You’re ready freddy to create a great website, but you don’t know how to start?
You’re in the right place. An entire website project can soon feel overwhelming, so before you start building it, it’s good to have a plan! One important element is how to structure your coaching website (or any service business website for that sake). Structure is part of the following 4 elements:
- The content – which words to use
- The structure – what to put where (the focus of this article!)
- The techy part – building it
- The design – making it pretty
Ideally you already have an idea of your content. If you’re lost on what your content needs to convert visitors to clients, this mini email series is a good start: 5-Day Website Strategy Challenge, and you can also look through my blog, which gives you a lot of resources.
Now, let’s talk about how to structure your coaching website! This means the order in which the components are placed on the webpage. We’ll start at the top.
The Navigation menu
The menu is ideally placed at the top of the page, which is where your visitors expect to find it (as opposed to on the side). As for the number of menu items, try to keep it below 7. More than that can easily result in a ‘too much’ feeling, losing your visitors’ attention. If you have more than 7 pages (as you probably will as your website grows), you can put these in sub-menus, or sub-items to your current menu items.
The main menu items people recognize and are used to by now are the following:
- Work With Me (or Services)
Then the most important page:
What works best these days is to have a full-width layout and horizontal sections people can scroll through. Avoid using sidebars on your homepage. I like to say that the homepage ideally represents a summary version of the other important pages of your website. You can have a look at my homepage, to see what I mean.
The sections I recommend for the homepage are the following:
- Key message & picture of you!
- Aim to create an emotional response like “this is exactly my problem/situation”, “this is exactly what I feel”, “this is exactly what I need”
- About snippet
- Include a read more link that goes to your About page
- Service overview
- Include links leading to full Service description(s)
- Display snippets of your best ones!
- Call to Action
- Make it easy for visitors to find out how to contact you
Even if a visitor looks at no other pages than your homepage, she/he should be left with a clear idea of what you do, who you do it for, what problem you solve, why you are a fab person to work with and how to contact you.
Homepage Section 1:
You want to catch people’s attention right away, so the first section is really important. This section is visible before people even start to scroll, so you want to say something that makes it clear what you do and who you do it for, and ideally also creates an emotional “yes exactly!” response from your visitor, so that they are intrigued to read more. Use a few short key sentences and definitely have here an image of you. Potential clients want to see who you are, so don’t be shy 🙂
Homepage Section 2 & 3:
The following two sections would usually be an About snippet, with a read more button to your full About page, and a simple overview of your Services (see further below in the section talking about the Service page). If you only have one service, then write a little bit about it here on your homepage, and include a read more button that links to your Service page that has the full details. The order of these two sections, About and Services, depends on what you feel flows best.
Homepage Section 4:
Got testimonials? This is a perfect place to display a snippet from your best client testimonials. I suggest it can be presented as e.g. 3 boxes or as a slider:
(let’s pretend these are 3 different people being your clients 🙂 )
Homepage Section 5:
Your Call to Action. What do you want your visitors to do? Contact you! Make it easy for them by giving them a prompt and providing a button that goes to your contact page or online scheduler. It could look like something like this:
That wasn’t too complicated, was it? I hope not. If you have any questions to this, get free support and advice in my Web Design for Coaches group.
Now what about your other pages? Keep reading, keep learning!
The About Page
Here you can also create horizontal sections if you wish, if your About page text is easy to divide up, but also just placing your text and images as you would in a Word document works just fine. If you struggle with tech, I would usually opt for what is easiest for you to do.
Also make sure you have this on your About page: A picture of yourself 🙂 At least one! Ideally more. People love pictures. It makes them feel more connected to you.
Also consider adding testimonial snippets in-between the content, and include a Call to Action at the end of the page
If you have a lot of text, here some tips on the structure. There are many ways to make a text heavy page more digestible for the reader. Some “tricks” I use are:
- Headers and subheaders to divide the text up in sections
- Different font and color for the headers
- Bullet points whenever that would make sense
- Bold text or a different color for relevant words that you don’t want your readers to miss
- Horizontal divider lines
- Add relevant quotes in-between the text (WordPress has a blockquote option in the visual editor menu of your page)
- Put text in boxes (need a bit of coding knowledge unless you use a page builder)
- You can see examples of some of this on my About page and Work With Me page, and also in this very blog post!
Moving on! 🙂
The Work With Me or Services page
Depending on what you offer your clients, you might want to create here an easy overview of your services presented in boxes. Here an example from the website of Omozua – Life Coach:
This above works well if you have several services. Each box would usually click through to a separate page that explains the detail of each individual service. If you only have one service, it might make more sense to only have a Work With Me page, where you explain more about the service and to walk your website visitors through how to, yeah, work with you.
If you only need a Work With Me page you may mostly have text and some images. If this is the case, then you could apply the same principles as for the About page, which I have done on my own Work With Me page.
An important element, although scary for some…
Considering a blog page? If you are not convinced, check out this blog post: Blog! Help do I need it?
The Blog Page
This page usually looks pretty good out of the box, depending on which theme you use. The main blog page would show excerpts of your latest blog posts, from which your visitors can click through to see the entire blog post, just as you see on my blog page.
The Contact Page
Here you can add lots of different options, not just your contact form. I like to give my website visitors several ways of getting in touch with me, as some people are not too keen on forms, and some prefer to contact me via email or social media. As you can see from my Contact page, they can easily see how to write me a normal email, connect with me on social media, or go directly to book an initial website chat with me. If you as a coach offer a first free consulting session, then it’s great to include that on your Contact page.
Also consider adding an image of you on this page. Seeing the face of the one you want to contact makes a great difference.
Now that you have a plan, are you ready to build it?
If you need some help, you can get free advice in the Web Design for Coaches Facebook group. (Men welcome too : )
Need some personal support on the way? I offer both Consulting/Support Hours, and do it with you and for you Web Design Packages.
I wish I had seen this when I planned my first website. Really helpful! Thank you!
Glad it was helpful Irene! 🙂