(In response to a question on the Co-Active Network regarding how to get more traffic, and thus more clients, from your website, this was my reply.)
This is a very big topic that could justify its own book. However in a nutshell:
– Once you have a niche, you want to identify the range of keyword phrases that your ideal clients are typing into Google to get information.
– Then you find out how many searches there are for each of these phrases each month. (There are a number of free tools for this Google “Google Keyword Tool”.)
– Then you determine which of these phrases have the magic combination of enough searches, but not too many other competing sites. (Usually the best phrases with the greatest number of searches also have the greatest number of competing sites with high page rank. If you just go after the most popular terms, chances are your site will not come up high in the search results due to the amount of competing sites that have a higher page rank than you.) This is something you may want to get some help with, because it is a really important part of the process.
– Once you have found a few good search phrases that you know will bring you hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands, of new prospects to your site each month, then you need to integrate those phrases in a few key spots on your site so Google knows what your site is about and matches you to the correct keyword searches. (Headings, a few sub heading, paragraph starts, title tags, description tags, maybe an alt tag or two.) However, get some help with this too because you don’t want to over do it.
– Then you want to write homepage copy that engages your ideal client, reassures them they can learn something by slowing down on your page, connect with them by talking genuinely in their language about their challenges and aspirations, introduce yourself with effective branding that gives them a good reason to work with you rather than the other 5 competitors they have just reviewed, be real and authentic, and offer them some compelling free article or service (your free offer) that the majority of them, who are interesting in learning something but not ready to contact you yet, can download today and take a first step forward. (This too is really, really important as it begins a relationship and gets their permission to be on your mailing list. It is through the subsequent contact, educating and relationship building that they will get to know you enough, understand what is possible by working with you, and ultimately be ready to hire you for something.)
– Once you have a great homepage, your next job is is increase your page popularity and visibility. This too is a topic that could justify a small book. However through, having really great content that people share with their network, and developing a wide variety of high quality incoming links, from a wide diversity of higher ranked types of sites related to your genre including; fixed sites, press release sites, directories, government and educations sites, and a wide range of social media sites/postings (Social media exposure is now a really important part of any web marketing campaign and requires ongoing work) – you increase the number of people seeing your site and the Google Page rank for it. This translates in your site coming up higher in the search results relative to the keywords you have chosen to compete on. You really want to be in the top 5 results, everywhere in the world.
This might seem like a ton of work, but I have seen hundreds of coaches, without any technical background, go through it one step at a time and get it right. In fact I really encourage coaches to learn this stuff, because it is really hard to delegate to a designer. (Many of them can produce a lovely looking site, but it is a very, very rare designer who does all the nitty gritty work mentioned above that is critical in you getting the traffic you desire.)
And if you do persist and do all this once well, it will pay off for years and years to come. In fact I believe this is the single most important part of many coach’s entire marketing system.
As to the most common mistakes I see:
– the coach has no focus or niche so the website is just really an expensive online brochure lost in space.
– even if they have a niche, the coach or their web designer identifies a bunch of keywords with the highest traffic, without ever considering their ability to compete. (So they are back on page 3 of the Google results for that keyword phrase and get no traffic.)
– the coach does not write the web copy to focus on the ideal client and their challenges and goals. (There are a ton of “Level 1” web sites where the bulk of the conversation is about the coach or coaching – which really does not interest many visitors.)
– the coach simply tries to sell coaching or a sample session which the vast majority of visitors are not ready to commit to. (This is why you need a compelling and relevant free report/article/offer to begin a relationship.)
– the coach never addresses their page rank/popularity/traffic and so even if they have great content, they do not show up well. (You cannot rely on reciprocal links any more. These days them may in fact penalize you.)
– the coach never ventures into social media to spread their messages, raise their profile, establish relationships, build more awareness, etc. and so their visibility and page rank suffers.
– the coach attempts to cut too many corners on their website and ends up with something that looks homemade and doesn’t display well on various browsers or hand held devices. (You do not have to spend a fortune on a web site, but you do want something that looks professional, works on all platforms and where Google does not penalize you because you have a ton of coding errors.)
Wow, that is more than I intended to write before breakfast. I guess I have a lot of energy on this topic, having seen too many good coaches miss the boat and struggle far too long to connect with a decent supply of ideal clients.
My bottom line on this is, it is not rocket science, but it does take a commitment to learn a few things and put them into practice over a few months. However, if you persist, I believe you can absolutely connect to a steady stream of your ideal clients, and that you will thank yourself for ever more.
Hope this helps.
Affordable Business Development For Coaches
I believe coaches do important work in the world, and that they need more affordable and effective business training. Too many coaches struggle needlessly.
So I have always reserved a portion of my practice to work with coaches and run affordable business development programs for coaches. These programs have legions of fans, and fill up quickly by word of mouth.
Like all my work, each of these come with a money back guarantee.