Creating an effective website plan for your success online

2 May 2020

How to create an effective plan for your website

You’ve done it! 

You have taken the leap, and you’re all set up with a nice, shiny new website! 

Now you can sit back, relax, and wait for your inbox to get flooded with people asking how they can work with you…

But instead of messages flooding into your inbox, all you hear is deafening silence…

Where are all the new leads you were hoping for?

One of the myths that I crush very early on in a conversation with a new client is that their website is going to be a golden bullet.

Yes, your website WILL bring you new clients, but only if you’re driving traffic and if you have systems in place to guide them to becoming a client.

And there may be several areas of your site that are negatively impacting the experience someone has on your site and making them want to leave.

The good news is today we will be going through how to stop losing clients from poor web design.

So what actually is bad web design?

Often this needs no explanation. At some point, you will have landed on a website and winced.

bad web design

Honestly, this website still exists.

And I’m not pointing this site out to shame the owner. But it breaks a lot of rules of good usability.

There were a lot of these kind of sites when I first started my website design career in 2002, but thankfully, they are now few and far between.

Trends are shifting all the time, so design principles are often hard to pin down. However, there are still some overriding principles that stand the test of time. 

In the most simplistic terms, poor design is often defined through the lack of the following golden principles:

  • Easy to navigate page structure
  • Clear and consistent use of fonts and colours
  • Clean layout

As you can see in the example above, it doesn’t adhere to many of those golden rules.

Key elements for successful design

Here are 13 key elements you may well be missing, that could be putting a stranglehold on your lead generation.

1. How Can You Help Me?

This is the main reason that a website is likely to fail.

Admittedly, it is more of a messaging issue than a design issue, but this is one of the most critical issues that failing websites face.

All your customers really care about is whether you can help them with their problem. And the reality is, if you can’t demonstrate within a few seconds HOW you can help them, they’ve already lost interest. 

2. Who Are You/Where Are You?

In a world where online scams are commonplace , it’s critical for your website to demonstrate that there are actually human beings involved.

Where are you located?

How do your customers get in touch with you?

Business details, including location, email and phone number are not only important trust elements, they’re a legal requirement. 

3. Why Is This Taking So Long?

A slow website is a killer. Not only does it put a huge dampener on your SEO, but visitors online are impatient. They’re likely to hit the back button before waiting for your site to load.

If you love Divi, which is the framework that I use and teach on my Rock That Website program, you can find out more about speeding up your website here: https://www.elegantthemes.com/blog/divi-resources/speeding-up-your-divi-website

4. Why Does It Look Funny On My Phone?

Increasingly people are viewing websites more regularly on their phones than on their computers. And in today’s fast-paced world, everyone expects everything to be available to them in a few taps of their fingers. Make sure you’re checking how your website looks on different devices.

5. My Eyes! This Website Hurts My Eyes!

Loud images, flash videos and annoying ads will send potential customers running before you get an opportunity to tell them you can help. Keep it clean and appealing to the eye.

6. Is There Anything Useful On Here?

People will often search for a way to help themselves for free before they pay for help. This is a great opportunity to showcase your expertise and build trust, but only if your content is valuable and can serve them at that particular moment.

7. Is This Safe?

The little green padlock to the left of the address bar has gained importance in the last couple of years. It used to only be necessary on commerce sites, but Google now uses it to rank your website. It means that information passes across an encrypted connection from your browser to the server, and it’s now vital to the success of your website to have one. 

8. Why Should I Trust You?

Social proof is powerful. Showcasing testimonials, success stories, awards and featurettes all go a long way to say “I’m really good at what I do and people are noticing!”

We live in an age of online reviews (think TripAdvisor, CheckATrader, Amazon) – we actively look for reviews before making a purchasing decision and so it’s really important for your website to showcase these too.

9. How Do I Get To The Right Page?

Ever lost a sock? There’s nothing more frustrating than having to dig around to look for something that you know is there somewhere. Don’t make your website be that source of frustration.

10. When Was This Last Updated?

There are 2 parts to this;

Keeping your content and appearance up to date, which keeps your website feeling “alive”.
Keeping your site up to date behind the scenes. If you’re running on WordPress, be sure to keep your theme, plugins and core WordPress files updated. It’s important from a security standpoint, but also to ensure you’re using all the features available.

11. Shoddy Grammar

Remember getting told off by your teacher for bad spelling and grammar? Well, it will still bite you in the behind if you pay lip service to it. With spellcheck on most writing programs and apps like Grammarly, there really is no excuse for poor spelling and grammar.

12. How Do I Sign Up?

If you have designed your website, message and offers in a compelling way, visitors will want to continue their journey with you. Be sure that signing up should be quick, obvious, and straightforward. Don’t ask for the name of their street if you aren’t shipping anything to them. First name and email address should suffice in most circumstances. And be sure that your website and  opt-in is GDPR compliant. 

13. Who Are YOU?

Potential clients are likely looking to solve a particular, often sensitive, problem that they have. There is a lot of trust involved in letting someone into your life, and unless they know who you are, understand a little of your story, and can connect with you, they are unlikely to trust and reach out to you.

That looks like a lot of work, what happens if I can’t find the time to fix them? 

There are several implications of your website being poorly designed. When the website looks and feels clunky, is difficult to navigate, and requires a treasure map to find your contact details, visitors will leave. Quickly. 

Even if the website looks amazing, is responsive and is easy to use, if your message not on point, people won’t explore your offerings.

A website is a business asset. If you have a website which is struggling with any of the points above, your asset will underperform. The result will be fewer clients, a smaller impact, and less money in the bank. 

Every challenge presents a new opportunity

There is a saying when it comes to investing:

Fortunes are made when the stock market crashes, not booms. This is because, when things are at their most challenging, the people that lean in, do the work and seize the opportunity, reap the benefits. That is the same as with your underperforming website.

Using the checklist above, make a bullet-point list of where your website is falling short. If you’re unsure, ask a friend or family member to have a look over for you. A fresh pair of eyes will often see issues that you may glaze over.

With your list, create a to-do list to rectify those issues.

But, the key here is to turn these weaknesses into strengths! So if you are struggling with lack of content, then create a bank of content, ready to be uploaded. Or if you are struggling to find the time/inspiration, then  find someone to finish off the work for you.

If the website is slow, hard to look at or unresponsive, then take it back to square one, and put it back together, following some basic rules. If this is where you’re at, have a chat with me about how my Rock That Website program can help you master this.

Or if you have nailed all the above, are getting plenty of traffic, but are struggling to convert, perhaps your message or offers need work.

Reach out to current clients, ask why they chose to work with you, and what they wanted to get from your coaching. Use this in your message and offers. Remember, people care about whether you can help solve their problem, not whether you have the best features.

Or get someone to help coach you through turning your website into a client generating machine! At the end of the day, you are an amazing coach, not a website developer, so a little guidance on getting the most out of your site can go a long way. 

What Does A Great Website Even Look Like?

There are loads of fabulous coaching websites out there, but here are some examples of a few that I really admire: 

Amy Porterfield website

Amy Porterfield is a coach and entrepreneur who I truly admire and one of the few people in business who I follow avidly.

Marie Forleo website

Marie Forleo doesn’t need much introduction to most of us in the online world. Her work is an inspiration to many and her website is great place to browse for fabulous online resources.

Others than you can take a look at include:  






So I get my website on track, then what?

You focus on what makes you awesome: your coaching and your clients. Your website is like a garden, it needs maintaining to stay fresh and effective, but with the basics in place, this is so much easier to keep on top of. 

Vicky Etherington

Vicky Etherington has been running her own online marketing agency since 2003, and in 2015 transitioned to working with coaches and therapists to teach them how to create their own client-attracting websites. 

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