Why Web Coaching needed to be invented
Web coaching is a process whereby the web coach and their client identify the best course of action to build not only a visually spectacular, but also a successful, website. I created web coaching as a result of my enthusiasm for both coaching and website design and a deep personal coaching work to identify my true passion.
Before I was a web designer, I was a qualified coach. This means that in my web coaching processes I assess my customers but I also encourage them to draw their own conclusions.
Ordinary Website Design
A website is a representation online of your business, and, in most cases, the first and only impression that a potential customer will have of it. Bear this in mind throughout the whole post you´re about to read (till the end, I hope). Building a successful online business isn’t easy, if you want it done right.
Web design usually works as follows (some web designers will do more, some less, this is a high-level approximation).
The web design process
A customer has a conversation with the web designer about
- What their online business is (a restaurant, an online shop, a services site such as coaching)
- What words they think should be emphasised (keywords) in the website. The customer will say whatever comes to mind at the time, which will make the website approach totally wrong in 99% of the cases (i.e.: life coaching, coaching with NLP, executive coaching).
- The pages that will compound the website (the typical Home, Blog, Contact, About, plus those business-specific to this customer).
- Texts, photographs, prices, other technicalities…
- What they’d like the website to look like. Usually the customer will have researched a little and will bring a couple of website designs so that the designer gets a feel of the kind of site they like
To the above, web designers in general call it “exploration of all aspects of your requirements to ensure we have understood completely and correctly”. This is all very well, however, a website design based on the above will surely fail to make it to Google’s first 100 results (or first 10 pages).
Now, let me ask you: what on earth do you want a website for, if nobody is going to be able to find it?
Some will reply: I will make it visible through social media.
Fine. Do you know that traffic that comes from social media is 95% non-qualified traffic?
Some will wonder: what on earth is non-qualified traffic?
Visits to your site that will never become sales.
Let’s be honest: a web designer’s job is to design
It’s true. And if you haven’t done your homework (identifying your niche, objectives, keywords, etc.) it’s your problem. A regular website designer ensures that the site looks modern and fresh and, if the site is created in HTML, he tries to develop a clean and functional code. Many designers nowadays use WordPress (no code development needed). So that’s the designer’s job really. No more, no less.
A web designer and SEO? Nah
Therefore, in the majority of the cases, ordinary website design does not deal with SEO (search engine optimisation) although the company or the designer will tell you that “yes, we will optimise your site for search engines”. But the truth is they will tweak title and description of your site and that’s about it. Why? Because it’s not their job, really. That’s why SEOs exist.
Consequence of Ordinary Web Design
Bearing in mind all of the above, the consequence is quite catastrophic, if you don’t mind my saying. In short, the consequence is invisibility. Let me explain. It’s important that you understand the following before understanding why a regular website design will not bring you sales.
Perhaps you will now have a beautiful brand-new website, but no one’s going to see it, unless you actively show it around.
I mean, you may try to promote it in social media, sharing it in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or even you YouTube channel. You may use blogging as a means to acquire a bit more visibility amongst your followers, too. However, actively showing your new website is not enough. Not even close to enough.
Social media gets non-qualified traffic
Not only you’ll need to be constantly tied up to actively sharing and promoting your blogposts etc. in social media, or hire someone to do it for you, hoping that amongst your followers there is someone who needs your services, but also, the above techniques (which are good ones, no one is denying that) will mostly bring you non-qualified traffic, as I was saying earlier.
If you reflect upon social media and your followers…
Have you ever stopped to wonder why they follow you?
Is it because what you write is interesting or is it because they are interested in your service?
Are those followers actively looking for your services?
Try to think about the social media contents that you normally read. Blogs you have subscribed to, people you follow on Facebook, Twitter etc.
Do you read their contents because you will one day hire their services?
Sometimes we consume content just because it’s there in our face. We read a post while we have breakfast or on a break. It’s there in our timeline, easy. Passive. No effort.
What happens here is that you may (or not) attract quite a few visits to your blog but none are really looking to buy anything from you. True, there might be one in a few thousands who may become a potential customer, but are you going to settle for so little?
Visibility means attracting qualified traffic
So, in reality, and sadly, you are visible to those who don’t need you.
And, to the thousands of potential customers that DO exist and who are actively looking for a service like yours, you are invisible. You are attracting the wrong kind of traffic because your website design is not optimised to attract qualified traffic.
Qualified traffic means acquiring visits from people who are actively looking for a service or product you offer. And qualified traffic is usually organic traffic.
Organic traffic is the one that most qualified visits attracts, since it refers to visitors that land on your website as a result of unpaid search results.
In short, qualified traffic mostly comes from Google (or any other search engine) when someone types a search in the box and end up in your website.
This is the user being active! Not you!
Here we have a user who is actively looking for something you offer. This is why the aim of your website is to be well positioned in the term/s that lots of users are typing (hence the importance of identifying your niche and their needs) so that they click on your link and land on your site. This way you’ll have the chance to “seduce” them into contacting you, if you fulfil their expectations or needs. Follow?
Social media traffic is a way of building your brand and reputation. Organic and qualified traffic means acquiring potential customers. So what you do on-page today, will drive qualified traffic tomorrow.
How effective are ordinary websites
Earlier I was saying that a regular website design will only take care of the visuals and the functionality. That is, delivering a site that merely functions and is attractive visually. If you´re lucky, perhaps you’ll bump into a website designer who will also have some knowledge of usability (usability means making the website in such a way that it makes a great experience for the user in terms of navigation, finding things within the site, etc.). And if you´re very lucky, you’ll come across a designer who has some good knowledge about SEO. But those a simply impossible to come by.
If we bear in mind that effective is something that is adequate to accomplish a purpose, producing the intended results, most website design customers are not even aware that their site isn’t effective. It doesn’t accomplish its purpose (attracting potential customers), because the goal is so obvious that it gets overlooked, almost invariably.
So now let me ask you: if someone looks past their goal, are they likely to achieve it?
(It’s also true that, even if you told your website designer that the goal of your online business is to attract potential customers, you were going to get more or less the same results. Remember their task is to deliver a site that simply works and looks good).
How does web coaching attract qualified traffic
Attracting the right kind of traffic to your website is a difficult, complex and challenging task. I’m going to try to define the steps that make web coaching an effective way of attracting qualified traffic and therefore improving your chances of sales.
# 1. Keep website’s goal in mind
Firstly, it is key to constantly being mindful of the goal of the customer’s website. Keeping it in mind at all times ensures that we do not lose sight of what we’re trying to achieve.
# 2. Have necessary technical skills (SEO, structure, usability…)
Even if your web coach is not a SEO professional, it’s important that they have a good knowledge of SEO and its techniques. Same goes for structure, usability, loading speed, etc. Building a good on-page SEO site and a well organised structure that makes it user-friendly are key to attracting organic and qualified traffic, in other words, your potential customers.
Web Coaching focuses on attracting potential customers
The following key points are focused to attract your potential customers.
# 3. Have some coaching skills and identify niche and needs
Not only needs the web designer to have the technical skills to add the right words, terms, codes that relate to SEO in the “backend” of your site. The designer first needs to identify WHICH words, terms, codes are the right ones for you and you only.
Those words, terms, etc., will always need to be related to your potential customers in some way, so it’s key to identify WHO THEY ARE (your niche), WHAT THEIR NEEDS ARE and HOW THEY FEEL.
Some coaching skills (or similar) are important in this part of the process. The site designer and the customer will need to identify niche and needs. Neither task is easy.
# 4. Identify keywords and analyse
Now we’ll be using language to our advantage. Both, the English language and the HTML language.
Once we have identified the group of people you want as your main customers and their needs, concerns, or wishes (what I call “pains”), we will use them to reflect them on your website design using both the English language and the HTML language.
This has two main objectives:
- To ensure your website attracts the qualified traffic we aim for, by incorporating the suitable words and terms to the site, and in so doing, positioning your pages better than your competitors in Google;
- To ensure your site empathises with your potential customers, making them feel you understand their problems and needs and that you are able to help them.
But we must also ensure that the terms we use as keywords are searched for in Google. Why is this? Just think about it. If you define a keyword that nobody is searching, what’s the use of being the first in Google?
And the other way around. There are keywords that are highly competed for: everyone is trying to achieve the first results in Google. These are words with a high competence ratio and are almost impossible to get to the first positions. In these cases, the best course of action is to find other keywords that aren’t so competed for.
That’s why I analyse keywords, to see whether it’s worth using them or not.
# 5. Agreeing on your navigation menu
The navigation menu in a website, just in case you don’t know, is formed by those little tabs that usually appear on top. Each tab is a different page of your site.
There are four pages that you will find in most websites: the home page (HOME, WELCOME, HELLO, etc.), the contact page (CONTACT, GET IN TOUCH…), the blog page (BLOG, NEWS…), and the about page (ABOUT US, ME…).
In addition to those 4 pages that usually appear on any website design project, we will need to include some more to improve its usability and to help the user see clearly what the site is about.
Normally, we’ll use the most prominent keywords we have found to give names to those additional pages. I will create that structure (organisation of the pages) and agree the final blueprint with you.
# 6. Writing content and editing
As I want the text to reflect your essence and personality, not mine, I will ask you to draft the content of each page. I will then edit it to make it more focused on SEO and sales.
This is what copywriting is all about. We’ll agree the final drafts of copy together and, in the process, you’ll learn tips to write better, without even being aware of it.
This step, as well as nº 5, is key for your website to achieve its main goal: bringing potential customers. However, we cannot expect to attract them in early stages and you will need to make an effort to maintain the SEO work I’ve done.
Last stages of Web Coaching
And the last stages have to do more with keeping up the good work. As you have seen, it takes a great deal of work and efforts to get to this stage. We’ll have worked over 100 hours and we just cannot afford to throw them overboard.
This could happen if, after your website is up and running, you don’t write blogposts or you start writing content without having your keywords in mind. Actions like this may ruin all the previous work we have carried out. This is why I feel that training you is a must. You can of course refuse to be trained but now you know the consequences.
# 7. Training in WordPress and SEO
After the whole website has been designed, I will train you in WordPress and SEO, to achieve what I just mentioned above. It’s important that you keep writing content in your blog, both to attract customers and Google. But you just cannot write anything and you must write following certain guidelines to keep improving your SEO on-page. I’ll also teach you about linkbuilding (SEO off-page) and how backlinks impact on your SEO and positions in Google.
# 8. Monitoring website performance
This is not included really in the process, but I always do some monitoring of your page during a few months.
I will keep an eye on your positions in Google to see whether they are improving or not. I’ll also check that you´re writing your blogposts. If you aren’t, I’ll be reminding you of its benefits. If you are, I will read them and point out possible improvements, if needed or congratulating you if you´re doing it right.
After a while, my monitoring will become fewer and farther between. But let me tell you, I still visit web designs I did years ago. And what my monitoring tells me is that the customers who stuck to my guidelines now have customers and a good position in Google. Those who neglected their blog or didn’t write their blogposts as I taught them, aren’t as lucky.
As you can see, web coaching isn’t just web design. It’s and end to end process that begins with the realisation that every project needs a goal and that achieving that goal needs a roadmap that begins with a good foundation.
Most website designs focus in the stages that have to do with cosmetics and perfunctory aspects that in the end don’t lead anywhere.