Digital marketing tips to boost the profile of your health & wellness business: part one
Yesterday, I explained the importance of digital marketing to building your health & wellness brand, and got you started with looking at your target audience and how they behave online. If you missed it, make sure you catch up with that post first.
Today, we are looking at the first (and most important) of the four core areas that you need in place to boost your wellbeing business’ online presence: your website.
Why do you need a website?
I don’t care how good you are at social media, if you don’t have a great website, your brand is going to struggle to gain traction online. It is the centre of your digital marketing, your online store front. Even if you are a one-person band running a therapy or coaching business from the shed in your garden, a well-designed website gives your brand authority and drives new clients to you, rather than you having to go to find them.
In fact, if you don’t have a website at all yet I want you to make getting started on one the very next thing you do after reading this post.
Designing your site
If you can afford to hire a professional designer, do. Like most things in life, someone who specialises in this area will be able to do a far better job than you on your own.
You don’t have to go fully bespoke, unless you need complicated customisations. There are website design companies that have pre-built themes you can customise with your brand identity, which saves money. HealthHosts is one that specialises in WordPress sites for complementary therapy and coaching businesses, Well + Fresh are another who focus particularly on wellness brands.
But if you don’t have the budget for professional help, don’t despair. Especially for therapists, coaches, yoga teachers, personal trainers, counsellors etc your website needs are likely not to be too complicated, and you may well be able to build your own without too much issue. Sites like Wix, Squarespace, and WordPress offer easy to use templates and customisable themes, as well as hosting services.
I personally went for WordPress for my website – it is one of the most popular website platforms in the world, which means it has a huge community ready with advice, tips, and tricks (and it is easy to find a designer who specialises in it if you decide to go professional later).
WordPress sites come with a built-in blog as standard (more on this later) and some basic tools to get started with SEO and analytics. If you opt for the business plan, there are endless plugins you can use to grow your site’s functionality, but even the cheaper freelance option will be enough to meet the basic needs of most service-based wellness businesses. For those who are selling products, professional WordPress sites are compatible with the vast majority of eCommerce platforms.
Having said that, I’m obviously biased because I chose WordPress myself, so do some research before you choose a platform and compare prices to make sure what you choose is within budget. You’ll need to factor in hosting costs as well as domain registration, any design work you need, plugins, and site security.
Building a great website is worth several posts in its own right, so I’m just going to run through the basics here. Even if you have a site already, skim through to make sure you are doing these, or it might be time for a refresh:
1. Build with user experience in mind
Your site needs to be laid out logically so that clients can easily find what they need. As much as possible, plan their journey around the site for them. Keep the navigation simple and logical – try not to drive people more than two levels deep to find what they are looking for. Keep everything as readable as possible and check that your site works for mobile and tablet users too.
Remember that your website visitors don’t already know the ins and outs of your wellness brand or coaching services. What might seem obvious to you won’t be to them, so put yourself in your customer’s shoes or, better yet, get one or more of your actual customers involved in the design process.
Especially if you are a health business that aims to meet the needs of people with particular disabilities, designing with accessibility in mind is key. Make sure text is large enough to read, include alt. descriptions for any images so that they can be picked up by screen readers, and make sure you use a high level of contrast between text and background so it is easy to scan the copy.
Where you have links, make sure they are easy for someone to click if they are on a mobile or have difficulty coordinating small movements. Put them behind a button or a phrase rather than a single word.
2. Your homepage is vital
Most of the time, your homepage is where visitors land when they first reach your site, so it needs to grab their attention, hold it, and then direct them to the area of your site where they can find what they need.
If you sell multiple products, your homepage should showcase your product categories and your bestsellers, with easy links to your full shop. Your products are usually more important than your brand’s story in this case, so keep the main menu at the top for your shop pages and use the menu in the site’s footer for things like your delivery policies and your about page.
If you sell services, your homepage will be more of a top hits of the rest of the site – start with a hero piece that summarises your brand, follow on with blocks that link to your service page, your about page, your blog, and your contact page (I’m a freelance writer so the vibe is slightly different, but my homepage might give you some ideas for the basic layout).
If you sell just one product or type of product, you may want to take the second approach – you have a bit more space then to build the confidence of site visitors in your product.
3. Include calls to action
Every page should let your website visitor know what to do next. Do you want them to book a consultation, register for an event, buy a product, find out more? Never leave them hanging.
Use the design of your website to highlight your call to action and concentrate on one per page (except for on your homepage). Map out your client’s likely journey around your site and build your call to actions accordingly.
4. Keep the design clean
Multiple colours, different fonts, too many calls to action – all of these distract your reader from what you want them to do. Keep your site clean and simple. Use two, or at the very most three, main colours throughout. No more than two fonts. Use images for impact, but keep things uncluttered. Avoid whizzy effects.
You aren’t trying to impress your clients with your graphic design skills (unless you are a graphic designer, in which case I need to check how I’m marketing my services…). What you are trying to do is move them from initial contact to convinced new customer. Eliminate anything that distracts them from the goal, which is to learn more about your products or services, and then purchase them.
Your design catches your reader’s attention, but it is your content that keeps it. To turn your website visitors into clients you need engaging, readable copy that speaks to their needs. This is particularly true of health and wellness brands – the level of trust needed to get clients to take the next step is often high, so they need to have a good sense of who you are and what you do.
To write copy that speaks to your clients, go back again to that research I told you to do in the introduction, into your target audience. Who are they? Keep a picture of them in your mind and write your copy to them.
It needs to sound human, so keep the tone conversational. People interact with people, not brands, and that is becoming increasingly clear in marketing trends. As a wellness brand, you especially need to build a strong relationship with your customers. You also need to build their belief in your skills, so a certain level of authority is appropriate too.
Identify potential pain points and address them. Are your services a bit unusual? Use scientific studies and client testimonials to provide social proof. Are your products more expensive than your competitors? Explain what your products do better, or differently, or how they are fairer for people or the planet.
6. Testimonials, reviews, and feedback
Again, this comes back to the trust issue – people want to know that you, or your products, can do what you say they can. Sprinkle testimonials liberally throughout your site, don’t keep them all on one page (although a testimonials page is often a good idea too).
Using my own site as an example again – I have a testimonial on all the main pages except my contact page (and blog posts, where the post itself should be demonstrating my expertise). That means wherever you are on my main site, you are seeing confirmation from past clients that I am good at what I do. The reason there isn’t one on my contact page is I want no distractions on that page – I just want people to get in touch.
7. A blog
Why have a blog? Well, it does two main things: first, done right, a blog improves your site’s SEO by providing regularly updated, specific content to help your site show up in search results. To do this you need to write with SEO tactics in mind (more on this tomorrow).
Second, your blog builds your relationship with your client, showcases your expertise, and provides genuinely helpful information and advice. It gives a space for your website visitors to comment, making it a two-way conversation. And it lures people into joining your mailing list (more of that on Friday.)
Every health and wellbeing brand should have a blog (did you know that I can help with that? Just saying…)
8. Test, test, test
Before you take your website live, test everything. Then get your friends, family, neighbours, and trusted clients to test too. Test it on mobile and tablet too.
Make sure everything is working before you launch. There is nothing worse than having a potential customer arrive on your site and then abandon it because they can’t get where they want to go.
This has been a whistle-stop tour into the basics of creating a great website for your health & wellness brand. I’m going to dive more into what makes a good site for a wellbeing-focused business in the future, but for now I’ll leave you a reminder to pop back here tomorrow, because part two of this four-part series will be looking at the mysterious world of SEO and how you can use it to boost the online profile of your wellbeing business.
In the meantime, if this post has gotten you inspired to work on your website copy, or get serious about starting a blog for your wellness copy, check out my service page to find out how I can help.
(This is an example of using a blog post as a call to action by the way. Hope you noticed 😊. But seriously, go check out my service page – I’d love to work with you)