What’s Wrong With Your Website (part 5)
We have talked about several key issues with coaching websites already, things such as: compelling language on your home page, website layout, keywords, and free offers and autoresponders. It may seem like there is a never ending stream of things to do to your website, but if you work on the major things first, then the rest falls into place easier.
In our recent webinar “10 Mistakes With Your Coaching Website & How to Fix Them,” we covered the 10 most common mistakes we see on a daily basis when looking at coaching websites. Please understand that there are more than just 10 mistakes to fix on your coaching website to get more clients. But, if you were to do the 10 suggestions in that webinar, you would be ahead of 90% of life coaching websites on the internet today.
Today, we are going to talk about graphics and the color schemes on your website. Even if you do not know how to use a graphic design program, you can do some simple graphics that will be very effective. So, don’t let a lack of experience hold you back.
The major problem with graphics on websites is they are too busy. Either there is way too many colors involved, or way too much text. The old adage “Less is more” definitely applies here. Simple graphics keep a person’s attention while looking at your website.
Let’s do an experiment. Go to Google, the main search page at www.google.com. Click on the Images tab at the top of the page. Then, enter “bad websites” in the search bar and hit enter. Look at the results. These give me a headache. But, do you see what I mean when I say too busy, or too many colors or text? Given, these are extreme cases, but learn from their mistakes.
When planning the webinar we recently had, I decided to make a header to help differentiate it from our other products and media. Here is the header I decided to go with:
See the simple color scheme and minimal graphics and text? This was done on purpose. For illustration purposes on the webinar, I designed a busy header. Here it is:
This actually blurred my vision when designing it. I know it’s funny and ridiculous looking, but this is how many headers and even web pages are done. Once you have a budget for graphics and web design, you can let a webmaster worry about this.
Here are some of the resources on the internet I use when designing graphics and headers:
1. Google- I think this one goes without saying, but it is the best place to search for images or just get an idea for what people on the web are thinking about in images when they are online.
2. Pic Monkey (www.picmonkey.com) is a free basic editor for graphics. It will let you adjust exposure and color temperature, add text, and resize without signing in. There are several free sites for graphic editing, but I prefer Pic Monkey. On YouTube you will find several tutorial videos for Pic Monkey.
3. Free Stock Photos (http://www.sxc.hu/) is one of many sites offering photos at varying prices. A free stock photo usually means that you pay a one time fee up front, and you can use the image on your website. Some photos also have a royalty payment, where you must pay for each usage of a photo.
If you do not have a budget for graphics, just use Google to get your ideas and Pic Monkey for editing. Usually, I use Google and http://www.sxc.hu/ to get ideas, and then go out and take pictures or use a design program to create my own graphics. If you are just starting out, this is probably the best strategy for you, as well.
As far as text on your headers, keep it to 3 lines of text. Use short, punchy sentences to get the point across. Your meaning of the words in your text should be clear in a glance. Don’t get into double entendres, or verbose descriptions. It might take you some time to get the wording down.
When selecting colors, try to stick with the basic or primary colors. Red, blue, green, yellow, white, black, and even purple, are good selections. Google the meaning of colors to see which colors are a good match for your website.
We went with blue for the main color of our website because blue represents integrity, trust, and calm. It is establishes credibility in a calming way. Spend some time on determining which color or colors would be appropriate for your site.
Also, make sure your text contrasts the color, so people can read it. If it blends in, they will pass by it and not even notice. Have someone look at your work to make sure it does what you want it to.
The best background color for a website is white. Do not use a black background on a coaching website. Period. If you do not use white, use a soft pastel color, such as light blue, light green, etc. But, white background with black text is still the most effective combination on websites. How do I measure this? By looking at what the people who buy look at. People who typically buy coaching services do not like black backgrounds.
One of the most frustrating things for me as a coach is when a life coach asks why they are not getting more website visitors, and I tell them one of the reasons is their graphics. I won’t tell unless you ask. Many people make the mistake that because they spent hours designing it, it is great. Get a second or third opinion before putting a new header on your site.
Another solution is to find someone on Fiverr (www.fiverr.com) to do graphic design for you. You can find them very reasonably priced. Also, if you live in a city with a community college or university, you can find graphic designers relatively cheap.
The main advice I have for graphics is: Do not let your lack of experience or knowledge hold you back. You do not need to take a web graphic design course to design basic graphics. Even then, if you are still uncomfortable doing it, hire it out to be done. It should not cost you more than $25 for most simple designs.
If you have any questions about this post, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wishing you More Clients, More Money, and More Life!