Website design is not just cosmetic. It can actually affect your health coaching business’ entire internet presence, including branding, conversion rates, SEO, and traffic. Most remarkably, website visitors often base a health coach’s trustworthiness solely on website design. In this guide, you’ll learn about the importance of website design and how to effectively use it.
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Why is Website Design So Important to Your Health Coaching Business?
There are a number of reasons why the design of your health coaching website plays such a crucial role in your business:
Gives a Positive First Impression
Visitors judge the look of your website in a blistering three seconds. If a visitor stops and explores your website for 30 seconds, they’re engaged. Longer than that and they might even become a customer.
The look and feel of your website, even more than content, are the primary drivers of first impressions. If visitors dislike your website’s design, they won’t fault the website… they’ll fault you. According to web designer, Joseph Putnam, “If the design is outdated, disorganized, cluttered or uses unappealing colors, it creates a poor first impression.”
Website design is crucial for building trust with potential customers. As a matter of fact, people often tend to mistrust a website more due to poor design than poor content! An outdated or amateurish design may look spammy and raise doubts about your business’ legitimacy.
In contrast, a professional design suggests you’ve invested a substantial amount of time and money to ensure trustworthiness.
If your business primarily exists online, it’s your website that serves as the main touchpoint between you and visitors and this determines whether they trust doing business with you or not.
Visitors are more likely to be drawn in and explore your website when the design elements harmonize. A clutter of inconsistent fonts, garish colors, jumbled typography, flashing letters, and blinking text will do nothing more than give visitors a headache.
In contrast, a consistent design gives visitors a positive experience and improves the usability of your website. When you streamline your website with a uniform color scheme, coherent branding, complementary fonts, and fresh images, it comes across as professional and inviting.
Even small details, such as consistent navigation buttons and menus, have a big impact on the user’s experience.
Helps with Search Engine Traffic (SEO)
SEO is necessary for any online business, and should ideally be optimized during the design of your website, not after. After all, a great website is nothing if search engines can’t find it. SEO can be built into the design of a website in the following ways:
- SEO-friendly navigation
- Content search engines can read
- Placing scripts outside the HTML document
- Designing URLs for search-friendliness
- Blocking pages you don’t want search engines to index
- Including image ALT attributes
18 Essential Design Tips for Your Health Coaching Website
Now that you understand the importance of website design for health coaches, here are 18 attributes of a well-designed website to keep in mind when designing yours:
1. Build Your Website with WordPress
WordPress is an online website-building tool. It’s the most popular content management system (CMS) worldwide, powering 30 percent of 10 million websites. It’s free, and you don’t have to be tech-savvy to use it. In recent years, big competitors like Wix and Squarespace have sprung up, but they’re still no match for WordPress. Here’s why:
- WordPress is self-hosted (you own the website, not a 3rd party)
- WordPress is more flexible (it’s open source, so you can modify it indefinitely)
- WordPress has many more design options (thousands of pre-made themes, 12 of the best for health coaches we reviewed)
- WordPress has better SEO management (multiple built-in SEO features)
To learn more about setting up your health coaching website using WordPress, check out our dedicated guide on how to create a health coaching website.
2. Keep Your Website Clean and Simple
Effective website designs aren’t showy or unusual. Instead, they use the power of simplicity. White space is an especially important part of a clean-looking website. Not necessarily white in color, it’s the open spaces between graphics and text blocks that give your website “breathing room.” White space also makes your website easier to scan and is aesthetically pleasing.
Consistency in spacing is crucial, too, such as the amount of vertical space between lines in a paragraph.
3. Include an Engaging Logo
If you know what two gold-colored arches stand for, then you know what a logo is. It’s an emblem made of significant colors, shapes, lettering, and images that uniquely and favorably represents your brand and sets it apart from others.
The logo you use makes a significant impact on public perception of both you and your health coaching business, so it should be given a lot of attention. At its core, a logo should be:
4. Use Complementary Colors
Your website’s color scheme needs to engage visitors. Complementary colors, which are colors opposite each other on a color wheel, look harmonious together. But it’s okay to use tertiary colors like chartreuse if your goal is to project flamboyance or edginess.
Complementary colors can elicit specific emotions, so keep this in mind when selecting your website’s color scheme.
Note that the more colors you use, the more incoherent your design will be. A good rule of thumb is to stick with three colors maximum:
- 60 percent – dominant
- 30 percent – contrast
- 10 percent – accent
5. Keep the Design Elements Consistent
Design consistency is the cohesiveness among the repeating elements of a website. It makes the website easy to use and provides visitors with comfortable familiarity. A balanced website design should be uniform in the following ways:
- Fonts – Everything from uniform text to uniform headers
- Elements – Footer, sidebar, and navigation should be included on all posts and pages
- Image style – Use only photos or only illustrations, for example
- Icons and buttons – Use the same shape and color
- Color palette – Use the same two or three website colors
6. Make Good Use of Typefaces
Good typefaces can be read effortlessly. For optimum legibility on your website, sans serif fonts work particularly well, such as Arial and Verdana. It’s best to avoid using ornate fonts since they can be hard to decipher.
The fonts you choose should also be sized for easy readability on both cell phones and desktop monitors. In recent years, bigger font sizes for body text have become the standard as a result (16px and up).
Also, try to limit yourself to two typefaces to keep your website clutter-free. They should have a distinguishable difference to punch up your website’s personality and organization.
7. Adopt a Clear Visual Hierarchy
“Above-the-fold” is a term originated in the newspaper industry, where the most attention-grabbing headlines were visible when the paper was folded.
This word has since been adopted online metaphorically and has come to mean the area first seen without scrolling after a website finishes loading. It’s where visitors spend 80 percent of their time, compared to 20 percent “below-the-fold.” Your website should aim to include the following elements above-the-fold:
- Social media icons
- Blog content (the title and the first few lines of each post)
Another point relates to how visitors read text. Typically, they scan blog content in an “F” pattern, where they first scan horizontally, then vertically down the left and horizontally again. They may also scan in an “E” pattern during deeper scrolls. As such, your content should be formatted for easy consumption, which can be achieved by breaking up your text and limiting paragraphs to three or four sentences maximum.
8. Make Your Website Easy to Navigate
Visitors want to be able to quickly and easily access information when landing on a website. That’s why your menu bar, in particular, must be simple and self-explanatory. Where appropriate, your menu should contain ample headings that house many subtopics so visitors can easily find what they’re seeking.
You can also simplify your navigation by steering clear of long-page scrolling (formatting that forces the user to continually scroll a very long page). With this type of setup, it’s unlikely anyone would bother scrolling that far down if you placed a call-to-action at the very bottom of the page (with occasional exceptions).
9. Use Clear Calls-to-Action
The more choices you give a person, the more indecisive they’ll become. That’s why it’s important to have clear, specific calls-to-action (CTA) on your website.
Good call-to-action buttons or links simplify the decision-making process. They contain immediately understood action words such as “Learn More,” “Buy Now,” “Schedule an Appointment,” or “Book Your Free Discovery Call.”
These buttons or links are normally placed on the homepage, service/product sales pages, blog posts, and/or email opt-in forms. And while they should be designed to synchronize with your website’s color scheme, they can still be distinct enough to grab attention.
CTAs are particularly effective at the bottom of pages that don’t involve excessive scrolling because they direct visitors on the next actions to take and thus outperform buttons placed in other locations.
10. Make it Easy to Get in Touch with You
In this era of advanced technology and ever-expanding social media, it’s easier than ever for coaches and clients to be in touch. Your website should include buttons prominently placed throughout the website to drive visitors to your social media pages, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
You may also want to include a live chat option, which makes good business sense considering that 79 percent of visitors prefer chat to a phone call (here’s the service we recommend). That said, many people still prefer the personalized touch of talking to a real human being, which is why you may want to include a phone number, as well.
11. Design a Compelling Homepage
Your homepage is the storefront of your health coaching business. It’s the first impression visitors have of you and your services, so it needs to be as well-designed and engaging as possible. It must display well-crafted copy that summarizes, in a nutshell, what you can do for your clients.
Ideally, this text should be overlaid on a hero image of yourself. Hero images are attention-grabbing full-width visuals positioned above-the-fold. They can be a great way to help visitors envision your branding as well as learn about your products and services. A clear call-to-action should also be a key element to this specific area.
12. Optimize Your Business Pages
Certain pages are essential to your website, such as a Services Page, About Page, and Contact Page. These pages serve as the business hub of your website and, as such, need to perform well. Here’s how you can optimize these pages:
Your website’s services page is where colors, layout, images, and writing have to be thoroughly planned. Keep the layout and design elements consistent so readers can logically follow each part of the page. Write the content conversationally and encouragingly – visitors don’t like feeling as if they’re being pressured into something.
You may want to incorporate a “Services” headline with a dropdown menu listing specifics. If you offer a number of services, direct your visitors to pages specific to each service. If they’ve gotten this far, they may be prepared to contact you, so be sure to include an easy to see call-to-action.
Now, if you really want to snazz things up, you can create a super awesome-looking Services Page right out of the gate using a great page building tool like Thrive Architect, which we’ve used on countless websites.
The goal of the About page is to show how you can serve your audience. It lets them know there’s a genuine human being behind your website. When you’re humanized, people are more apt to trust you and, in turn, buy your products and services. Here are a few things to keep in mind in regards to your About page:
- Call your page “About” since this is what people are conditioned to look for
- Start with an elevator pitch (our business plan guide can show you how)
- Describe measurable and observable reasons why you’re better than your competitors
- Discuss your story (make sure to include any health-related obstacles you’ve overcome)
- Offer social proof (testimonials, links to positive reviews, etc.)
- Include a headshot (a selfie is fine)
- Add a call-to-action
Contact forms look fairly straightforward, but you can make yours more effective with these subtle tweaks:
- Make input fields the length of the expected answers
- Put field labels above corresponding input fields
- Use red, orange or green for CTA buttons
- Get rid of Captcha (it annoys people)
- Don’t request phone numbers (people are wary of giving this information and may cause them to abandon your website)
- Add social proof, such as “Five thousand people downloaded my ebook!”
- Use higher-conversion rate words like “Go” and “Send” instead of “Submit”
13. Write Great Blog Posts
Once upon a time, blogs were like diaries where people would share nuggets about how long they’d had to stand in line at the bank or how they’d seen a guy in a tutu at Walmart. Blogs have since evolved into an important business tool.
Blogs can help grow your audience and establish yourself as an expert in your niche when you share great information and resources. As your audience’s trust increases, your blog can also gently nudge them to hire you for your services or buy your products. Posting regularly can also favorably affect your Google ranking by a whopping 434 percent!
To learn more about blogging as it relates to health coaching, check out our dedicated health coach content guide where you’ll discover the best tips and tools for creating content for your health coaching website or read about our favorite done-for-you content service for health coaches.
14. Choose Non-Generic Hi-Res Images
Resolution dictates an image’s sharpness. The higher the resolution, the clearer it’ll be and the better and more professional it’ll look. Images are made of tiny pixels, or color squares, which form a focused picture in hi-res images. Low-res images, in contrast, look choppy and blurred. The ideal web image is 72 pixels per inch. Anything smaller will look sloppy and amateurish.
Also, while it may seem convenient, try to avoid using standard stock photos. You know the kind – the sterile office filled with corporate suits, fake handshakes, and plastic smiles (yikes!) They’re cheesy, generic, and overused, to the point where your website will look completely inauthentic if you use them. Instead, choose photos that generate action and genuine emotion. You can find a great selection here at a reasonable price in comparison to most stock photo sites.
15. Start a YouTube Channel
Embedding YouTube videos is another way to use imagery on your website. While using videos isn’t mandatory, consider this fact: video attracts 300 percent more traffic, increases page views by 63 percent, and doubles the time visitors spend on a website.
Just a snappy “welcome” video would be a great addition to your Homepage or About page. From there, consider developing your own YouTube channel and embed each video you make on your website. This way, you’ll appear more authoritative because you’re showing, as well as telling (not to mention benefiting from an SEO uptick).
16. Capture Leads
Lead generating captures a visitor’s personal information via a form in exchange for a piece of content. The goal of this strategy is to convert readers into customers. In health coaching, this strategy could include opting-in for a free newsletter or booking a free consultation.
First, you’ll need to give your visitors an incentive to sign up, such as “Sign Up for My Newsletter and Discover 10 Little-Known Secrets for Losing Stubborn Belly Fat.” You can also entice visitors to sign up by offering things such as a free online course, grocery checklist or sugar-free recipes.
Visit our favorite email autoresponder service here.
17. Make Sure Your Website Loads Fast
Speed kills – but not when it comes to website loading. People want websites to load fast. Forty-seven percent of visitors expect a website to load in two seconds, and 40 percent of visitors will bounce if loading takes longer than three seconds. Moreover, websites that load slowly can also affect SEO.
So, how can you make your website load fast? Here are a few key factors:
- Good web hosting (this company is great for beginners)
- Image compression (this free image optimizer coupled with this free WordPress plugin are great solutions)
- Content caching (this free WordPress plugin is easy to set up)
- Keeping software up to date
18. Make Sure Your Website is Mobile-Friendly
Mobile now outstrips desktop as the primary means of visiting websites. In 2018, 52.2 percent of global website traffic was generated through mobile phones. Thus, your website should be adaptable and display properly on both mobile devices and desktop computers. This ensures your website both looks good and enhances usability. To be mobile-friendly:
- Make sure the buttons are large enough to easily tap
- Make sure the fonts are visible on a small screen
- Turn on autocorrect for forms
- Compress images
- Simplify menus
Most importantly, choose a responsive WordPress theme – one that looks good on mobile, desktop, and tablet screens. Our current favorite theme for health coaches is called Health Coach. And here are some of our other recommendations.
Well-crafted website design for health coaches creates trust, and trust creates conversions. Visual appeal is a big part of an effective website, but you must strategize many other factors, including search engine traffic, branding, device adaptability, and ease of navigation.
Your website’s design is a crucial part of your marketing presence. When designed right, it’s designed to succeed!
(Wanna see some examples of health coaching websites done right? Check out our list of 30 well-designed websites.)
Now, not everyone is up to the task of designing a health coaching website themselves. Would you rather have a team of world-class designers do everything for you? No problem! We’re big fans of Kylie Malcolm’s website design services in particular.
Not only are Kylie’s custom-made sites stunning, but they’re also affordable and delivered fast (7-10 day turnaround time). Kylie is also a certified health coach, so she knows exactly what your website needs (and doesn’t need). Check out her services here.
So, what are your thoughts about our design tips for health coaching websites? Leave your comments below!Sources