8 Reasons Fitness Websites Don’t Work (part 2)

This is PART 2 of 8 Reasons Fitness Websites Don’t Work (part 1 is here)

[dropcap]5. Ineffective or non-existent call-to-action [/dropcap]

Ask yourself: what’s your most common or successful way of converting leads to customers? Is it:

  • A phone conversation?
  • A web chat?
  • Calls or clicks from search ads?
  • A series of increasingly specific emails followed by a purchase?
  • A “buy now” / “sign up now” link?
  • Click-throughs from Google My Business?
  • Walk-in traffic with customers presenting coupons, offers, or other material printed from your website?
  • A dialogue that started with engagement with one of your Facebook ads?

Make sure you’ve chosen a realistic call to action. For example, most folks won’t sign up for a year-long membership sight-unseen.

A call to action designed to encourage an in-person visit so they can experience your business makes more sense.

On the other hand, they’re usually happy to sign up for a free class or guest pass online without any firsthand experience with your program.

Then, make sure your website enables that process in ways that make sense in the 21st century.

Ensure your phone number on the website is a click-to-call link. Your site’s maps and directions should make it simple to initiate a Google Maps or Apple Maps session. Include chat capabilities and push notification signups if that clicks for your customers, instead of relying on email because it’s easiest for you. Think about using SMS text messaging to fulfil guest passes.

[dropcap]6. Buggy site with broken links and slow load times[/dropcap]

When clients don’t have in-house website content and development teams, they draw on freelancers and part-timers, sometimes friends and family. Too often, this means their sites gradually turn into “barnacles” – layers of stuff accumulate over time that don’t serve a purpose and actually get in the way.

Dozens of plugins, chosen only because the developer didn’t really know much about HTML or CSS or native integration with Google platforms, broken code, incredibly slow load times…you get the idea.

By the time we’re involved, they’ve been through half a dozen “developers” and have no idea who their web-host is, what their passwords are, or why Oleg Czyrnyk has been making changes to their class enrolment page, since he hasn’t been asked to do any work in 16 months.

Sites like this are nearly always recoverable, but you need to act sooner rather than later, because the problems just get messier as time passes.

Meanwhile, every day you don’t act is a day your revenue and customer growth suffers.

[dropcap]7. Out-of-date content[/dropcap]

We talked with a prospective client recently whose small wellness business had dozens of partially-completed “stub” web pages left over from someone’s attempt to improve their website’s lead generation.

Unfortunately, those pages were still live and hooked into the site navigation. That means site indexers are crawling them, organic search results will show them, and leads will wonder if you’re really the kind of wellness expert they want to work with.

[dropcap]8. A focus on societal issues, not client concerns[/dropcap]

Passion to create a healthier tomorrow motivates many of us in the fitness and wellness business.

For many, that naturally leads to conversations about the big problems we want to fix, like the “obesity epidemic” or the “opioid epidemic” or the practices of Big Pharma and Big Food. Guess what. Your leads don’t care about these things.

Even if you’re offering a substance abuse intervention program or a weight loss program or an alternative to expensive risky prescriptions drugs.

They care about their personal experiences and their personal goals, which at best are merely adjacent to these big societal issues.

They want to know how your program will help their specific situation and overcome their specific obstacles and fit their specific lifestyle.

Don’t believe us? Go read your own customer reviews. You will not once see a customer mention the “obesity epidemic” or say that they chose your mindfulness program because it’s high time someone disrupted Big Pharma.

Instead, you’ll see them explain what they were looking for, talk about their hopes and fears based on prior experiences, describe what held them back, and illuminate why they finally took action, bought what you were selling, and keep coming back.

Answer those questions, and your website will earn its keep.

Article written by Leslie Nolen at Radial Group for the What’s New in Fitness Magazine – Winter 2019 Edition.

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