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Creating a website for your online business is a crucial step in the process. But if you have no technical or graphic design background, like most of us, it’s hard to know where to begin. 

In the excitement of getting your courses out there, you may be spending too much time on energy on components of your website that don’t really matter in the long run and aren’t getting you any sales.

So how do you create a marketing-focused website?

In a recent episode of The Anomalous Educator, I spoke with Shane Melaugh, owner and creator of Thrive Themes, a service that provides WordPress themes and tools for business websites that focus on driving sales. 

Shane has loads of experience in the business website creation process, and he shared his insights for creating an efficient website, as well as what not to do.

Don’t Focus on the Things That Don’t Matter

Most of us are visual learners, we love bright colours and shiny objects that catch our attention. So when we’re creating a website, we tend to spend a lot of time and energy on picking the colour schemes, font style, pictures and logos. 

But Shane says none of that matters in the long run. “They’re putting the emphasis on the wrong sort of thing,” he says.

When it comes down to it, the thing that is going to sell your courses is the courses themselves. Shane says to make sure you have your product adequately described as well as a “Buy Now” button in a prominent location nearby. The aspects you should be focusing on are the things that lead to sales.

Get Rid of the Sliders

The one mistake Shane says he sees over and over again with new online business websites is the addition of a slider. A slider could be a revolving carousel that shows all your products or photos. However, statistics show they do not help in sales conversions. In fact, they tend to do the opposite.

The reason sliders tend to bomb your sales is because the human eye reacts to movement, so much so that our brain tends to ignore everything else around the action. 

So if a rotating slider is the first thing a potential customer sees on your site, they will most likely miss the important things, like product descriptions and the meat and potatoes of your entire business model.

Another reason sliders don’t work is that they take control away from the user. They rotate on their own, and it’s hard to go back to see something you missed. Your website visitor will lose interest and close the tab before they’ve seen anything valuable you have to offer.

Less is More

When it comes to marketing-focused website vs. a design-focused website, go for the minimalistic approach. The most important thing to have on your site is descriptive text. So focus on that. Shane recommends studying copywriting and learning what works and what doesn’t. 

The most effective sales pitches are short and sweet and get right to the point.

Your headline should grab the visitor’s attention and keep them reading. Once they’ve read your headline, they move on to the short paragraphs describing your courses or products. 

There should be a sense of urgency as to why they need to buy it then and there. Then they see the buy button and make a purchase. Done and done.

Don’t Overthink it

So the point is, don’t overthink it. Like Shane says, “The fewer things you have on your page, the fewer things there are to mess up.” Focus on the reasons why you started an online teaching business in the first place. 

You have something other people can benefit from. Make that the main selling point and let all the other pointless details fall to the wayside. That’s how you make sales, by remembering why you started this business in the first place. 

For more on Shane’s website expertise, listen to the full conversation here.

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