Whether you’re working in private practice, media, corporate wellness – or anything in between! – it’s important to have an effective online presence. A dietitian’s website is often the first impression for potential clients or partnerships, so you’ll want to make sure it represents your business well.
With a few simple tips and resources, you can ensure that your site is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also user-friendly, compelling, and likely to generate revenue.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. RD2RD earns a commission on qualifying purchases.
How to Create an Amazing Website?
Ready to jump in and learn? Here are some of the most important tips for your site…
Decide between DIY vs. hiring out
Before you can even begin building your website, you need to decide whether you’re going to tackle the project yourself, or hire someone else to do it for you.
If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, DIY-ing it can save you money during the bootstrapping phase of starting your online nutrition business. It can be fulfilling to build a site from scratch, and you’ll certainly learn a new skillset.
However, the DIY route can be challenging, and your time may be better spent elsewhere. If you’re not particularly web-savvy or have very specific ideas for your site, it might be best to outsource the project.
Whitney Bateson, a web designer for nutrition entrepreneurs, tells us “As business owners, we need to use our time wisely and work in our zone of genius. Hiring help with your website saves you time, aggravation, and usually (when you hire the right help!), yields a higher quality product that is more effective at getting clients.”
Whitney also adds:
Weigh your options and decide what’s best for you and your business.
Choose your platform & hosting
If you’re hiring a web designer, they’ll help make these decisions with you. If you’re going the DIY, route, though, you’ll need to carefully consider platform and hosting options.
Chrissy Carroll, a full time RD blogger, recommends dietitians consider a self-hosted WordPress site. Chrissy says, “This will give you the most flexibility for design and monetization, especially if you plan to make money through blogging or digital product sales.”
To create a site this way, you’ll need to follow these steps:
1. Purchase a domain name through a site like GoDaddy or Namecheap.
2. Purchase hosting. There are several low-cost options available, like SiteGround or Bluehost. These come with limitations, like poorer site speed and limited customer service, but may be your preferred option on a very tight budget. Better hosting options like BigScoots are faster and have better customer service; they can be worth the investment.
3. Connect your domain to your hosting. This involves editing your domain’s nameservers. Most hosts will have simple instructions on how to do this, and some may even take care of it for you.
4. Download a theme and get designing! Ideally, your theme should be visually appealing, mobile-friendly, and fast. Kadence, Astra, and Feast are some favorites among SEO experts.
Chrissy also adds, “Don’t get too caught up in analysis-paralysis mode when it comes to site design. While you want it to look professional and be functional, you don’t want to stop yourself from getting started just because it’s not ‘perfect’.”
In addition to WordPress, there are also other platforms out there, such as Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly, which combine a website builder and hosting into one package.
These can be easier to use if you’re not particularly web-savvy, but they offer fewer features and customization options. There may be some SEO limitations with certain builders, mainly when it comes to sites that need recipe structured data (like a food blog). However, if you’re building a basic local private practice website, they may be a feasible choice.
Do some research on the different platform options and decide which one makes the most sense for you and your business goals.
Use good design strategies
Your website’s design should be an extension of your brand. It should be visually appealing and easy to navigate.
To achieve these goals, here are some simple design strategies that may be helpful:
- Choose a color scheme that is consistent with your branding.
- Use high-quality images that are relevant to your content. (Pro tip – don’t grab random images from Google to use on your site. This infringes on copyright regulations. Instead, purchase stock photos or look into free stock photo options.)
- Include adequate white space to make the site easier on the eyes.
- Create clear and concise headers and subheaders in your content, and use lists and bullet points to help break up large blocks of text.
- Make sure your font choices are legible and easy to read. (Don’t forget to check your site on mobile – often, font may look big enough on desktop but appears very small on a phone screen.)
- Organize your content and navigation in an intuitive way.
Create compelling copy
Your site’s design and functionality are important, but the words on your site are what will ultimately persuade someone to work with you. The copy should be clear, concise, free of errors, and speaks to your audience.
When getting started in any entrepreneurial pursuit, it’s easy to fall into a generalist trap. You don’t want to exclude anyone, so you try to speak to everyone.
Unfortunately, trying to speak to everyone usually speaks to no one.
Try focusing your message on your ideal client (whether that’s a 1-1 client, brands, or a blog audience). What do they struggle with? What are their goals? How can you help them achieve those goals?
Answering these questions will give you a foundation for your copywriting.
For example, imagine you’re a dietitian who specializes in helping women with diabetes manage their blood sugar.
A woman lands on your site and reads “I help people with food and nutrition.” Do you think that speaks to her?
Now imagine the same woman lands on your site and reads something like “I help women with diabetes manage their blood sugar through nutrition so they can feel their best every day.”
Big difference, right?
Be specific and speak to your audience’s needs, problems, desires, and solutions.
One quick note on compelling copy – while it’s OK to look to other sites for general inspiration, it’s not OK to copy another site’s content. Melissa Groves Azzaro, a dietitian with a private practice website, emphasizes “It’s important that your site’s content reflects YOU and is not copied from another dietitian’s site that you like. This is copyright infringement.”
Focus on SEO
If you want people to find your site, you need to make sure it’s optimized for search engines. That means using the right keywords throughout your content, optimizing your site with proper structural elements, and ensuring your website loads quickly.
There are a lot of technical aspects to SEO that can get overwhelming. Instead, try starting with one of the easier-to-grasp concepts: keyword research.
Use a keyword research tool like to find topic ideas relevant to your niche. Ideally, you want to find keywords that have decent search volume (i.e. people are actually looking for those phrases) and that are not super competitive (i.e. the results aren’t dominated by sites like Healthline, Mayo Clinic, etc).
Once you find some good keywords, you can use those to create blog posts on your website that will help attract your ideal client.
Need resources to help with this topic? For a deep dive into all things SEO, try the SEO Made Simple online course. It covers everything from finding the right keywords to writing your blog posts to technical SEO tips.
If you prefer a more gradual wade into the SEO waters, look at the 30 Day SEO Challenge e-book. This contains tips for doing keyword research, on-page optimization, and building backlinks, broken down into actionable day-by-day steps.
Think about accessibility
Take steps to make your website accessible for people of all abilities, including those who may have visual or hearing impairments. This is not only ethically important, but may have legal implications as well.
Here are some tips for making your site more accessible:
- Use proper alt text on images. The alt text should describe exactly what is in the photograph, and will be read by a screen reader. Be sure to add a period at the end of the alt text.
- Use descriptive anchor text for links, so it’s clear where the link goes. Avoid linking to ambiguous phrases like “Click here”.
- Add captions to any video content on your website.
- Avoid using CAPTCHA forms when possible, as they are often difficult for people with certain disabilities to complete.
- Ensure site navigation is clear and easy to use.
- Use a visible color and underline for hyperlinks.
- Make sure your font size is large enough for easy reading.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed about accessibility and ethical issues related to building your website, our Ethics 101 in Online Business self-study activity provides comprehensive insight on these topics. Plus, you’ll check off your required ethics CEU for the Academy!
8 Awesome Dietitian Websites
Now that you’ve got a ton of tips, it’s time for some dietitian website inspiration! Below are examples of sites that illustrate a great grasp on some of the concepts above. You’ll find examples from all types of nutrition entrepreneurs.
Kristina Todini is the blogging mastermind behind this website. She clearly communicates her sustainability niche, offering relevant content like plant-based recipes, kitchen guides, and green living content.
Her site features beautiful imagery, which is essential for most successful food blogs (we all know people eat with their eyes!).
The site is built on WordPress and monetized with ads and affiliate links, offering a steady stream of passive income. Even while working full time, Kristina is able to bring in about $5000/month through these revenue streams.[Interested in blogging? Check out some of the best nutrition blogs by dietitians, and learn more about what it takes to create a successful site.]
The “Work with Me” page on Melissa Groves Azzaro’s website (designed by Jess Creatives) is an excellent example of speaking directly to your target market. It’s clear that her audience is women with PCOS that want to balance their hormones naturally.
Melissa emphasizes how important it is that your copy reflects your goals, telling us “When planning a website, it’s important to prioritize your ultimate goals for the website – a dietitian who wants to grow towards sponsored content is going to have a different strategy than one who’s using a website to attract clients.”
Don’t offer 1-1 nutrition counseling? Not interested in blogging on your own? That doesn’t mean you don’t need a stellar website. Lauren’s site (designed by Whitney Bateson) is an excellent example of a well-designed website that clearly communicates the B2B services she offers.
Her niche is clear from the homepage – working with brands to communicate plant-based messaging. Her services page goes into all the ways she is able to help with this, from blog posts to email newsletters to social media content creation.
Lauren says, “My website brings me the business I want because it’s very specifically targeted to who I want to work with, while offering a spectrum of possible ways to work together. Cuts out the fluff!”
Brittyn Coleman is the founder behind the Autism Nutrition Library, designed to help parents of children with autism to find evidence-based nutrition information (without overwhelm). As you can tell from first glance, her site is branded well with both words and images that speak to the target audience.
As you scroll through the homepage of her membership site, you can see that it communicates the benefits that the user will experience – like getting free time back, stopping stressful Google searches, and getting reliable information to help your child. There is also a testimonial featured for social proof.
Brittyn tells us, “I truly think having a professional website that is user-friendly is a big reason why my business is so successful! I think it’s a “sneak peek” to show what is behind the curtain – that my work is professional, detailed, and experienced.”
Created by dietitian Ayla Barmmer, FullWell is a brand that produces high-quality supplements for fertility and pregnancy. (Talk about an incredible unconventional job for a dietitian!)
The product line includes a prenatal vitamin, a fish oil supplement, and a supplement for men to promote optimal male reproductive health – all clearly within the specified niche.
E-commerce sites need to be easy to navigate, and have a clear way of making a purchase – both of which are true on FullWell’s site. The site also provides an FAQ section, helping answer common questions about the products (thus increasing customer satisfaction and reducing customer service emails).
Like many other sites on this list, The Geriatric Dietitian (created by Katie Dodd) has a clearly defined niche. Katie provides content geared towards helping caregivers of older adults with easy-to-understand nutrition content.
Where The Geriatric Dietitian truly excels is in SEO-optimized blog content. The posts are driven by good keyword research, and each post uses a proper SEO structure with good titles, headings, and easy-to-read content.
Katie notes, “Starting my blog, The Geriatric Dietitian, opened so many doors for building an online business. All of which has enabled me to leave my full-time job.” In 2021, her site made over $20,000 just in ad revenue!
With a clearly defined niche (noticing a theme here?), the Kidney Nutrition Institute (KNI) highlights itself as an expert in CKD, PKD, and autoimmune kidney issues. The site offers opportunities to catch users at every step of the sales journey – from a free class email opt-in to a low-cost 13-module course to a discovery call for 1-1 counseling.
Jessianna, owner of KNI, says, “Your web presence for a virtual business is the same as your office space if you’re brick and mortar. There is a patient journey that happens on a webpage. For us our web presence has helped us showcase our expertise and professionalism which ultimately has helped us establish trust and credibility with patients and other organizations.”
This site is owned by Kristin Willard, a Registered Dietitian that specializes in bariatric surgery. Kristen offers a variety of resources on her site (like blog posts), but what really stands out are the digital product sales of bariatric meal plans.
Focusing heavily on her niche’s needs, Kristen developed meal plans that seamlessly solve the problem of “what should I eat after surgery?”. She includes a pureed, soft, and regular meal plan, as well as a plant-based diet option.
The sales page speaks directly to her audience, and offers social proof via testimonials. The page is easy to navigate and makes purchasing a meal plan (or a bundle) simple.
The Bottom Line
Creating an effective dietitian website doesn’t have to be complicated, and can be done yourself. However, if the idea of site design sends your stress level rising, or you’d rather spend your time on revenue-generating tasks, don’t hesitate to hire a website designer or take a course to guide you.
Either way, by defining your niche, using compelling copy, and focusing on SEO, you can create a website that will help you attract your dream clients or readers!
Resources and references
As you are ready to launch (or refresh) your website, check out these recommended resources and references.
- The Dietitian Website System – Everything you need to create a beautiful + strategic website for your business (without the tech overwhelm!)
- The Writing Course for Nutrition Professionals – Learn how to take your writing from scientific snoozefests to copy that grabs your ideal client’s attention and compels them to become delighted clients.