This last Sunday was #massagechat. Allissa and I decided the topic would be some ‘Top 5’ lists. My top 5 list was related to the features that you should have on your website. Since a tweet is limited to 140 characters, including the #massagechat hashtag, I thought I would take this opportunity to flesh out these tweets with more detail on why they are important and how you might implement them into your own massage therapy website.
5 – Provide your contact information so customers can reach you
If I had a nickle for every website I’ve been to that makes it nearly impossible to book an appointment or find their store, I could be writing this from my vacation home in Aspen.
Adding your primary contact information on every web page is easy. If you use WordPress as the backbone for your website, you really only need to add it to either the Header, Widget, or Footer once and it will show up on every page. Have online scheduling? Add the ‘Schedule Now’ button code to a sidebar widget and it’s visible on every page without you having to do it.
Make it easy for people to contact you to schedule an appointment.
4 – Describe the benefits to your customer of your product/service in their language.
Oh, the long lists of massage techniques. It truly is a cliche of the massage therapist page. ‘Reduce inflammation, trigger point therapy, swedish massage, etc.’ Here’s a little secret: your potential clients don’t give a hairy rodent’s posterior about this long list of techniques and technical terms. The only people you are marketing to with this list is other massage therapists and all they want is to trade massage. You can’t buy groceries with trades.
Tell people about what they will get out of the massage and use words they use. As a massage educator, I’m proud and happy that you know what a scapula is, but to the majority of people out there, it’s a shoulder blade. It’s great to use the proper terms now and then, it helps establish that you are a trained professional, but try to use the language that your clients use. I will give you an exemption for the term ‘v jay jay’; I really want that one to go away forever.
3 – Begin the relationship with a terrific about page and clear photo
If you’ve ever tried online dating, then you are familiar with the slightly out of focus, too-small-to-get-details profile picture. Meet one of those folks in person and you’ll understand where the term “Fugly” came from. A picture like that says that you’re hiding something. No one cares that you’ve put on some weight, lost your hair, or have a crooked nose. They want a clear, friendly photo of you. That doesn’t mean broad smiles, it means friendly. Want a great example of a friendly photo? Look at Dale Favier’s photo. If you don’t want a massage from that man after looking at that photo, you need help.
What to write? Let us know more about YOU. Some details about you, maybe why you got into massage, how long you’ve been practicing, and any unique detail that would be kind of fun. Dale’s page provides a lot of personal detail, but he is A) Male, B) doing In House massage, and C) one of the nicest people you will ever meet. He wants potential clients to know that they could invite him into their home. He’s building trust.
2 – Walk the customer through the browse-to-buy awareness/decision process & answer their objections
Massage isn’t cheap. Massage takes time. There is a real cost to your clients when they come for a massage. Therefore, you may have to convince people that they really need a massage and then convince them that you are the best therapist for them. This is a process. It might take more than one page to do this. But don’t expect that a short “Services” page is gong to be enough.
Using the right content and adding a blog to your website will let you address those objections and get people ready to buy. I have an entire 12 week course on writing content for your website and most of it is around moving people through this decision process. Don’t skimp here.
1 – Be findable on the internet! If customers can’t find you, how can you help them?
Not to beat a dead horse, but that free website you’re using isn’t helping you get found on the internet. You also need to start using social media (Facebook or twitter or blogging) to get your message in front of potential clients. You have a wonderful skill that can really help people. You need to get the message out so that people can find you and get that help.
And SEO? That’s an integrated strategy that consists of more than a page title and an URL with massage-city in it. In my 12 week class, the time not spent walking customers through the buy decision is spent explaining SEO and how to maximize it. Don’t think that one shortcut will work well or work forever.
Those are my top 5 website features
Is your website working hard for you? Do you disagree with any of these? Let me hear it in the comments below!