If your personal training business has competitors, then credibility could be one of your most important marketing assets. In this post we talk about how to make your website and business more credible so you can get more clients.
In 2002, The Stanford Persuasive Tech Lab conducted a three year study including 4,500 people to discover what makes a website credible.
Heading up the study was Dr. BJ Fogg. He wanted to know what makes people trust a website so he and his team set to work on compiling all of the data from their study to create the 10 guidelines for building the credibility of a website. I’ll list each one and sum it up so you can take action and improve your own personal trainer website.
1. Information Accuracy
The first website credibility guideline is especially important for the pages that people spend the most time on. Your blog pages.
One of the best ways to boost your own credibility and the credibility of the blogs you write is to link to third party references. Especially when it comes to topics based on hard data and evidence.
Not only does it show you’ve done your homework and you understand the topic you’re writing about, but it makes you more credible by association.
Just the mention of a three year study which included 4,500 participants has your ears pricked and suggests I've done my research, right?
2. Company Authenticity
There are loads of internet pirates out there and your website visitors know it. They’re always on the lookout for clues that your company might not be a legitimate one so they can scamper back to the Google search result.
Make sure to list your company address, registered company number (if you have one), photos of you your clients and your training space.
Even if you only train clients online, a real company should have a real address. If you’d prefer not to list your address, use your accountant's address or the address of the gym you train your clients at.
3. Highlight Expertise
This ones obvious. Even though the fitness industry is pretty fickle when it comes to qualifications, having a credible qualification can demonstrate some level of expertise. Especially if it’s by a well known course provider.
Expertise also comes down displaying what you know and interpreting that in a way that your audience understands.
That means writing blog, referencing studies and networking with your peers.
4. Honesty and Trust
Going back to the second guideline, website visitors will not only want to see that you’re a real organisation but they’ll want to see the face behind that organisation.
This is a big one and something I make sure all of my Managed Website clients get done. Get a picture of your face on the About page with a big smile.
People buy people and this is even more-so when it comes to selling personal training.
I see a lot of trainers add a huge questionnaire to their website for new potential clients to fill out before they can have a consultation.
It’s a way to “qualify” those leads.
Really?! You’re SO busy that you can’t reply to a simple form entry? Please.
New visitors to your website should not have to jump through hoops to find out more about your service. It’s just not their next logical step. Not unless you're a super high value celebrity trainer anyway. In which case, you'll have a team.
I can guarantee that in EVERY single consultation you’ve had the client thought their case was a special one, right?
Everyone thinks their case is special. So the next step on your website is not for the client to fill in a large questionnaire or give you money. It’s to contact you. And it should be easy!
6. Website Design
I listed Website Design as one of the top trust factors outlined by Neilson Norman in one of my posts in the My PT Website Facebook Group.
In a study conducted by the NNGroup, good design was listed as one of the main trust factors of a website. Good design equals credibility.
So if you have a sub standard DIY website then you might not be doing your company any favours.
I always say that no website is better than a crappy website. But I’m a website designer and I’m probably a little bias so don’t listen to me.
7. Ease of Use
Design convention is your best friend. While it’s tempting to try and be different and special in some way, don’t. Save that for the consultation.
When someone visits your website they’re looking for certain things to be in certain places. Most importantly, your services, pricing, location and how to get in touch.
Make sure they’re easy to find. use simple navigational headers like Home, About, Services, Contact and Blog and display all of the information they’d expect to see clearly using easily identifiable headlines.
8. Updated Content
People assign more credibility to websites that have newer, updated content. A business who’s latest blog post was 1996 does not look like a credible, happening business.
Be sure to update your blog regularly with new content. If you’re struggling for content ideas you can become a Learning Centre member and use our Blog Topic Ideas Generator and Blog Post Templates.
9. Promotional Content
Wouldn’t it be cool to make a few dollars from your website by including a few ads in your content or perhaps selling a few eBooks.
Unfortunately, the reality of making sales on a personal trainer website is pretty bleak.
People aren’t there to buy your eBooks. They’re there to enquire about personal training. And if they are there to enquire about personal training and they spot a cheap ass eBook that they think might solve their problem, you didn’t just make a $15 eBook sale, you lost a $300/month personal training client!
10. Website Errors
Spelling mistakes, grammar fails and broken links are a pretty big no no. While you probably won’t lose a sale because of a misspelled word or two, spelling mistakes can really damage your credibility.
There are just way too many free apps out there that can not only check your spelling and grammar but can also make alternative and more professional suggestions for your content.
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