The goal of most fitness websites is to convert visitors into paying customers. They’re designed to turn strangers into loyal clients. But if your site isn’t generating leads or sales, then how can you fix it?
In this article – we share a client case study that highlights fitness website best practice along with common pitfalls to avoid.
Understanding the Online Purchasing Process
There are typically 3 stages that people move through when buying something – awareness, consideration, and decision. An effective website should cater to people at all three stages and aim to move them on to the next.
1) Awareness → 2) Consideration → 3) Decision
Let’s explore these stages of the sales funnel in a little more detail…
#1 – Awareness
Most brand new visitors won’t be aware of the products or services your business offers, or think they need them.
To move visitors to the next stage of the buying cycle, we need to:
- Get their email address
- Get them to stay longer on the site (reduce bounce rate)
- Get them to really feel the pain of their problem
- Get them to want to make a change
Best practice for people in this initial stage includes…
- Making it clear what your business does from the outset – your homepage needs to do a great job of clearly and concisely communicating what your product or service is
- Communicating information well by breaking it down into scrolling section and bullet points
- Including professional photography that reflects the target audience
- Setting up an email capture process with a valuable lead magnet
- Highlighting calls to action at regular intervals so there’s always a clear next step for visitors to take
- Making it easy to go straight to purchase stage for those who are ready
- Ensuring the site is fully optimised for all device formats so it looks fantastic on mobiles, tablets, and desktops
Common pitfalls we see fitness businesses making during this stage include…
Pop-ups that appears within a few seconds of landing on the homepage can scare off some customers. It’s even worse when the ‘close X’ button is hidden by the menu header as this makes it hard to click off it and get back to the main content. Check your pop-up settings so they don’t put people off straight away.
Call To Action
People who land on your homepage for the first time are in the information gathering stage. They’re unlikely to be ready to buy immediately, they want to learn more about the program. So consider changing the main call to action from ‘Choose Program’ to ‘How It Works’ or ‘What You Get’.
Most of the calls to action push visitors straight towards the purchase, but most will need to be persuaded first. Consider how you’d like visitors to move through the site – what journey should they take from new visitor to customer?
Often most links direct visitors to purchase (e.g. choose program), but if customers aren’t ready to buy and you don’t give them an alternative option, this is when they’ll drop off.
Here’s how the web journey could look, to guide new visitors through the buying stages and turn them into customers…
- Home Page → What You Will Get / How It Works / Free Guide
- What You Will Get → How It Works / Sample / Free Guide
- How It Works → Programs / Sample / Free Guide
Top tip – Take a look at DailyBurn.com – these guys spend a lot of time testing all the elements on their site so we can learn from what they do. They offer two options: ‘learn more’ or ‘free trial’.
Highlighting the Problem
People buy to solve a problem or address a need. If they don’t feel either of these things then they’ll do nothing. So we need to remind them of their problem, and the consequences of doing nothing, in order to move them into the next stage of the buying cycle.
#2 – Consideration
At this stage, visitors begin to recognise a potential need for a product or service, and start to evaluate potential options.
To move visitors to next stage of buying cycle, we need to…
- Get them to want what you’re offering
- Establish value
- Provide proof
- Encourage urgency
Best practice for people in this stage includes…
- Focusing on your unique selling point, the fitness market is super-competitive so it’s crucial to highlight what sets you apart
- Including a strong money back guarantee – this helps overcome the objection of ‘what if it doesn’t work’
- Showcasing success stories that highlight how your product or service has successfully helped people
- Using plain English instead of complex, scientific language – ‘what you will get’ is the perfect title
- Offering sample content so visitors can see exactly what they’ll get before committing
- Minimising the number of clicks required to purchase, so you’re less likely to lose people along the way due to slow page loading times
Common pitfalls we see fitness websites making during this stage include…
Not Highlighting Your Unique Selling Point
What makes you different and better? Focus on benefits rather than features.
What You Will Get
Include a section that breaks down exactly what customers receive after purchasing. This could be a bullet pointed list e.g. PDF guide, daily emails, 10 workout videos, exclusive access to the community forum for support and motivation etc.
You may feel like you’ve explained it in bits and pieces around the website but it needs to be summarised all in one place. Include images of the recipes, workouts, PDFs etc to communicate it visually.
Adding a frequently asked questions (FAQ) section will help to address potential objections as well as providing additional info.
Visible Contact Info
Include clear contact info for questions and ensure it’s always visible – people are lazy and don’t want to go searching at the bottom of the page.
#3 – Decision
At this point visitors are looking to make a decision to invest in your program to solve their problem.
To move visitors to the final stage of the buying journey we need to…
- Overcome possible objections
- Demonstrate credibility
- Use scarcity with integrity
Practical ways that you can do this through your website include…
- Simple and secure check out process – checkout page looks authentic and visitors only need to complete three form fields
- FAQs are also important during this stage too, so make sure the FAQ section is easily accessible at point of pre-purchase – this helps address any objections
- Include logos from credible clients or famous websites that have reviewed your business
- Offer an additional freebie if they purchase within a set time-frame e.g. bonus resources for signing up today.
A couple of pitfalls we’ve seen at this stage include…
Pricing promotions are generally intended to encourage visitors to take immediate action. We want them to feel that they should buy now to avoid missing out on a discount.
So consider using short pricing promos rather than month-long campaigns. If I know I still have 22 days to take advantage I’ll tell myself to think about it and come back later. Create a sense of urgency and encourage immediate action by running promos for 3-5 days max.
Minimise checkout confusion
Are the instructions clear to a complete stranger? Consider asking friends or colleagues to test the purchase process to ensure it’s easy to understand.
For example, can I pay by credit card if I don’t have PayPal? Does clicking the button mean I’ll be charged immediately or is there a next stage? Small discrepancies like this can put doubt in some people’s minds and stop them from hitting the buy-now button.
Converting Visitors Into Fitness Clients
Your fitness website should be designed with sales in mind. If it’s not generating leads or revenue, then try conducting your own web audit. Use the best practice and pitfalls we’ve highlighted as a checklist.
Alternatively, ask a friend to test it. A fresh perspective can help you identify stages in the process that aren’t working smoothly. Either way, small tweaks can have huge benefits.
Fitness Business Templates
Take a look at our Fitness Business Bundle for ready-made sales templates. They take the time, hassle, and guesswork out of marketing and promotions…
Our ready-made templates make it quicker, cheaper, and easier to promote your fitness business. They can improve the effectiveness of your sales and marketing campaigns. If you aren’t an experienced marketer, then templates also provide a useful guide for you to follow.
Whether you run a gym club, fitness studio, or personal training business, these templates will save you time and effort. They’ll help you to plan and organize your promotional activities so that you generate more revenue. You’ll get 40+ templates covering sales, marketing, and business start-up resources.