8 Proven Steps for Creating a Website That Powers Your Business

8 Proven Steps for Creating a Website That Powers Your Business

Just a few years ago, creating a website was a slow, long, and costly process. Even the most basic websites could take weeks to go live.

Thankfully, things have improved.

Today, you can build a beautiful, modern, and feature-rich website for your business in a fraction of the time. The cost is even lower now as compared to the past.

What hasn’t changed though, is the importance of carefully planning every aspect of your website before you start developing it.

In this post, I’m going to share the exact steps in creating a website. Ideally, this guide should make sure that your website comes out exactly as you want.

1. Have a Clear Objective for Creating Your Website

What do you want to achieve with your site?

Do you only want a corporate website that serves as a customer touchpoint?

Or are you looking to create a site where you can actively engage with your prospects? Or are you simply creating one to publish new content, grow your subscriber base, and sell your products and services?

The answer to this question will determine the features and the resources required to create your site. But more importantly, it will determine your site’s role in the broader context of your marketing and branding strategy.

Therefore, write down all the expectations you have from your website and the things you want to achieve with it.

2. Understand the Needs of Your Audience

You’re creating a website so that your existing and potential customers can use it to connect and engage with you.

But do you even know what they want from your site?

Understanding the problems and the needs of your target audience is crucial in creating a successful website. For this, you need to conduct market research and find out what your target audience wants from you.

For example, if they’re looking to purchase products online, you’d have to create a website with eCommerce features.

If they want to see video tutorials and read new content about your products and services,  then create a blog!

In short, you cannot create an effective website unless you completely understand what your target audience wants from it.

3. Choose the Right Platform to Build Your Site

Websites can be created using different platforms, languages, and technologies. You can either go for a custom developed site or use a Content Management System (CMS).

WordPress is the world’s most popular CMS. It powers more than 27% of the web and commands a whopping 76.4% CMS market share.

There are other CMS software like Joomla, Blogger, Drupal, Squarespace, Wix and many others. All of them have their pros and cons which is why you need to carefully select the platform that fits your business needs.

4. Create a High Level Website Structure

Before the development phase, you need to create a high-level structure of your website. Determine the number of pages on your site, how they’ll interlink with each other, and the hierarchy they’ll follow. Study the role they’ll play in the overall user experience of your site.

Most corporate websites use the following pages.

– About the Company
– The Team
– Products/Services
– Shop (in eCommerce sites)
– Company Blog
– Contact Page

However, there’s no standard formula for the number of pages on a site. It all depends on the objectives of your brand.

5. Develop Your Site’s Brand Assets

Your website’s design should clearly reflect all the core elements of your brand.

This includes a recognizable logo, a memorable punchline that summarizes your core offer, your brand’s color theme. Your branding voice and visual elements should also run consistently across all pages.

Don’t underestimate this part because it has a huge impact on how your site is perceived by your audience. To give you an idea, here’s a demonstration of the emotions that different colors evoke in your audience. It only shows how the world’s leading brands have used them.

It’s best to hire a professional designer to help you find the ideal colors that truly represent your brand.

It’s a time-consuming exercise but has a long-term impact on your business.

6. Write Compelling Copy for Your Key Pages

The quality of your site’s written content largely determines whether people stay and explore your services or bounce back immediately.

Research shows that Home and About is the most frequently visited pages of most websites. Therefore pay special attention to the words you choose to describe your company and your services on these pages.

To create compelling copy, always think from your customer’s perspective. Answer their biggest questions and clearly tell them what they should do to solve their problems. You can do so by using a clear Call to Action.

HubSpot’s homepage is a really good example to follow.

Hubspot's homepage has a clear call to action and resonates well with its target market.
Source: Hubspot

The moment you land on this page, it immediately tells you what it can do for you (the main heading). In addition, it also states what it requires from you (the call to action button).

This leaves no room for confusion and results in a high conversion rate.

7. Chalk Out a Content Marketing Plan for your Site

Content marketing is a strategy used to attract clients and leads. Most brands do so by publishing useful, actionable, and high-value content that answers the questions of your audience.

This helps you build a rapport with your prospects as a result. Moreover, they eventually trust your advice and prefer buying from you.

Research shows that sites with good content marketing generate 97% more inbound links and 434% more indexed pages than a static website.

You need to consider your site’s content marketing plan during the development stage because it requires several fundamental changes. For example, if you want to actively pursue content marketing, you’d need to have a blog on your site.

Similarly, you’d have to include other engagement tools such as social sharing widgets and, moderate the comments on your site.

All of this requires prior planning.

8. Test Device Compatibility and Optimize Performance

According to a recent study, more than 50% of the global internet traffic now originates from mobile devices.

This is why your website needs to be compatible with smartphones, tablets, mobile phones, and desktop devices.

You can use Google Mobile-Friendly Test to see if your site is compatible across different screen dimensions.

Similarly, you need to optimize your site’s performance. Find ways to make it load quickly and do not make users wait for the elements to load. For this, you can use the Google Page Speed tool to see where your site stands.

Are You Ready To Launch Your Website?

I have summarized the key steps involved in creating a website. There’s a lot of technical detail in each of these points that I’ve intentionally skipped. As a business owner, you should not get caught in the technicalities of your website, leave that to the experts. Your job is to ensure that your site’s direction is aligned with your core business objectives. Make sure that this has everything that your customers expect from it.

Need advice on how to make your site more user-friendly? Get in touch now.

Social Media Marketing for Your Fitness Business

Social Media Marketing for Your Fitness Business

This Week’s Topic:  How to use Social Media to Market your Fitness Business

There is so much to learn about using social media for marketing and one blog post will not cover it all…but we will try to give you the basics so you can get started marketing your fitness business right away.

  •  Do your research

    If you have been following this series you have already narrowed your target market and now you can put that knowledge to use.  Go online and read content that is currently attracting your audience.  See where they are engaged.  See what they are posting themselves.  Join in the conversations to find out what matters to them.  This will allow you to create content that they will value.

  • Be picky Social Media Marketing for Your Fitness Business

    There are so many social media outlets available today and there will be even more in the future.  Choose one or two different platforms and focus your efforts there.  This is another opportunity to do research.  What social media platforms are your ideal clients using?  If they are active on snapchat, then don’t spend a lot of energy on twitter.  Don’t worry about not reaching everyone…remember that it’s about the quality of interactions, not the quantity.

    Each social media platforms and each has it’s own strengths, here are a few of the main players:

    • Instagram is a very visual platform.  If you have the photo skills (see some tips below) and are running a business that is based on aesthetics, this is the platform for you!  As an example if you run a recipe blog or you work with figure competitors, posting photos of your recipes and clients would be a great way to bring attention to your business.  Your eye catching photos are guaranteed to get lots of likes.
    • Be aware that many followers do not read a lot on Instagram, this platform is less likely to start conversations.
    • With the newer Instagram Stories, you are able to share your day or a conversation easily.  This feature is similar to Snapchat and attracts the same younger crowd.
    • Instagram doesn’t allow active links except for in your bio, so followers have to do some work to get to your website or blog post.
    • Facebook is the single largest social media platform out there and it now attracts clients from older age brackets.  If you are looking to attract clients in their 40s and above, this is the platform to focus on.
    • Facebook is more conversational.  Because of the format, followers are more likely to see what you have written instead of just your photo like on Instagram.  Also, if a follower comments on your post, their friends will see this activity bringing a lot of potential attention to your page.
    • If you are looking to attract Millenials, Snapchat is the tool for you.  As many younger individuals are moving away from the social media platforms that their parents are using such as Facebook.
    • Snapchat allows you to really tell your story and shows the personality of your business (Instagram is now doing this as well)
    • Be aware that each snap only stays live for 24 hours so if a potential client sees your information but doesn’t act, they won’t be able to access it again.
  • Be responsive

    Be sure to stay active on your social media accounts.  We know that it can be annoying to keep all of your notifications on, but you don’t want to miss an opportunity to connect with your followers.  If someone sends you a message or comments on your post you want to respond quickly…this will start online conversations that will allow clients to connect with you.

  • Take good pictures.

    This one seems pretty obvious, but if you scroll through any social media platform, you will see plenty of businesses that post poor quality images.  You don’t need a fancy camera or any expensive tools, your smart phone will do the job.  Here are a few tips on taking a good photo for social media:

    • Use the rule of thirds – imagine your photo with vertical lines dividing it into thirds.  You want the focus of your image to be mainly in the left or right third.
    • Use natural lighting if possible – outdoors is great, but in your gym you may want to be near a window (not with the window directly behind the subject).
    • Check the background – Do a quick scan of the background of your photo in advance.  Make sure there is no excess clutter or extra people that will ruin your shot.
    • Try multiple angles – try taking multiple photos from different angles to see which one looks best for your post.  You may like one better than the rest, but you may also have a few great shots to turn into a collage.
    • Use a photo editing app to add filters, wording, frames and more.  A few of our favorites are Aviary, Pixlr and Canva.  For just adding text we like InstaQuote and WordSwag (which also allows you to add your logo to each photo).
  • Don’t always sell

    The goal of your social media accounts is to create relationships with your followers.  You will not do this if you are constantly selling.  Be sure to create content that simply gives your clients something of value.  For example most of your posts should be motivational quotes, encouragement, exercise tips, workouts, etc.  If you fill your social media accounts with sales, you will lose followers fast.  A good rule to follow is that for every sales post you should share 3-4 non-sales posts.

  • Share

    If you want others to share your posts, you need to do the same.  Find other resources that are not direct competitors, but that may also be valuable to your clients.  For example, if you are personal trainer, find a few local health food stores or restaurants and share their recipes, sales and tips on your page.  Your clients will love the information and the other businesses are more likely to share your posts.

  • Pay Attention

    Pay attention to which posts are working and which ones are not.  What images are getting the most “likes” and which ones are sparking conversations?  You want to mimic those.  So many different factors can be at play: What time was it posted?  Are there certain colors that are getting attention?  What font did you use?  Did you use specific hashtags?  It may feel like it would be impossible to figure out what is attracting customers, but if you really focus, patterns will show up and you will start to see what is working best.

There is so much more to cover regarding social media for marketing, but this is a good place to start.

Have you successfully used any of the tips above?  We’d love to hear about your experience…just leave us a comment below!

7 Reasons You Need a Website For Your Fitness Business

7 Reasons You Need a Website For Your Fitness Business

With the rise of social media, many fitness professionals are questioning the need for a website.  Social media is great, and when used well it can be an incredible tool for your business.  There are currently 2.5 billion social media users and it is a great way to connect with current and potential clients.  We believe that using social media is one of the best ways to market yourself and your business.  But there are things that a website can provide that you shouldn’t overlook.

Here are 8 Reasons You Need A Website For Your Fitness Business:7 Reasons You Need a Website For Your Fitness Business

  1. People still use Google to Search for Services.
    You don’t want your business to miss out on the opportunity to reach those customers because you don’t have a website.  And you don’t want potential business to go to your competitors because you couldn’t be found online.  (In order to rank well, you will need good SEO, proper tagging and to provide dynamic content. We will talk more about this in future articles).
  2. Those same people are doing their research.  In fact, 70% of consumers are looking online for LOCAL businesses.  So even if you are only looking to reach clients in your area, a website is a must-have tool.
  3. Having a website creates Instant Credibility.  We know that you are great at what you do, but potential customers don’t (yet).  A well-designed website with good content will give you a professional presence online – before you have a chance to make a personal impression.
  4. A website is a great place to Show Off Your Work.  Putting up photos of your clients, awards, competitions, etc will let potential clients know what you can do.  Posting these accomplishments on social media is great, but having them on your website where they can be seen constantly is a good marketing strategy.
  5. Blogging.  What better way to create great content about a topic that you are an expert in than by blogging about it?  You can then share your content on social media platforms.7 Reasons You Need a Website For Your Fitness Business
  6. A website is a great way to Gather Customer Information.  By creating a simple form you can gather names and email addresses of your customers you can send out updates and offers for your products and services.  A great way to do this is to give away a free resource which will also add to your credibility.
  7. Create a Multi-Faceted Marketing Strategy.  You shouldn’t rely on just one platform to promote your business.  Social Media, Your Website, Business Cards and Print Material are all part of a well-rounded strategy that will help you reach more clients.

Do you think that a website is a necessity?  Or do you think that a fitness business can thrive with just social media?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…

Keep Pursuing Your Greatness!

PS.  If you are convinced that you need a website, but don’t know where to start, contact us and we will be happy to give you a free consultation to either create a brand new website or work to improve your current one.

PPS.  If you are in need of hosting, domains or email accounts, we use and recommend www.atariahost.com

Improve Your Website’s Performance with these 7 Tips

Improve Your Website’s Performance with these 7 Tips

As a health and wellness professional, you are your own brand.  You hustle to keep your business busy and to keep your client base growing.  As a business, your website needs to represent you well. Ask yourself: “If I was looking for a fitness professional, would this website grab my attention, give me a positive opinion of the professional, provide me with something of value?”  If you can’t answer yes to those questions, it’s time to make some changes. Improve Your Website's Performance with these 7 Tips

Here are our top 7 ways to clean up your website:

  • Make sure it is mobile friendly.  More and more visitors are viewing your site on their phones.  If you haven’t checked out how it looks on both an iPhone and an android device – check it out now and see if anything needs to be reformatted.
  • Ensure that your contact information is up-to-date and clearly displayed.  If a site visitor needs to search in order to contact you – they won’t. It is best to offer a phone number and an electronic means to contact you as well…list your email, text or a contact form for potential clients to contact you in a way that is comfortable for them.
  • Simplify.  Today’s site visitors want clean and simple designs.  You can simplify by: combining navigation items that don’t need their own links, removing excess or repetitive wording, getting rid of cluttered background images and leaving plenty of white space.
  • Add a testimonial page.  Nothing speaks to potential clients like the success of current clients.  Ask your clients for a short and simple testimonial and a few photos. This is one area where old photos are allowed!  Sharing before and after pics is a powerful way to show a visitor how you can help them.
    Improve Your Website's Performance with these 7 Tips
  • Write a blog.  You have a ton of knowledge about health and wellness.  Potential clients are looking for information. Do you see how this can work out?  If your website offers something of value, visitors will come back. Plus every time you write a new blog post, you can share it via social media or an email list which sends visitors to your website which increases your ranking in organic searches (it’s much more complex than this, but trust us, a blog will help your ranking).
  • Upgrade your website photos.  If you are using snapshots, cropped photos, old pictures or something that just doesn’t represent you as the amazing professional that you are, then you need to invest in a good photographer. This is one way to change the entire look of your website.
  • Make sure your site is search engine optimized.  Search engines (like Google) look for certain characteristics when displaying the results of a client’s search.  Improve your SEO ranking by: having the text on your site include to the keywords that you want to rank for (blogs are great for this too), making sure your site has a fast loading speed, including interactions with more established websites.

Making a few simple changes will make a huge difference to visitors experience on your website.  Wow your site visitors with impressive photos, clean design and helpful information in order to turn them into clients.

If all of this sounds great, but you don’t know where to start, we can help.
Learn more about our website services!

10 Fitness Blog Post Topics to Engage Your Readers

10 Fitness Blog Post Topics to Engage Your Readers

As a fitness professional, you have a lot of knowledge and experience to share with the world. Blogging is the perfect way to do this. And by writing a fitness blog, you are also actively promoting your fitness brand. To help you get started we have made a list of ten fitness blog post topics. Time to write! 10 Fitness Blog Post Topics to Engage Your Readers

1. Supplements, do you need them or not?

Lots of people are interested in supplements but have no clue where to start. There is so much information on this topic available online that it can be overwhelming. Give your advice and be very clear about it. It will definitely be appreciated by your readers.

2. What do you do when you lack motivation for working out?

This is one of those typical issues everybody who goes to a gym struggles with now and then. You can make an entire series of blog posts on this topic and give small bits of advice in each post. Try to be original though, because there are a lot of answers to these questions available and you want yours to stand out.

3. Share a personal story

The goal of your blog is to engage your readers and telling personal stories is a great method to connect. Tell your readers about your ideas on fitness, share your approach to training, or write down the story about your first steps in the industry.

4. Go in-depth on functional training

It can never harm to follow the hype now and then. Functional training has existed for years, but somehow it has become quite a buzz these days. No problem, you can give your two cents on this topic as well.

5. Workout tips for when you are traveling

Blogs with pieces of advice are popular. You can choose all sorts of situations which diverge from ‘normal’ life and give it a spin. Why not “fitness for new parents” or “workout ideas for after your break-up” or “working out when you are traveling?” Your goal is to trigger people and let them know that you are there for them with your knowledge.

6. Your most embarrassing gym moments10 Fitness Blog Post Topics to Engage Your Readers

This blog doesn’t even have to be about yourself. You can even gather some of these moments among your followers. Everybody loves to read about other people making a fool out of themselves. Especially since most of us feel quite vulnerable in the gym. These kinds of blogs are meant for laughing, but it’s important you always conclude on a motivational tone.

7. Bad food and why it tastes so good

Nutrition should be a part of your blogs as well. Give your best advice, or even invite a guest blogger to write a well-researched article with concise and easy to implement nutritional advice.

8. The exercise that’s a challenge for you.

People tend to view fitness professionals as if they have it all together. But it is actually refreshing to show that you are also a human who struggles to perform some exercises.

9. Easy workouts for in the house

As we mentioned before; advice blogs work really well. Especially when they tackle a very practical and everyday challenge most people face in their lives. Like finding a place and a time to do a workout.

10. Muscle building mistakes most people make

Combining a popular topic (‘muscle building’) with ‘mistakes’ or ‘problems’ will immediately draw the attention of your readers. Make sure the information you provide is accurate and easy to understand!

With these 10 ideas, it shouldn’t be difficult for you to get started on your fitness blog. Good luck!

The Benefits of Content Marketing with a Fitness Blog

The Benefits of Content Marketing with a Fitness Blog

Content Writing Marketing For a Fitness

Digital marketing; attracting new customers and leads to your website, is a very important discipline in today’s competitive market. Writing a blog for your business is a way of executing content marketing, which is one of many digital marketing methods. Many entrepreneurs resolve to Adwords campaigns. These Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing methods can be very effective but are also very costly. Whereas great content is a one-time investment of which you can reap the benefits for many years!

In this post, we’ll discuss the benefits of writing a fitness blog as part of your content marketing strategy.The Benefits of Content Marketing with a Fitness Blog

The core of content marketing: online visibility

When people search for information on the internet they use search engines like Google. Optimizing your content and web pages in a way that search engines will rank the page high is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). By writing fitness blogs, you post content on your webpage that is relevant to your niche. Therefore, you increase the possibility to have your pages ranked higher in the search result pages (SERP) when people search for fitness related words. This increases your online visibility.

Content creates lead generation

Another great advantage of content marketing, such as blog writing, is that it’s an effective lead magnet. When visitors read your blog, it means they are interested in the topic. If you include an attractive call-to-action to your blog page, you create a way to engage these readers and let them connect with you. Let them subscribe to your newsletter for instance. Or provide a free e-book with great fitness tips for beginners.  You can then use the contact details to reach out to your leads with targeted information and promotions.

The Benefits of Content Marketing with a Fitness BlogEngage your leads and customers with blogs

Offering value helps you to build relationships with potential and current customers. Creating killer content in the form of blogs plays an important role in this process. By posting frequently interesting and relevant content you show the world that you have something meaningful to say and that you know what you are talking about! You claim to be a fitness expert? Practice what you preach, by sharing your knowledge and advice in great blog posts!

The ultimate goal: conversion

It will take some time before content marketing will show measurable results, so you have to be patient. However, by implementing the right content strategy, you will see results in your conversion rates over time. This might not happen in the first weeks of posting blogs, but in the longer term blog posts will lead to more and relevant traffic to your website. And the more organic traffic you get, the higher the chance of conversion. After all, people who reach your blog via an organic search query have found something they were actively looking for.

The benefits of a fitness blog

Writing blogs is mainly interesting because the investment is way more durable than more traditional marketing efforts like ads or PPC campaigns. Next to that, content stays online forever (or at least as long as you pay your hosting fees) and will keep its value as long as it is attractive, findable and relevant.

So sit down, write a killer blog about your fitness knowledge and start sharing it with the world. You might get some great new clients out of it!

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