Your website is usually the first impression that potential clients have of your wellness business, whether you’re a health club, personal trainer, yoga studio or wellness center.
Yet health and wellness websites, like fruits and veggies, have freshness dates after which they’re not so tasty.
These fifteen tips (plus three bonus suggestions) keep your site’s content crisp and up to date:
1) Replace stock graphics with candids of real clients and members
Real pictures of real people are nearly always more attention-getting than flawless stock photos. Include your members’ first names and a few relevant factoids.
2) Update your About page
Update your business and professional description with the latest developments. Choose content that reinforces your business focus and how you make clients’ lives better, whether it’s updated personal and professional highlights, information about the expansion of your programs, or your latest thinking about how your business solves a particular problem.
3) Delete outdated content
That includes advertisements for weight-loss program promotions that have ended, photos of long-gone staff or the building you used to occupy, as well as any nutrition articles or self-care tips that no longer apply or have been superseded by better information.
4) Add at least five new examples of customer feedback
Good questions to ask clients to respond to: what would say to someone thinking about (trying a weight loss program, improving their marathon time, etc.). What did you expect when you first came to Women’s Integrative Medicine Clinic? What’s one thing you really like about your experience here at ABC Health Club and what’s one thing we could do better?
5) Develop a more focused tagline
Many wellness businesses erroneously pair a broad and/or vague business name (“Women’s Wellness Resources”)with a tagline that either says the same thing a slightly different way (“wellness tools for women”) or is equally broad or vague (“fitness and wellness coaching”).
If your business name falls into the “broad” or “vague” category, don’t despair – just update your tagline so that it’s much more targeted.
6) Double-check the business hours on your Contact page
Make sure they’re up-to-date. If your wellness business operates across multiple time zones like some of our clients do, specify the time zone for your business hours.
7) Add your holiday schedule to your Contact page
Remember to update it in January!
8) Indicate a typical response time to emails and messages
On your Contact page, say something like: “We normally respond to emails and voicemails within (two hours, 1 business day, etc.).” If you work with clients who may have medical emergencies, include after-hours contact information with response times and if appropriate, instructions to contact 911.
9) Add a photograph of your building to your Contact page
Take a shot of your building as it appears to drivers from the street, so it’s easier for new customers to spot you or for existing customers to tell friends where you’re located.
10) Stop kidding yourself about Facebook and your blog
If your last blog or Facebook post was months or even years ago, just delete your blog and Facebook links from your site. It’s okay. You don’t need a blog OR Facebook to successfully market your wellness business. They’re just a couple of tools among many you can use.
If and when you actually start posting regularly – enough that you’ve proven you’ll keep it up – THEN you can add those links back.
11) Delete any public “Coming Soon” or “Under Development” pages
We don’t see this problem nearly as often as we used to, thank goodness – but if you’ve got “work in progress” pages on your live website, remove them until they’re actually ready to go.
12) Update headshots and staff photos
These website and social media photos serve a marketing purpose for fitness businesses, nutrition and weight loss practices and yoga and mind-body businesses. Choose appropriate poses and appropriate clothing that encourage a positive impression on potential cutomers. These aren’t your wacky family photos and they’re not where you express your inner voice unless it directly pertains to your business.
For most wellness businesses, this means: no ball caps, no message t-shirts, no goofy or strangely-angled webcam headshots and definitely no personal trainers staring off into the distance while clients do crunches on the floor at their feet. Unless you emphasize extreme yoga, a photo of you doing an incredibly difficult pose just intimidates potential clients.
13) Update your copyright notice
Make sure it’s for the current year. Quite a few folks will glance at the website’s “Copyright 2010″ notice for your lifestyle medicine clinic and wonder if you’re still around.
14) Add some new copy – with dates – so it’s clear your business is still alive
Most website content isn’t dated. You can’t tell whether it was posted yesterday, or five years ago. Include dates in some of the content you post so that it’s clear your business is still alive and active. Examples include dating articles you post with their publication date and a promotion for “Summer 2012.”
Potential customers are quite aware that wellness businesses often come and go, so make it clear you’re still alive and kicking!
15) Add expert commentary
For example, if you count a doctor among your weight loss clients, his or her assessment of your program will carry extra weight. Or a well-known local sports coach may offer positive comments on your sports conditioning program.
And three more bonus tips:
16) Check for broken links and fix the ones you find. The most common offenders: links to news sites and third-party affiliates, like a nutritional supplements site or fitness equipment site
17) Make sure your physical address, with zip, shows up on every page of your site. Even if you only do business in a single small town with a few major streets, this information helps local folks find your nutrition coaching practice online.
18) Make sure your phone number, with area code, shows up on every page of your site. Even if your community has only one area code, this information helps local folks find your yoga studio online.
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