In our book, "Selling for Coaches", author and coaching consultant Dan Tudor talks about the importance of having your program’s website be the best it can be. That doesn’t mean more pictures and moving graphics than the competition’s website. Sometimes, that can actually hurt you when it comes to getting a recruit interested in you through your Internet site.
Dan Tudor explains more in this excerpt from his book:
"Three out of four prospects that come to look for you are going to go to your website to find out more about your program, and how to contact you. With your teenage prospects embracing e-mail and text messaging in the electronic age, it’s not surprising that those same prospects spend hours and hours a week online.
"Here’s one thing I’ve noticed about a lot of college program websites (not yours, of course…everyone else’s): They are hard to navigate, not that graphically appealing, and make potential recruits hunt for a way to get in touch with your program. One college website I visited recently made me click 13 times through different pages and links before I found an area where a potential recruit could fill out a recruiting form. Not good, coach.
"You’re competing for your prospects attention online. Are you winning that competition? Is it easy for prospects to find you? Once they do find you, will they like what they see? Does your program’s online image fit the image of your program? Serious question, coach. Because your prospects are looking at your site and your competition’s sites, and gaining their first impression of you and what you offer.
"Here are a few quick keys to offering a good website for your prospects:
The graphics and pictures need to be first rate and interesting.
A typical web viewer sees a webpage beginning in the upper left hand corner, scans right, then back to the middle, then right again. Layout is important and means something to your viewer. You pay a lot of attention to your written marketing materials and brochures…you need to do the same with your website (more kids look at
Don’t make prospects hunt for a way to send you information or fill out your recruiting form. Savvy teen web users aren’t very patient when it comes to poorly designed websites.
Make things simple for your website visitors. Simple, clean, interesting graphics coupled with easy to navigate pages and forms.
So, coach: How does your website stack-up to what a good website should be? Like we say in the book, its probably more important than what comes through the mail in terms of getting an athlete interested in your program. Take a good, honest, open-minded look at your program’s website. If changes need to take place, make it happen.