Must Have Features for Your Personal Training Website
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If you own a consulting business where your knowledge about how to help people improve their fitness or health is your greatest asset, chances are your website will be your second-greatest asset. A well-designed website will offer your clients and potential clients many different ways to connect and engage, while enhancing your professional image, saving you time and increasing your profitability. I quite often design websites for clients whose business falls into a category like this, and we usually build in a few special capabilities to help them engage and convert their website visitors. For the purposes of this article, I’m going to assume you are a personal fitness trainer, but many of these same ideas may apply if you offer other health services.
The Cake: the basics your site needs to offer
The most basic and predictable content you’ll want to include is information about yourself that establishes you as an expert and also helps visitors feel more comfortable approaching you. List any credentials and education that you have, along with information about how many clients you’ve helped or the number of years of experience you’ve chalked up. While you’re at it, you’ll also need to define the type of clientele you most want to attract. If you work primarily with young guys who want to bulk up, your tone and approach will be different than if you work with older clients. Your content should help visitors understand if you are the right professional for them and also to feel comfortable contacting you if they think you might be a fit for them.
In a similar vein, you’ll need a page that lays out information about your services and specialties. Do you do group training? Do you specialize in fitness for older people or people recovering from injuries or illness? Or maybe you offer specific sports training or training for either men or women. Your services page should clearly detail the services you offer, the length of the sessions, whether they are group sessions or private, the type of work that will be done and the benefits they might expect.
While we’re on the subject of benefits, no type of site profits more from real clients’ testimonials than a personal fitness trainer’s. If you have clients who are willing to let you post before-and-after pictures, so much the better. You may want to include a disclaimer statement that reminds visitors that the results will vary with how much work they are willing to put into the program. You may decide, even if you have willing clients, that you’d prefer simple, enthusiastic statements from clients rather than photos. Because this type of motivation is so important in personal training and coaching, I wouldn’t count on visitors going to a specific page to read them. I recommend interspersing them throughout your site or having them rotate through on various pages so that clients see them as they browse. A good web designer can find interesting ways to integrate the statements into the other pages. And for that matter, a good designer will make all of these “obvious” pages much more interesting and easy for visitors to read.
The Icing on the Cake: what you really should offer on your site
Because your site is going to be a substantial component of your marketing plan, your site should go beyond the basics by offering more ways to engage and convert visitors. You may have already decided that you should maintain a blog on your site to keep it on Google’s search engine “radar.” Consider also posting videos. They can either be short clips that show how to do particular exercise moves or longer videos that show an entire workout routine. You may want to post premium content that would be available only to people who log into your site, allowing you to capture the contact information for the prospective client.
Allowing clients to log in gives you other options for engaging and servicing your clients. For example, you can establish pages where clients can track their workouts or their progress in terms of weight or other milestones. To a certain extent, you are competing with fitness tracking software like FitBit and MyFitnessPal. You don’t need to offer all of their capabilities, but creating a space where you and your client can interact and visualize the results you are both working toward reinforces your connection with each other. If you are already using a third-party online service with your clients, such as TrainingPeaks.com, it can be hooked up to your site to make it easy for your clients to log in.
Your website is also a convenient place for new clients to be able to sign in and access forms to fill out before their initial appointment. This way you can plan ahead and make the most of that all-important prospecting appointment, because you will already have the health information that you need and you will know their goals. Your website designer can develop a way for new and established clients to schedule an appointment online. Be sure to explain any cancellation policies you may have right there on the appointment page.
When clients set up appointments, you can give them the option to pay online. Having an online payment system gives you the capability to establish new income streams from your website traffic. You could sell swag that has your logo on it, like water bottles or resistance bands, or you could market workout CDs or books about nutrition. These aren’t simply ways to try to milk more money from your clients—they aid in establishing your brand and your credibility. When you are deciding what you’d like to offer clients, it’s worth bearing in mind what products best support your mission.
Finally, while any good website engages visitors, this is even more important for personal fitness training sites, and it goes beyond the client and trainer interacting with each other. As challenging as fitness goals can be to achieve, the more of a community around the process you can create, the better. At a minimum you should link your web page back to your Facebook page so that traffic can flow both ways. But whether on your Facebook page or your website (preferably on your site or both places), clients should be able to connect with each other, interact and encourage each other. Instagram is also a great resource for this. Post inspirational quotes, memes, blog posts, tips of the day, videos or pictures, to stimulate interest, conversation and activity, both online and in the gym. You can even host contests to give clients incentives to keep training toward their goals. The more posting you do, the better for you, your clients’ health and your business’s health.
You’re in a business that can fundamentally change people’s lives for the better. For that reason, it’s the best sort of business to be in, and I’m sure that you work very hard at helping your clients. A well-designed and carefully thought-out website can be your best means to leverage your knowledge, time, and enthusiasm for your work and to bring the benefits of your expertise to more people.
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