In the digital age, if you’re a life coach trying to grow a coaching business, a professional website that’s easy to use makes the work much easier.
But how do you know where your website needs help? What fixes on it will actually tick the needle toward helping you grow the practice you want?
That’s where a website audit comes in.
A website audit is like a full checkup for your website. It helps you figure out what needs to be changed or improved to bring the clients you want.
Knowing where to improve by finding and fixing problems like slow page load times, insecure content, and poor mobile friendliness can help you get more subscribers and clients from your site.
In this blog post, you’ll learn how to do a thorough website audit for your coaching business.
I’ll explain all the areas that I look at when auditing a website. By the end of this post, you’ll know exactly how to do an audit on your own site improve your coaching business’s online presence.
Want this blog post as a quick downloadable checklist to help you implement each item?
User experience and design is the process of making a website easier to use by improving its appearance, usability, accessibility, and interactions.
So how can you audit your website’s user experience to be sure it’s portraying your services well? Here are some points to keep in mind:
Professional Website Design
Does the site look professional, is it intuitive to use, and does it clearly explain what your business does?
Your website is often a potential client’s first impression of your business. It should look professional, be simple and intuitive to use, and clearly explain what you do.
Action Step: Work with a web designer to redesign your site so it professionally reflects your business, builds trust, and converts visitors into subscribers and clients.
Is the website mobile friendly according to Google’s mobile standards? You can use this test to tell.
On average, visitors now spend more than half of their time online on a mobile device. That means a mobile-friendly website is now a critical part of your online presence.
Relevant Headlines & Page Copy
Does the site use relevant, attention-grabbing headlines? Does its copy effectively explain what you do, who you do it for, and why visitors should do business with you?
Your headlines should be attention-grabbing, and your page copy should be clear and concise. It should effectively explain what you do, who you do it for, and why they should subscribe or schedule a call with you.
Action Step: Watch my Coach Website Blueprint training to help you create content that your ideal client will find interesting and connect with.
Professional Digital Branding
Does the website’s brand elements like logo, color scheme, images, fonts, and other visuals look professional?
Your website’s brand is made up of these things, and that branding should match the branding you use elsewhere, like on social media, in your emails, and on business cards.
Having a brand identity makes it easier for potential customers to connect with your business, both on your website and on other platforms you use.
Action Step: If you don’t have professional digital branding yet, hire a talented brand designer who can curate a branding strategy that fits with your voice and appeals to your audience.
User Friendly Navigation
Does the site have easy-to-use navigation that makes it simple for visitors to find their way around?
A simple navigation system will make it easy for your website visitors to figure out where they are, where they can go, and how to get back to where they started.
Action Step: Make your menu easy to use so that people can easily move around your website.
I suggest making a menu that works well on mobile devices and setting up both your main menu and your mobile menu so that there are no more than two levels below the top menu level.
Content Format & Copy
To stand out and be appealing, the content and copy on your website needs to be well written, formatted so it is easy to read, SEO-friendly, and focused on your ideal target audience.
So how can you be sure your content is formatted properly and the copy reads well? Here are some areas to pay attention to:
Compelling Messaging / Calls to Action
Does the site use compelling messaging and call to actions?
If you don’t have a clear call to action, potential clients will just click away without doing anything. A good call to action says exactly what you want your readers to do next. This gets more people to sign up on your list and leads to more consults.
Action Step: Give a strong call to action that makes it clear what people should do next. Give possible clients a good reason to act now whenever you can.
For example, “Set up a call” or “Get the guide now.”
Is the site content formatted consistently?
Consistent formatting is important because it makes your writing easier to read and understand. Inconsistent formatting looks sloppy and may even have some readers clicking away before they finish reading your webpage.
The key here is to pick one type of format for each element on your page and then stick with that formatting throughout your website. To make this easier, create and use templates so that your formatting is consistent.
For example, all primary headlines should be the same size, the same color, and use the same font.
Another example: use the same color for all text links so that visitors can find them quickly.
Is the site content easily readable?
If your content is hard to read, you can guess what happens: your visitors aren’t going to read it. In most cases, they’ll just click away. Make sure your web pages are easy to read.
Action Step: Here are some things you can do to make your writing easier to read:
- Choosing a font and font sizes that are easy to read.
- Creating high contrast (black text on a white background).
- Making sure your web pages are built correctly so that content displays cleanly.
- Using non-jargony language your audience understands.
- Creating content at a high school reading level (which is very accessible for most people).
Learn more about how to choose readable fonts here.
Conversion rate optimization, or CRO, is a systematic process for increasing the number of website visitors who do what you want them to do, such as fill out a form or click a button.
This is such a shame, and an unnecessary waste! Put effort into your CRO, and your efforts to drive traffic to your site will be amplified to bring you more subscribers and clients.
Primary Call To Action (CTA)
Does the site have good call-to-actions that tell visitors what to do next, like schedule a call, fill out a form to contact you, sign up for a free resource, and so on?
With a call-to-action, you ask site visitors to do something specific, like scheduling or signing up for a free resource. Every site needs at least one CTA that works and is easy to find.
Common calls to action include:
- Schedule a Call
- Subscribe Now
- Sign Up
- Book a Strategy Session
- Read / Learn More
Action Step: Place and use compelling text, offer free resources, and strategically place buttons to help people find what they’re looking for on your website.
Relevant Trust Factors
Does the site build trust and authority by using things like affiliations, certifications, and case studies? “Trust factors” like these help show that you are an expert who can be counted on.
Action Step: If you have certification badges, awards, or media features, display them! You’ll often see them placed in the website footer. Doing this will help build trust with website visitors.
Lead Capture/Opt-in Forms
Does the site use intuitive forms to help you capture email addresses from visitors?
An intuitive form will help you capture email addresses from visitors who aren’t ready to schedule a call with you yet.
It’s important to put your forms (or a button that takes visitors to the form) in an easy-to-find spot, usually before a visitor has to scroll much. Keep the number of fields to a minimum, and use field validations to make sure the information your visitors give you is correct.
Action Step: Use an email marketing tool to create an intuitive form on your website so you can build your email list and nurture subscribers. Read this article if you need help choosing an email marketing tool.
Thank You Page
When a user fills out a form on the site, does the site send them to a thank you or confirmation page?
If you don’t have a thank you page, you’re missing out on a chance to keep your visitors interested and encourage them to do something else, like book a call or follow you on social media.
Action Step: Add thank you pages wherever visitors fill out forms on your site. Here are some of the things you can do with a thank-you page:
- Get people excited about your emails (which increases open rates).
- Send people to other key content, such as a blog or video.
- Upsell or cross-sell a free consultation call they can schedule.
- Ask them to connect with you on social media or follow you.
- Make a survey available to get feedback.
- Ask for a referral.
Read this article to learn the 4 Strategies for a Powerful Thank You Page.
Secondary Call To Actions
Does the site have other calls to action for people who aren’t interested in the main one?
Secondary CTAs help you connect with visitors who aren’t interested in your primary CTA or who need more information before taking the action you want them to take.
Learn more about secondary calls to action in this resource at HubSpot.
Action Step: Use a secondary call to action (like “subscribe to my newsletter” or “listen to the podcast”) to get your visitors’ attention and make it more likely that they’ll take action before they leave your site.
Does the site use testimonials to build trust?
Testimonials help convince people to schedule a call or buy because they’re honest recommendations from people your visitors trust the most — other clients.
If your busy clients are willing to give testimonials but slow to deliver them, read this article for some ideas on how to make getting client testimonials easier.
Action Step: Start asking for testimonials from your clients. Keep in mind that the more information the testimonial displays about the testimonial-giver, the better. A photo, a full name, and (if you can get it) a video will go a long way toward building trust with website visitors.
Performance & Security
Adding security to your site builds trust. Pages that take too long to load are killer! Speed up your pages. By making your page load faster, you can improve your visitors’ experience and boost conversion rates.
Here are a few things you can do to make sure your website doesn’t drive away visitors due to slow load times or security problems:
Secure Website Connection (HTTPS)
Is the site running on HTTPS and does it have a valid SSL?
An SSL certificate is a type of security technology that keeps websites safe from attacks and gives visitors confidence that your site is real and trustworthy.
SSL is important because the information you send on a web page goes through many devices and networks before it gets to the server you want it to go to. If they are not SSL-encrypted, malicious scripts and hackers may be able to steal credit card numbers, usernames, and passwords, and other sensitive data.
Action Step: Have a web designer install and configure an SSL certificate on your website. Or, you can look through your web host’s documentation to learn how to install SSL yourself.
How quickly does your website load?
Every second counts when a visitor is waiting for pages to load. Slow page speeds lead to a poor user experience. Statistics show that your conversions drop for every second longer your visitor has to wait. I always aim for under a 3 second load time.
Action Step: Use website caching services, compress your scripts and use other speed optimization techniques to make your landing page load faster.
Browser Caching & Compression
Does the website use browser caching & compression?
These technologies make your website pages to load significantly faster. That’s important because, like I mentioned earlier, you’ve only got about three seconds to make an impression on your site before a visitor clicks away.
Action Step: Work with an experienced developer to enable caching on your site using plugins or use a hosting company like WP Engine that offers it by default (link is affiliate).
SEO / Online Visibility
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) gives your content marketing efforts an extra edge by bringing more subscribers and potential clients straight to your website from searches they make on search engines like Google.
93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. It’s the #1 driver of traffic to content sites, beating social media by more than 300%.
Accessible to Search Engines
Are search engines able to access your site—or “crawl” it? Is it being indexed?
For your site to show up in search results, search engines need to be able to access it and “crawl” it to see what information is on it. Once the site is crawled, Google will “index” the site – which gets it ready to appear in search results.
Action Step: Make sure that the settings on your website don’t prevent search engines from indexing it.
You can use Google’s Robot.txt Tester to see if your robots.txt file is stopping your site from being crawled.
Does your site have a WWW Resolve configured to either force “www.” before the domain name or remove it?
Search engines don’t see any difference between example.com and www.example.com. You could be penalized for having duplicate content if you don’t use a WWW Resolve.
Action Step: Work with your developer to implement WWW Resolve to run your site with or without a WWW, but don’t have it accessible both ways.
Google Analytics / Tag Manager Tracking
Does your site have Google Analytics installed?
Google Analytics can help you learn more about how people use your website and make changes to keep your visitors interested.
Blog / Resource Center
Does your site have a blog, podcast, or resource center?
A good blog, podcast, or other resource center can help you rank higher in search engines, get more people to visit your website, and ultimately help you get more subscribers and clients.
Action Step: Work with a web designer to set up a blog, podcast, or resource center for your business. Not sure what to write on your existing blog? This article might help.
Meta Title & Descriptions
Does the site use Meta Title & Description tags?
This search-engine facing text can influence a page’s position in search results. On the results page, it also gives context to searchers about your page’s topic and focus.
Action Step: Write compelling text to tell search engines and visitors what your site is about in the most concise and accurate way possible. Include Keywords.
When users share your page on social media sharing sites like Facebook, the site will show your meta titles & descriptions tags. Read more here about SEO basics for coaches.
Sufficient Page Content
Does the site have long enough page content about your business and its offers and services?
Search engines look for pages with unique, relevant content that best meets a user’s needs. Google’s search results show that longer content ranks higher, and thin content (like under 500 words) means the page may not be indexed at all!
Action Step: Learn more about how to create a compelling, powerful call to action in my Copywriting Crash Course guide. Click here to download it.
And if you’re wondering what’s better, quantity vs quality, in your blog writing…read this article.
Website accessibility is the process of making sure that websites are built and designed so that people with disabilities can see, understand, navigate, and use them.
This is a huge shortcoming, especially for businesses that pride themselves on the value of inclusivity. Here are some ways to be sure your website is inclusive to those with disabilities:
Captions / Transcripts for Audio & Video
Are there subtitles or transcripts for the audio and video on your site?
Multimedia like audio and video can increase conversions and keep people interested. But if they aren’t easy to get to, your visitors who can’t hear will miss out on important information. Some people would rather read than listen, which is another good reason to include captions or transcripts.
Action Step: Follow these steps to make sure your audio and video files can be played:
- Make sure your multimedia always has captions that can be read. If you don’t have captions, your audios and videos should have full text transcripts.
- Don’t use media that starts to play on its own. This can sometimes make the visitor confused. In other cases, the visitor may leave your site, like if they are in a quiet waiting room and your audio starts playing loudly.
- Make sure your audio and video files have all the controls needed (e.g., pause, stop and play).
You can learn more about web accessibility, plus see examples of how to make your multimedia accessible, here.
Does the site use color contrast between the text and the background so it’s easy to read? The most popular color combination is black text on a white background.
Low-contrast websites are hard for most people to read, but people who can’t see may not be able to read them at all. You can make your website as easy to use and read as possible by using colors and contrasts. See my favorite color contrast checking tool here.
Action Step: Follow these steps to make sure you’re using contrast and color in a way that makes your site more accessible:
- Make sure the text and background are very different from each other. Most of the time, black text on a white background works best.
- Don’t put anything on your site that requires your visitor to pick out colors. For example, don’t make a list of “dos” and “don’ts” where the only way to tell them apart is that “do” is in green font and “don’t” is in red font.
Navigation & Site Structure
Is the site’s navigation set up so that touch screens, keyboards, and screen readers can all use it?
Not everyone uses a mouse or touches their screen to move around on your site. Some people will only use their keyboard to move around. If your site isn’t accessible to people who do this, you’ll be preventing a group of people from fully using your site for no reason.
To see where those with disabilities may encounter problems, try navigating your site using the tab key (which jumps from link to link) and the enter key (which is the equivalent of clicking on a link). One of the key problems tends to be drop down (“fly out”) menus.
Secondly, space out your links so that they’re easy to select. People with fine-motor difficulties or even people who’re browsing your site on a phone will have an easier time clicking on a link if it’s not in close proximity to another link.
Action Step: Talk to your web developer about how to create menus with accessible navigation.
Make sure your website is in line with all national and international laws, rules, and regulations to keep your business safe. Here are some areas to keep an eye out for to better protect your business legally:
Website Copyright in Footer
Does your website have a copyright notice in the footer?
Most of the time, you own the copyright to your graphics and content when you make them. This means that putting a copyright notice isn’t a must. But a notice makes it clear who owns the copyright, and if there is ever a lawsuit over your copyrighted material, it could help you win damages.
Action Step: Make sure your website’s footer has a copyright notice (viewable on every page). Make sure that the correct year is written on the notice.
Tip: You can change your copyright notice by hand every year to show the right year, but it’s easy to forget to do this. So, it’s a good idea to ask your web designer or developer to add a piece of code to your copyright notice that automatically changes each year.
Is the WHOIS Privacy setting turned on to protect the website owner’s identity?
WHOIS is a list on the Internet that shows who owns a domain and how to contact them. If you don’t make your “whois” information private, anyone can look it up and find out your name and contact information. This leaves you open to getting calls and emails you didn’t ask for.
Action Step: Check your domain registration settings to be sure privacy protection is turned ON.
Now you know how important it is to do a website audit to improve the online presence of your coaching business.
By looking at the different categories, like user experience, content format, and copy, you can find places where your website could be better and make changes to get more conversions and consultations.
Want this blog post as a quick downloadable checklist to help you implement each item?