Are your page titles making this mistake?

The best part of a website review is the fresh pair of eyes on your website.

After you spend hours (or days) staring at your homepage or sales page (or positioning statement) it’s way too easy for everything to smush into a blur.

That’s why with a Website Review you’ll get fresh eyes on your homepage and service pages from a professional with decades of experience marketing and optimizing websites (that’s me).

But I get it. Not everyone has $300 to invest in exchange for:

  • A detailed tooth-to-tail first impressions video of your website (including a transcript) with advice on what to do to get more leads
  • Feedback on everything from your positioning and page titles to pricing and presentation. (Even typos.)
  • A short ‘do this, not that’ action plan highlighting the 5-8 changes or optimizations I recommend

That’s why I’m giving you a few tips this week for your DIY Website Review. You’ll learn a few small, specific, actionable things you can do to review your website and optimize it for the better.

The first step? Go to Google and do a search for

Site:{your domain name}

But replace that {your domain name} but with your domain name. (Eg

This search pulls up all the pages on your site that Google has indexed. It’s a great way to confirm a bunch of things, but we’re looking at three of them:

  • That your site is indexed by Google (if it isn’t, you won’t see any pages in the results)
  • That your homepage is the first page in the list (If not, you might have a problem. Tap reply, let me know, and include a screenshot.)
  • What your homepage’s page title looks like in the search results

So, what does your homepage’s page title like? Does it describe your business and or elicit a desire deep in the soul to click? Or is it a string of phrases like:

Web Development New Jersey | SEO | WordPress?

When someone comes across your homepage in the search results, the page title is what they’ll see. And the page title and meta description (right below your page title) are what elicit a desire in people to click.

So, what does your page title look like? Does it describe your business accurately and communicate how you can help (eg SEO and Growth for Shopify Pet Stores)? Does it help your visitor know you’re the right choice for them? And if not, how can you improve it?

(This is part of what I call Search UX. That’s the user experience of finding your site in the search results, clicking, and engaging.)

Tomorrow? Another tip to help you optimize your website and turn it into a ⭐️.

And if you’d like to hire-a-kai for a website review, you can read more about that service, what you get, and how you can get started right here:

Each Website Review includes:

  • A detailed tooth-to-tail first impressions video of your website (including a transcript) with advice on what to do to get more leads
  • Feedback on everything from your positioning and page titles to pricing and presentation. (Even typos.)
  • A short ‘do this, not that’ action plan highlighting the 5-8 changes or optimizations I recommend



P.s., here’s what a happy customer of the Website Reviews has to share:

When I signed up for the Website Review, I was afraid that you would criticize some of the things I liked most about the site.

What I discovered was that it turned out that every suggestion or constructive criticism that you gave was about something that I knew I had skimped on or was something that I was unsure of (or forgot to go back and fix!). Having a professional “second opinion” that reinforced my suspicions was super helpful. The actionable advice about how to fix certain deficiencies was icing on the cake!

In the critique, I liked that you focused on being constructive and non-judgemental.

For me, the major benefits were:

  • I knew exactly what areas were strong and no longer needed my attention
  • I knew which areas were weak and exactly how to improve them
  • My overall confidence level in the site was dramatically increased.

I would absolutely recommend this service to other consultants! – Jonathan Stark

Are referrals worth the effort?

I don’t know about you, but every time I load up a sales page for a course on lead generation for freelancers/consultants, they start slamming referrals in the first few paragraphs.

Is it that referrals are a terrible option for getting leads? Honestly, it’s that people, on average, do referrals so poorly that they’re an easy target.

But if you invest a little time, attention, and effort, it’s easy to be outstanding with your referrals. Or at least better than (a meager) average!

This is where I usually link to Ramit Sethi’s excellent article The Craigslist Penis Effect, about the impact of being half-decent when everyone else is so horrible, but the article has disappeared from his website! So here’s an link to the article and a pull-quote:

The Craigslist Penis Effect describes situations where everyone else is so horrible that, by being even half-decent, you can dominate everyone else and win. These moron men on Craigslist would be better served writing 5 half-decent responses, testing to see which got the best response, and then sending it out instead of a picture of their generally mediocre manhood.

If you invest a little time and attention and get half-decent at referrals, you’ll start to get more referrals. It is that easy.

Big picture, referrals you receive fall into two buckets:

  • Passive Referrals. This is when a wild referral appears, and someone sends a referral your way. It’s nice when it happens, but it isn’t consistent, repeatable, or scalable. You don’t have a process to follow to get more of these referrals.
  • Intentional Referrals. This is when you have a system and process that makes it easy for you to receive referrals. You know who you want to get referred to you, you know who you want as a referral source, and you get to work letting people know who to refer to you.

Put another way:

  • Passive referrals happen to you
  • Intentional referrals happen based on actions you can take

This all boils down to a riff on ‘Activity-Based Selling.’

To sell more, you need to get intentional about the proactive actions you can take to get more leads and close more deals (e.g., follow-up on that proposal, publish a new case study, outreach to 10 prospects).

To get more referrals, you need to get intentional about the proactive actions you can take to get more referrals (get specific on who you want as a referral, tell people, build assets that make it easy to get referrals). We talked about this on Monday ( and Tuesday ( .

If you’re looking for help getting referrals with your business, Referral Systems ( will teach you how to walk-the-walk and talk-the-talk along with a healthy collection of resources and templates as a starting point.

Inside Referral Systems, you’ll receive:

  • 12 Video Lessons on Referrals and Referral Systems (each video between 5 and 10 minutes in length)
  • 11 Resources and Templates to help you get started quickly (Including an ‘Overview and Quickstart Guide,’ lists of Referral Systems and Referral Sources, and a starting point for your /referral/ page or email signature resources)
  • Audio Q&A Recordings to answer your questions about referrals (Including 31 short ~3-5 minute Q&A answers to your questions)

If you’d like to learn how to put your referrals on easy mode (and attract intentional referrals), then please let me refer you to Referral Systems (



*thwacks the ‘easy referral’ button*

So, how do you make it easy for people to send you referrals?

In my worldview, you start by thinking about two primary elements:

  1. First, you need to get really, exceptionally specific on who you want your referral sources to refer to you
  2. Second, you need to build the resources, assets, etc., that make it easy for people to send you referrals

Getting Specific On Referrals

Before you start asking for referrals, you need to understand which clients you want more of.

The wider you make your criteria (e.g., ‘anyone with a business!’), the thinner your referrals will get. Why?

When you’re less specific about who you want your referral sources (people, groups, organizations, colleagues, or clients) to refer to you, you offload the cognitive load of thinking through who would be an excellent fit to your referral source.

And when you hand that work over to your referral source, you make it harder for them to send people your way, and you end up receiving fewer referrals.

Thus, the first step for you is to clarify who you want your referral sources to refer to you. Is it everyone? (Hint: nope.) Or is it a subset of people who are like your best/highest spending/most enjoyable clients? (Hint: yup).

Once you get specific, you can start communicating this to your referral sources.

At a minimum, you want to get clear on:

  • Who you help (e.g., Shopify store owners doing 7-figures in revenue selling pet supply products!)
  • How you help/what problems you solve (e.g., help you outrank your competitors and get found in Google by people who need your products, content, and resources)
  • How to get in touch (e.g., fill out this form and…)

If all you do is take a few hours to get specific on who you want as a referral and then take the time to tell a dozen or two dozen people in your network about who to referrer to you, you’ll start to get more referrals.

But there’s another part to this approach that will help you get even more referrals (and make it even easier to refer people to you).

Building Referral Assets

By assets, I don’t mean “Ye Olde Plaque Hanging In The Dentists Waiting Room Asking You To Tell Thy Friend!”

Image of Referral Plaque

A Referral Asset could be something like:

  • An email signature, clearly explaining who you help + what you do + how to connect someone with you
  • A /referral/ page on your site, outlining who you work with + how you help + how to get in touch
  • A PDF leave behind that outlines your services and who is (or isn’t) a good fit
  • A piece of post-engagement collateral that outlines how your client can connect you with their associates or colleagues who may need your help

And so on. The magic about these assets is that you can write them once and then use them many times to help educate people on who makes a great referral and how to send referrals to you.

Inside Referral Systems — my video course on how to make it easy to get referrals — you’ll get access to a dozen videos on referrals, a quick-start guide, AND my collection of notes, resources, and templates to build your referral assets, including resources on:

  • Your referral page (for a /referral/ page on your website)
  • Your referral “leave-behind”
  • Your referral email signature
  • Your referral email introduction template

If you want to make 2021 ‘The Year of The Referral’ for your business, then Referral Systems will help arm you with knowledge, tactics, strategy, and assets.

You can read more about Referral Systems right here:



How do you get more referrals as a freelancer?

Not by knowing the right people…

Not by picking the right target market…

Not by having a killer website…

Not by having a great podcast…

Not by paying a bounty ($$$) to every person who sends you a referral…

Not by being funny/great/helpful on Twitter or social…

How do you do it?

You get more referrals by making it easy for people to send you referrals.

(Directive #12: People are lazy. Forget this at your peril.)

If it’s hard to send you a referral, how many referrals do you expect to get?

But if you make it easy to send you referrals, then the magic starts to happen. If you educate people in your network – friends, colleagues, countrymen – about:

  • What you do
  • Who you help
  • The problems you solve
  • How to connect someone in need of your services with you

That makes it easy for people to send you referrals. They’ll know who you best work with and how to connect people with you. With that in place, you’ll start to see your referrals increase.


Because once people know who to send your way, they’ll more easily be able to know who to introduce you to. They won’t have to do the work and think about, ‘hmm, who might be a good fit.’ Instead, you’ll have made it easy for them to think of who to connect you with.

If you want to learn the steps to take to make it easy for people to send you referrals (and the elements that go into building a system for getting referrals for your business), then you should check out Referral Systems ( Referral Systems is a short video course (with loads of audio Q&A recordings and PDF resources) to help you do one thing well: get more referrals.

Read more right here:



“Does that make sense?”

I stumbled across a question today on Twitter asking how to solicit your clients’ questions in an email or message.

Tweet Quote:

I always want to say, “Does that make sense?” at the end of an email/message that explains something but feels like that sounds belittling. What’s a better way to say the same?

Two insights here.

  • First, no one wants to raise their hand and self-select as not understanding something. The chances of that happening are very low. And because people are reluctant to self-identify as not getting something, they won’t speak up and won’t get the clarification they need.
  • Second, the burden to clearly explain the topic is on you, dear reader. The listener/reader/audience is not responsible for comprehending what you’re saying.

With those insights in mind, I’m a fan of using the following phrase in these emails/messages:

“Am I explaining that well? Let me know if I could explain anything better.”

(I’ve been saying/writing/messaging some variation on this phrase since ~2010.)

The magic is that this language flips the message around. Your question is about you and how well you explained the topic, instead of being about the recipient and their failure to understand the topic.

  • Did you do a good job explaining the topic?
  • Could you explain anything better?

In my experience, with this phrasing, people feel more permission to raise their hand and say, “Oh, hey, I didn’t understand that. Could you explain X again?” And that makes a world of difference.

Am I explaining that well? Let me know if I could explain any part of that better.



The ‘Not Now’ List

For March, I’ve been working on a pair of website refreshes for two of my properties/productized service businesses:

  • My done-for-you Podcast Tour property (Get On Podcasts!)
  • My Growth + SEO Consultancy for Shopify Merchants (Double Your Ecommerce)

Over the years, I’ve learned that the downright best way to get my brain thinking on marketing strategy and growth tactics is to be elbow deep writing copy for services. When those stars align, ideas and inspiration flood my brain.

Alas, those exact moments — when I’m working on getting the copy polished and the sites up and launched — aren’t generally the best time to refresh my marketing strategy or ideate on new tactics.

My goal is always to move the big rocks first, and getting the website launched is the big rock I want to move.

Enter the ‘Not Now’ list.

As ideas come to mind, I capture them.

But instead of adding them to my to-do list (and transforming it into a ‘never done’ list), I put these ideas on my ‘Not Now’ list for the project.

A Not Now list is a special place to store ideas, actions, and tasks that I may tackle in the future and that I’m intentionally not doing now. These are things for Future Kai to consider.

You might have heard of a not-to-do list before. With a not-to-do list, you’re deciding on what you are (and are not) doing. Then you make a list of things you aren’t going to do. As you get tempted, you can check your not-to-do list and remind yourself of what you aren’t going to do.

The Not Now list is a bit different but helps you get to a similar destination.

By parking your tasks and ideas in your Not Now list, you’re helping keep yourself on track.

But your Not Now list can turn into an inspiration or ideation list for the future. The next time you decide to work on the project, you can look at your Not Now list and see what notes, hints, and ideas Past You wrote down for Future You to think on.

And if the past wasn’t the right time for those ideas, maybe now is.



How to get great (and relevant) referrals

One of my favorite ways to get more leads is with referrals. Referral marketing can be like having a personal street team of people hyping up you, your services, and the outcomes you help with.

But the way most of us approach referrals is a bit more… ad-hoc. Inadvertent. Accidental.

Take this example:

  • Your friend (Mark) has a friend (Tim). Tim has a problem (e.g., Tim’s website keeps catching on fire)
  • Mark knows that we do… something… related to websites? Computers, maybe?
  • Mark gives a referral to Tim (“You’ve gotta got in touch with my buddy. They can help!”)

And then Tim shows up with a problem looking for help. But Tim’s problem isn’t a problem that you can help with. So everyone ends up a bit disappointed:

  • You’re disappointed because the referral wasn’t a good fit
  • Your friend is disappointed because they steered you and their friend in the wrong direction
  • Tim is disappointed because his website is still on fire (and not in a good way)

😞 😞 😞

The issue here is that most of the referrals sloshing around out there are accidental referrals. The person giving the referral has a general idea that you might be able to help, so they send folks who may or may not be a fit your way.

What to do? The trick is to get intentional with your referral marketing. Get specific.

Paint a picture of who your ideal referral is. Do you want all possible people? Or do you want a small, specific slice of everyone? (Hint: you want a small, specific piece that resembles your best clients.)

You can improve your referral marketing by defining:

  • Who an ideal referral is for your business (e.g., merchants on Shopify who sell dog safety accessories)
  • The outcome or problem you help with (e.g., your search engine rankings are slowly dropping and you want to get more traffic from Google)
  • How a referral can get in touch with you (e.g., visit this page that talks about how we help and who help and then fill out the contact form to get in touch)

By taking these simple actions, you’re making it a whole lot easier to get high-quality, intentional referrals.

In my video course Referral Systems, you’ll learn more about how to attract intentional referrals to your business. What’s an intentional referral? It’s someone who:

  • Has a problem you specialize in solving
  • Works in the industry you prefer to work with
  • Learns about you (and how you can help) through someone in your network

In Referral Systems, you’ll learn what to do and say in person and online to get high-quality, intentional referrals. You’ll learn about thirteen different referral systems that you can use to get more leads — not just the same advice on “talk to your past clients,” but thirteen different systems, including one I learned when it was used on me (to great success!)

Plus, you’ll get my template for setting up a /referral/ page on your website that says who an ideal referral is, the outcomes you help with, and how a referral can get in touch.

You can learn more about Referral Systems right here:



Scroll to Top