazy that so many websites fail to truly serve their audience, so much so that I decided to record a episode of the podcast on this topic.

I recently posted on LinkedIn about this and it generated lots of opinion including some conflicting viewpoints to my own which I always love and show that this is an important topic.

If you follow my podcast or regularly read these emails you will know I am a big fan of making your website the “centre of your marketing and business development universe” and that means all of the various biz dev activities, such as email marketing and social media, should drive traffic to your website and then when the reader gets there, it should be really clear about the action you want them to take next. It also means making your website more than just 'brochureware'.

Yet most websites fail to do this.....

Instead, so many marketing agencies pay little attention to their website but rather make it look the same as their competition following the same old designs. For example, they start off by saying how great THEY are & what THEY can do for YOU! 

This is a typical website header (taken from a random agency website I found on Google):

'We’re a creative design consultancy. For fifteen years we’ve been creating and redefining brands, helping our clients stand out and be more successful'

Let's explore what is wrong with this:

1.  Your website should very quickly demonstrate who it is aimed at & show that you understand your audience so that it motivates the viewer to want to read on. So talking about what you do at this stage, is completely wrong! And this headline gives no clue as to who they help.

2.  If your website is full of 'We' then you need to change your language to make it about YOUR CUSTOMER, not YOU (at least at first).

3.  The “above the fold real estate” of your website is super valuable & you want to make it clear what you want your reader to do next. That usually means adding in a button to download something of value (e.g. an eBook, a top tips sheet or a tool) in return for their email address.

Bear in mind in this part of your website you want to show your customer that you really understand their pain points and then show how you can solve them. So for me, I might say on my website “Is your agency taking one step forward and one step back?” or “Are you frustrated that you can’t win a consistent flow of ideal clients?” or “Do you wish your staff would step up?” I know these are some of the key pain points and if a viewer were reading these and they fit my ideal target customer profile, then they would be inspired to read on because they would feel the website was talking directly to them! 

4.  Using a "subscribe to my mailing list/newsletter" or "contact us" link is a waste of time because people who don't know you will rarely jump to this stage of the sales process (and without being a mind-reader, I bet you get few enquiries/leads this way). 

Remember you need to build KNOW-LIKE-TRUST before someone will buy from you.

5.  Be clear what you want your website to be: If it’s just ‘brochureware’ then you're missing out on a great opportunity to use it as a lead generator.

As I said, there seems to be comfort in conformity, in that if you look like every other agency then it’s easy, safe and you are not rocking the boat.

But surely it would be better to buck the trend & look different, and that starts by showing your ideal target customer you really understand them and their pains (that your product or service can solve).

Useful links:

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Building empathy with your target market

empathy, customer journey, customer persona

When I get inbound new business calls (regarding potential coaching clients), I always like to enquire where they heard about me/found me. This is a prerequisite for any business that does any form of marketing (after all you need to do more of what works, and less of what doesn’t!).

So last week I met a new prospect (who has since become a client) to discuss helping their agency grow and develop a clearer market position. I asked where he heard about me and he had an interesting story to tell:

He runs a number of training courses focused on writing and content development. On one of his courses he shows an example of a bad website and an example of a good website. It turns out he has been using my website for some time as the good example (fortunately not the bad one!). And he kept thinking, I must give Da Costa Coaching a call at some point.

That point was this month because he has hit a brick wall in the development of his business and wants to move it forward and was interested to see how I could help him.

Standing out from the crowd

So that’s great isn’t it? – to get an endorsement and win a client at the same time. But what makes my website stand out (to the point that it is used as a good example of website writing)?

My bugbear about so many websites is that they are all about the company and show little understanding of their potential customers (except in a case study that is buried deeper in the site – where there is a good chance a new reader will never reach). Yet what you really need to do very quickly with website visitors is build empathy – show them you understand them and recognise the key challenges they face (that your product / service can solve).   The typical website starts by saying “We do this and we do that and aren’t we great” but if you haven’t already built some empathy and credibility with the reader then they are likely to think “who cares!”

Websites should be about building awareness and credibility. The home page should demonstrate you understand who your target customer is and show you understand their challenges. This makes the reader want to learn more – which will probably lead them to click on the ‘about us’ page and find out who you are. Of course companies can only do this if they have an in-depth understanding of who their target customer is. And if you are thinking, “but we can sell to anyone” then you are likely to sell to no one! You need to “pin your colours to the mast” and focus your marketing on the specific market sectors, and this starts with your website.

If this resonates with you yet all sounds quite complex, then get in touch, give me a call and let’s have a chat.

Stop making your website about you

website text

I review a lot of websites that have a home page that tells the reader how amazing they are and what they do.  After all you love to talk about your company and its products and services. Maybe you’re excited about a new product you have launched or a new market you can service. You’re selling your product or service, so that’s what you need to write about, right?


The truth is that nobody is interested in you, your company or your products – well not at least until you demonstrate some credibility. And this approach is rather an egocentric view of the world and a sure fire way of someone leaving your site pretty quickly (look at your Google Analytics to see your reader’s behaviours and how long they stay on your site).

In order to ENGAGE with your reader, you need to start by showing them you understand their market and their unique set of challenges. That way you leave them wanting to read more about you, thus clicking deeper into your site.


The old marketing approaches are still relevant today and particularly so to website copy design and structure:

  • WHY should someone read your website and engage with you?
    • This is where you show them you understand their market and the challenges they face
  • WHAT is it that you offer (that is unique in your market place)?
    • What do you do? What is your proposition to keep them reading?
  • HOW do you solve the client’s challenge and HOW easy do you make it for your target customer to engage with you?
    • Clear call to action and next steps – don’t make it hard for your reader to navigate your site – it should guide them through your ‘story’

Of course to achieve the above you need to really understand your market and how you fit in and then build your unique set of propositions. You also need to have a very clear understanding of your target customer(s). If you want some help with this then please get in touch. Also have a read of my whitepaper on market positioning.


New website and new logo

Da Costa Coaching Ltd

If you are reading this blog post then you will see that today I launched my new website together with a new updated logo. It’s been a while coming and at last I will be able to use my site as an example when I am coaching a client around marketing!

I am a firm believer that a website should be about building credibility and trust with your stakeholders so it’s important to show the reader you understand their challenges and their market (rather than making the site just about you).  I hope I have achieved this.  It’s also about adding value – that’s how you make your readers stay and return to your site.  So I have a series of whitepapers that readers can download and since I will be adding new ones every month, I hope you will return to check them out in the future.

I wanted to say a big thank you to Southerly Communications and particularly Anna, who have gone the extra mile to help me get the site just as I imagined it.  They also convinced me to update my logo so today I am also launching that.  It’s a simplified version of my previous ‘maze’ logo but still gets the message across of ‘helping business grow’.

Love to know what you think so please get in touch.