Most coaches realize the importance of having a website to grow their business. But if you’re looking to attract clients, you’ll need more than an online brochure.
In this article, learn the 7 common mistakes coaches make on their websites that either chase people away or invite them to leave.
I’ll also share the 7 things to do instead to make your site irresistible to your ideal client.
Mistake #1 – Website is not interactive
Most sites are just an online brochure. They give information about their company and service. That’s boring. Instead, make your site interactive. Here are a few ways to do that.
Give visitors an irresistible free offer, such as a valuable audio, checklist, or report. Get their name and email address so you can follow up with them in the future. You can also offer free articles, videos, or training.
In other words, give people a great reason to stay on your site so they can get to know you better.
Mistake #2 – Advertisement that takes people away from your site
Imagine someone comes to visit your business and as soon as they walk in the door, you say something like: “Hello and welcome! We do financial planning here. But the office across the street is offering recession proof investments. Would you like to see what they have to offer?”
If you are running Google Adsense ads on your site, then that is the message you are telling your site visitors.
Instead, offer your own products. Promote featured articles and videos on your site that offer solutions to their biggest challenges. Highlight your services and expertise, not the competition’s.
Mistake #3 – Not opening a new browser window when you send people to another site
When people are visiting the different pages on your website, they normally view them in the same browser window or tab because it allows the pages to load faster.
But when you have a link to a page away from your website – like to your 1 Shopping Cart account or your product sales letter at another domain – you want that new page to open in a new browser window.
That way when they close that tab or window on the new page, your website is still open and viewable to them, reminding them to stay and visit a little longer.
Mistake #4 – Websites with distracting graphics or colors
Have you ever tried to have a conversation with someone when a train is passing right outside the window? It’s a little distracting, isn’t it? But at least with a train, you can wait for it to pass.
If you have distracting graphics or colors on your website, the only way for people to avoid it is to leave your site. I can’t tell you how many times I left a site because their bright background was blinding me. I have the same complaint for moving ads or objects on a page.
Keep in mind that when someone visits your website, their eye will be drawn to:
- First, anything that moves
- Second, a face
- Third, the colors red & yellow
If you have any of these elements on a page, put them in the area where you want someone to look. And remember that colors will have different intensity on different monitors, so choose colors with care.
I recommend getting opinions about your website from several ideal clients to be sure your colors and graphics are inviting visitors to stay.
And avoid adding rotating or moving items that distract someone from focusing on your page. This includes rotating testimonials or tweets in the sidebar next to an article.
Mistake #5 – The site doesn’t display properly in multiple browsers
In case you didn’t know, not all browsers display websites the same way. And even different versions can display websites differently.
I’ve been to sites that state, “This site is best viewed in Internet Explorer.” That site owner just invited 80% of his site visitors to leave.
You probably won’t want to test your site in dozens of different browser versions. But you can at least test to see how it looks in the latest version of the most popular browsers.
I like to test sites in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari, including Safari on my iPhone. I test browsers in both Windows and Mac OS. Do that and you’ll cover about 90% of your site visitors.
You’ll also want to test your site in major browser updates as they get released. I’ve had sites look great in IE7 and IE8, but lost content when viewed in IE9.
Mistake #6 – Websites with bad web copy
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder – and so is bad web copy.
Here is a short list of what I define as bad web copy:
Boring content –Your site needs to be informative AND interesting, or you’re inviting visitors to leave. Keep your copy concise and valuable, and avoid fluff.
Pressure selling – As a coach, you are in a soft sell industry. Hard pressure selling on a professional services site will drive customers away. So use discretion: motivational words, not hype.
Focusing on features instead of transformations – Your ideal client doesn’t really care that you will help them with a color chart for their clothing. That’s a feature. They DO care that you will help them look fantastic even in their casual clothes. That’s a transformation. (It’s amazing what the right colors can do for you.)
Mistake #7 – Not conveying who you serve and what you can do
You have about 15-30 seconds to get someone’s attention when they visit your website. That’s all. Don’t waste your webpage headline on something mediocre like “Welcome to our Site!” or “Here’s our mission statement.”
You’ll want your home page to immediately identify who your ideal client is and the specific ways you can help them. Then once you have their attention, tell them why you are THE expert they want to work with. If you do this correctly, you won’t need a webpage titled “Who Do We Work With”.
These are a few of the most common mistakes I see coaches make with their website. The good news is that most of these are really easy to fix.
If I could give you just one more strategy that would really help to make your website irresistible, it would be this…
Ask 10 ideal clients to give you honest feedback on your site. You can avoid most website mistakes just with that one tip alone.
Best wishes on an amazing website and coaching business in 2012!