As someone who looks at websites for coaches day in and day out, there are common website mistakes I see lots of business owners making. Now to give a little backstory every other week on my Instagram stories, I have been doing mini website audits on Instagram. People submit their website to me in my Instagram DM’s, and I take a screenshot of a page on the website and then point out two to three quick things you can fix.
I’ve only been doing this about a month, but people are really, really enjoying it I think because they realize sometimes the changes you need to make on your website are really small and it doesn’t require coding. It doesn’t require hiring somebody or overhauling your entire website. If you don’t follow me on Instagram, you can actually look at all the audits I have done. I saved them as a highlight on my profile. But today I took a look at all the audits I’ve done so far on Instagram and looked at the common website mistakes that I am pointing out over and over and over again.
The first thing that I’m noticing a lot is the spacing between borders or elements on your website.
If you are using like a colored background behind your text box, or maybe you have an image next to another element, like an icon, pay attention to the spacing around those elements – and even inside of those elements. In one audit, I pointed out that the icon spacing was not even, so this person had icons in a circle and then the icon wasn’t in the exact center of the circle, so it was really close on top. But there was a lot of space underneath the icon before the edge of the circle.
Other times that I’ve looked at websites for coaches, I’ve pointed out, hey, this text is really, really close to the edge. Just on the left and the right side, but then there’s a lot of space on the top and the bottom and I’ve also pointed out a few times when text is really close to the footer. It’s not that any of these examples need to have a ton of space between elements. You just want it to be even. Uneven spacing is a common website mistake because it’s such a small detail.
This is kind of a general statement, but I would say at the very least try to have the spacing that is equal to an excel spreadsheet, like the cells within an excel spreadsheet. So you would try to have like the height of that cell between all elements or like between the edge of your background, your box, your text box, whatever, and when your text starts. It’s kind of hard to explain when I can’t show you a visual, but basically if you take nothing else away from this point, just make sure space is evenly distributed between elements across your website.
The second thing I notice in websites for coaches is the number of fonts that people use.
I feel like this is something that I say all the time, whether it’s on my podcast, on Instagram, in my emails or on Youtube. But you should use one sans serif and one serif font together. Whether that’s on a website, on a business card, on a social media graphic. If you don’t want to use both sans serif and serif font, then you can just use one. For instance, I really only use one sans serif font, and then occasionally use a script font. So that means like stop using Montserrat and Open Sans together. Choose one.
The third mistake is how you’re using script fonts.
Now I know a lot ladies like to use script fonts because you think it gives your brand and more feminine feel. It’s a little bit more fun and that is totally fine. There are really two common website mistakes that I see with people using script fonts and these are easily fixable. First, stop putting so much spacing in between letters. Think about when you actually write cursive. I don’t really know if people writing cursive that much anymore, but just think about when we used to write in cursive.
When you are writing letters or signing checks or whatever, you connect those letters all together. The only time you actually space letters out is when you are first practicing cursive and you’re like tracing letters individually to just practice making those letters. So when you are putting spacing in between letters, like when you’re designing and Canva with those script fonts and you put spacing in between all the letters, think about how unnatural it would be to try and write a word in cursive with a lot of space in between each letter. It really just makes it harder for people to read the script font.
The other problem which also makes it hard to read is when people use a script font for an entire paragraph. Often because the spacing in between the lines of text is not right. The letters will overlap each other because you know the g will really swoop down or whatever. So there’s all these lines just going everywhere and it makes it hard to read.
I always tell my clients, if you’re wanting to use a script font, trying only use it on headlines when you’re only using it for like two to three, maybe four or five words max. Again, I’m not saying that using a script font at all is bad. It’s just how much it is used on websites for coaches.
The fourth mistake in my audits for websites for coaches is having a logo or name twice.
So pretty much everybody has their logo or just their name at the top of their website. It’s pretty standard. But another common website mistake is putting their name or logo again on top of their homepage banner. So there’s like a logo at the top and then two inches later there’s the logo again. Or if it’s not your actual logo, it’s your name typed out, which is usually the same information.
I’m really not sure why people do this. There’s no reason to have your name or logo two to three times on your homepage. I have to remind my clients a lot of time that people who come to your website, they’re not just like browsing the internet, stumbling across random websites like, oh, what is this? They are intentionally searching for a health coach or a personal trainer.
So you are just wasting space on your homepage when you have your name or logo, two to three times, you’re wasting that space where you could be putting important details, taglines or headlines to really grab the attention of your potential clients. And honestly, even if you are well known and you’re like, well people might be intentionally like not just searching for a coach. They might really be searching for me specifically. Okay, that’s fine. But again, like we’re adults, we can read your logo is at the top of the website. We don’t need to see a, again, two to three times lower on the page.
And then lastly, let’s get rid of rotating banner images on your homepage.
These were super popular a few years ago because it was like, oh, I can put this rotating banner slideshow and you know, put our biggest announcements here at the top so I don’t have to waste so much space on the page with all these different announcements and graphics and whatever, so I can just put them here. They’ll rotate and people can look at everything. I already have a different podcast episode about this, but this is really, really ineffective. So many people have what’s called banner blindness. Like research has shown that people pretty much ignore the rotating banners.
Now no one has the time or the interest to sit there and like click through or watch the different slides. So instead of piling up all those slides, choose one, figure out what your main goal is for your website and then use that one still image to drive people where you want them to go.
Again, these are the top five things that I have been pointing out over and over again when looking at websites for coaches during my Instagram mini website audits. If you want to join in with those audits, you can follow me on Instagram at @JessCreatives.