All right, let’s dive into doula website strategy. The whole point of website strategy is to convert site visitors into customers, right? That’s what website strategy is all about.
For doulas, that means that you are wanting people to book you for your doula services, or you want people to fill out your contact form to contact you to start that process.
Or maybe it’s not!
Maybe you have an online childbirth education course that you’re selling and you’re not doing one-on-one services.
Whatever it is, the overarching goal or thing that you want people to do is your site strategy. It is possible to have one to three site goals, but having more than that can confuse your site visitor and then you lose them.
Here is something I’ll be saying frequently:
If you confuse, you lose.
Let’s talk about what your doula website needs are first, and that will help us figure out what your site goal should be.
Do you have a blog? Do you have a podcast? Do you sell physical or digital products in a shop? Some of these things (like the blog in the podcast) might be ways to get people to your website but you need to point them towards something that makes you money.
That’s the whole point of this right? Hopefully if you’re listening to this you’re not focused on doing everything for free, and you actually want to make a living out of this so you can help more people.
If you have a blog, and that is your main source of income with advertising, that would be one of your site goals. If you want to have people listen to your podcast, that’s another site goal. Podcasts are a great way to build trust and have people contact you without any additional work on your end.
Let’s do an example.
Let’s say Sally from Wisconsin is primarily providing one-on-one postpartum doula services and she also has a postpartum digital workbook that she sells as well.
Her website goals would be –
- Booking new one-on-one clients
- Selling her digital product (the workbook)
Every decision that she makes with her website design – from the words on her website to her photography – everything should point back to those two goals. That’s why it’s really important to nail these goals down at the very start (so you have a good idea of where you’re headed).
Most of you listening are probably going to have the one website goal – booking one-on-one services. And that’s okay! The simpler the better, in my opinion. That’s why the site goals should be maxed at most 3 total.
A really important concept in business is that you don’t own anything except for your email list. What I mean by that is you don’t own Instagram. You don’t own Facebook. You don’t own whatever website builder that you’re choosing to use to build your website (I recommend Showit by the way).
Literally, the only thing that you can own is your email list.
I would suggest looking into building your email list as one of your site goals. I’ll be diving into that in a later episode if you need more help with that.
Now let’s get into how a website visitor experiences your website. This can also be called client journey, site map, and roadmap. All of these basically mean how your website is organized. Is your website easy to navigate and understand from an outsider’s perspective?
Something that I like to do as an exercise when I’m starting a website design project is to list out the natural way of viewing your website. What I mean by that is what kind of information does your ideal client want to know from you in order to book you? And specifically, in what order do they want to know the information?
Let’s do another example! I love examples.
Let’s say Jennifer from Washington is a second time mother, and she wants a different experience this time around with her birth and postpartum. She has done her research, and she has heard about doulas and wants to learn about the doulas in her area. She’s probably doing preliminary research, and will eventually contact a few of them to interview. She searches on Google “doulas in XYZ, Washington.”
She sees your google listing, and clicks on your website.
[first of all, YESSS!!]
The first thing that she sees is something that I call:
the above the fold header.
This header is what everyone lands on in the home page.
It’s extremely important to immediately tell your site visitor that they are in the right place. The kind of information like where you serve, who you serve, and how you serve them will really help solidify that they are in the right place. And if they happened to click on your link and you don’t serve their location, this immediately lets them know. That’s what the above the fold header is for!
Home will be step 1 on Jennifer’s journey through your site 👇
So now that she knows that she’s in the right place, What’s the next thing that she’s going to want to learn from your site?
She’ll probably want to learn more about you or your services. Let’s pick services. That’s spot number 2 on the site journey (aka site roadmap) 👇
Home > Services
After she looks at your services, she’s going to want to know a little bit more about you and your background and why she should go with you. So your about page would naturally be in spot number three on the site road map 👇
Home > Services > About
After that, she’s probably either be ready to book, or she wants to see some actual proof that you’re legit. This is called social proof and it includes reviews from real people. The best way to get that is to link to a review platform like Yelp or Google or have a review page. The reviews page is going into spot number four on the site road map 👇
Home > Services > About > Reviews
Now she’s ready to book. How is she going to do that? By contacting you and filling out your contact form, right? This is to see if you’re available and to schedule a discovery call or meeting (AKA the first date in your doula relationship). The final spot in your website roadmap is your contact page (which hosts your contact form) 👇
Home > Services > About > Reviews > Contact
Actually Using This Strategy In Your Website
As you can see, it’s pretty important to think about how someone experiences your website, but let’s discuss the strategy you can use in your website to improve that experience.
Here’s how this works: your homepage is going to point to your services page. This means that on a prominent position on your homepage you will have a call to action section with a button linking to your services page.
Wait, what’s a Call to Action?
A call to action is a tactic used in marketing and advertising. It’s a piece of content intended to induce a viewer to perform a specific act, typically taking the form of an instruction or directive. That’s a Google definition, so it’s a little wordy. But basically it’s a button that says something like “buy now” or “click here.”
They’ve now landed on your home page and they’ve seen your call to action to go to the services page, so they click on it – Yay!
Home > Services
While browsing your services page, they see a call to action to the about page. That could be a little summary of yourself at the bottom of your services page with a button that says “learn more” or “about me.”
Home > Services > About
And again, on your about page they’d see a call to action for the reviews page – ig. “see what it’s like to work with me”.
Home > Services > About > Review
And lastly, on your review page, you invite your potential client to a free meeting to see if you’d be a good fit. This call to action could look like “find out if we’d be a good fit” with a button that says “book a free call.” This links to your contact form, they fill it out, you meet and sign them as a client.
Home > Services > About > Review > Contact!
– – –
This kind of site strategy guides your website visitor & provides an easy path for them to use.
Of course, people can deviate from that path, but it’s a good idea to have this road map in place for people who want to be led. It makes less decisions for them, which means it’s easier for them to navigate your site.
What you just learned is the bulk or hardest part of basic website strategy.
Now let’s get into the super nitty-gritty details of how to actually use it in your site.
The Navigation Menus
I’m talking about your navigational top menu and your footer. Did you know that those are actually really important to whether or not your site is converting visitors into clients?
If you already have a website, hop on it real quick and count the number of navigation items in your top menu. I’m talking about home, about, reviews, services, contact, and anything else you have in your navigational menu.
I hate to break it to you, but if you have more than 5, you are confusing people and losing them. This top navigation menu is the most important thing on your website that clearly communicates the organization of your website and where you want your website visitor to go.
If your navigation menu has 10 items on it, your web site visitor now has 10 options to choose from. And if your web site visitor is a mother already, she’s probably exhausted and tired from decision fatigue anyways.
Make it as easy as possible for them to navigate your website by only having five options in your top menu.
Another tip I have for your navigation menu is get rid of your home option on the navigation menu.
It’s standard practice to have the logo in your navigation menu, usually in your top left or middle area, and linked to your home page already. So if you have a home navigation menu item, it’s doing double duty and is a waste of valuable space.
Like I said before,
confuse them and you lose them.
It’s really important to make it as simple as possible to navigate your website. Most of the time when I do my mini site audits over on my Instagram the number one tip I have for almost every website I review is to simplify the navigational menu.
*I do these mini site audits for free on a regular basis for those on my close friends list – head on over to my Instagram here to check it out.
Nesting Menu Items
A lot of the items on your navigation menu (if you have more than five) are something you can nest under a main navigation menu item, or something that you can link directly on a page. It doesn’t deserve or need its own menu spot.
An example of this is if you have a menu item for each of your services: placenta encapsulation, belly binding, postpartum services, and birth services. That’s 4 menu items right there, and it leaves no room for your about page, maybe a reviews page, and your contact page. It might look something like this:
Your contact page is one of the most important pages on your website, and I would suggest making it a little extra special in your site menu by making it into a button. This is really easy to do and is standard on a lot of website builders.
Instead of having all of those services on the main menu, just “nest” them or put them under “Work With Me” menu item or a “Services” menu item.
So your website menu would look something like this:
And if they click on services, a mini menu comes up under it with your extra service links, like this:
– – –
The nice thing when you’re working on your navigation menu is that you’ve kind of already done all the hard work. If you figured out your goals for your website, that’s basically your navigation menu. That’s why you should have only one to three, because it gives you room for your about and contact page.
I’d also like you to know that this is a very basic website strategy. If you have a little bit more complicated website, different site menu options are available to you and can still be strategic.
The five navigation menu items rule of thumb does have exceptions.
This would be for agencies or a doula who is selling a course, digital products, one-on-one consultations, and placenta encapsulations. At that point I would consult with a website designer (me!) to make sure that your navigation menu isn’t confusing people and losing them.
Last but not least – let’s talk about your footer.
First of all, a footer is the very bottom section in your website. It can be as big or as small as you like (or need). Most people include all of their menu links (like their site roadmap links), some social links, and maybe list the cities they serve.
I think the footer can be used as a powerful navigation tool. When people get to the bottom of the page they see the footer on every single page of your website.
Besides the navigation menu, the footer the second most repeated section of your website.
So instead of willy-nilly-ing it, I would actually think about how you can make your footer strategic. Thank goodness you have me to walk you through it!
In my opinion, the footer should be used for links that are not used as much or for other information that needs some kind of home in your navigation, but it doesn’t warrant being in the top five of your main navigation menu.
Links that wouldn’t be used as much could be a client portal, a resources library, or a list of local resources.
Other information that needs a home in a prominent spot could possibly be listing your service areas. Listing out individual cities that you serve in your footer is a good way to show up on Google for those areas.
You know I love me a good example, especially a visual one, so here you go!
You can still repeat your main site goal menu items in your footer as well, but make sure your footer isn’t becoming too cluttered with too many links. Again, if you confuse you lose them.
I also think having a back to top button somewhere is especially helpful if you have really long website pages.
It’s important to have a strategic website, otherwise your website isn’t doing you any favors.
If you confuse people, you lose them.
Assume people are stupid. I know that sounds mean, but making your website so easy to understand is really important.
Last but not least, just know that any roadblocks people have to navigating your website or understanding your website, can be red flags.
– Here’s what I mean by red flags –
In the doula world, your business is all about trust. Your services are yourself and your talents. Therefore if people don’t trust you they are not going to hire you for an intimate moment in their life like birth or postpartum.
Here are some red flags that can actually turn people off and prevent them from trusting you:
- Confusing people with too many menu options to choose from. This implies a scattered brain and doesn’t give a good impression that you have your act together
- Making navigating your website really confusing. If your information is not organized in a sensible manner, people will not follow it and will not understand it.
- Having too much information. Confuse & you lose. Only keep the necessary info to get people to book you on your website.
Hopefully this blog post will help you figure out your website strategy and how to work it into your website!
If you want to dive in deeper on the subject