Ever wonder why Google is the preferred search tool on the Web?
Could it be because Google is simple? One search box; one search button… just type in a keyword or two, and go.
Many coaching websites, particularly those with more than 20 pages, are difficult to use and poorly organized. They lose visitors simply because they are hard to navigate.
And it’s a shame if people leave your website without taking action. Your prospect list won’t grow as fast, and you’ll miss out on sales and client- acquisition opportunities.
The ideal navigation makes it easy and fast for prospective clients to hop around your website and perform tasks. And when it’s easy, people do things – like buy products, sign up for teleclasses, and call you to explore working with you. The bottom line? Your business grows.
To smooth out your navigation and help visitors get the information they want, purchase your products and services and grow and succeed, here are 5 navigational pointers to get you started:
1. Organize Your Content From The Visitor’s Perspective
Your visitors – or, with hope, prospective clients – see your business from a different perspective than you do. They aren’t looking to learn about coaching techniques, assessments or models. Instead, they’re looking for answers to questions that pertain to their specific situation – such as, “Why should I be here?”; “How can you help me?”; and “What should I do next?”
Thus, you need to organize your content, pages, and links in a way that answers these questions and satisfies the unique requirements of your visitor. As a result, your website becomes intuitive and easy to use.
2. Keep Your Primary Menu Consistent
Just as a book has a table of contents, every website should have “primary navigation” – the central, most obvious set of links that governs the website. This is usually found across the top or down the left of the page.
To ensure your primary navigation is consistent, keep it in the same location on each page, and be sure to use the same labels.
Consistency gives prospects the confidence to click around your website, knowing that if they get lost they can quickly and easily reorient themselves.
3. Minimize Clicks
It may sound obvious, but the faster and easier it is to find content and links on your website, the much, much, much better it is for you.
This doesn’t mean you should link your home page to every single page. That would make the home page hard to look at. Instead, you should find out the top things that most of your visitors are looking for and make finding those things very easy.
For example, let’s say you are a new coach and you do most of your promotion by networking. And, as part of your client-securing strategies, you recommend articles to prospects and invite them to download them from your website. Then, when it comes to linking, you should put “Articles” in your primary navigation (mentioned above) and put links to the top one or two recommended articles – right on the home page.
It’s also vital to avoid over-organizing your content. For instance, if you’ve written 8 articles, you don’t need three different categories in which to organize them. Simply create one page titled “Articles” and list them there.
Furthermore, keep in mind that as the number of clicks to find things on your website increases, the more time it takes for pages to load — and the more chances there are for errors to occur. And the more errors that occur, the more chances there are for people to get stuck. That’s NOT what you want; not by a long shot.
4. Keep Visitors Moving Onto the Next Thing
Two key points to make here …
Point One. Every page must have a purpose!
Whether it’s to educate the visitor, to share success stories or to promote a service, every page should have an intention.
Don’t just toss up content onto your website because it seems interesting. Think about what you want the visitor to get out of it.
Point Two. Every page must call visitors to action!
And when visitors finish a page, lead them onto the next action step like click to buy, click to fill out a form or click to another article.
Your website and all it’s content bits n pieces are part of the grand scheme of leading them to become your client (or buy something or enroll, etc).
For example …
If a visitor has just finished signing up for your newsletter, then invite them to take another step which could be:
- read one of your top articles
- jump into your facebook group
- request a call with you
Shuttle, escort, or otherwise invite your visitor (think: potential client) onto another step so that client-hood is right around the corner.
5. Be Mindful of Your Biz Objectives
Yes, it’s crucial to organize your website from a visitor’s perspective and make it easy for them to navigate. But it’s also vital to ensure that the steps are taken when using your site lead the visitor toward your business objectives.
Some examples include:
> Getting a prospect on your email list
> Registering for a teleclass
> Filling out an assessment
Thus, be sure to keep your business objectives in mind as part of the overall website organization. Help prospective clients get what they want while getting what YOU want – a win/win.
A Tip Worth a Thousand Buckaroos
To ensure your website is smooth and easy to use, try this: Sit down with a friend, ideally someone in your target audience, and watch him or her use your website. If you find yourself having to explain things, your website is probably not as easy to use as it should be.
Over the course of a year, the value you get from watching one person use your website can make a tremendous difference in your email sign-up rates, initial sessions, and product sales. That can easily amount to thousands of dollars in business.
In other words, remember that on the Web, ease of use is vital when it comes to websites.
As the Marketer of Your Business, You MUST Take the Leadership Role of Showing Clients How You Can Help Them
You want that message to shine through on your website. Make it easy to use and action-oriented, and you’ll find yourself meeting – and even surpassing – your expectations.