About this guide
This comprehensive guide is designed to help you build a coaching website that actively works for your business – capturing the imagination of visitors and inspiring them to stick around and ultimately take action.
Where many website redesign guides stop after detailing the planning stage, this guide will continue all the way through to your website launch – and even beyond! – to ensure you get the results you need.
As you work your way through this guide you’ll notice that we’ve included a bunch of free resources that will greatly speed up the redesign process.
Is this guide right for me?
If you’re looking to redesign your coaching website, and need an in-depth guide to show you the way. Rest assured, you’re in the right place!
Each of our ultimate guides have been created with a specific audience and goal in mind. This guide assumes that you already have a website for your coaching business and that you want to redesign it to be the best it can be.
The ultimate guide to upgrading your coaching website is for you if…
- You’re embarrassed by how your website looks.
- You don’t think your website attracts the right kind of clients.
- You don’t think your website accurately represents you or your services.
- You’ve put a lot of effort into your website but it’s not paying off.
If any of this sounds like you then this free guide is going to help you whip your website into shape. Side effects may include:
- Enhanced credibility.
- More of the ‘right’ leads.
- Easier sales conversations.
- Better client fit.
- Ability to charge more for the same services.
- And the satisfaction of having a website you can be proud of.
Do it yourself or hire someone to do it for you?
When it comes to upgrading your coaching website there are really only two ways to do it:
- You hire someone to do it for you, or
- You do it yourself
Only you know if you have the time, energy and skills to tackle a website rebuild yourself. Only you know if you have the financial means to hire someone to do it for you.
Regardless of whether you choose to invest time, money or energy into the project; it’s important that you do it purposefully to ensure an appropriate return on that investment.
This guide will be an invaluable resource whichever path you choose to take, however, we will explain things as if you were doing it DIY.
If you choose to work with a website designer/developer then you will still benefit from knowing what to expect, what questions to ask and what to look out for.
Ultimately, whichever route you take we want to give you the best possible chance of creating an awesome, authentic website for your business.
Why should you listen to us?
Before we dive into the guide we think that it’s important that you know a little bit about us – especially since you will be trusting us with something as important as your website!
We are The Good Alliance and we help socially motivated entrepreneurs reach, engage and help more people.
Over the last decade we’ve worked with individuals, businesses and charities that wanted to do their part to make a difference. Some of our clients include:
Each year we work with coaches from all over the world to accelerate their impact and help them touch the lives of more people.
We specifically love working with coaches like you because we know that you are directly responsible for creating a lasting positive impact, whether that’s one client at a time or as a global movement.
We’re here to help!
As you make your way through this guide you may wish that you had some likeminded people to bounce ideas off of. Whenever you have questions or need some support our free community is here for you. We have weekly check-ins, exclusive content and our team join the discussions to offer practical advice to help you grow your business and make a bigger impact.
Make a plan
The first step to upgrading your coaching website is to create a rock-solid action plan. We’ll set goals, find out what’s already working, and discover what it is that your visitors are really looking for. Your amazing new coaching website starts here.
Why strategy is important
When you first created your website what was your strategy? We find that for many people it usually goes one of these three ways:
- “I need a website so I’ll just get started, I can figure it out as I go.”
- “I’ve seen what other successful coaching websites do, so I’ll just copy those for my own website.”
3. “I will plan out my entire site first so that it does exactly what I need it to.”
If numbers one or two sound familiar then that’s ok. The truth is that most of the people we speak to usually get started like that.
It’s very rare that anyone takes a strategic approach when creating their website at first. But, even though it is often overlooked, the strategy stage is one of the most important.
We’ve taken the essence of our website strategy and simplified it into seven essential pillars of success.
Ultimate Website Upgrade Checklist
Track your progress as you work through this guide with this free ultimate website upgrade checklist.
Understand your motivation
Generally, redesigning your website is no small feat, so the fact that you are even considering it means that you must have a good reason.
There are many reasons why you might want to upgrade your coaching website, here are some of the most common ones we hear:
- My website looks outdated
- It doesn’t work well on mobile devices
- It’s not easy for me to edit
- It hasn’t helped me get any new clients
- I feel embarrassed about sharing my site
- It doesn’t represent who I am or what I do
Whatever your reasons it’s time to think long and hard about why you want to redesign your website.
Clarify your website objectives
Once you’re clear on ‘why’ you want to update your coaching website, we can turn our attention to ‘what’ your new site needs to do for you.
What do you want your redesign to achieve? What are the specific goals you have in mind? Here are some suggestions to help you get started:
- Increase traffic and number of visitors
- Get more leads/contact form submissions
- Make it look great on all devices
- Keep people on the website longer
- Add new functionality, such as a blog
Some goals will be linked to others, for example, to get more leads you may need to get more traffic. If you have more than one goal in mind be sure to rank them in order of importance. This will help you focus on the things that matter if you run out of resources later.
Establish clear benchmarks
Before you start anything, it can be useful to review your current coaching website and make note of the current level of performance. We want to ensure that the site you build performs better than your old one, so it’s important to have some metrics to compare.
If possible, record the following details from your current website:
- Website traffic: number of visits/visitors/unique views*
- Average time people spend on your site*
- Pages that receive the most traffic*
- Bounce rate*
- Current SEO rankings for important keywords
- Number of leads generated/contact form submissions
- The total amount of sales/client signups
* In order to obtain the information for some of these metrics you will need to have analytics software installed on your current website.
At this stage you want to record as many metrics as possible, however, if the information isn’t available to you then chalk it up to a lesson learned. Later on in this guide we will show you how to track some of these metrics.
Even if implementing website analytics is the only thing you take away from this guide your website and business will be better off for it – but more on this later.
Set measurable targets
Setting website objectives is a great way to broadly decide what your website needs to do, but we can take it further. When it comes to upgrading websites most small businesses want these three things to happen:
- Bring in more traffic
- Produce more leads
- Get more sales
These targets are fine, but they could be better… One way to set better targets is to create S.M.A.R.T targets, that’s:
S – specific
M – measurable
A – achievable
R – relevant
T – time-based
When you want to achieve real results you need to have realistic goals. By using this method we can add accountability and have a much better understanding of how successful our website redesign really is. Here are some examples for you to think about:
- I want to write one new blog post each week for the next 90 days.
- I want to get 100 people signed up to my email list by July.
- I want 10 more clients by the end of this year.
These targets don’t replace your website objectives, they exist alongside them. If your objectives are ‘what’ you want your website to achieve then your targets are the ‘how’ you’re going to achieve it.
Develop a persona of your ideal customer
Another common mistake we often see with websites without a strategy is ‘me, me, me’ content. If you don’t have a clear idea of who you are talking to then you might default into writing about yourself.
“I can… I have… I will…”
Meanwhile, while you are busy telling your visitor all about what you do and how you do it they are wondering ‘what’s in it for me?’
The importance of an ideal customer persona cannot be overlooked.
By creating a persona of your ideal client you will be in a much better position to speak directly to them via your website.
When you can connect with someone in this way they are much more likely to feel like you understand them – and ultimately seek out your services.
Time for some wise words:
“When you speak to everyone, you speak to no one.” – Meredith Hill
It’s true. It’s unlikely that your website will connect with both Tom, a 56-year-old overworked executive going through a divorce, and with Lilly, a 23-year-old new mother who feels out of her depth.
When you decide who it is you are trying to help you can create a detailed description of that person. The result is that you can then create a real connection with people who are your ideal client.
You send the right people the right message, resulting in the right clients.
Perfect Customer Persona
Create an essential overview of who you are serving and start working with the right clients with this free template.
Research the market
We are strong advocates of not focusing on what everyone else is doing and instead choosing to put your efforts into making the best thing you can. That said, having an idea of what other options your ideal customer might consider can make your own offerings stronger.
Seek out other coaching websites and make a note of them. Create a list of all of the things that you like and dislike about them, you can use this to make sure you are not making the same mistakes later.
It is also worth exploring options that aren’t related to coaching. For instance, if your ideal customer is a mother who overwhelmed by the day-to-day challenges of supporting their special needs child – they might not realise that coaching is something that might help them. Instead, they might consider looking for a support group, or alternative child care arrangements. Be sure to consider where else your ideal client might be spending their time.
With a clear understanding of the options your clients have you will have a much better idea of how to present your offer. You’ll be able to clearly solve the problems your ideal customer is looking to solve, all whilst differentiating yourself from the competition.
Allocate your resources
There’s no way around it; redesigning your website is going to cost you. Whether in time spent working on the project yourself, money spent on hiring someone to do it for you or a combination of them both.
Whatever route you take you really want to think about your time/money budget now to avoid hitting a roadblock.
Some costs will be unavoidable, such as annual fees for website hosting and your domain name, but you may already have these factored in based on your current setup. If you are currently on a budget hosting plan you may wish to consider the cost and benefits of redesigning your website on a more robust platform.
Other costs you may need to consider are the costs of hiring copywriters to produce content, designers for creating logos and graphics, and developers for creating any required code. Also, keep in mind that many website design agencies may offer packages which combine several of these services to save you money.
The goal here isn’t to make your website redesign seem expensive and out of reach, but for you to consider what you’ll need to invest in order to get it right and not stall your project.
If you have an abundance of time (and some technical & creative prowess) then, with the help of this guide, you may be able to get by without hiring anyone. However, it’s better to consider the costs now rather than realise halfway through you no longer have enough time to finish it.
Common pitfalls to avoid
Redesigning your coaching website should be an exciting time for you and your business, it should be thrilling. Try to cut corners though and you can end up wasting time and money.
Here are some quick tips to ensure your website upgrade doesn’t get stuck in design purgatory:
1. Get used to making decisions
Nothing will stall your project faster than your inability to make a decision. You’ve got to move fast and keep the momentum going because your enthusiasm for this project won’t last forever.
Get used to trusting your instincts, otherwise days will fly by while you are trying to decide which shade of blue you like best.
Imagine that you have a decision-making budget and do your best to allocate it carefully. Ask yourself ‘how important is this decision to my objectives?’ and make sure you are spending your mental energy on the things that make a difference.
2. You get what you pay for
Now, it doesn’t always apply, but generally you get what you pay for in life. Cheap designers and developers might seem enticing at first but there is a reason that their rate is often too good to be true.
There’s a well known diagram in the creative community known as the Project Management Triangle and it works like this:
There are three parts: good, cheap, and fast. The kicker is that for any project you can only ever choose two of them.
Fast + good = usually expensive
Cheap + fast = lower quality work
Good + cheap = be prepared to wait
Good designers aren’t cheap and the ones that are usually aren’t available because they get booked up fast.
Where possible you’ll want to find help from someone who has a good reputation and a portfolio of work that shows they are capable of the work you’ll be requesting.
Hiring cheap could end up costing you more over the long run, whether that’s more money to get it done properly or more of your time to provide constant feedback.
3. Design is subjective, bad design isn’t
As designers we could sit for hours and discuss which images, colours, fonts and graphics work we like to use and recommend. But the truth is that most of the time this is all just down to personal preference.
Where you might like one colour, I might like another and that’s ok. Our preferences make us (and the world) more interesting. Could you imagine how boring it would be if we all wore plain, light grey t-shirts? [Side note, I love wearing light grey t-shirts!]
My choice of clothing colour aside, the point here is that you don’t want to sweat the small stuff. While visual design is really important you don’t want to get swept away in it. Colours, fonts, images and graphics should all pair well together, but they can all be tweaked to your liking.
Frankly, it doesn’t matter what colour you pick for your website if your page structure is a jumbled mess. Your website visitors won’t agonise over the shade of blue you’ve used, but they will be quick to leave your site if they can’t find what they are looking for.
While your choice of website styling is subjective, bad website design isn’t. Be sure to put your focus where it’ll count.
4. Know where your limits are
This one is quick and easy: don’t be the bottleneck that holds up your project!
Let’s say that you want to add an online store to your website so you can sell a book that you wrote. You’ve looked into how it could be done and you’ve found a system that you want to integrate into your website… what do you do?
You decide that it’s probably not that hard and with some time you’ll be able to figure it out. So you get to work and start learning all of the code you need to implement it. Days pass and as it starts getting more complicated you realise that it’s sucking up all of your time…
Alternatively, you could decide to find someone who already knows how to implement it for you. It might take them a few hours but then you’re right back to work on your business.
You know if you are technically minded or not so don’t commit yourself to things which will hold you back. Focus on your strengths and delegate anything you know that you’re not good at.
Select your tools
Before you start picking colours and choosing images for your website you’ll want to be sure that you have a solid platform to build on. Now is the perfect time to consider whether or not your domain name, hosting and website platform are the best fit for your business.
Confirm your domain name
You may be entirely happy with the domain name you’ve chosen for your website, in which case, you can skip this section.
However, if you are looking to update your site because it no longer represents who you are, or who you want to work with – it makes sense to consider whether your existing domain name (and business name) are working for you.
Changing a business name and domain name is not something to be done lightly. Any change will have implications beyond your website.
But as complicated or damaging as a change may be, it is better than having a business or domain name that simply isn’t right.
Need help weighing your options? Join our free Facebook community and our team will be happy to answer your questions or provide advice.
Choose your platform
Choosing a platform for your website is no easy task. With so many options out there which one should you choose?
You may be happy with your current website platform (and if you are, then you can skip ahead), but if you’re not then now would be a good time to consider what else is out there.
Some options to consider are:
You’ll find plenty of information about these online, including some good ‘for and against’ comparisons. Instead of going through each option we’ll cut right to the chase and share with you our recommendation.
Our recommendation: WordPress
While we love services like Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly, none of them compare to WordPress when it comes to customisation. If you want to collect email addresses for your newsletter there’s a plugin for that. If you want to change website hosts you can pack up your WordPress site and move it. If you want to change from a standard website to a full-blown membership website you can do this with WordPress.
It’s incredibly versatile and it’s our preferred platform for launching websites because you won’t outgrow it easily. As your business grows you can add new features without worrying about having to redesign your website all over again.
Powering more than one-third of all websites on the internet, WordPress is a powerful and trusted way to create your website. What we love about WordPress is just how expandable it is – it’s a brilliant platform that will let your website grow as your business does.
WordPress is a website platform that, for the most part, will let you create a website without knowing any coding languages. It’s designed to be used by everyone, even if you’ve never created a website before.
All of our client websites are built using a combination of WordPress and Divi. Check out our case studies to see the stunning variety you can achieve with this versatile pairing.
And perhaps best of all, WordPress is open-source which means that anyone can install the core configuration for free.
Choose a hosting provider
If you used WordPress for your previous website, then you may already have a hosting provider you are happy with, and which you can use for your new site.
Regardless of whether you have an existing hosting account or not, here are a few things you should be looking for in a hosting provider when you are building a WordPress site.
- Does this company specialise in WordPress?
- Can they offer 1 click WordPress installation?
- Do they offer SSL as standard or as an add-on?
- What security precautions do they offer as standard or as an add-on?
- Will they help out if your WordPress site is hacked?
- What sort of support do they offer?
Many of the popular hosting providers advertise low prices, but offer each of these services as add-ons, increasing the total price of what you pay. For that reason it is worth exploring dedicated WordPress hosting – most of which will offer these features as standard.
Our recommendation: Flywheel
We trust all of our client websites to a dedicated WordPress hosting company called Flywheel. They are a premium, WordPress-only host that offer heaps of great features as standard. Hosting plans start at US$15 per month, and whilst it is not the cheapest option available, it is one of the best.
We have worked with many hosting providers over the years, and have found that cheap hosting is fine until your WordPress site gets hacked or infected with malicious files.
We’ve spent enough time trying to get sites back online, to appreciate Flywheel’s superior performance, reliability, and support.
If you intend to build a website that is a valuable asset to your business, it is worth investing to ensure that your asset loads fast and stays secure.
Choose a WordPress theme
If you are using WordPress, right out of the box you’ll have a great content management system that allows you to create pages and posts (for blogging). You’ll also have the ability to change your website appearance using the built-in customiser or by installing a new theme.
There are thousands of free and premium website themes available for you to download. Finding the perfect theme for your website might take some searching, especially with so much choice.
Our recommendation: Divi by Elegant Themes
When it comes to premium WordPress themes Divi is one of the best around. In fact, Divi is the world’s most popular premium WordPress theme. We love it because it can be used to create some incredibly creative websites while still being intuitive for our clients.
All of our client websites are built using a combination of WordPress and Divi. Check out our case studies to see the stunning variety you can achieve with this versatile pairing.
Divi extends the features of WordPress and adds a variety of really useful modules such as newsletter sign up forms, contact forms, testimonials and more.
We recommend Divi because, like WordPress, you will be investing your time and energy in software that will grow with your business. The sooner you start building with Divi the more you will benefit when the time comes to add new functionality to your website.
The theme is incredibly well documented and has amassed a loyal community that has created a variety of tutorials, guides, and plugins.
Decide where to build your site
If you are going to stick with the same domain name, hosting provider and website platform – you’ll need to decide whether you are going to overwrite your current site or set up a new installation.
Which option you choose depends on your preferences and the popularity of your current website:
1. Replace your current site
The first option is to build your new website directly over your current website. If you want to start with a clean slate then you would delete all of your current website files, alternatively, you can tweak your current design.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both of these routes;
- a clean slate means that you can clear out any junk that is slowing your website down or causing any issues. You’ll also reclaim any storage space which can be useful if your hosting package has a limit. The downside is that you are starting over so you may have to go through the basic setup again and any old content will be lost (which is why it’s important to download anything you want to keep).
- tweaking the current design means that you’ll be able to get right into editing your site because the setup will already be done. However, any junk that is on there will remain and it may be more confusing to try and work with your old content still in place.
Whichever of these routes you take you’ll likely want to set up a temporary ‘coming soon/maintenance mode’ page to let people know that your website is not ready yet.
If your website gets a lot of traffic then working over the top of your current site may not be the best option because your visitors won’t have access to your site. On the other hand, if your website barely gets any views then taking it offline while you redesign it shouldn’t be an issue.
2. Build it elsewhere
The next option you have is to leave your current website well alone and build your new one somewhere else. The obvious advantage here is that while you are building your new website you will still be able to access all of the content on your current site.
Perhaps the best way to do this is to sign up for a new hosting plan on a monthly basis, once your new website is complete you can then transfer the site and cancel the plan. Alternatively, you could keep the new site on the new hosting plan and simply cancel your old hosting plan.
It is also possible to design your website without paying for another hosting plan by developing your website on your computer. We call this developing ‘locally’ or on a ‘local machine’. However, developing websites locally is something that is much more technical if you have never attempted it before.
Whichever option is best for you and your business you’ll want to plan your website downtime to keep it to a minimum.
Lay the foundations
Grab your hard hat and your high-visibility jacket because the real work is about to begin. From here on out you’ll want to put your website in maintenance mode or create a staging site where you can build your new website. Ready to create a website with purpose? Let’s get started…
Save useful content from your old site
When it comes to redesigning your coaching website one thing is certain: not everything on your old website is going to make it to the new one.
Take the time to go through your website page by page and copy/paste anything you want to keep into a text document. Once you begin with the redesign your focus will be on creating new content and not saving the older stuff, so now is the time to grab what you need.
Be sure to download any images, icons or logos which you don’t have stored on your computer. Also, make a note of any other design features such as fonts and colours in case you wish to reuse them for your new site.
Note: if you have a blog set up on your website then you may need to take extra time and care to ensure you don’t lose all of your hard work. Depending on what platform your current website uses you may be able to download a backup of your blog post content.
Create a site map
Now things start to get interesting!
Planning out what pages you need on your website and how they all link together is essential if you want a website that has purpose and intent. Making it up as you go simply won’t do.
Take a sheet of paper – or download our handy sitemap & menu template below – and list out all of the pages you think you might need on your website.
Once you’ve created your list the next task is to rank each page from one to three. One represents critically important, two represents useful, and three represents not important. Here are some pages which you might want to include:
- About Me/Us
- Services/Work With Me
- How I Work/Our Process
- Terms & Conditions
Typically, for most coaching websites the critical pages are:
Some useful but less important pages might be:
- Terms & Conditions
Any other pages would be classed as not important.
We do this for two reasons, the first is so we know which pages we need to focus on during the redesign. We want to give the most important pages more of our resources because they will have the most impact on our business. Secondly we need to decide which links appear in our primary website menu.
Website Sitemap & Menu Template
Build a website with purpose by using this free template. Just fill in the blanks and create a more organised website.
Design your primary menu
When it comes to designing your new website your primary/main menu is sacred. Your job is to protect it and ensure that every single link that is included has earned its place.
Your primary menu should be free from distraction and allow your visitor access to everything they would need to become your client. That means they need to be able to learn about you, connect with you and show their intention to take action.
If your menu has too many links or is unclear then you risk losing a potential client, it’s that important.
The ideal number of menu links
There’s no exact science that says you should have a specific number of links in your website menu, but in our experience between four and six links is ideal.
Download the free site map and menu template above to make this next task easier.
We’re going to reserve one of these links, the one furthest to the right, for something important which we’ll talk more about in a moment. For now, we need to work out which of our pages are the most useful to our visitors.
Using your list of website pages, identify the ones you ranked as important and add them to your primary menu mockup.
If you feel like you have too many pages to fit in your primary menu it may be possible to combine the content of one page with another. As an example of this, instead of having a separate page for ‘my process’ and ‘about me’ it wouldn’t be a huge leap to imagine the content being shown on the same page in different sections. First, you could provide some background on who you are and then go on to say how you work.
Nested items: sometimes you may have some important pages that are an extension of another page. For example, maybe ‘my process’ needs to be a page by itself but should come under the ‘about me’ menu link. When this is the case we can use a technique known as ‘nesting’. Simply put this is when we have one parent link (such as ‘Services’) and then have several child links that pop-out beneath it (such as ‘Service 1, Service 2’, etc…). You can see this in action on our own website.
We recommend only creating nested items when the pages are very closely related.
Your call to action button
Remember that we said we would be reserving one menu link for something special? Adding a call to action button to your primary menu is a great way to help your visitor take the action and provide you with a lead. We find it so effective that we add one to almost every coaching website that we build.
Your call to action button should be the very last item in your menu and the messaging needs to be crystal clear. Depending on how you wish to gather new leads, this could be:
- Book A Call
- Free Session
- Free Quiz
- Free Assessment
- Free eBook
- Get Started
Draw a website wireframe
The website wireframe is an important step in the design process because it allows you to quickly test out ideas and layouts. For many website designers wireframing is as simple as sketching out the rough outline of a webpage to get a feel for it.
Here at The Good Alliance we have a slightly more technical approach whereby we build a working website prototype. It’s essentially a real website without colour, images or anything fancy – it’s just a way to understand how things flow. Our clients love this because they can get a very real idea of how their website will work and can play around with it.
You’ll want to create your own wireframe but this doesn’t have to be technical or complicated, we’ll tell you how.
Directing the flow
In order for your website to become a useful part of your business toolkit you’ll want to spend a bit of time thinking about how your visitors will navigate through your site. To keep this simple we’ll call this the ‘flow’.
To get started, think about what action you want people to take when they visit your site. Do you want them to fill out a form or give you a call? Do you want them to follow you on Twitter or check out your new book on Amazon? Whatever it is you’ll want to keep this goal in mind as you are designing your wireframe.
As you begin to sketch out each page of your website you’ll want to make sure that all roads lead to Rome, meaning; whatever page your visitor is on there should be an obvious path for them to go through your flow.
Creating your wireframe
For each page on your website you’ll want to plan out how the content will be displayed. Grab a sheet of paper and a pen or pencil, then draw some shapes to represent your content. It doesn’t have to win any awards, it’s just a rough sketch so that you can get a feel for your website.
Start with your home page and draw in your logo and primary menu.
Continue down the page adding in blocks of content in a way that feels right. If you get stuck or don’t know what content you should add refer back to your market research notes, what do their websites do well?
Here are two example wireframes of a simple coaching home page:
You can see that we have our logo and primary menu at the top, followed by a large image (known as a header/hero image) and a tagline. We then have some content blocks where we will have text, an ‘about me’ section with an image, our services and then some testimonials. Finally, we finish the page off with a call to action – because, remember, we want to create a flow for our visitor that directs them towards taking action.
Once you’ve done your home page move on to the next important page on your list. Continue until you have all of your pages planned out.
Here’s a list of common pages and sections that you might want to include:
- Header image with an impactful statement.
- Details about who you help
- About you (short version)
- Services (overview)
- Call to action
- Header image with the page title
- Introduce yourself (with photo)
- Share your story
- Explain why you can help
- Call to action
- Header image with the page title
- Introduce your services
- List your services
- Header image with the page title
- When to expect a response
- Contact form
Create compelling content
Once you have an idea of how you’d like your website to be structured your next task is to populate your site with purposeful content. Your voice is unique and we can use your words to create a real, lasting connection with your website visitors.
Avoid the common pitfalls
Creating content for your website is, without a doubt, the biggest hurdle for most people when it comes to redesigning their website.
By this point you’ve already done much of the hard work; you’ve structured your website pages, you’ve got everything setup and installed… but all of this will count for nothing if you can’t get past this section.
There are many reasons why you might get stuck in the content writing stage, here are some common ones we’ve seen first-hand:
1. Underestimating the task.
Creating content for your coaching website is one of the most important tasks you have to undertake. You have to not only accurately describe your business and services, but also make it captivating and purposeful.
You’ll need to consider how you want people to feel and how your words will connect with your audience. If you’re not used to writing in this way it’ll take time to get it right.
2. Overestimating your abilities.
This isn’t just jotting down a few sentences and calling it a day – you’ll need to develop a clear message that compels your visitors to take action. You’ll need to think about the tone and personality of your writing, because you’ll want it to be unique to you.
While it is absolutely possible that you can create your own powerful website content it’s unlikely that you’ll achieve this in just a few hours.
3. Trying to make it perfect.
Your content is important, but it isn’t permanent. While you’ll want to try to get it right from the start you can always come back and tweak it later on – but that’s they key: ‘later on’.
Many times people stall their own project because they will write something only to revisit it again and again. Their website remains in limbo because they can’t get version one of the content online. It can be frustrating when your content doesn’t feel right, but at some point ‘done’ has to be better than ‘perfect’.
Ultimate Website Blueprint
A fill-in-the-blanks guide to structuring and creating content for your site, so that people actually stick around and take action.
Use a consistent tone of voice
Before you start writing anything, it is useful to stop and consider the language, tone, and personality you are going to use for all your content.
This isn’t about pretending to be something you are not, but about purposefully deciding what is appropriate for the audience you are talking to and the perception you are trying to build.
This decision is bigger than just your website.
It would be great if our ideal customer heard from us once and immediately decided to buy what it is we are offering. However, the reality is that it takes a few interactions for most customers to decide to make a purchase. The higher the cost of (or risk associated with) making a purchase, the more interactions it will take for someone to feel comfortable taking action.
That means that you – and your brand – has to build trust over multiple interactions. And that you need to ensure each new interaction feels aligned and consistent with the previous one, regardless of whether that interaction is online, in-person, written or verbal.
For instance, if someone reads your posts on social media, it should feel consistent and aligned with the content on your website, and the experience they have if they talk to you by email or over the phone.
You need to use the same language, tone and personality to create a sense that they really know and understand what you are about.
That may seem obvious, but given that we often write on social media in a different style to how we would write an email, and speak in a completely different way to how we speak, it’s worth taking the time now to define your brand voice – considering the exact words, language and tone you might want to use across all mediums. And also the words, language, and tone you don’t want to use.
This definition will not only help you stay consistent over time, but will also become invaluable if you end up working with a copywriter, or enlist the help of an assistant to manage your social media posts, emails or phone calls in the future.
Is blogging essential?
Blogging is a brilliant way of connecting with your audience and getting your business out there. A great blog can attract thousands of visitors each month, which means more eyes looking over your services and that could mean more clients. A great blogging strategy can establish your brand and your business as a leader in your field – but is blogging for you?
No one really needs a blog but for many people it is one of the most accessible forms of marketing. All you need to get started is a website with a content management system, such as WordPress, and you can very quickly create your first post. It doesn’t really cost anything (since you are paying for your website to be online anyway) and the only thing you need to invest is your time.
Another benefit of blogging is that once your posts are published they can keep on working for you, even if you are busy on other parts of your business. You could write a post about why ‘wearing orange clothing makes you happier’ and it could continue you bring you traffic to your website for years to come, all without you doing anything else to it.
So, blogging sounds great, right? Well, yes, but it’s just one possible avenue of marketing for your website and your business. If you aren’t good at writing, or if takes you a whole day just to write 300 words, then blogging might not be for you. Instead, you could try creating video content, recording a podcast or posting on social media.
Blogging isn’t essential, it’s just one of many options for helping people, getting the word out and inviting people to discover your services.
Hone the visual design
Whilst there are a lot of things more important than having a ‘pretty’ website, if you want people to stick around for longer than a few seconds your website needs to have a certain visual appeal. So let’s explore what you need to consider in order to create the right perception from the get go.
Start with your customer in mind
It’s your website, so it’s understandable that you want your website to reflect your style. But when it comes to making decisions about your visual design… it is your customer’s preference that really matters.
That’s not to say that you are going to let your customers tell you what you should put on your website. But rather, you should purposefully make decisions with your customer in mind.
Define the feeling you are trying to evoke
They may not be completely conscious of it, but your site visitors will respond to the visual cues – ie. the imagery, colours, layout and fonts – you use on the site.
Certain visual cues will make us feel safe, certain and trusting. Others will make us feel excited, inspired and energised. Whilst all those feelings might be good, it’s about understanding the context.
Regardless of whether you are working with a designer or tackling the design yourself – the more clarity you have about who your ideal customer is and what you want them to feel, the better chance you will have of selecting images, colours, layouts and fonts that leave a good impression.
Select imagery that evokes that feeling
People respond first and foremost to imagery, for the simple reason that we’ve evolved over millennia to quickly judge our safety through a visual scan of our environment and the people around us.
We have particularly strong responses to people’s faces – and for that reason imagery of people’s faces can be both an asset or a liability to your brand and website. Get it right, by showing imagery of genuine people that the site visitor can relate to, and you’ve created instant connection. Get it wrong, by choosing an obviously fake or cheesy stock photo, and you lose your site visitor from the get-go.
The good news is that there are lot of free or low-cost image libraries available online that contain a plethora of great high-quality images you can use.
Here are some of the sites we recommend:
The key to choosing images from any of the libraries is to keep both your ideal customer, and the feeling you are trying to evoke, in mind at all times. And to judge every image by that criteria.
If it’s borderline, it’s not good enough!
Select 2-3 colours that evoke that same feeling
When it comes to colour, less is more. It’s about choosing 2-3 primary colours that complement each other, work well with your imagery, and are appropriate to both your customer and the feeling you are trying to evoke.
It can also be useful to ensure that your colours are strong enough, that your type is legible when featured in that colour – or reversed out of that colour.
Some colours are traditionally associated with certain things. For instance, banks and financial institutions are often associated with a somber blue and grey colour palette, while bright primary colours tend to be associated with children or young people. Any service that is slightly sophisticated or high-end, is often associated with a metallic colour palette.
We don’t want to be limited by stereotypes, but as with anything, it’s about knowing the rules so that you can break them with style – rather than just being oblivious of them to begin with.
As a coach, it’s likely that you are aiming for a feeling of trust, safety, openness and exploration. In which case you may steer towards a softer or more natural palette.
As long as you choose purposefully, you’ll get the right balance.
Choose 1-2 fonts
Fonts are a brilliant way to add character and excitement to your coaching website. Like most things design-related when you get the right combination of fonts it can elevate a website and make it more memorable, but if you get them wrong it can harm your brand.
When it comes to choosing fonts our advice is to keep it simple.
You might choose a different font for body text vs. headings, but you’ll want to select 2 fonts max! Anything more than this can start to feel confused and disorganised.
The other thing to take into consideration is legibility. Any benefit gained by using a flourishing handwritten font will be lost immediately if site visitors can’t understand the gist of your message at a glance. Or if it becomes completely illegible when shrunk to fit on a mobile device.
When in doubt, lean towards legibility.
Ensure you have a strong logo
Last but not least, you’ll want to have a neat, professional and high-quality logo to go along with your new website.
If all the elements we’ve collated so far are geared towards creating a great first impression, your logo is the anchor that after the fact will trigger people to recall that initial impression. For instance when they come to your website, the first thing they’ll notice is the imagery, colours and layout (not the logo) and they’ll feel ‘something’. A few days or weeks later when they see the logo on social media or a business card, that logo will take them back to that feeling they had when they first encountered your brand.
Your logo doesn’t need to be clever or complicated, instead opt for something simple and elegant.
If you’re going the DIY route with your logo then it’s ok to just create your logo using the same font that you will be using on your website.
If you are looking to work with a logo designer then be sure you look at examples of their work before you make a decision. Try to find a designer who is experienced and has developed logos for other businesses like yours.
A website without a clear call to action is arguably nothing more than a fancy brochure. What you really want is for your website to actively play a part in helping you secure more clients for your business. In order for it to do that we’ve got to draw your visitors in and then invite action.
Your website is set up, you’ve got all of your branding, your content and your design all done… what’s left? It’s time to take your beautiful new website and put it to work!
Many coaching websites fall short because they don’t have the tools they need to perform the jobs that they are made for. Sure, you may just want a simple website that looks great and is a place to find out about your services, but what if you want more?
Let’s look at some ways to make your website work harder.
Take bookings instantly
Depending on how you like to run your coaching business you may wish to let clients reserve a time to work with you without asking. There are several services which will allow you to do this but when we polled the coaches in our community there were two clear winners.
Option 1: Calendly
We really like the simplicity of the online booking service that Calendly provides. You simply input the days and times you’re available and the system then manages your availability.
Calendly integrates with your digital calendar too, so once it’s setup any events or appointments you add to your calendar will be blocked out on your booking system.
One of the great things about Calendly is that they offer a free plan which is ideal for small businesses that have only one event type. With a little bit of setup you’ll be able to take instant online bookings, it’s like having your very own personal secretary!
Option 2: Acuity
Acuity is another great option for allowing your clients to book your time online. Like Calendly, Acuity will show your clients the times that you are available and the system will manage your calendar for you.
We find that Acuity is easy to use although perhaps not quite as intuitive as Calendly. However, it does have some more powerful features such as direct Mailchimp integration and the ability to set up monthly subscriptions/appointment packages.
Our recommendation is to check out both Acuity and Calendly and see which one fits your purpose best. Consider signing up to their free plans first and taking them for a test drive, it usually becomes clear pretty quickly which one is right for you.
Where to integrate it into your workflow?
The great thing about these booking systems is that they allow your clients to reserve their next meeting with you without you talking them through your calendar. However, you’ll need to consider the pro’s and con’s of a system which you aren’t the gatekeeper of.
We tend to setup booking systems in one of two ways:
The first is to replace the link in your primary menu button with the website address for your booking system. That means when someone clicks on the ‘Sign Up’ or ‘Book a session’ button they are taken directly to your availability.
The advantage of doing it this way is that you don’t have to be involved at all. As long as your calendar is organised then the system will take care of everything. You’ll simply receive a notification telling you when your next session is. The disadvantage though is that you won’t be able to vet your client first. It’s open to everyone, even if the person isn’t your ideal client.
The second option is to link your primary menu button to a contact form where you can capture some basic information about the person. You can then process it and see if this person is a good fit for you and your business. If they are then you would then reply with the link to your booking system for them to schedule in a time.
The advantage here is that you get to hand-pick every person who reserves your time. This should result in a higher quality of client and you’ll both be happier for it. The disadvantage is that you are an essential part of this workflow and if you don’t sort through the incoming emails you will potentially miss out on good clients.
There’s no right or wrong choice here, only which way you prefer to manage your bookings. Just go with what feels right for you and don’t be afraid to try it the other way if it isn’t working.
An irresistible freebie
If you’re feeling overworked and wishing for an easier way to attract clients then creating a free resource could be for you. Instead of hunting online for clients you can lure them to you instead.
These days we are all well aware of the abuse our email address gets and not a day goes by without the need to purge unwanted messages from our inbox. So why is capturing email addresses so important for your business?
There’s still no better way to directly reach hundreds or thousands of people in such a short amount of time. Used properly, your email list can be a powerful tool for your business, so why not automate it so it grows while you are busy working on other parts of your business?
To get started you’ll need to set up a basic marketing system which might look something like this:
- Create your freebie.
- Put it in front of people who want it.
- Capture their email address.
The process is as simple as that. So ask yourself: what is the most value you can give away to your visitors without undervaluing your services?
Common freebies include:
- Cheat sheet
- Email course/series
- Pre-recorded lesson
If you want to offer something of more value (or don’t have the time to create something to give away) you could also try:
- Short call/virtual meeting
- In-person meeting
- Personal review
Whatever it is that you are offering you need to make it relevant to your ideal client and make it too good to pass up. Once you’ve created your freebie you’ll want integrate it into your marketing system. An ideal way of doing this would be to add a newsletter sign up form to your website and then add a download link to your freebie in the welcome email.
Nurture your email list
Once your website visitor has downloaded their free content you’ll be trusted with their email address. You’re now in the privileged position to directly contact this person, so make it count!
Ideally, you’ll want to set up an automated series of emails which will provide even more value for your subscriber. Your emails should relate to your freebie or products and offer an insight into you and your business.
Nurturing your email subscribers is essential if you want to grow your business and discover your true fans.
You want your subscribers to look forward to reading your emails and get used to seeing you in their inbox, so make sure your email content is relevant and engaging.
As your subscribers get to know you better it’ll make the decision to work with you easier. Think about your emails as a way to introduce yourself to a stranger – you don’t want to overload them right away, so go slow.
When it comes to nurturing your email list you need to think: give, give, give and then ask.
You’re going to give them hints, tips, inspiration and encouragement with no strings attached. Make sure that they get incredible value from each and every email you send. Finally, you should directly ask them for something in return.
Test and optimise
You’re almost at the finish line! But now is not the time to slow down or lose momentum because you still have a few more important tasks to tick off. No website is complete without first being tested and checked for errors, so let’s tackle that next.
Test your website
Testing your website is a critical step that requires your time and focus. While it is possible to launch your website without testing it we don’t recommend it because any errors could give your visitors a negative experience of your business.
While not exhaustive here’s the things you should be looking out for when testing your website:
First up you’ll want to check the overall flow of your website. Can your visitor navigate the site without issue or interruption as you planned?
- Your content should not have any spelling or grammatical errors.
- All fonts should be consistent.
- Everything should be properly aligned.
- All of your buttons should be the same size.
- You should be able to get back to the home page from anywhere.
- Check that all links are working and all images display.
- How does your website look at different resolutions/screen sizes?
- Will the user get stuck at any point, is everything obvious?
- Do your forms have appropriate success and error messages?
- Does every page have a clear title?
When we design our website it’s easy to forget that not everyone is using the same computer as ours. You’ll want to test your site on different configurations.
- Check your website on common browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Safari to make sure it functions as it should.
- Where possible test your website on desktops, laptops and mobile browsers.
- Make sure your images look correct across browsers.
- Do your chosen fonts appear as expected?
- If you have any special functionality of your website (such as a social media feed, an online store, etc) do these work correctly?
You’ll need to ensure that your website keeps sensitive data safe as well as making sure that you’ve taken steps to prevent unauthorised access.
- Check that your website has an SSL certificate, it’ll make your website more secure and is important for SEO.
- Make sure that your login details are unique – don’t use a password you’ve used before!
- Where possible, set up two-factor authentication for your email address. If your email account is breached it may be used to gain access to your website.
For more information about choosing a secure password check out our article on ‘3 reasons why your password sucks’.
PageSpeed Insights test
We were a little reluctant to include this one but figured that it’s best to give you the facts and explain our reasons why we decided to include it.
One way to optimise your website and work out what you can do to make it better is to use a free tool like Google PageSpeed Insights. You simply pop in your website address and the then tool scans your page (not your site) and gives you some suggestions about how to make it load faster. In theory this is a great idea and even in practice it can be incredibly useful, however…
While the tool does identify many ways that webpage speed could be improved it does take some technical knowledge to understand the recommendations.
Our reluctance to include it is because some of the recommendations it provides are unrealistic, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t useful. If you treat it as a way to identify potential issues and not as a webpage grading system then you will see the benefits.
Here are a few of the main things that PageSpeed Insights may suggest that are important to fix:
- Image sizes – you want to resize your images so that they aren’t huge (both in terms of resolution and file size).
- Caching – many good website hosts include caching to help speed up your website.
If you want to give PageSpeed Insights a try then be sure to try scanning some other web pages from sites that you are familiar with. Now would be a good time to try scanning your competitor’s websites, especially the ones which you thought were good, quick sites. By testing some other sites before your own you’ll be able to set your expectations accordingly.
Basics of search engine optimisation (SEO)
Search engines like Google are amazing, but they sometimes need a little help in order to understand your content. Search engines scan your web pages to find out what’s on them so they can serve them up at the right time to the right people. You can help them do this by including some key phrases and words.
Think of it like this: imagine printing off one of your web pages and then handing it to someone whose job it is to file it in the right section of a library. They will quickly read your content and then file it away based on what’s on the page. Now imagine that they have to do this will hundreds of thousands of pages every day – it’s quite a task. Now imagine the page you gave them said this:
‘… to live a wonderful life you must live a life full of purpose. You’ve got to invest in yourself – and do so daily – in order to develop strength…’
Which section would you put that in?
Motivation? Self-improvement? Lifestyle, perhaps?
The truth is that when I wrote that I was talking about shampoo! Now, would you have known that? Do you think the person filing it away would have? Probably not. This is why keywords and phrases are so important.
Now imagine someone asks the clerk to find them a webpage about coaching for women in the 50’s – do you think he would point them towards what we just wrote?
Obviously this is a simplification of search engine optimisation but the point we’re making is that if your content is vague then it will be difficult for people to find. Let’s take the same snippet of content and make a few changes:
‘… to live a wonderful life you must live a life full of purpose. Our coaching programmes will help you invest in yourself – and do so daily – in order to develop strength…’
By altering it slightly we were able to completely remove any vagueness. Could this now be talking about shampoo? Of course not, it’s very clearly talking about coaching programmes.
It makes sense but it’s not something many people consider when they are creating content for their website.
Simple on page SEO implementation
In order to help your website appear in the right search results you’ll want to make sure that every page is optimised. Doing so isn’t as hard as you might think but it’s worth remembering that this is just the absolute basics of SEO and a professional strategy will offer greater results.
Here’s what you do:
1. Pick a page, create purpose
Pick a page on your website and think about the purpose of that page. As an example think about the ‘about’ page. The purpose of this page is to provide people with information about you or your business, right?
Once you know the purpose of the page you can work backwards to think about the kinds of questions and searches people might type into Google to find this page. If someone wanted to know more about The Good Alliance they might search for:
- What is The Good Alliance?
- Who are The Good Alliance?
- What do The Good Alliance do?
For ‘about’ pages in particular you might notice that the questions you come up with all have the name in them. This is a great place to start, your ‘about’ page should emphasise your name or your business name, or both.
2. Check your page content
Now open up your page and read through your content. First read it in order and then pick out some sections randomly and read them on their own. Is it clear what the page is about?
As an example, look at the following short sentence: ‘She started the company in 1999 and in 2005 I took over…’
That’s an easy sentence we can improve with some SEO.
3. Act natural
All we want to do now is to add in our purposeful words and phrases so that they can help people and search engines find our content. Let’s take the same sentence again and make it a bit more descriptive:
‘Becky Thorne started Blue Angel Healthcare in 1999 and in 2015 I took over…’
Notice how we didn’t swap out the ‘I took over’ for something like ‘Ben Sharpe took over’. This is because our sentence is written from our perspective and our aim is to keep it sounding natural.
Why we didn’t talk about SEO before
You might think that it would have been useful to know about on page SEO back when you were writing your website content – and you’d be right. But there’s a very good reason that we didn’t.
Professional copywriters have the ability to write compelling content while weaving in search terms and keywords without it feeling forced. Most people don’t have this skill and so when they try to combine SEO with website content they end up with something that isn’t very good for search engines or humans.
By this stage you should already have your content on your website and it will have been written for humans, and that’s exactly what we want. Now you can go back through your content and alter it just enough to please search engines. The result should be natural language that is aimed at helping your visitors with SEO peppered in.
When is my website finished?
This is a great question which often gets asked when you have done the majority of your redesign and are either getting tired or are just tinkering. The truth is that for most people your website is never really finished.
It’s possible that you might think of your website as a coworker who champions your business and spreads the word. A living sales-person working non-stop to help you succeed. Over time it will grow as your business does and it will adapt based on your requirements.
In practical terms, while your website may never be finished your website redesign should certainly have an end date. If you find yourself constantly changing images or updating your colours then it might be time to draw a line in the sand and give your website time to work.
One way to manage the growth of your website is to batch website upgrades and improvements so that you can make meaningful changes. Simply create a list of website changes and group them together based on your goals, then give each one a version number such as ‘version 1.2’ and so on. By batching the work like this it will help separate it into useful updates instead of feeling like you are still working on the same redesign project.
Launch your new website
Your fresh, new coaching website should now be ready to be revealed to the world. How you launch your website will depend on the website platform and setup you chose, but however you go about it now’s the time.
If you haven’t already, go ahead and push your website live.
Take a break, give yourself a shout out on social media, pop some champagne or book yourself a special dinner… However you want to celebrate all of your effort and hard work just be sure that you do. Relaunching your website is no small feat, so give yourself permission to enjoy the moment and reward yourself.
Make some noise
With your new site online you should be feeling proud that your new website better represents your coaching business. You’ve taken action and the result will bring you closer to your goals – so congratulations!
Now we just have the small task of getting people to visit your new site.
It can be tempting to start pushing people to your site en-mass, the moment your new site is live. From experience, we’ve discovered it’s best to start small and share your site with a circle of friends and loyal clients.
The reason for this soft launch is simple – no matter how good your website testing plan is, it’s always after releasing to a wider audience that you discover those typos or random idiosyncrasies only visible on your Mum’s cousin’s iPhone 4.
Your soft launch will help you discover and fix any last niggles before it gets shared with a wider audience.
Once you’ve published your new website you might be left feeling a little… underwhelmed. There won’t be any fireworks, no one rolling out a red carpet and if you listen really carefully you might hear crickets chirping in the distance. We’re kidding of course, but there’s some truth in it: once you relaunch you’ll probably be the only one who knows that you have a new website.
Share the news with your email list
If you’ve already built up an audience on your email list then this is the perfect place to start. Hop into your email provider and start drafting an email to tell your subscribers the good news.
Keep it brief and be sure to mention any updates to your services or any current promotions you are running. It might also be a nice time to remind everyone that you are thankful for their support.
In your email don’t forget to include a link to your website too.
Spread the word on social media
Next, jump on to your social media platforms and let your followers know about your new site. Take advantage of the strengths of each platform, so if you are posting on Twitter keep it short and sweet, but on Instagram include a great image and a personal description. Don’t be afraid to tell people how much work you put into your new site and how proud you are.
Ask your followers to check out your website and let you know what they think of it or tell you if they notice any issues. This is a great way of spotting any remaining technical blips before you move on.
Start thinking about long term traffic
When it comes to getting found online there are really two ways for it to happen: organically and via paid advertisements.
Either people come across your site via search engine results or you pay someone to send them your way.
(Yes, some people might come to your website directly or by word of mouth, but you can’t control word of mouth. Ideally, you want a strategy and a system for getting people to your site. One that you can control!)
If you are considering your options then you may wish to join our free community where our members and our team can answer your questions or provide advice based on your requirements.
Measure and improve
Once you’ve launched your website you might be tempted to sit back and relax… but there’s still work to be done. By evaluating and monitoring your website you can make it perform better. And, if done correctly, better performance should mean more business.
Why is tracking important?
When you’ve spent a lot of time, money and effort on your website you don’t just want it to do well, you need it to. The only way you are going to be able to tell if your website is working or not is if you keep track of some key metrics.
Once you have chosen your metrics you’ll be able to track them over time and get a better understanding of how your decisions impact your business. Think about this:
- If I change my menu button from ‘call now’ to ‘book now’ will I get more enquiries?
- Will I get more clients if I replace my contact form with an online booking system?
- Are my blog posts attracting my ideal clients?
All of these questions and more can be answered by recording and analysing your website and your business.
Google Analytics setup
The first tracking tool that you’ll likely want to set up is Google Analytics. This free tool from Google will allow you to collect a whole variety of information about your website such as what day in the week your site is most popular, how many views your site gets, and how long people are staying on your site. Google Analytics will also provide some information on your website visitors such as their age, location and the devices that they are using to browse your site.
All of this information is useful to your business because it can tell you if you are heading in the right direction. Here are some examples of how you can use this information:
- Audience location: find out where your visitors are coming from, because what good is getting thousands of views from American visitors if you offer face-to-face services in England?
- Bounce rate: how many people visit your website and leave after visiting just one page? If your bounce rate is high then your content might not be relevant or strong enough to keep people around.
- Behaviour flow: follow along with your visitor’s journey around your website and see where they exit. Is there one page turning everyone off?
Google Analytics is a really powerful tool that gets better the longer you use it so the sooner you can get it set up the better.
To get it set up on your website check out our Google Analytics tutorial.
Real-world website feedback
Sometimes the fastest way to get feedback on whether or not something is working is to go directly to the source. If you’ve got some friends or family members who owe you a favour now might be the time to cash it in. Send them a link to your new website and ask them what they think, but before you do there are some things you can do to make the feedback more valuable.
The first thing to remember is that these people are probably quite fond of you and that means that you’ll need to request that they give you honest feedback, no matter how much it might hurt. The other thing to remember is that any negative comments they have aren’t meant to hurt you but help you. Embrace criticism because it just might be what you needed to make your website the best it can be.
You’ll also want to keep in mind that the people you ask might not be your ideal clients, and that means that they might not understand some of your website ideas or concepts. It’s important that you recognise when this is the case otherwise you’ll end up changing things to suit someone who you don’t want to work with.
Testing the usability of your website is a great idea and it doesn’t have to be complicated. The idea here is to create a list of simple tasks that you’d like your site visitors to complete and then see if your friends can do them. Here are some ideas:
- Get in touch to ask a question.
- Get in touch to book/make a booking themselves.
- Find out where you work.
- Find out how much your service costs.
- Sign up to your email list.
All of these things should be easy for your visitor to do but during your tests you might find that your friend doesn’t know how to contact you. Maybe your menu item called ‘get in touch’ should actually be ‘contact’? Or perhaps you forgot to mention where you work? Any issues like this should be easy to fix once you know they exist.
One last thing to mention here is to also check these things on the mobile version of your website too. It’s possible that something that is easy to find on a desktop isn’t so obvious on a smaller screen.
Tracking your impact
Ah, the big one! For our team, it’s all about creating an impact and doing some good in the world. This is why we’ve released this mega-guide for free – because we want you to take it and use it to help people. Tracking your impact will not only give your business a bigger sense of purpose. it’ll also give you those warm fuzzy feelings too.
When it comes to tracking your impact it doesn’t have to be complicated. Something as simple as keeping track of the amount of clients you have can be enough. If last year you helped 10 clients and this year you helped 20 then you’ve increased your impact 100%. Sure, not all clients are equal and some will get more from your time together than others, but generally it’s not a bad place to start.
Looking at it like this you can then start to consider how your website plays a part in your impact. Maybe 5 clients last year found you and got in touch via your website, whereas this year it as 15… that’s a great improvement and would show that your new website is performing better.
There are lots of ways to track your impact and many of them are unique to your business. We’d love to hear about the ways you track impact so let us know more in the comments below.
Has my website improved?
The final step of your website analysis should be to take another look at the website goals you created at the start of this guide. Your smart goals should all be timely so find the ones which are in the past or are coming up and see how your new website compares.
Is your new website performing as you hoped? If not, not what could you do to improve it?
With your metrics and analytics you should be able to see some clear results (as long as enough time has gone by to collect sufficient data). After checking your smart goals be sure to set new ones so you are always striving to do better.
You’ve made it! Your website has been redesigned, you’ve implemented some great tools and have hopefully created an online presence which speaks on your behalf. But there is still more work to be done!
A great website is just one part of an overall strategy for running a successful business. You’ll also want to consider your nurture sequence, processes, outreach and marketing just to name a few.
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Got a question about this guide?
Our team love to help people do more good, so if you’ve got a question about something in this guide leave us a comment below.
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After moving to Bangkok on a whim in 2012 Brett became involved with a variety of non-profit organisations. A self-taught marketing, design and technical expert, he returned to the UK and uses his varied skill set to help good people do more good.