What makes a Coaching Website Successful?
I see coaching websites daily. It’s my job because I design them myself and because I am a professional coach, too. What makes a coaching website successful isn’t its looks. It’s the structure and easiness of use for the potential customer.
There are thousands of beautiful coaching websites but, are they successful? 90% (or more) aren’t. If your coaching website fails to bring you clients it’s because it hasn’t been designed to do so, as simple as that.
In this post I will explain
- why most coaching sites fail to get the results they want or they expected,
- and what really makes a coaching website a successful online business.
Let’s be honest. Most coaching websites suck. And they are a failure.
If you are a coach, and are under a different impression, you´re wrong.
Do your fellow coaches appear to be better off? Most of the time they’re only striking a pose, because most of them are feeling and failing just as bad as you are.
You´re not alone. Most coaching websites are equally “successful”.
- Why do most coaching websites or online business fail?
- So, what makes a coaching site succeed?
- Let the website design professionals do the job
- The key points to make a coaching website a success
- Tip 1. A successful coaching online business has SMART goals
- Tip 2. Perfectly knows the ideal customer (market niche) and/or their needs
- Tip 3. An effective coaching site knows its keywords and focuses on SEO
- Tip 4. Centres around ideal client’s “pains”
- Tip 5. Takes a back seat to the client
- Tip 6. A coaching site’s copywriting talks directly to the potential client’s heart
- Tip 7. A successful coaching site has only one explicit call to action throughout
- Tip 8. Has an “almost fixed” structure
- Tip 9. A coaching website that succeeds has a blog within the website
- Tip 10. Has posts focused on SEO and ideal customer
- Tip 11. A successful coaching site isn’t slow
- Tip 12. Is linked to social media and has many followers
- Tip 13. Attracts the right audience through organic traffic
- Tip 14. A successful coaching website appears in the 1st page of Google
- Sum up
Why do most coaching websites or online business fail?
Fortunately, many coaches do make a living offline. But when it comes to living off their online business or coaching site, most coaches struggle and eventually give up.
And turning your back on that idea can only bring you a slow, painful online death as it’s happened to many others.
Let me tell you another truth: making any website successful is extremely difficult.
And it gets worse when it comes to businesses that have spread like wildfire in the past few years and have turned to the online world to become more visible. I’m talking about professions like coaching, sports, psychology, nutrition, therapy, training, SEO, website design, community management, graphic design, copywriting, email marketing… The list goes on and on and on and on.
So, the more businesses go online, the more the competition they encounter and the harder it is to be noticed. The competition is fierce in this type of online businesses. Thousands of new coaches set out to create their sites online every day… and fail a few months down the line.
But fear not. I’m here to lend a hand.
The only way to make a coaching website successful is to project your online business to stand out over the rest, which is not an easy task. If you don’t want your coaching website to fail, read carefully the following advice, or hire a web designer who knows your field, coaching.
So, what makes a coaching site succeed?
To have an effective coaching website, there are some essential steps to be followed. As I said in the introduction, it’s not a matter of appearance, but a matter of planning, structure, SEO and usability, amongst other things.
Let the website design professionals do the job
You are a coach. If someone reads a book about coaching and tells you they’re going to coach themselves, honestly, what do you think?
They can try, and they may even get somewhere. But you very well know that 99% of them will fail. You still want to let them try, so that they realise for themselves.
This is why I write these posts.
I know there are hundreds of coaches, psychologists, therapists, counsellors, etc., who want to try first. I tell them to go ahead and try to guide them as well as I can with my “literature”. But designing a coaching website (or any kind) that works is a task for the experts.
In the past few years, creating one’s own website has apparently become so easy and popular. We all think we can design a website. And let me tell you, technically, it’s not that complicated. WordPress is a great tool to design websites and quite easy to use. But website design isn’t only about the technicalities. It’s about goals, layouts, calls to action, copywriting, market niches, SEO and keywords, usability and site architecture…
It’s not the difficulty and complexity of using website design tools that makes online businesses fail, but the lack of knowledge of everything that surrounds the actual functionality of the websites.
The key points to make a coaching website a success
If someone tells you it is easy to achieve an online business that really works, don’t believe them, it’s a load of b#@$%&s.
So, tip number 0 is you better work, b#t%h.
Tip 1. A successful coaching online business has SMART goals
You know you have a successful online coaching business when you get the results you set out to get when you start.
As coaches we know that the first thing a coachee must do is set out their goals, right? We don’t get tired of telling them that it’s not possible to achieve goals if we don’t define them correctly. And yet, most coaches fail to set the goals or objectives for their sites.
Ask yourself or your team of coaches: what is the ultimate goal of our coaching site?
Usually it’d be to acquire customers, to sell, to have an online tool that is selling for you 24/7. You should express your site’s ultimate goal in your own words. And you should do it NOW. Use the SMART technique, which I’m sure you´re familiar with.
Tip 2. Perfectly knows the ideal customer (market niche) and/or their needs
When your site isn’t focused on a particular type of person with specific needs (what I call “pains”), the visits you get to your site or blog will not be specific to their needs, but to everyone and anyone.
Knowing who your ideal customer is helps you understand what they want and need. What their concerns are. This will in turn help you address those particular needs, rather than an array of general problems that aren’t customer-specific.
Most small business websites fail because they are too generalist, they don’t have a clear and specific profile of consumer in mind. If you want to address everyone and anyone, then your site’s going to really connect with no one.
Choosing a specific market niche, getting to know their needs and addressing them within your coaching website, forces you to specialise and benefits your online business.
Tip 3. An effective coaching site knows its keywords and focuses on SEO
If you know how your potential customer feels, what they need and are concerned about, it’ll be much easier to determine your keywords.
Keywords are essential to SEO. It’s hands down impossible to focus on SEO if your keywords are non-existent or incorrect. This is one of the major issues when it comes to analysing the failure of coaching websites and online businesses. There’s a post that explains SEO to beginners.
Tip 4. Centres around ideal client’s “pains”
A successful coaching site concentrates on those keywords and the needs, concerns, pains of the potential customer. This is critical to attract the traffic from Google (organic traffic). Imagine your ideal client and what they type into Google’s search box so that you come up in the results page.
Tip 5. Takes a back seat to the client
Tied up with the previous, most coaches are quite egocentric, or so it appears by judging their sites. The first thing you read when going into a coaching website is more often than not, a description of the coach.
This is a serious error. Perhaps you´re a great coach, nobody questions that. But don’t ever steal your client’s thunder. They must be the star in your site, not you. Cede the limelight to the customer.
Tip 6. A coaching site’s copywriting talks directly to the potential client’s heart
We’ve talked about focusing on pains and keywords. You must use them all throughout the copy of your coaching website. Make the customer feel welcome. Make them feel they are important. Try to create that connection that will make them realise that YOU are the one they were looking for. Use emotional words, don’t be too rational. Show the benefits of your coaching process, but only at the end.
Let me remind you. Nowadays, consumers look for specialists in almost everything. If you have a very clear market niche, a very clear profile of your ideal customer and their needs, it’ll be easier to address them. If you are trying to be all things to everyone, you´re not going to connect with anyone in particular, because you´re not a specialist or maybe you are but don’t show it on your site.
Tip 7. A successful coaching site has only one explicit call to action throughout
This is another big mistake I see on coaching sites every day. So many calls to action!
- Subscribe to my blog
- Download my e-book
- Visit this other page
- Share this post on social media
- Leave your comments
- Call me
- Contact me
- Request your free session
Do you really think the user will DO, TAKE ACTION on all of them?
Of course not.
So carefully think what is the most important and use ONLY ONE. Which is, in my opinion: request your free coaching session. Use this call to action in most pages of your site.
Use the free session to help the potential customer experience what a coaching process with you would be like, AND the last 15 minutes, sell.
Don’t have a free coaching session? I’d think it over. It’s your best chance to convert a potential client into a real one.
Tip 8. Has an “almost fixed” structure
Most coaching websites (and typical services sites) should have a very similar structure in the navigation menu. It would be formed by a home page, three or four services pages, very centred on the keywords that you have previously identified, and then those with the typical pages About, Contact and Blog. You might also add a Testimonials page, which should go anywhere after the services pages.
This is the correct order. Don’t EVER place the About page before your services pages (remember tip 5).
Tip 9. A coaching website that succeeds has a blog within the website
Don’t have a separate blog. Your blog and news page must have the same domain name and be within your site (yoursite.com/blog or as a subdomain blog.yoursite.com).
The reason behind it is based on SEO. Your ranking in Google benefits from the content in your posts, if they are focused on your keywords. More on this below.
Tip 10. Has posts focused on SEO and ideal customer
Your posts should always focus on your potential client’s pains. What are they worried about? What do they type in the Google search box? Title your posts with similar questions and try to answer them in your posts, focusing on the user and SEO.
Try to add some calls to action within your posts. Don’t let the user leave after this only visit. Encourage them to contact you, to leave comments or to read another related post, for example. The longer the user stays in your site, the better.
Tip 11. A successful coaching site isn’t slow
Users don’t like a slow site. Neither does Google. Your site’s speed is one aspect that Google takes into account when ranking your page. You may test your website’s speed with Pingdom Tools. Your site should have a load time no higher than 3 or 4 seconds. Even this is very, very slow in the internet world. Your overall performance grade should be C at the minimum. Seek assistance if your results are below those mentioned.
Tip 12. Is linked to social media and has many followers
Each time you publish a new post, share it on all your social media profiles. Try to engage with the audience. Answer questions and comments. Be nice… or controversial. Whatever works. Ensure that your posts have the option for the user to share them.
Tip 13. Attracts the right audience through organic traffic
Organic traffic is that which originates in Google or any other search engine.
Your aim is to acquire this type of traffic because these visits are from people who are ACTIVELY searching. You get organic visits when you choose and use the correct keywords and use them to optimise your site in general, your internal pages and your posts.
Remember that social media traffic comes from people who AREN’T ACTIVELY searching. Although social media traffic is good for your Google ranking, and therefore you must not neglect it, be aware that you will not get potential clients via social media. These visits to your pages or posts are PASSIVE.
Tip 14. A successful coaching website appears in the 1st page of Google
This is the ultimate SEO goal of any coaching site (apart from sales, of course). To appear on Google’s first results pages for a wide range of keywords that are related to your potential clients’ pains, questions, needs, concerns, wishes…
Bear in mind that no one goes beyond the first page of Google SERPs (search engine results pages) so you must make an effort to achieve and increase your site’s visibility.
Tip 15. Doesn’t hide its light under a bushel: let it shine
That you must cede the limelight to your users and customers doesn’t mean that you must hide either yourself or your site. You should be proud of yourself and of your site and show it off at every chance you get.
Don’t be modest, show what you´re capable of, and what the benefits of your services are. But do it without bragging and in the right places.
Being humble doesn’t equal being diffident and therefore it shouldn’t run counter to exhibiting your achievements and the advantages of hiring a coaching process with you.
These are only a few of the things that your coaching website must aim for to be successful.
I’m perfectly aware that some are quite a learning curve and perhaps even difficult to grasp.
In future posts I shall be explaining some of those points in detail, such as why identifying your market niche is paramount for your coaching site or how to organise (structure) a perfect coaching site to make it more usable.
In the meantime, I encourage you to read the posts linked, which will hopefully further clarify some of the concepts and ideas explained here.
Has this post been useful for you? What can I do better? Is it too long? Too wordy? Do I, without realising, use some jargon difficult to understand? Can you help me to do it better next time? Will you come back? I’m waiting for your comments and feedback and thank you in advance.