Health and wellness professionals – counselors, acupuncturists, massage therapists, naturopaths, nutritionists etc. – are not typically the best at designing websites. Of course there are exceptions to this, but wellness providers often don’t want to pay thousands of dollars to have their website professionally made. And there are many affordable and easy to understand ways to build your own website. These variables have resulted in thousands upon thousands of websites that are cringe worthy and totally unprofessional.
Don’t get me wrong, I encourage all wellness providers that run their own private practices or small healthcare businesses to build their own websites. And I created Practice Academy to help them do just that. Just make sure that your new, or current, website doesn’t make these not so obvious mistakes that could potentially scare future clients away.
One of the most important reasons to have a professional looking website is so that when people click on your website after they do a web search, they will stay and explore. If a visitor performs a search, clicks on your website, then clicks back to the results after a few seconds because of how unprofessional your site looks, Google will eventually move you down in the search rankings. Google will assume that a searcher doesn’t find your website relevant for their search query and they will more likely display a competitor site above yours.
Check out this downloadable checklist I’ve created. The checklist has all the information from this blog, plus 5 more mistakes you could be making.
Obvious mistakes you no longer are making (I hope!)
First, let’s get some obvious mistakes out of the way. I won’t go into detail about these, because you have already been hearing about them for years. If you are making any of these mistakes, they need to be addressed yesterday. But no judgment! We are all guilty of letting some things slip past us and it’s never too late to fix these issues.
Not mobile ready
Over 50% of your visitors are viewing your site on their mobile devices. If you are forcing mobile visitors to pinch, zoom and stretch your website so that it fits on their tiny screen you have already lost them. People are no longer going to bother with a site that isn’t mobile ready.
Grammar and spelling
Poor grammar and spelling mistakes have been making documents look unprofessional since the dawn of the written word. If you fear you may be making mistakes grammatically, you probably are! Ask a trusted friend to give your site a carefully going over or invest a little money in a copy editor.
Hard to navigate
If it’s difficult to figure out how to get around your website, nobody is going to try and get around your website. You’re not going to win any awards for creating a unique navigation experience. You’re only going to lose potential clients. So make navigating your site as simple as possible by making all the important pages on your site accessible from the navigation bar at the top.
There are some truly horrific fonts out there that instantly turn visitors off and send them clicking away from your website. I am sorry if you like any of the following fonts, it’s nothing personal, but the Internet has spoken and these are out! In no particular order:
Music or video playing
It is super annoying when music or a video start to automatically play when you visit a website. It’s even more of a faux pas when this happens on a health and wellness site, which should be a soothing experience. Automatic audio or video is so jarring that it causes almost everyone to click away instantly.
Pop-ups anywhere but the blog page
It is a truth universally acknowledged that most people can’t stand pop-ups. Even when the pop-up is offering them something valuable that visitors actually want, they can feel annoying, pushy, or even sleezy. Pop-ups have their place on the Internet, but they (mostly) don’t have a place on your health or wellness website. The only exception is if you want to put a pop-up box on your blog page asking visitors if they would like to subscribe to your email list and get alerts about new blog articles.
All about you
It is true that potential clients want to learn about who you are and what makes you qualified to treat their health concerns. But if you make the entire site about how amazing you are, you’ll turn a lot of people off. Keep the majority of this info on your about page and try to make the rest of your site about your client.
Mistakes you might not realize you’re making
Now for some common, but not so obvious mistakes that you might be making. These mistakes are more subtle or have cropped up more recently. Even though they are not as obvious as the above mistakes, they are probably causing just as much damage. Fix these mistakes so that you can be sure all your potential clients are turning into actual clients.
Using Dark Backgrounds
Not only do dark backgrounds typically look bad and convey doom and gloom, which is a no-no for a health and wellness site, they can also create a bad user experience for your visitors. Remember, your background color is the color that your users will see the most.
A shade of white is a safe choice. And safe choices are good choices when it comes to creating a nice and easy user experience. If you do choose a color, stick with a light one. The darker the background color, the harder it is to read all the wonderful content on your website. People have been trained to read dark text on white pages. It’s best not to try and re-condition human behavior on your website. Save that for counseling sessions.
Using terrible photography
Stop using cheesy stock photography for your images. Your website should feel personal, not factory built. If you want images of people on your website you should take photos yourself (but only if they look really good). Or use hip and professional stock photo sites like:
Share buttons on every page
The only place social share buttons should live is on your blog page. People may post your blog articles to Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, but they will not post your homepage, about page, or contact page. So no need for social share buttons on those pages. Plus, it’s tacky.
Not color coordinated
Psychologists estimate that the impression a color makes on people can impact whether or not that product or service is purchased by as much as 60%. That could make a pretty big difference when it comes to a client deciding whether or not to reach out to you.
Personally, I have no idea how to coordinate colors. Luckily there is a tool that will do it for you on the fly. Visit this color calculator and input the main color you’d like to use on your website. The tool will instantly give you the complimentary color plus options for other matching colors that fit perfectly together. Now you have no excuse for an uncoordinated color palette.
As I previously mentioned, it’s super important to make sure your visitors can read all the wonderful content on your website. You spent hours writing it, and it’s how potential clients start developing a rapport with you. Make it as easy as possible for people to scan, absorb and understand what you’ve written.
Here are some important tips:
- Don’t make fonts too tiny. If you’re wondering if your font is too small then your font is too small.
- Make sure your line height is the right size. There should be an appropriate amount of space between the lines of your copy. Nothing too scrunched.
- Keep your content concise. Make sure you get to the point and cut out any unnecessary information.
- Avoid long paragraphs and run-on sentences.
- Add headings and subheadings so that visitors can easily scan for the information they’re seeking.
- Don’t be afraid to break up copy by using bulleted lists.
The next five…
If you’d like to find out about five more not so obvious mistakes that make your website look unprofessional, download the list here. (I know it’s annoying to enter your email to get access to the full list, but you won’t regret it! Plus, you’ll be signed up to receive weekly emails about different ways you can improve your digital brand, move up in search results and attract more clients online.)