Creating a Coaching Website (Part 2)

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This is the second post in a two part series about starting a coaching website.  Once you’ve incorporated the 10 tips from “Part 1” into your website, it’s time to add a second round of finishing touches.

Your website will probably go through several rounds of edits before you get it to the point where you’re happy with it.  For my fitness website, the first five or six versions were embarrassing.  The next few were “ok” and now it’s finally at the point where I’m happy with it.

Here are some of the final changes I had to make to my website before I was happy with it…

1.  Identify your website strategy and the key metrics you’ll use to measure how successful your website is in meeting your strategy’s objectives.  For example, if you’re just starting out  you may want to first focus on building your search engine optimization (SEO) for your top keywords.   You can easily track this in Google.

Another popular strategy is to focus on building a list of email subscribers (commonly referred to as “building your list”).  You can track this metric in your auto responder account.  I use Aweber because it’s the easiest service I’ve tried and it’s recommended by most of the experts I follow.

If you have a different strategy for your website, you can most likely track your progress using Google Analytics.  Google Analytics is a very powerful free tool that measures tons of different metrics for your website like # of unique visitors, click through rate, and time spent on your website (among others).  If you don’t have Google Analytics setup on your website yet, follow the instructions in “Part 1” of this Creating a Coaching Website blog.

2.  Each page should have a specific purpose.  Too many coaches just try to vomit everything they can all over their home page.  Unfortunately, that approach results in cluttered websites with so many calls to action the visitor gets overwhelmed and leaves your site.

Instead, identify one purpose of each page and focus only on that objective.  If your objective is to get the reader to exchange an email address for your free offer, then make sure that your opt-in form is prominently displayed on the top of the page and make sure that’s the only clear option they have.  Eliminate all other links and navigation buttons whenever possible.

3.  The goal of at least one of your pages (preferable the home page) should be to capture email addresses in exchange for a valuable taste of what you have to offer as a coach.  Personally, I recommend having an opt-in form on every page because your list is one of the most valuable assets you have.  Having a large list of qualified leads is one of the best and easiest ways to make money as a coach.  In my advanced coaching program I show my clients a number of ways they can turn their list into cash, but for now, just focus on building the list so you’re ready when the time comes to make a withdrawal from your list ATM.

4.  Educate your visitors.  They should leave your site with knowledge they didn’t have when they first came to your website.  Most people who view your site will leave and never return so if you’re able to provide valuable content to them that’s easy to digest and that can be applied quickly, they will be much more likely to take action or return at a later time.

Attention grabbing facts work great.  This strategy is especially powerful when you tie your facts to a specific pain or desire your target market is searching for a solution to. One of the best books on this topic is The Ultimate Sales Machine: Turbocharge Your Business with Relentless Focus on 12 Key Strategies.

5.  Here are 4 of the most common pages people expect to see on a coaching website: 

Home Page – this could be your blog or it could be a gateway to your services.  This is likely the first page your visitor will see so make sure it facilitates the flow of your sales process. For example, if your main goal is to build your email list, you may have a quick introduction video in the middle of the home page with an email capture box right next to it.

A more complex version of a gateway homepage may include the same video but if you offer three different products/services that address different pain points, your home page may be the gateway that helps navigate the visitor to the page that best addresses the pain/need they’re trying to find a solution for.

About Page – Your website should help to show each visitor that you’re an actual person. The “About” page is a good place for short videos and pictures of you and/or your staff (if applicable).  This is the page visitors will go to when they want to find out more about you so use it to start building a relationship with the reader.

Blog -we already discussed the value of adding a blog to your website in “Part 1″.  This is a great page to start providing valuable information to your readers and is also a great way to start building relationships (as well as giving your SEO a boost).

Social Proof - include a page that shows examples of people you’ve already helped overcome the exact challenges your reader is hoping your coaching services will solve.  If possible, include pictures, full names (and the town they’re from if you’re focusing on a local region).  Avoid the word “testimonials” as this is a marketing term.

6.  Have a consistent style throughout the entire coaching website.  Before writing the text for each page, think like you’re target customer.  If you don’t already have a clear mental picture of exactly who your target customer is, sign up for my complimentary “5 Steps For Growing a Successful Coaching Business” program by entering your name and email address on the main page of the Coach’s First Year website.  In that program I walk you through the process of clearly identifying your target customer.

Once you have a clear picture of your target customer, address all of your website content to that ONE person (don’t write your text so it sounds like you’re talking to a crowd).  Talk like a person instead of a business.  People like other people they can relate to and prefer working with people instead of corporations.

7. Optimize page load times.  Some of the best, most basic ways to help increase the load time of your website include going with a hosting service you can rely on.  I use www.GoDaddy.com  for some of my websites but I recently heard Hostgator loads quicker with WordPress and is more reliable so I’ve been using them for all my new sites.

You can also improve loading times by making sure any pictures you have are in the smallest possible resolution without sacrificing quality.  Here’s a good free resource to make your images smaller: Web Resizer.

8.  Use headings, bullets, and subheadings to cater to people who skim/scan websites.  Use your target keywords in headings and subheadings to help with your SEO.  Especially words that focus on the benefits of your service.

9.  Include your contact information on each page.  Make it easy for your visitor to contact and connect with you by including your contact information and links to social media sites on each page.

10.  Risk Reversal: Offer some form of guarantee on your product so potential clients don’t have anything to risk by trying out your coaching services.  Most experts agree that only a very small percentage of people will ever ask for their money back (assuming your products and services are valuable) and the longer the guarantee period, the lower the number of guarantee requests you’ll receive.

There you have it!  Between my last post and this one these are my top 20 tips for creating a coaching website.  If you have any questions please post them in the comments below this post!

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