Jennifer Anastasi is a recovering engineer that creates websites for entrepreneurs that convert.
-how the small print can work against you
-how to get intel from your competitors’ website that serves you
-what is the one thing most entrepreneurs forget
Jennifer Anastasi is a Brand and Marketing Strategist. She helps driven entrepreneurs achieve clear branding and marketing strategies using a blend of creativity and technology. Unlike other marketing service providers, she focuses on each business as unique and human-focused and breaks down complex concepts into easy-to-understand ideas.
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Jennifer Anastasi Podcast Transcription
[00:10:33] Kris Ward: Hey, everyone. Welcome to the show when the hour, when the day podcast, and today I am with Jennifer and, uh, Stacy. Now Jennifer is a recovering engineer that now shares her brilliance of websites with her branding and marketing company. She helps driven and entrepreneurs really achieve a clear branding and marketing strategy using a blend of creativity and technology.
[00:10:57] And it’s all about. The website now, Jennifer, as I walk in would choose the show. Welcome, Jennifer.
[00:11:04] Jennifer Anastasi: Thank you so much for having me today. I’m so excited to be here.
[00:11:07] Kris Ward: Oh, good. We’re glad to have you. Okay. Before we dive in, is I just want to be clear when I say websites like that is going to cover websites and funnels because you know, we’re not, we’re not focusing on one of the other, we’re talking about really anywhere where you are driving traffic for people to end up getting more information from.
[00:11:24] About you. So whether it’s a sales funnel or a small website or whatever, that’s what we’re talking about. Correct.
[00:11:29] Jennifer Anastasi: Exactly. Exactly.
[00:11:31] Kris Ward: Okay. Okay. So why don’t you dive in and tell us what are some of the biggest mistakes you see happening out there?
[00:11:39] Jennifer Anastasi: Well, for starters, I see a lot of people out there that get so focused on the tech, behind everything.
[00:11:48] Now I am a tech person. So to me, I understand why people focus on it, but I see a lot of questions. Squarespace, WordPress, do I do funnels? Do I do a full website? And I understand why people are asking that, but I like to challenge people instead to say, you know, People when they come to your website or your funnel, they’re not looking at the backend tech.
[00:12:11] They’re seeing what it is that you’re presenting to them. And they’re ultimately seeing an experience, right? Like the experience that they go through. So I would so much rather have entrepreneurs. Look at that experience and make sure that that makes sense because that’s where your brand is coming from.
[00:12:29] That’s how people feel when they interact with you. They don’t care if you’re on Squarespace, they don’t care if you’re on WordPress, but they do care. If they can find what they’re looking
[00:12:37] Kris Ward: for. Hi, do we not get caught up in thinking, well, what’s going to give them the best experience. I can see how you get seduced into the, the tech side of it too.
[00:12:45] Cause you think, Oh yeah, Jennifer says we should worry about the experience. So what is going to be the least clunky? So, so if you say don’t worry about what it’s hosted on or the back end of it, then, then tell me what should I be worried about?
[00:12:58] Jennifer Anastasi: So I think, you know, when it comes down to it, There are experiences on our end as the entrepreneur, when we’re creating our website.
[00:13:07] Right? Like some. Of these technologies are easy to use. So some of them are a little bit harder. Some of them you can tailor like WordPress is infamous for that. I mean, use all these different page builders on it. Um, and I think that that’s what people really like get bogged down with is that specific piece.
[00:13:25] So what I like to challenge people to do is go onto your website and say, okay, if I was coming to my website, And I want to book a meeting with me. Can I do it because a lot of times people don’t do that. They’re so worried about, well, how does this look? What’s the tech on my end and they’re not actually going on it and on their own website.
[00:13:49] And then, you know, Get on there and you say, okay, cause I do this with my own website all the time. I only the worst person for this where I’ll be like, all right, I’m going to go on my website and I click a button and something doesn’t work. So that’s kind of what I mean about that experience is get on your website from the point of view of someone that’s trying to do something on there and see what happens.
[00:14:11] Kris Ward: We started doing this thing called a monthly audit, which I have to check. I hope we’re still doing it. We’re were scheduled to do it, but anyhow, because yeah, Jennifer you’re right. You just don’t, you don’t visit your own website. Like you only do it when you go, okay, boom. We’re getting it op or there’s a change or somebody tells you something and you know, we found out like, somebody will say, Oh, your Facebook link no longer works or something like that.
[00:14:33] And you’re like, Oh, well, how long did that happen? And how nice of them to reach out and tell us. But because it’s your website, you never trip over, or I’ve gone back to check something for whatever. I’ve landed on my own website, because I was looking for something that we had, maybe it was being stored there.
[00:14:46] And then all of a sudden I read something, I think, Oh, I clearly wrote that in a rush to get it up that day or we’ve changed our messaging, or I didn’t know that picture was still up or it’s no longer Christmas. Why is that still up? So you’re right. We just closed the door and we don’t look at our own website.
[00:15:02] And I mean, that sounds so trivial, but I know I’ve been embarrassed. How many times that’s happened to me.
[00:15:08] Jennifer Anastasi: Oh, yeah. And like I said, I’m the biggest offender. I had someone email me the other day that I had duplicated a word on one of my pages. And I’m always so thankful when people say things like that to me.
[00:15:19] But you know, it’s one of those things where I, and I do this myself, or I will get some new piece of tech and I’ll be really sort of intrigued by it. And I want to. Squeeze out all the goodness of the tack. And I spend all my time doing that when really my time is better spent doing an audit of my website.
[00:15:38] Like you were saying that monthly audit. Yeah. It’s so much better time spent, you know, to make sure like, okay, is, is this working the way that it should, because that’s what people are seeing. They don’t see the backend. They don’t really care about all the flashy stuff.
[00:15:53] Kris Ward: Right.
[00:15:54] Jennifer Anastasi: Does this work.
[00:15:55] Kris Ward: So, what are some of the biggest mistakes you see on websites?
[00:15:59] As far as ease of use goes.
[00:16:01] Jennifer Anastasi: So the big thing is the links. And this is like one of the biggest things. I screw it up every once in a while. But I see this on so many people’s websites. When people click on a link on your website and it’s broken, you’re basically telling them, and you don’t mean to, but it comes across as I don’t care that you’re not getting what you think you’re getting out of this.
[00:16:23] Kris Ward: Or, or I’m incompetent. It was an extra bonus. I don’t think that harshly, but other people as well, besides, that’s how I feel like, especially when you air your dirty laundry to the public, like, Oh, somebody clicked on that and it’s broken. Like I’m supposed to help you with your stuff. And I can’t even make a link work, so yeah, a hundred percent.
[00:16:42] So you’re right. Okay. Good reminder. Making a note here. Are we still doing our monthly audits? Make sure the links work. Okay. Perfect. Go on.
[00:16:50] Jennifer Anastasi: So the links are huge. And a lot of times what I’ll see too is like, I’ll, I’ll be scrolling through somebody’s website and this is it’s so little, but it makes such a big difference.
[00:17:02] The copyright at the bottom of people’s websites, it’s the smallest thing in the world. But it makes a big difference. So if I scroll down to the bottom of your website and I get down into that little footer and it says copyright 2017, then instantly alarm bells start going off in my head and. Often the website’s still, it’s still a good business.
[00:17:25] It’s still an updated website, but people don’t think to check that little footer down at the bottom and there’ll be bad info down there. So that’s a big thing.
[00:17:34] Kris Ward: Oh, hold on. Let me show my ignorance here. First of all, Jennifer, might you be the only person in the whole world checking that.
[00:17:42] Jennifer Anastasi: Actually, so this is one of the fun things I’ve talked to other people, and I’ve said, what do you do?
[00:17:48] And I asked this question when I do market research and I’m like, well, what do you do if you want to like, get somebody’s phone number, their address. And they say, I scroll right down to the bottom. Oh, somebody’s website. And it’s really funny. Cause I’ve had this conversation with so many people that they do scroll down to the bottom of your website to look for certain things, because it’s a pattern where they shouldn’t to do things like this now because big websites.
[00:18:12] Big companies like think companies like target and best buy and Amazon, you scroll down to the bottom and you expect it to get info.
[00:18:23] Kris Ward: Okay. So you scroll down to the bottom to get info, to get contact, but are you looking at the copywriting? And if you are, I’m going to tell you, I didn’t know, I was supposed to be changing it.
[00:18:31] I felt, I would say copyright meant. That’s when I did that. Like, I didn’t, I wouldn’t have thought to upgrade the year. I thought I would say, Oh, look, clearly, if I did a copyright 2018 in the website, we have updated the website since then. So I honestly don’t even know what I think the word copyright meant, I guess when I wrote the original copy.
[00:18:49] So I gave it no thought. So what are you saying we should be doing?
[00:18:52] Jennifer Anastasi: So it should be the most recent year. You can have like 2017 through 2020. That’s right. Fine. As long as you’ve got the most recent year on there, because it, most people have that coded in their website and this is like really technical, but they haven’t voted to be the current year.
[00:19:12] So we just, we’re used to seeing it’s a pattern like we’re used to seeing that pattern. And so if I go onto somebody’s website and I’m, sometimes I go on it. I’m trying to figure out is this a valid business, especially COVID businesses and shut down. So if I’m looking for clues, is this still a business that’s open?
[00:19:34] Is this still a business that’s running? If like a lot of people are taking dates out of their blog posts now. So like you can’t check the dates. Hmm, we don’t always talk about current events on our homepage. Right. So if I’m trying to figure it out quick, I’m going right down to the bottom of your website and I’m seeing this a lot.
[00:19:52] Kris Ward: And 2012, it would look very dated. Okay. So I have to say that was not on my radar at all. Okay. Keep going. I’m showing my I’m showing you guys how, how much? I don’t know. And there’s tons of that. So stay tuned. Okay. Go ahead.
[00:20:08] Jennifer Anastasi: A lot of people don’t, and, and it’s what I’ve tend to find mind is that we expect things from big businesses, like the Amazon’s the targets to the best buys.
[00:20:19] Like we expect these things from these big companies and we tend to give smaller businesses, a little bit of a pass on it where we don’t, we just assume like, Oh, okay, well, it doesn’t really matter if I don’t follow these patterns. Right. But it’s a branding thing. Right. Because branding is all about how you feel.
[00:20:37] Feel when you interact with a company. And so if you’re able to do some of these things, like making sure that the co they’re all little tiny details, they’re small details, but they make a big impact on people because you know, looks more professional. It looks like you’re more of a legitimate business.
[00:20:56] And if you’re taking the time to go through and look for these little things, like the broken links or the not copy, right.
[00:21:04] Kris Ward: Nobody wants it to be screaming that I’m a small business. I don’t care. Like, I’m sorry. I don’t even like that term small business. Like what does that mean? Like I’m not playing small people get into my way, so, okay.
[00:21:14] So point taken there. All right. So bestow your wisdom on us. What are some of the other things that we should be looking for?
[00:21:21] Jennifer Anastasi: Um, so I think. You know, the big thing is just how is somebody going to be able to come to my website and kind of figure out what it is that they’re looking for. And this is very hard to do.
[00:21:33] It’s very hard to do this on your own website. So I have a little trick for people, and this is something I started doing about six months ago. And it’s totally changed how I look at my own website and how my clients look at their website. So, what I like to do is I like to find competitor websites, right?
[00:21:50] So, because it’s way easier to look at their website than it is to look at your own. Cause it’s not a little separation. And so I like to say, okay, so for me, like I do brand strategy. So I would look at brand strategy websites, and I’d say, if I want to hire somebody, what questions would I have? So I kind of make myself a little list and I go onto their website and I look at it and I say, can I find out this information?
[00:22:15] And it’s amazing what happens, because if you do this, like you look at like two or three people, then go back to your own website. You’re looking at it with slightly fresh eyes. And you say, okay, well, can I find this information too? And you start poking around from a little bit of a different mentality, and that’s where you really start to get into that user experience.
[00:22:36] So like a big thing, um, with brand strategy is a big question. People always ask is how long is this going to take? So. I should definitely have something on my website that says, this is about how long this is going to take. Right? And then if I go to my competitors, some of my competitors have really easy to find information on how long is this going to take?
[00:23:00] Other people do not. And it gets, and I get frustrated if I’m trying to, you know, answer my questions on my little sheet of paper. So then when I come back to mind, I’m, I’m kind of in this frustrated mood, which is the same way that my customers are when they come to my website and they’re trying to find this out and then it’s okay.
[00:23:17] Well, can I make sure that I’m, don’t make myself frustrated?
[00:23:20] Kris Ward: Yeah. And I think there’s a really good point. And I know, uh, sometimes it’s scary to go to the competitors because you just feel like you’re going to go down this rabbit hole and get lost and beat yourself up and say, Uh, we’re not doing this.
[00:23:32] We’re not doing that. Or look, there is, looks really good over here. We should change ours to red. And, and so it takes a real, uh, being grounded, self centered and focus not to get overwhelmed. And all of a sudden, you think everything you have is garbage, right? So, so you have to stay calm and, and be purposeful about it, I guess.
[00:23:50] Jennifer Anastasi: Absolutely. That’s why I like to write questions down beforehand. I don’t just
[00:23:54] Kris Ward: blindly gut.
[00:23:56] Jennifer Anastasi: I like to write down questions. Like if I was. Going to hire this person to do my brand strategy. What would I want to know? And you should have a rough idea. I mean, if it’s your own industry should have a pretty good idea of what somebody’s the basic questions they’re going to ask.
[00:24:11] So I’ll actually write those down and I go looking for those specific. Questions. So that stops me from going way down the rabbit hole, because I’ve got my three questions and I don’t like to do more than five. I like three, but if you really want to be crazy and do five, um, but I I’m just trying to get in and get out.
[00:24:31] Cause that’s, that’s all our clients want. Right, right.
[00:24:36] Kris Ward: Yeah, you’re right. So you gave it extra time and got lost in the rabbit hole. That’s not what your clients are your clients not going to spend a half hour on their website. So now you’re no longer doing the task that was assigned to you. Cause I know for myself, I’d say maybe 10 years ago, before I had a team, I went online to do some research and I was like, Oh, I’m really going to do this.
[00:24:53] It’s a Sunday afternoon. No one will interrupt me back in the days when I thought, okay, Working Sundays wasn’t working because it wasn’t business hours. So don’t get me started on that. People grinding it out bad recipe. So this was a long time ago. And I remember it was the first time I bought jewelry off the internet, like an hour.
[00:25:08] And I’m like, Oh, look at these earrings. So I was like, wow, that didn’t work. I’m like, these earrings will be here in a week. I don’t know how I ended up here, but I bought earrings. It’s a day. Let’s get off. Right. So you’re right. You can get lost really quickly. Okay. You get lost. All right. So now what are we going to be doing about changing?
[00:25:27] How, like, what changes should we make? And like, what are the first things we should be doing on our own website?
[00:25:32] Jennifer Anastasi: So I think you need to think about what your clients are looking for when they come to your website and you need to answer those questions as quickly and efficiently as possible. So I am like a big person where I will say, look.
[00:25:49] I I’m an engineer. I am or formed engineer. You could, right? Yeah.
[00:25:54] Kris Ward: Recovery
[00:25:56] Jennifer Anastasi: person. So, but at the same time, I do not want to be solving quadratic equations on your website. Like give it to me like I’m five. It is not a question of intelligence. It is a question of time.
[00:26:10] Kris Ward: Excuse me, Jennifer. Excuse me. At five-year-old in this day and age with technology born with no, no, no, you need to dumb that down.
[00:26:18] You need like three, a five-year-old can outdo a lot of us now because they just entered the world with, I think they come, I think the maternity ward gives out cell phones now to the newborn. I think you’re born. Here’s your website because you’re going to okay. Not, and we here’s your cell phone, right?
[00:26:33] So a monkey, I say a monkey, a monkey or a three-year-old can operate. Okay, go ahead.
[00:26:40] Jennifer Anastasi: Yeah, exactly. I mean, and I would even argue three might be too old, my three year old on her tablet right now,
[00:26:44] Kris Ward: so that’s true. Okay. A monkey let’s go to monkeys.
[00:26:48] Jennifer Anastasi: Okay. So explain it to me then, like I’m a monkey. And, and again, it’s not a question of intelligence.
[00:26:55] It’s a question of time. It’s, you know, every, everybody has too many things on their plate right now. We’re all trying to get a lot done and we have to be efficient. So if your website can’t efficiently answer somebody’s questions, you know, and it’s not just the copy either. It’s not just the text, you know, you have to think about.
[00:27:16] What are these photos that I have on my website, say about what, you know, how does, how does that go towards it? And you can definitely go down the rabbit hole with all this stuff too. But I think you just have to, you have to think, okay, how can I effectively communicate that I’m professional, that I know what I’m talking about and get this information into the hands of the people that need it as quickly as possible so they can make a decision.
[00:27:42] Kris Ward: I think you, you know, I, I think it’s repetitive, but it’s really, uh, an important point and I want to drive this home one more time is coming back, looking at it with fresh eyes. I know with our, when the hour, when the day.com www.whenthehourintheday.com, we’re just changing it now again. And I had come back to look at it cause we’re, you know, finiding really focusing on our messaging and changing it slightly and a whole bunch of things have come up.
[00:28:06] Great. Okay. I’ve been on a bunch of. You know, different media outlets. So now we’re adding more to it. And when it came back and looked at it, which I looked at many times times, I see it all the time we give out the link and stuff. There is a section about me and in that about me story for some of you who know my husband passed away and that sort of how it all came to be because I was able to return to a business that was, you know, not just surviving with driving cause I had my team in place.
[00:28:30] But when I came back to look at the website, there’s my little story about losing the love of my life, my best friend. And there’s a picture beside of me smiling. Right. And I’m like, Whoa, it’s still how I felt about that at all. Right. That was, that was not. So I’m like, Oh guys, we need to know. I have a picture of me not smiling so much.
[00:28:47] And I never noticed it before I approved it. I had been on the website and stuff. And suddenly I just saw that one section cause you read it, you know, and you just don’t see it anymore. It’s this big blob to you. Cause you’ve seen it so many times. You’re looking for typos. But when I came back just recently, last week I noticed I’m like, Oh, my gosh.
[00:29:03] That’s that doesn’t look right. So I had been there so many times before and I never noticed, so I think the fresh eyes thing really is the thing sounds simple, but really hugely important,
[00:29:15] Jennifer Anastasi: but it’s the simple stuff that makes the impact on your yes. Yeah. And I also think that a lot of people and, you know, again, I can sometimes fall trap to this as well.
[00:29:27] So like I actually have it written down on my desk where I can see it, but your website is not a one-time thing. A lot of people think I’ll create my website and then I’m done with it. I never have to look at it again. And. I get it because you, you know, it’s this big project, but the truth of the matter is your website is more of this.
[00:29:50] Organic dynamic thing. That’s going to grow and shift with your business and there’s going to be things that you’re going to want to change on it. There’s going to be things that you’re going to need to update, and it’s going to just grow with you. And so rather than having that, well, it’s just a project it’s done.
[00:30:10] It’s over with being able to come back to it with those fresh eyes and saying, okay, does this make sense? It’s a big thing.
[00:30:17] Kris Ward: Yeah, you’re right. Cause I know with my marketing clients, uh, because when the hour, when the day we evolved from my, you know, my marketing clients and I know for us, when we’re doing, we’re a big fan of sales pages and funnels because they’re just, so there are a lot more breathing dynamic than a WordPress website.
[00:30:31] Cause you do you get this idea of, Oh, I spent these thousands of dollars it’s done for five years. But even when I talk about when the are, when the day.com that’s a sales page, it’s done in a funnel, right? So that you get people from ADB really quickly opt in, you know, there’s a whole different dynamic to that, even though it looks like a website and yet we’re updating and changing that.
[00:30:48] And that’s a fundamental position I have as a marketer. You know, you are going to change that funnel maybe once every six months or website, sometimes it’s once every three or four years. And even the once, every six months, like I said, they come back and I saw it totally differently going by, Oh my gosh.
[00:31:04] Like I see other people so clearly. And even when you do this for a living, you see other people’s marketing efforts, so clearly, and then you come back and go, really? I said that about myself and I put that really. I approved that. Did I? I must have, must have it’s up. And I’m the one that approves it. Yeah.
[00:31:20] So it’s a, the shoemaker’s kids have no shoes type thing, so fabulous. Okay. You made some really good points. Give us a final thought of, you know, what, what’s one last thing we should really be thinking about before we wrap up.
[00:31:33] Jennifer Anastasi: I think the biggest thing that. When I talk about websites is people talk about traffic, right?
[00:31:40] We all want traffic to our website, but I challenge people instead to think about every one of those little numbers as people, because that’s what traffic is there people coming to your website? So keeping that in the forefront, when you’re putting your website together, when you’re dealing with all the different moving pieces, the different tech, just keep in mind, like these are people coming and we want to treat everybody that shows up on our website, like a person.
[00:32:09] So, you know, things like the broken links, the little details that you’re like, Oh, well, that doesn’t really matter. You know, there it’s a person that’s looking at it and if you can make it a better experience for them and for that person and make that person really feel like there’s a connection through your website and the really good websites do that, then it’s going to help your business in a lot of different ways.
[00:32:35] And those are some like little tiny things that you can do it. Doesn’t take two months to do that. You can make updates today just to make it feel more human.
[00:32:45] Kris Ward: Yeah, you’re right, absolutely. Right. The whole, the, the day of writing third person, yourself, sound very academic is, is, is done. It does no longer work.
[00:32:54] It’s not a fancy brochure. It’s a way for you to have a one-on-one conversation with your audience when done well. Right. Which is always hard for all of us, because all that book learned. And I got, I went to college, I went to university and now I’m learning how to. You know, right. Like I talk and use a little emojis and happy pitchers and avatars, and I’m like, this is not what I paid for my education for.
[00:33:14] So it does take some practice. Jennifer. You’ve been fantastic. We appreciate you. Where can people find you online?
[00:33:22] Jennifer Anastasi: So the best place to find me online is, um, on Facebook. So I like to hang out there. Um, I do have a Facebook group called strategic marketing and it’s a fun place and I’ll make sure I send you the link.
[00:33:37] Kris Ward: So. Fabulous. Jennifer. Thank you so much, everyone else till the next show. Thank you again for listening.