Many Life Coaching Websites look great but don’t really "work" to attract clients. Here's why your site may not be getting found by prospective clients and what you can do about it.
If you want to use your life coaching website as a productive marketing and business building tool, you need to make sure it is easily found and engages your visitor to stay, explore and feel confident in taking the next step to engage you as their coach.
Unfortunately, when you are creating your first website, it’s very easy to be caught out by persuasive marketing. Many high profile building platforms promise “websites in 5 minutes” or with minimal effort but the truth is that the advertising is either misleading or not telling you the whole story which can lead to expensive mistakes.
So I'm advising you, no begging you, not to sign up to a website platform without taking my, experience, advice and suggestions into account. I also have the advantage that my husband is an active researcher, writer and coach on website development so I have seen plenty of painful experiences that could have been avoided.
Here’s the problem:
Commissioning a designer or buying a template design for your
website is not where you need to start. You wouldn’t go to a builder and just say,
“I want you to build me a house” would you? You’d list the features you wanted, look at other houses with similar features that really worked and have plans drawn to make sure you got what you needed.
It’s the same with a life coaching website. It would be a huge mistake to just say to your website person “I want you to build me a website” because although they may be very good at building, they may know little about user-friendly site structure, SEO (search engine optimisation) or the many other factors that make sure your site will be actually found and visited.
Even when you use template providers like Wix and Weebly, all you will be provided with is a nice looking template and some basic SEO structure. Once you have got the first round of images and text in place there is still a long way to go to make what looks good, into an effective business building tool.
Here’s the experience one of my recent coaching clients had:
She went ahead commissioning her site without due research and against all the research recommendations I suggested before she start. Her main criteria was to work with someone local. She had found a Wordpress designer nearby who assured her she could create a great looking site.
Through our conversations during her coaching sessions,, it was clear to me that the designer had no idea about the importance of the visitor experience, Search Engine Optimization and how the Search Engines work. She had also locked my client into a plan where there were costs for every change made to the content.
Yes! The site did looked really nice. Nevertheless, two weeks after launch she called me in a panic. Despite what I had tried to get her to understand about how Google works, she had honestly believed that once the site went live on the internet she would immediately have had masses of clients signing up for her courses. But of course she had absolutely no visitor traffic and without a lot of work her site wasn’t going to get it.
She then had to extricate herself from her current relationship and more or less start again. It set back the launch of her her new business months.
As explained, there are some gorgeous looking life coaching websites. Many of them have one big failing – nobody finds them - so they get very few visitors let alone clients! This is because not enough attention has been paid to how the site is going to attract visitors.
There are just 3 ways a brand-new site can be found, other than by you sending your friends to it or with a pre-existing mailing list.
So what is organic search?
If you do not want to pay for advertising and also do not understand and initiate the concept of using organic search to get your website found, there will be very few visitors
Organic Search is about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO); that is making the content visitor focussed and search engine friendly. It is not enough as most believe to just add a few relevant keywords. You content must have what your visitors want to find and what the search engines need to give you a good ranking.
For example, if you have come to this page from a search on Google, Bing or one of the other search engines, you found me because of the organic search rules I have applied that ranked me high up the results page.
When content is written with this focus, Search Engines have a better chance of understanding what your on-page content and the site are all about. This means that if someone is searching for a particular thing (for example a life coaching specialty) and you have an excellent page about it and the Search Engines know about it, you have a better chance of being found.
It is not an instant process, but once established, your page, on that specific subject, will be easily found because your content is high quality and relevant to what the person searching is looking for, as well as containing relevant keywords.
Ideally, you aim for your website to pop up on the first page. The higher the better. After all, when was the last time you did a search and got as far as looking at page two of the search results!?
Chances are that you use a mobile phone or a tablet or iPad. So does a rapidly growing proportion of the search market. So your site needs to be mobile ready which means that it displays properly for a visitor using a mobile and they don't struggle to find their way around your pages.
If you already have a site, you can use this mobile-friendly tester from Google to see if you are mobile friendly. Remember though, that, even though your site may be technically OK, life coaching websites also need to be easy to navigate.
Not being able to easily find the information they are looking for, such as how to contact you, is a sure-fire way to lose visitors and potential clients.
Any new site created will be naturally secure assuming you are using a reputable host but if you have a site that is a few years old you may need to update its security to Google's new requirements.
Most older website addresses begin with HTTP://. You may have seen this. However, there is an accelerating move to create a more secure web. You will know a site is up todate secure because it displays a lock in the address bar… like this
And that is not all. You need to notify Google and Bing that you have also made the changes! Do you know how to do that?
Google are treating this matter so seriously that in 2018 they began pushing sites that are not HTTPS Secure, down the search result pages. Worst, browsers are already warning visitors that a page is not secure and potentially scare them off the page. So – if your site isn’t HTTPS ready, then now is the time to act. Here’s more from Google on the subject.
I’m amazed that some life and business coaching websites talk about coaching and how wonderful it is but there is no “About Me” page to back up the information and make it personal and credible.
Some of this should also be on your home page so prospects feel they are getting to know you straight away.
No matter how good looking and easy to navigate your site is, if the visitor does not relate to you as a friendly and credible person, they will be gone in a flash.
One person who has had the biggest impact for me to create an authentic brand and maximise my chances of getting my message across is Cindy Schulson.
Cindy has loads of free and very helpful information on the website and also has various free and paid programs..
Joining her mailing list and taking advantage of her free offers will never be wasted time.
Technology can sometimes break! If a link on a site I am visiting doesn’t work and I’m in a good mood I take the time to email the owner of the site “link not working” but, if I’m in a hurry or not feeling generous, that’s it – I’m off to the next site!
Visitors can be really put off by videos that start to play the minute you land on a page. I know I am. Pop-ups that obscure the page and invite me to buy or subscribe before I've even had time to draw breath, are just as bad.
Never have a video that autoplays when someone starts on the page. It is poor website etiquette and will quickly turn off the hardened visitor if used without sensitivity.
I’ve had the experience of automated chat rooms that are programmed to only answer a range of standard questions. And, of course, I don’t have a standard question! The resulting innocuous answers that don’t actually address my specific questions can be most annoying.
I'd never advise putting your phone number or email directly on your website. It's too easy for it to be scanned and sold to people who will scam and pest call you.
So make your "contact me" easy to locate on your site and simple to fill in asking for just enough information to enable you to get back to them by phone or email. I'd advise against making their phone number a requirement that must be filled in.
You could even include an optional box for them to tick if they want to be on your mailing list, so they don't feel they are going to be "captured" for future communications from you.
I had been trying to unsubscribe from a vitamin site for months. I even sent them emails but eventually, I had to block them altogether.
So there are my 10 tips for successful life coaching websites!
If you are just starting out creating your life coaching website, I really recommend you check out Solo Build It! . And if you have a Wordpress site, Solo Build It for Wordpress and Yoast will be a great help in building your coaching business through your website.