The thought of redoing a website is scary to many coaches. They’ve invested money into a website and don’t want to have to pay again. Also, the last build may have been a long drawn-out, stressful process and they don’t want to do that again.
But often, it’s just easier, better and less costly to start over. Especially when …
- Your website isn’t that big and it’s easier to start fresh.
- You have a new web designer who uses different site-building tools.
- The changes are invasive and the work to change things is harder than rebuilding.
But yes, in many situations, you won’t have to completely trash your website. Often, a few smart tweaks will do the trick. For example …
- You need to add or improve your website’s mobile layout – often a plugin or app will do.
- You add a new service, like group coaching, which is easy to add to your business processes.
Below are 3 signs you’ll need to redo or revise your website.
Sign 1 – It’s just not working (the biggest reason to redesign).
If you aren’t getting the results you want from your website like new client leads, then you have to stop and investigate.
Some questions to ask …
- Is anyone visiting my website at all?
- Are my visitors coming from good sources where my ideal clients exist?
- Is my website form (or call-to-action mechanism) working properly?
- What are visitors doing at my website? What pages are they visiting?
- Are they clicking past the first page they land on?
- Is my copy engaging, exciting and leading people to action?
- What are some reasonable numbers to expect from my website?
- Am I applying smart marketing strategies to my website?
In reviewing over 1000 coaching websites over the years, three common reasons for lack of client leads are ..
- There’s no traffic (or the traffic coming is not good).
- The content is not focused on an ideal client and their interests.
- The website is confusingly laid out or tough to get around.
It’s time to put on your Sherlock Holmes cap and investigate. Get some biz/marketing/web advice. Share your website with ideal clients (this almost always digs up gold), and get some numbers.
These might help too How to Get 10 Ongoing, Paying Clients from Your Website and Key Website Numbers to Track.
Whether you make invasive changes or start over fresh, get a copy of The Coaching Site Guide to create a better website for selling coaching.Check out the guide
Sign 2 – It’s becoming harder to use. Things are starting to break.
When your website doesn’t work or is hard to use, people get frustrated and leave. That’s not good for your client seeking efforts.
Technology wears out over time. It doesn’t exactly deteriorate like car parts, but rather the coding used starts to not match up with the latest stuff.
It’s like when your old laptop or phone starts to slow down, freeze or otherwise hiccup – forcing you to restart. The technology is getting old.
Here are some common breakages …
- Links don’t work
- Pages don’t open up (fast)
- You get the 404 “page missing” error
- Images and content look misaligned
- Pages, videos, images take longer to open up
- You get broken images
- Forms aren’t working
- Email doesn’t reach you
In addition to stuff just falling apart from getting old, two more reasons to update and enhance your website are:
- The way we use websites evolves over time. Think about how much more we do on mobiles.
- Website technology improves, is more powerful and faster. For example, video is easier to do.
If your site is breaking, often some good maintenance will do the trick. But if the technology behind it is no longer supported, you may be better off investing in a new website.
For the websites that I manage, I test all functionality on a monthly basis. Here are the Top Four Website Maintenance Tasks to Keep Your Site Running Smoothly for Clients
Your website doesn’t have to be a work of art, nor have the slickest functionality around, but it does need to work.
Sign 3 – You’ve changed your niche (or finally found it).
Remember, websites are FOR your clients. And so your content (visuals, words, headlines, calls to action, everything) needs to speak to that ideal person.
Often, I’ll run into coaches who shift from “work with anyone” (a generalist coach) to a more specific, ideal client (a specialist coach), and they need their website to reflect it.
For example, one client was promoting his “business mentoring” service. In time, he got clearer about about his target market and shifted towards the challenge of “tech service firms that were unable to grow and needed to develop better execs, managers and leaders”.
As another example, a client was offering “health coaching” and after some discovery work, she narrowed in on “people whose health and happiness are being ruined by challenges related to diabetes.”
I almost always prefer to create a new website and leave the old one there. The new niche gives us the opportunity to completely tailor the website (visuals, content, domain name, wording, calls to action) to appeal to that person.