12 Web Design Trends for 2012 for Health Coaches – Part 1
Since I wrote “11 Web Design Trends for 2011” a year ago, there have been some interesting changes in web design and online marketing. Some of these trends are “must-have” if your health coaching website is to attract clients. Others won’t apply at all. And some are optional, but very cool or helpful.
I’ll comment on each trend to let you know how to best apply it to your online marketing strategy, speciﬁcally for your health coaching business.
In Part 1, we’ll look at what’s new, what’s hot, and what’s ancient history.
Not all of the trends below are brand new. But they are deﬁnitely hot for 2012.
1. Mobile Continues to Rise
More people than ever are searching from their smartphone or tablet. It may not be the same browsing they do from their desktops, but they’re still roaming the Internet.
This means it’s more important than ever to make sure your website looks good on a smartphone. And we’ll still see more mobile versions of popular websites to insure ease of use while on the go or away from a computer.
We also might be seeing a little more consideration towards netbooks, mobile devices, smartphones, and tablets – in other words, devices with smaller screens. Let’s face it, a site that ﬁts comfortably on your 27” Mac is going to overwhelm your little 10” netbook. Forcing your site’s columns to conform to a ﬁxed width may not be such a good idea anymore if you have a really wide site.
So when designing a website for your health coaching business, be certain it can be easily viewed on smartphones, tablets, and small notebooks.
Will people search Google for your coaching services from a smartphone or tablet? That depends. If you offer local hands-on services, like massage therapy, they might.
Most likely, your ideal client may be reading your emails or site articles or watching your videos from their mobile device while on the go or waiting in line. You want to make it easy for them to do so.
2. Interactivity for Touch Screens
With the rise of touch screens, expect more sites to offer fun and friendly elements to put your ﬁnger on. And even with Flash disappearing (see below), you’ll continue to have smooth-ﬂowing animations and gentle scrolling, in order to make the browsing experience more pleasant to your sight and touch.
Desktop and laptop touch screens haven’t become as popular as regular monitors. However, sales of tablets like the iPad has increased the demand for touch friendly sites – much more than we had a year ago.
Is this applicable for your health coaching website? Could be. It’s important to really know your ideal client and how and where they are accessing your site information.
Is your ideal client likely to be browsing recipes on their iPad while in the kitchen? If so, then you may want to make your web pages more touch-friendly. For instance, you can include navigation with larger button-size hyperlinks, make the text font a little larger, and keep the width smaller.
It isn’t hard to incorporate large ﬁngertip-size buttons on your site, and many WordPress themes include large navigation areas.
3. QR Codes are everywhere
Speaking of interactivity, have you noticed that QR Codes are everywhere! I went to eat at Chili’s restaurant a few days ago and even the ketchup bottle had a QR code on the label. Unbelievable! There were more QR Codes on the table displays and in the menu.
For those of you new to QR Codes, this is a Quick Response Code that allows you to turn an image into a message or a hyperlink using your smartphone. It’s like taking hyperlinks into the real world – no computer needed, just a smartphone. They look like a black-and-white pixel image in a square about one inch wide.
People are putting these QR Codes everywhere they want to advertise a webpage or give information. You download a QR reader app to your smartphone, and the app will automatically scan any QR Code you point your phone camera at. It then takes you to the website or message. Very easy; very cool.
The marketing possibilities for this are huge. Hence the explosion of QR Codes all around us. You can make your own codes for free here: http://www.qurify.com/en/
How does this apply to marketing for your health coaching business? You can use QR Codes in any printed information you give out, including business cards, brochures, and postcards, as well as printed coaching products and books. Use it to link to your site or a webpage with bonus information.
Putting out ﬂyers locally? Why not include a QR Code for a free gift they can digitally download? All they have to do is point their phone camera at the ﬂyer and they get to the webpage with the download.
4. 3D Effects
Not enough of us have 3D screens for the full effect, but not to worry! This new internet trend is to give more depth, shadows, and perspective to feast your sights on. It’s not real 3D, but can mimic the effect.
Although it looks really great, there are some drawbacks. The images are very detailed and cannot be distorted with compression. Therefore, the image ﬁle sizes are usually pretty large and take longer to download on the page.
Will this help you get more health coaching clients with your online marketing? Probably not. It might look really great, but you’ll probably want to put your marketing dollars into a more effective strategy for getting clients.
What’s Ancient History
5. Say goodbye to Flash
With the huge rise in mobile search and lack of Flash support on the popular Apple, Android, and RIM tablets and smartphones, the original Flash is ofﬁcially losing ground. Word is that Adobe is working on a HTML5 implementation anyway.
How does this apply to websites for health coaches? Chances are you don’t have Flash on your website. It’s very expensive to have custom Flash created. So for health coaches, this isn’t a loss.
Think about how you can use these web design trends for your health coaching business using the above suggestions. Ask your clients if they are using mobile devices with your site and what they would like to see that would help them.
One of the big differences in web trend between 2011 and 2012 is that this year there are a lot more new features to report. I believe that the popularity of the Apple iPad has had a huge impact on some of these – giving rise to mobile friendly sites that can be used on devices with touch screens.
QR Codes were still too new to be popular at the beginning of 2011. And Google Plus was almost unheard of. Now I see both of these everywhere.
You’ll hear more about Google, HTML5, and social site in Part 2 of “12 Web Design Trends for 2012 for Health Coaches,” where we’ll take a look at what’s still going strong, and what’s on the horizon.
And what’s on the horizon is really cool…so stay tuned.
For more tips, strategies, and articles on how to get more clients and create irresistible offers and websites, visit http://www.KarenBrunet.com. From Karen Brunet, online marketing consultant, where “It’s not just a website…It’s the Mother Lode!”