If your wellness website or coaching website is not quite finished yet.. no need to worry.
Let’s say you’ve made it through all the mental roadblocks (see part 1 and part 2) and that you have a real health and wellness website.. but it’s not “really” done. Some perspective:
First.. Congratulations.. you have a live site! This is NO small thing! But something still doesn’t seem “right” just yet. Why?
The short answer is:
A website isn’t supposed to ever be done!
What? That doesn’t make sense, you say. Why am I paying for a website if it never gets done?
A website is what some would call a “living entity.” It is designed to be an evolving and dynamic process, rather than a digital thing that sits on a server somewhere while you hope it attracts clients.
Paradoxically, your site can save you a lot of work, but it also requires some work as well.
Fortunately, its the kind of work that feels productive, like creating a new video to educate your audience, or researching the keywords your new target audience is most likely to type in a Google search.
Nurturing your website also saves you from the work that feels unproductive and draining, such as dealing with answering the same old questions, “price shoppers and tire kickers,” and the wrong types of patients, guests, customers, or clients for you.
It puts a large chunk of your marketing on autopilot, even if much of your marketing is done offline.
A website is something you (and your clients, patients, customers, and guests) interact with.
A website should reflect your current story and philosophy. I’m not the same person I was a few years ago, and this reflects in my site.(s)
People don’t JUST buy “acupuncture” or “chiropractic services” or other services anymore unless it’s a super cheap commodity. Good luck with that. They are interested in YOU and what YOU have to offer, and how it benefits them, of course!
Which leads me into..
How to finally finish your website (kind of)
1. Attract only your ideal client or patient to your wellness website
This can also change, as you and your business evolves. For example. Perhaps previously you were seeing patients who were only interested in pain relief.
Including some patients who found you (or rather your generic acupuncture website that tells them only that acupuncture helps with pain, that you have been practicing for 10 years, and what your hourly rate is) on Google. They walked through your door seeking a fast, cheap, and effective solution for the pain that is a result of years of bad habits or neglect.
(and this made you tired and frustrated..I get it!)
So you decided to change your focus to functional medicine to manage chronic pain, autoimmune conditions, and and hormone balancing. You are slowly creating great blogs and articles about all of this.
But that’s not the ONLY change you may need to make.
It’s not enough to make just the obvious changes in your services tab or blogs.
You will want to update your site to focus on making the entire site appeal to your ideal patient “avatar” and repel (yes, repel) those who are NOT your ideal patient.
Let’s say for you it looks like this:
Jenny is 45 years old, affluent, proactive about her health, educated, loves cycling, hiking, is into metaphyiscal concepts, lives in the mountains of Colorado etc.
You will want to make sure your entire site will attract the Jennys out there..
… and yes, via branding and content, actually REPEL 75 year old Joe who is grumpy and wants to know how much it will cost to “fix” his back today. (this isn’t age-ism, but about making specific decisions about the demographic you want to work with.. some may prefer working with older patients) I don’t know too many who want to work with grumpy patients who want a quick fix, though. This is draining.
Another clinic may want to do the complete opposite and focus on being a high-volume low-cost pain clinic that doesn’t have time for lab testing, postural assessments, nutritional and lifestyle counseling, or individualized treatment plans. Perhaps with a specific focus on seniors.
It’s your choice. Yes, you want to be THAT specific. Of course, it is possible to have a few “avatars,” but … remember.
A generic website that appeals to everyone, attracts nobody.
The concept of attracting your ideal client should be built into every function of your site. (For most, the most functional thing about their site is their contact form and phone number!)
This means the way you come across, your writing and communication style, the images you choose, your branding. EVERYTHING.
It includes how you educate and screen out the kinds of people you don’t want to waste time with.. and have your ideal patient, guest, customer, or client say YES! This is the one I want to work with! She’s talking directly to ME, and it’s uncanny!
This work will inform just about every part of your marketing, from positioning to messaging to branding to the copy and content you create. (You can be guided through this journey by enrolling in the Future Proof Your Practice Toolkit, which is designed to get your first online offering out QUICKLY, even if you are starting from scratch.
This is what I did in my practice, and it works for acupuncturists, chiropractors, coaches, and holistic entrepreneurs.
What does your new “avatar” look like?
If you need some help, you can download my free version of the ideal client or patient avatar exercise. It’s a fun way to finally get some clarity on WHO it is that you are serving!
2. Add some new marketing tools to your website to get a steady and predictable stream of new clients or patients
So let’s say you start out with a basic site for your new practice or business. This is great! You have 8 pages, links to online booking, an about page, a blog, and a contact form.
This is just the beginning. A website is a powerful tool that can be used to build your email list, link to social media, house online courses or a membership site, and more.
Don’t just use your site as a “glorified brochure,” Which is what many, many business owners do.
Let’s take this a step further and talk about something called Conversions.
You want people to do DO something with your site once they get there, or to convert from a visitor to a subscriber, lead, or customer/client.
Do you want them to book a consultation or discovery call?
To book an appointment?
To subscribe to your email list?
Download something? Make a purchase?
When you get to a site, you want something that is worth your time and offers something of benefit that only you can offer.
So if you are still using your old 2009 site with just your phone number and address and a list of conditions that acupuncture can treat, or the same ol’ same ol’ stock photos, you need to make some changes. “Give me a call” placed in one place on your site, even with a phone number at the top, isn’t very compelling. The odds of someone taking action are actually quite small in these circumstances.
The content of your site needs to be relevant, of course. But it’s not enough. It’s absolutely essential these days to take advantage of a website’s ability to inspire a CALL TO ACTION.
You want to make it easy and compelling for visitors to your site to take the next step in your process (or sales funnel, in marketing-speak).. via many tools and plugins available today.
The first step? I always have my clients read the book “Building a StoryBrand” by Donald Miller. It explains everything in layman’s terms, including where to place these tools on your website.
The second step is creating your first opt-in form (the lavender form above is an example) which is not as hard as it looks. I use the DIVI theme in WordPress and Active Campaign (email marketing service) to accomplish this. Once you get the hang of it, you may want to create several “lead magnets,” which are freebies you offer in exchange for an email address. They WORK.
Again, all tutorials on this can be found in the Tell Your Story DIY Website kit.
3. Data can give you some powerful insights about your wellness website. Start using analytic tools!
I wish I could tell you that you don’t have to pay attention to numbers and data.
I wish I could tell you that branding and picking pretty colors, investing in professional photos of your clinic, and writing an article about how great acupuncture is will be all you ever need.
This is a great start! BUT..
How will you KNOW if all this stuff is paying off? Is it ALL just about bookings and sales calls? Is this the only “metric” one can use to know how much progress is being made?
Of course not.
Real marketing is also about defining objective goals, but also metrics, or data that can be tracked so that you can know if you are heading in the right direction, and what your next strategy for the next few months will be.
Enter the left brain.
Analytics (Google is the most well known, but there is more) can give you insights about your site, what needs improvement such as traffic, where it’s coming from, and what people do once they land on your website. You can also gain insights such as Google rankings, links, and even how “trustworthy” your site is.
Social media channels also have their own metrics you can begin to track. All this data will start to reveal patterns that allow you to stay on course and to take the steps you need to thrive.
This data will also help you “tweak” your site. I’m a fan of regular website audits, and we don’t just audit the look and function of your site. We dive into DATA.
I do know that many build a site and then just let it sit for years, without ever taking a peek at its performance. They are definitely missing out on an opportunity to use their website to build their business.
4. ADD some juicy content to your website!
You MUST keep adding content and/or refreshing old content.
This is one of the cornerstones of a good SEO strategy. SEO is a complex art and science. It’s quite involved. But when explaining it to laypeople in a nutshell, it comes down to starting with these basics:
1. Basic SEO setup: Your URL, title, keywords, website navigation, image alt tags, load speed, etc (There is a checklist)
2. Backlinks. This means having high quality sites link back to yours. This is also a bit tricky, but do-able. I always do this the same way I practiced acupuncture.. ethically and with no “quick fixes.”
3. Content. It’s not about all those great keywords.. it’s how they are USED in your content: Blogs, videos, articles, etc. Today, it’s all about focusing on the user experience, not about Google or algorithms or bots. Google is getting smarter and wants websites to be high quality and “human friendly.” No more of those junky 300 word blogs stuffed with keywords. Those sites were awful. Nobody misses them.
For acupuncturists, chiropractors, and other wellness professionals, case studies can be a great way to add high-quality, real human-friendly SEO content to your site. It highlights you as an expert.
5. SUBTRACT outdated content
Anything that is no longer relevant, is outdated, or clutters up your site needs to go.
Sites are becoming more streamlined as attention spans go down. There’s a lot of generic-looking sites out there with nothing new as far as content, especially with acupuncture and apartment rentals.
It’s more and more challenging to present the benefits you offer in a clear, easy to read, and uncluttered manner.
The trend of sites in the US built more than 8 years ago tends to be cluttered with too much info on the front page.
Which leads me to..
6. Check your website’s SPEED
This is often overlooked, but loading speed does make a difference. More than a few seconds and visitors tend to bounce off the site.
There are ways to improve speed. Sometimes it’s a matter of bloated coding, images, too many plugins, or other page content. (hosting videos on your own site, for example) I’ve also had to audit my own site a few times due to slow page loading.. it’s a common issue.
I hope these tips will help you.
Remember that just like everything else on your business “to do” list.. your website is a work in progress.
If this is the main “takeaway” you get from this blog.. that’s a huge energy saver right there!
If you have not read all the blogs in my series about Why Your Website Still Isn’t Done Yet make sure to check them out!