As a health coach, there are few things more important to your business than your website. It’s essential for everything from acquiring and keeping clients to generating leads and improving marketing. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through all the necessary steps to creating a successful health coaching website. So let’s get going!…
Step 1: Register a Domain Name
The whole process starts with your domain name, which is the address you type into your browser to go to a website. For example, the domain name for Health Coach Institute is healthcoachinstitute.com.
We recommended sticking to the following guidelines when brainstorming and selecting a domain name for your website:
- Choose a memorable name that doesn’t exceed 63 characters
- Don’t use hyphens between words because it doesn’t look professional
- Don’t unintentionally end up with a vulgar name like these examples 😉
- Beware of similar-sounding words starting with “T,” “B,” “D,” and “P”
- Choose a “.com” top-level domain if possible (the letters following the dot in an internet address) because it looks more professional than other extensions such as “.org,” “.net,” etc.
LeanDomainSearch is a good site for finding compelling, available names. It’s a name generator that adds a prefix and suffix to names you enter. For example, a search for “health coach” results in 4,440 available “.com” domain names in a dizzying 0.408 seconds.
Once you’ve chosen a name, you’ll need to register it through a registrar, which is a service that sells and registers domain names to you. For many years, our go-to registrar has been Namecheap because they’re affordable, reliable, and easy to use.
For more information, check out our detailed guide on how to pick a great domain name for your health coaching business.
Step 2: Sign up with a Web Hosting Company
A web hosting company allows you to post websites on the internet. Websites are hosted or stored on computers called servers, where you rent space. Without hosting, your health coaching website won’t be live on the web.
There are three main types of web hosting plans:
- Shared – Shared hosting is a setup where many sites share the same server. It’s one of the most popular hosting options for newbies or people with a small budget.
- Virtual Private Server – Next, is a virtual private server (VPS). With this plan, customers have greater freedom to add or delete files and install or uninstall programs. A VPS is more expensive than a shared server.
- Dedicated Hosting – Dedicated hosting enables you to rent an entire server for your own site and do anything you want with it. Dedicated hosting costs significantly more than shared or VPS hosting.
If you’re just starting as a health coach, we recommend opting for a Shared hosting plan, at least until your budget allows for more. As far as Starter plans go, we’ve always fared well with SiteGround. Websites still load blindingly fast even on their Shared plan and they’re always on call to help you 24/7.
SiteGround offers a budget-friendly StartUp plan for $3.95 per month or $47.40 per year, which includes:
- 1 Website
- 10 GB web space
- 10,000 monthly visits
- Free site builder
Step 3: Install WordPress on Your Website
WordPress is the world’s most popular website creation tool, powering an astounding 75 million websites, including Mercedes Benz, Variety, and the Rolling Stones website.
If you can get around Facebook or Microsoft Word, you can pretty much get around WordPress in no time at all. You don’t need coding or design skills to create a polished-looking health coaching website. For these reasons and more, WordPress is the best platform for website creation and maintenance, bar none.
Now, there are two versions of WordPress to be aware of:
With WordPress.com, WordPress owns your website, which means you give up a lot of control. It has other drawbacks as well:
- You can’t upload custom WordPress themes
- You can’t use WordPress plugins and apps
- WordPress runs ads on WordPress.com sites
- You can’t run your own ads
In contrast, with WordPress.org, you own the site and completely control it, one of many reasons why we prefer it to WordPress.com. It has other benefits as well:
- You can upload custom WordPress themes
- You can use WordPress plugins and apps
- You can create and modify designs
- You can run your own ads
Now, you may have also heard about other website-creation tools such as Wix and Squarespace. Sure, setting up a website with these services is easy, but they aren’t free, nor do they allow you to own your own website, which is essential as a business owner. That’s why WordPress.org is still our top choice.
Setting up WordPress on your site is a simple process. Once you sign up for web hosting with a company like SiteGround, you’ll be able to set up WordPress in a few seconds with one click via its WordPress auto-installer option.
Note: As easy as the setup process is, you may run into snags every so often down the road while working on your WordPress site. For these rare occasions, a service like WP Fix It can quickly diagnose and fix the problem, enabling you to get back on track right away.
Step 4: Select and Customize a WordPress Theme
After you’ve installed WordPress on your site, it’s time to choose a WordPress theme, which is a collection of files that dictate the operation and appearance of a site, from fonts to SEO optimization. A good theme should have the following attributes:
- Attractive – No matter how well-written and researched your health coaching content is, appearance hooks visitors. You want to strive for a clean design incorporating legible fonts, pleasing colors, and professional images.
- Mobile Responsive – Ninety-six percent of Americans own a cell phone, so themes need to be mobile-friendly, meaning your website looks good on any sized screen.
- Browser-Friendly – Themes also have to be adaptable to multiple browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
- SEO-Friendly – A site optimized for SEO draws more traffic and gets a higher Google ranking. A beautiful website is still useless without SEO-optimization.
- Fast Loading Time – Visitors expect websites to load fast. In fact, 47 percent of consumers expect a page to load in two seconds or less. While this may be unrealistic, the faster your site is, the better.
- Customizable – Most quality themes allow you to easily customize colors, fonts, backgrounds, text, and more with a few clicks.
There are literally thousands of WordPress themes to choose from, both free and paid. But while “free” may sound tempting, paid themes are the better choice because they’re usually better coded, updated more frequently, and come with free tech support, something which free themes don’t always offer.
Our current favorite premium theme for health coaches is Health Coach by StylemixThemes. It has all the attributes that make up a good theme, plus it’s affordable.
For more information, check out our guide to other great health coach WordPress themes.
Step 5: Install Essential WordPress Plugins
WordPress plugins are bits of code that “plug into” your site and add extra features. While there are more than 50,000 WordPress plugins available, it’s important to install no more than 20. Any more than that will add too much bloat to your site, which can cause it to slow down and even crash it. So, with that said, here are some must-have plugins for your health coaching site:
- Anti-Spam – Anti-Spam is a plugin that enlists invisible CAPTCHA to block spambots in your comments section. The Pro Version protects you from manually submitted spam.
- Bookly Pro – Bookly Pro is an automated scheduling plugin with a fully customizable booking form, reminders, calendar sync, and online payments. (Read our overview of Bookly Pro here.)
- Contact Form 7 – Contact Form 7 handles multiple contact forms, inserts forms into pages, and allows you to easily customize form fields. It guards your forms against spammers with protection modules.
- Imagify – Imagify is a plugin that compresses, optimizes, and resizes images, which can help speed up your site. It optimizes up to 50 images with a single click and reduces file size without compromising appearance.
- Live Chat – Live Chat is an easy way to quickly correspond with visitors on your website. Users can effortlessly start a chat with a single touch on their browser.
- Social Warfare – Social Warfare is a social sharing plugin that adds slick and super-fast social sharing buttons to your site. It expedites load time and uses custom images to optimize your SEO.
- Thrive Architect – Thrive Architect is an easy-to-use visual editor and page builder that allows you to build beautiful and engaging website pages. It offers myriad templates and content elements for optimal customization. (We used it to build both our Start Here and Recommendations pages).
- Thrive Leads – Thrive Leads is an all-in-one lead generation and conversion plugin. It helps you build a wide variety of opt-in forms, including lightbox, screen filler overlay, scroll mat, and sticky ribbon.
- UpdraftPlus – UpdraftPlus is a plugin that allows you to easily backup your WordPress site manually or automatically. It simplifies the backup process by sending files directly to Dropbox, Google Drive, and more. UpdraftPlus also restores files.
- Wordfence Security – Wordfence Security is a malware and firewall scanner that diverts harmful traffic. It checks themes and plugins for SEO spam and malicious redirects and analyzes your content for suspicious information and hazardous URLs.
- WP-Optimize – WP-Optimize automatically cleans your WordPress database to maximize its performance. It handles defragmentation, image compression, and automatic weekly cleanups. WP-Optimize also has a multilingual translator.
- W3 Total Cache – W3 Total Cache is a performance optimization plugin that helps improve the speed and SEO of your site. Among its many features, it comes with several caching options that help run your site more effectively.
- Yoast SEO – Yoast SEO bursts with optimization features, including built-in meta-keywords, context analysis, and rich snippets for optimal SEO. Also, Yoast has one of the most advanced XML sitemaps of all SEO plugins, which allows search engines to crawl your site more efficiently.
Please note that all these plugins need to be configured to your specifications.
Step 6: Connect Your Site to Google Analytics and Google Search Console
Google Analytics and Google Search Console are marketing tools that provide data about your internet presence. Google Analytics compiles information about how website users interact with your site, while Google Search Console reports on how search engines interact with your site. We strongly recommend adding your site to both properties and here’s why:
Google Analytics is a free tool that analyzes your website’s traffic, total website visits, average time on your site, and bouncebacks. It also identifies your website’s audience and demographic, so you can effectively tailor your marketing to those specs.
Google Analytics not only shows keywords that draw traffic to your website but also what visitors search for once they’ve entered your site. Google Analytics collects three types of data:
- Acquisition data – How traffic arrives at your site
- Behavior data – Users’ behavior when they’re on your site
- Conversion data – How users convert on your site
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a handy tool that monitors how your site performs in Google’s search index and can be used to bolster your SEO and organic traffic. Google Search Console provides information about:
- Click-through rate
- Top keywords
- SEO performance
- Mobile user-friendliness
For these reasons and more, it’s super important to connect your health coaching site to these properties after you’ve set up your site.
Step 7: Get a Professional Logo Designed
If you’ve ever seen a silver “L” and associated it with Lexus or connected a yellow seashell with Shell Gasoline, then you know what a logo is: a psychological tool crafted to direct people’s responses. Some elements that trigger various reactions include the following:
- White – Innocence; simplicity
- Black – Serious; classic
- Red – Passion; energy
- Green – Growth; prosperity
- Yellow – Joy; warmth
- Orange – Optimism; motivation
- Purple – Mystery; sophistication
- Blue – Calm; trustworthy
- Circle – Eternity; harmony
- Square and Rectangles – Strength; stability
- Triangle – Direction; balance
- Sans Serif
An icon is a symbol that can be free of text and still communicate your message. An icon needs to be simple, meaningful, and good-looking.
It’s important to have a distinctive logo for your health coaching business because it uniquely represents your brand.
For maximum effectiveness, your should have your logo created by a professional graphic artist. We rely on 48 Hours Logo for expert design and superior service (we used them to design the logo for Everything Health Coach!)
48 Hours Logo pairs you with experienced graphic artists who can reliably give you a 48-hour turnaround.
The process works like this: You set up a contest in which designers compete for your project by submitting logo ideas. You pay for the contest prizes, and the bigger the prize, the better the work.
For more information, check out our detailed guide on how to create a great logo for your health coaching site.
Step 8: Set Up Your Foundational Website Pages
Foundational pages are a series of pages that serve as the hub of your website. Think of them as the pages that others revolve around. Here are the most important ones to set up:
When someone lands on your homepage, it’s like a first date. They may be pleasantly surprised and stick around or hightail it outta there. Since visitors typically form a first impression in 0.05 seconds, the homepage for your health coaching site has to be good. Here’s what it should include:
- Engaging Logo
- Site menu
- Hero shot that clearly conveys your message
- Description of who you are and what you do
- Clear call-to-action
One of the most important components of a site is the About page, which serves to provide information about you, your business, your qualifications, and what you can offer prospective clients. It should address the following:
- Who am I?
- What do I do?
- How can I help a prospective client?
- Why should a prospective client choose me?
Along with the About page, the Services page is the best place to establish trustworthiness on your site. Here you should focus less on what you do and more on how you can help a prospective client.
Some things you can include on your Services page are:
- A list of services
- Information about each service
- Links to supporting information
- Real testimonials
A good Contact page makes it easy for visitors to get in touch with you and generate leads and sales. The contact form should be simple and straightforward and not put visitors through unnecessary hoops.
Beside the Contact page, make it easy for visitors to contact you in other ways as well. While some people don’t mind filling out a form, others prefer live chat or reaching someone over the phone.
For more information, check out our detailed website design guide showing you how to create the foundational pages for your health coaching site.
Step 9: Start a Mailing List
Despite the prevalence of social media, email still reigns as a powerful way to build a loyal audience. Not only that, email marketing has an ROI of $44 for each dollar spent.
Email enables you to speak directly to customers and has a personal quality that forges credibility with your visitors.
Email is also great because you can communicate with your leads in real-time. It’s quite versatile too since it allows you to use text, images, video, and attach any type of file.
Now, when it comes to acquiring subscribers, people have to be willing to disclose their personal information first. To make that happen, you have to provide them with an incentive to subscribe to your list by offering perks such as an ebook, Webinar, or mini-course.
The way visitors subscribe to your email list is via an opt-in form, which you can include throughout your site as a pop-up window, ribbon, scroll mat, and in several other formats (this is the main function of Thrive Leads, the WordPress plugin mentioned in Step 5).
Once you’ve created an incentive and built your opt-in forms, you need to have a way for subscribers to sign up to your list where you can send them their free gift and maintain regular contact. This is where an autoresponder comes in…
An auto-responder is a sequence of identical marketing emails that automatically get sent at specific intervals. For example, you could set up an autoresponder that:
- Welcomes a new subscriber and provides them with their free gift
- Sends a follow-up email one week later
- Sends another email one week after that
This way, you can save yourself a lot of time and trouble instead of writing and sending emails one by one.
Now, there are many autoresponders to choose from, but our favorite is GetResponse for the following reasons:
- It includes a huge selection of pre-designed email templates
- It comes with a user-friendly landing page creator
- It gives you the ability to run Webinars directly within the program (a great way to acquire new clients!)
- It provides you with an easy data analysis tool for marketing campaigns
- It’s more cost-effective than competitors like AWeber ($15 per month for up to 1,000 subscribers vs. $19 per month for up to 500 subscribers)
GetResponse has evolved into an excellent, complete email marketing solution, which is why we continue to use it. (Read our overview of GetResponse.)
Step 10: Start Publishing Content (and LOTS of it!)
What’s a website without content, right? Thing is, publishing content isn’t as simple as writing a series of articles about health and wellness and expecting visitors to magically appear. Content creation is actually a multi-step process, starting with keyword research…
The best way to drive traffic to your site is with SEO (search engine optimization). SEO maximizes your web pages’ capacity to get a high search engine ranking.
An important part of SEO optimization is using low-competition keywords in your articles. Low-competition keywords have a good monthly search volume and are less competitive compared to other keywords.
These low-competition keywords draw Google traffic a lot faster than regular keywords. For example, it would take a long time to rank a phrase like “dog houses.” But “small plastic heated dog houses,” is less competitive and easier to rank.
Once you’ve selected good keywords for your health coaching site, you’re ready to start publishing. Remember, the best keywords only work if you publish quality articles and lots of them. Poorly written articles, in contrast, won’t rank as highly, if at all.
The easiest way to find these low-competition keywords is with the help of special tools. Here are three of our favorites:
Answer the Public
Answer the Public is a free tool that uniquely allows you to choose keywords based on Google queries. It answers many types of questions such as “what,” “can,” “how,” and “why.” For example, entering the word “apples” generates 199 questions, including, “Can apples cause IBS?” and “What apples are the healthiest?”
Ubersuggest is another great, free keyword research tool for gaining insights into your competition. It generates keywords based on terms your competition successfully uses and also provides key metrics such as SEO difficulty.
KWFinder is a paid tool, but it’s worth every penny for its ability to generate an endless number of great long-tail keywords. KWFinder homes in on:
- Yearly results
- Monthly results
- Average CPC (cost-per-click or PPC, pay per click) in Google Adwords
- Difficulty scores
Many keyword research tools offer heaps of data that no one but an SEO expert could ever want, let alone understand. KWFinder is great because it provides you with only the data you need, plus it’s simple enough for any newbie to grasp.
KWFinder’s Basic plan costs $29.90 per month, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you’d have to stay on the plan. What we often do is pay for one month, do all our keyword research during that time, and then cancel afterward. This way, we find enough great keywords to keep us busy writing blog posts for months on end!
Again, remember that before writing anything, it’s important to find good keywords first. This will enable you to craft articles that serve as strategic marketing tools.
Done-for-You Content (PLR)
Not everyone likes to write or perhaps your business’s priorities are elsewhere. If that’s the case, done-for-you content, also called Private Label Rights (PLR), may be a viable solution.
PLR is content you buy and revise in any way you want. These anonymously written articles spare you from time-consuming research and writing. With PLR content, you can maintain a steady stream of articles, which is important to keep your blog fresh and search engines happy.
That said, there’s an enormous quality gap between professionally written articles and PLR articles. PLR articles are resold to anyone and pop up verbatim on many other sites. So, if you choose to go this route, we recommend repurposing PLR articles by:
- Adding a new intro and end
- Changing the order of the paragraphs
- Adding anecdotes
After you revise the text, you can purpose the articles in different ways such as blog posts, email newsletters, e-courses, and PDF reports.
Now, there are three ways of buying PLR content:
- Buying a membership plan from a PLR website
- Buying individual PLR packs
- Buying PLR packs sold in forums
PLR.me is our favorite PLR content provider. They sell many health-related articles that can apply to virtually any health coaching niche. PLR.me boasts an insane 13,112 high-quality PLR downloads of individual and bundled articles. You’ll never have a month downloading sub-par content.
Now, normally PLR.me’s free account gives you 2 free credits per month, which you can use to download an article, quiz, checklist, and more. But PLR.me graciously offered us a secret promo code that gives our readers 10 BONUS credits, totally free (on top of the 2 free credits per month!)
Sound good? Here’s how to take advantage of this opportunity:
STEP 1: Go to this exclusive page.
STEP 2: Enter this private promo code to unlock your 10 free credits: EHEALTH10
STEP 3: Download your free PLR content and brand them as your own!
(Note: only 100 spots open!)
Need more information first? Check out our detailed review of PLR.me, if you’d like.
For more information, check out our detailed guide on how to create great content for your health coaching site.
Stock photos are ready-to-use generic images that are cheaper and less time-consuming than hiring a professional photographer.
Images that look artificial and staged, such as businesspeople laughing hysterically (groan), have given stock photography a bad name. But by digging around a little, you can find plenty of natural-looking stock photos, which can be a huge asset to your health coaching blog.
So, why include stock photos on your site at all? For one thing, they attract 94 percent more total views. Moreover, images help break up slabs of text and improve SEO.
Now, there are two main types of stock photos to be aware of:
- Rights-Managed – Rights-managed images have a one-time charge. With this type of license, you’re only permitted to use the image once and must renew your license with each additional use.
- Royalty-Free – Royalty-free images are often mistaken as free of charge when in fact they require you to purchase a license. But unlike rights-managed images, you can use a royalty-free photo as many times as you’d like.
You don’t have to be a professional photographer to load your site with professional-looking shots. So long as you choose the right stock photo company, you’ll have plenty of great images to choose from. Here are our favorites:
DepositPhotos offers an enormous library of 100 million stellar royalty-free photos, vectors, and videos. We love DepositPhotos because they provide high-quality stock images with crystal-clear resolution at an affordable price, something hard to find in the world of stock photos (ahem, Shutterstock). Here’s the pricing breakdown:
- Monthly Subscription Plan – $69 for 75 images; $99 for 150 images; $199 for 750 images
- Flexible Plan – $29 per month for 30 images
- On-Demand – $49.25 for 10 images; $99 for 25 images; $299 for 100 images
Pixabay and Pexels
Pixabay and Pexels offer great stock photos for free. By the same token, bloggers worldwide use these sites for this very reason. So by using these photos, your blog is more likely to look a bit cookie-cutter.
An image editor is computer software that modifies or improves an image. For example, if you get your photo taken and happen to spot a blemish, an image editor can quickly erase it. Here are some of the best image editors we’ve used:
Canva is especially good for creating social media images and banners. Its drag and drop design creation tool makes image creation and editing super intuitive and user-friendly. It’s filled with a huge variety of formats and layouts, tools, and quality photos. Most likely, Canva’s free plan is more than enough to meet your needs. (Read our overview of Canva.)
Back in the day, if you wanted to crop, resize or reshape an image, Adobe Photoshop was pretty much the only game in town. These days, however, there are many cloud-based image editors available that can perform the same tasks as Photoshop, but without the steep learning curve or high cost.
Our favorite of the bunch is PicMonkey, which we use in all sorts of ways to spruce up images. For $7.99 per month, PicMonkey’s basic pricing plan gives you access to every feature, plus 1 GB of cloud storage. (Read our overview of PicMonkey.)
For more information, check out our detailed guide on how to use social media for health coaches.
So there you have it, ten essential steps to building a website that’s professional, effective, and truly reflective of your business. Put these steps into practice and you’ll create a health coaching website that’s destined to become your most powerful marketing tool!
Now, for those of you who can’t bear the idea of having to set up a site on your own, we recommend Kylie Malcolm’s site design service do all the work for you.
Kylie happens to be a certified health coach AND world-class designer and so she’s well aware of how to design a health coaching site that converts. Not only is she and her team incredibly talented, but her affordable prices and 7-day turnaround time can’t be beat!
So, what are your thoughts about creating a health coaching website? Leave your comments below!Sources
One of the funnest things about creating a website for me is brainstorming and searching for a domain name. It’s important not to get discouraged if the domain you were set on is not available. You just have to dig a little deeper into that thinking cap. GoDaddy used to have a lot more promos for $1 per year domains, but they have been tapering off more and more.
I agree with you that wordpress dot org is the way to go in most instances and especially over the dot com version. I appreciate your plugin list. it’s also important to know which plugins are the best, as using too many plugins can be a negative (I wish that wasn’t the case!).
This is a great post for beginners and intermediates too, thank you. I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts!
Glad you found it valuable, thanks 🙂
Wow – this is quite a comprehensive plan for getting a website up and running!
This could be used as a guide by anyone building a website, not just health coaches.
I have a great interest in natural health, but have never considered being a coach. This is what brought me to your site though, as I am toying with the idea.
I can imagine that there are many branches to this career. Can you give me an overview of what is involved and how many aspects of the health field one would have to learn to become a certified health coach?
One other thing I have a question about regarding website building – I am under the impression that plug-ins should be limited to 10 or less for a website. I imagine there can be varying opinions on this (as with most things), but I am wondering if you are firm with your opinion of 20 vs 10?
Thank for all the great info!
Hi Tom, as far as what’s involved to become a health coach, please refer to the articles in this section. In regards to your second question, 20 isn’t a firm number, but it’s what several sources confirm, including this one. Hope that helps!
Wow! What a great article. There are so many steps to take which can seem a little overwhelming – especially for someone who is totally new to building a website -but I really like the way you’ve broken down every step and made it straightforward, easy to follow and do-able! How long do you think it would take a novice with average IT skills to put a good website together following these steps?
Hi Jane, with average IT experience, the process can take a few days to get your site set up. Perhaps a bit longer if you’re a novice. Hope that helps!
This is a very informative article and I can gladly say that you have covered almost all the important areas related to website building. I am new to website creation and content writing. But I believe the key points of a website lie with the domain name and quality content.
The domain name should be something that is easy to remember. This way, even someone who doesn’t bookmark one of our posts and searched for it later on would find our website faster. And doing research and writing quality content with correct keywords is really important. I personally believe that building a website is the easy part. But maintaining it and writing content is the hardest.
I didn’t know about the existence of two different versions of WordPress tools. It really is a good thing to know more about these things. I learned a lot about plug-ins, image editing tools, and much more. Thanks Debbie. 🙂
If it’s not too much trouble, could you please suggest some good training courses regarding content writing?
Hi Anjali, thanks for your kind words. 🙂 In regards to training courses for content writing, please check out this article. Hope that helps!