Having an online presence is essential to your success as a speaker. It increases the visibility and credibility of your brand. It also generates leads that can be turned into loyal customers. Chances are you already have a website. Great start! But there are hundreds of similar websites on the internet. Is there a way to stand out and reach the audiences you want? Well, yes there is.
The answer is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It sounds technical, but it is not so complicated. Put simply, it is getting search engines like Google or Bing to position your website well on their search engine results page (SERP). According to a 2019 Nielsen Norman Group study on how users navigate the results page, you want to appear within the top five results or at the very least appear somewhere on the first page.
In this article, we will share six simple ways to get your speaker website noticed by audiences and search engines.
Your homepage will speak to your audiences long before you ever get to. It is important to say the right things. It should have beauty and brains, form and function.
A professional, well-organized homepage is the beauty side of your website. In addition to identifying who you are and what you do, your speaker website design should be attractive and easy to navigate.
The design elements to pay attention to are as follows:
- Fonts: Differences in color, contrast, shape, and character spacing make some fonts easier to read than others. Most sans-serif and some serif fonts are website friendly. Avoid display or script fonts, especially in the body of your content.
- Colors: The colors you choose set the mood or tone of your website. Choose a color palette that reflects your personality as a professional speaker or that sets the appropriate tone for your work.
- Images: Images visually enhance your website by breaking up blocks of text.
- Headlines: Headlines let site visitors know whether what you are offering is relevant to their search. Take the guesswork out, ensure your headlines are accurate and keyword-optimized (more on this later).
Now Google may not care that much about the colors and fonts on your website, but your website users do. But here is the kicker. Google cares about what users care about. User experience and SEO go hand in hand because website design influences engagement rates. Therefore, you must use friendly colors and fonts.
Speaking of user experience, your homepage must also be mobile-friendly. Here are some statistics explaining why:
Source: Finances Online
More time is spent browsing the internet on mobile devices than on desktops. Therefore, you will lose visitors pretty fast if your speaker website design is not optimized for the mobile user.
Your homepage will tell site visitors a little something about you. A glance from across the room, if you will. The “about’’ page is the introduction after the handshake.
Introductions let people know who you are and why you matter. So crafting an engaging bio is an essential element of a professional speaker’s website design. Remember, you only have a few seconds to capture people’s attention. Lean into your personality, and share anecdotes of the incidents that led you down the path you are on. Let people connect with you as a person.
And don’t just stick to words. Use pictures to make yourself memorable to readers. Check this out:
Source: Jay Baer website
Customer experience and marketing expert Jay Baer uses bold clothing to make him memorable to event organizers and audiences. It is part of his #PickPlaid brand, where event organizers get to choose the pattern and color of the suit he will wear.
Highlight Your Expertise
There are various ways to demonstrate your expertise as a speaker. One way is through video footage. These videos can be part of your homepage. You can also show your expertise through your “speaking” page.
Your speaking page is what introduces you as a speaker and should include:
- Past and upcoming talks
- Clients you’ve worked with
Successful speaker websites convince event organizers by providing relevant and exact information on what audiences will get. Streamline your content around a specific topic or a particular audience, or both if possible.
Source: Jill Konrath
Sales speaker Jill Konrath groups the clients she has worked with by industry. This makes it easy for event organizers to know what industries she has experience in.
Testimonials are important in building your credibility as a speaker. They are a form of social proof that demonstrates how valuable your expertise is. Think of them as job references. You wouldn’t use your relatives as references for a job. You’d use supervisors, colleagues, professors. Likewise, target testimonials from people in your field of expertise.
Another way to demonstrate your value is through the use of logos. Include logos of companies you have worked with on your speaker website.
In the age of social media, comments from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram are an option to build trust with prospective event organizers and audiences. It is a transparent type of testimonial where, with a single click, people can find out more about what others are saying about you.
Source: Mina Codes
Mina Markham incorporates tweets in her speaker website design. These give interested event organizers a taste of what their attendees might experience if they booked Mina Markham as a speaker.
Use the Blog Section for Wider Reach
Blogs are a great way of diversifying your work and reaching a wider audience. They are also effective in improving your site’s ranking on SERPs.
The best company blogs tend to educate their readers rather than attempt to drive sales. They are a resource people can come back to again and again. You should use the same strategy with your speaker website. Create an educational blog where you can share your expertise with your target audience.
Blog articles are a rich field for keyword optimization. Earlier in the article, we mentioned keyword optimization. Keywords are the words people use in their Google searches. Say you are a keynote speaker in the “women in leadership” niche. The keywords that will lead to your website should be a varied combination of the words “female,” “speaker” and “leadership.”
There are various ways to find such keywords. One easy and free technique is using Google’s “related searches” section. Type the keywords related to your industry, then scroll to the bottom to view the section illustrated below. It will give you some ideas of other keywords and phrases you should blog about.
Google’s predictive search feature can also give you some decent keyword ideas. Although be sure to use incognito or private mode to ensure it doesn’t just spew your own searches back at you.
Google’s predictive search features display other popular queries on a given topic.
Besides the Google tools, you can also try premium keyword research tools like Moz and Ahrefs. Freemium software solutions like Ubersuggest are also a great choice if you don’t have the budget for paid tools.
A third way that blogging drives traffic to your website is through guest posting. Guest posting is writing content for another website. Say you are a digital solutions speaker. In that case, you can write guest posts for different digital marketing agencies. Writing pieces for these companies helps you tap into their audiences. This builds your brand, drives more traffic to your website, and improves the ranking of your speaker website.
Add a Strong CTA
Do you want people to subscribe to your blog? Do you want them to follow your social media pages? Do you want them to register for an upcoming event? The Call-to-Action (CTA) prompts your visitors to do just that.
Putting the words “Click Here” all over the place on your speaker website will not work though. It will lower the perceived quality of your website. Instead, use something like “Reserve Your Event Date”. It lets people know the action they are about to take, and conveys demand.
Incorporating bold contrasting colors can help make your CTA button stand out.
The placement of the CTA should also correspond with the content. For example, the ‘Reserve Your Event Date’ CTA would be more effective on your ‘speaking’ page rather than your blog or ‘about’ page.
Source: Donna Lichaw
The CTA above from leadership speaker Donna Lichaw’s website is an example of an effective CTA. The bold design of the red button makes it stand out. The CTA is also coupled with a testimonial that encourages the desired action.
A winning CTA this month may not produce the same result four months later. Therefore, it is important to conduct periodic A/B tests on your CTA. A/B testing improves the efficacy of your CTA by finding the most impactful words, colors, and placement.
Your website is a digital extension of yourself. Of course, you want site visitors to have a great experience navigating your website. But user experience aside, SEO is also critical. After all, there won’t be any experience for the users if they can’t find your website in the first place.
From this article, you’ve learned about speaker website design and the best SEO tips to attract traffic. You’ll need to create a professional homepage, write an eye-catching introduction, highlight your expertise, utilize testimonials, create a blog section, and use a strong CTA.
Now remember that SEO is a long-term game, so don’t expect overnight results. Implement these tactics and have some patience. The results will become apparent over time.
About the author:
Ian Loew is a web entrepreneur and inbound marketing expert, and the Owner & Head of Business Development of Lform Design. After four years of helping Fortune 500 companies with MGT Design, Ian embarked on his freelance career before establishing Lform Design in 2005. He leads a team of creative professionals to deliver inspired online experiences via modern, responsive websites that reflect his clients’ core values. When not at the helm, Ian can be found mountain biking with friends or spending time with his family.
This was originally posted on SpeakerHub Skillcamp.