8 Reasons Fitness Websites Don’t Work (part 1)

Wondering if your yoga, fitness, weight loss or medical website has the right stuff?

Watch out for these landmines.

[dropcap]1. Superficial, generic content or marketing “fluff”[/dropcap]

Your wellness businesses website content exists for a reason: to compel visitors to take action.

Every piece of content should do a job:

  • Tell users who are ready to take action where to go next — Ready to join our mailing list, download a brochure, or sign up for a yoga class? Here’s our form!
  • Remove objections or hesitation (sales “friction”) — for instance, by reassuring folks who take the big leap to a purchase that you have a satisfaction guarantee.
  • Build trust — For instance, reassure your visitors that your staff are professionals, your approach is science-based, or that you will not continue to recommend treatments that aren’t effective.
  • Deliver on what your PPC search ads promised — for instance, contact information to schedule an appointment, a link to Chat Now to Find Out More.
  • Reveal details to the curious — What goes on in a yoga class anyway? Is it a religion? What if I can’t stretch like the lady in the picture? Is it safe for expecting mothers or folks who’ve had back surgery?
  • Reassure prospects they’re taking the right action — for instance, by sharing testimonials from satisfied customers.
  • Move the sales process forward — even if it doesn’t result in an immediate sale. It’s especially true in wellness that people who want to take action spend significant time in the Contemplation stage. While they’re contemplating, keep them engaged and informed and help them build their own case for taking action.

There are many more reasons to include particular types of content on your website, and in every case, that content should be compelling and unique to your business.

The last thing you want to do is load your site up with a lecture about the dangers of a high carbohydrate diet or something you copied from an article in Yoga Journal.

It doesn’t help people learn about what makes your business different; and even if it attracts clicks, you have nothing to show for the effort.

[dropcap]2. Failure to target best-fit market segments [/dropcap]

We’ve talked to prospective clients whose target customer was, in their own words, “men or women between the ages of 25 and 65.” That’s literally almost everyone except people who are barely old enough to vote and drink, and seniors!

Yet by the end of the conversation, the answer has become much more nuanced: 60% women, over the age of 40, with some disposable income, within a 15-minute drive of Big City’s Suburb X.

Even that is barely enough to meaningfully target a Google ad.

For a market segment to be a “best fit”, you need a reasonable idea of your ideal customer, his or her daily life, health, weight, nutrition or fitness aspirations, challenges, prior experiences and disappointments, and what in their mind (not yours!) drives them to check out your business.

Ideally, this matches the customers you already have, particularly your most loyal clients who keep coming back.

Then you need to quantify how many such customers can be reached given your budget, look at the cost of ad campaigns, click-through, conversion costs, and conversion rates, and determine whether you can actually make a profit selling to that ideal customer, given your prices and service delivery costs.

If you can reach them with a compelling, personally resonant message and convert them into a customer at a reasonable cost, then they’re a good fit.

If not, you’re chasing leads that have no money, no interest, or no time — in which case they’re not your ideal customer after all.

[dropcap]3. Ineffective or non-existent lead magnets[/dropcap]

Let’s suppose you actually do have a good idea of your wellness business’s ideal customer.

Why aren’t they buying?

Chances are they’ve never heard of you, or there’s something you haven’t told them, they can’t tell why you’re different, it’s not the right time for them to buy, or your price is just a little too high for their budget.

Maybe they’re not convinced your program is as transformational as it sounds.

Lead magnets can be anything: a downloadable brochure, a case study, an open house announcement, printable guess passes, offers only available to email subscribers, sign-up for a free introductory class, or something else — but they all have a price: prospects have to tell you something about themselves, even if it’s just a comment, an email address, a survey response, or a follow or like.

If your website and other online platforms don’t connect with people willing and interested in doing at least one of these things, they’re not doing their job of sparking relationships with prospects.

[dropcap]4. Failure to address common site visitor goals[/dropcap]

Most site visitors are there for a reason. For example:

  • To learn your location and hours of operation
  • To find out if your nutritional plan is really keto-friendly
  • To see if your meditation classes fit their work schedule
  • To provide a run-down of pricing packages and options
  • To get answers to the last few questions stopping them from signing up for a gym membership
  • To find out what the atmosphere in your women’s wellness centre is really like.

If you know your ideal customer, your website can anticipate their needs: for example, making it easy to schedule a chat or phone call, check your hours, get directions, or download a program participant’s handbook.

Don’t forget to address the needs of current customers, too. What tasks do they want to perform on your site? Renew a membership? Check the class schedule for today or this week? Check on whether you’re open when it’s 5 degrees outside?

Read part 2 of 8 Reasons Fitness Websites Don’t Work

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