Getting your practice on the Web
As I work on the redesign of my website, it’s a good idea to review what information I want to have on the site and how I should organize it to make the page easy to use. Keep in mind that I want my page to
To help me determine what and where to put information, I think of a web page as a magazine. Like a magazine, most websites are not a single page; they are made of multiple pages and each page has it’s own story. Each page should be able to stand on its own but should still feel like it belongs with the other stories. After all, no one reads National Geographic for the recipes, right?
The first page that visitors will see when they type in my web address is called the “Home Page”. This is like the cover of the magazine – nice picture with a lot of teasers as to what is inside. If the teasers are interesting enough, people will read the magazine. If the teasers are boring, they won’t read. Your Home Page is your first chance at making a good impression and your biggest opportunity to Recruit new clients.
Understanding your target market is crucial here, because you have about 3 paragraphs to do this. If you try to market to everyone, you will succeed in marketing to no one. Know your niche!
“No matter where you go, there you are.” – Buckaroo Bonzai
The navigation bar of the website, usually located at the top or on the left hand side, is like the index of the magazine. It tells you what page to go for the story the reader is interested in. Resist the urge to think outside the box with the navigation. It should be easy to find and the list of items should be obvious what they point to.
Tell them what you do
You’ll need a page that describes your services. This is a big chance to Recruit new clients through Education. Describe what you can do FOR your client, not what you will do TO your client. Unless you specialize in a well-marketed, trademarked modality such as Rolfing, don’t use a lot of jargon.
Your clients want to know the benefits of your massage not your specific techniques. Use the Services page to Educate your potential clients about how massage can benefit them and how you are the massage therapist that can take care of their needs. Niches you can emphasize are pregnant women, athletes, computer workers, corporate wellness, auto accidents, eating disorders, etc. Look at your services through your customers’ eyes and describe them as a solution to a problem.
Start your relationship with your potential clients
“I don’t have a photograph, but you can have my footprints. They’re upstairs in my socks.” – Groucho Marx
Next is an “About Me” page. Here is your potential client’s first chance to see who you are and decide if you would be someone they can be comfortable with. This is all Recruit material here. Include a picture, something nice with you smiling. Include something about your background and give enough information for people to relate to you. Be careful about oversharing as that can cause boundary issues. Keep in mind that:
people do business with people they know, like and trust!
Let them know how to find you
If your office is difficult to locate or you live in a big city, a page with directions and a map is handy. Lacey WA isn’t a big city but the city has the location data for my building wrong and GPS systems are always taking people to the wrong location. So I have a map showing where the building is. I also have clients that come from the surrounding cities and they aren’t familiar with the area, so having directions is handy. Make it easy for your clients to find you.
A barebones site will Recruit new clients
If all you have is a Home, Services, and About Me page, you can launch your website. Unlike a magazine, you can add more pages as you go along. These 3 pages will serve the Recruit function, but do little to Educate or Inform; those are better served with different pages. Remember to let every page do its job.
In looking at my current site, I get quite a few new clients, but my website could be doing better. I’m going to add at least one more photo to the About Me page and maybe tweak the information a bit. The services page needs a refresh as I’ve added chair massage and intra-oral massage services. The Continuing Education classes need their own domain as they serve a different audience. And the Home page? It’s about to get a complete overhaul. I do well enough in search engine rankings, but ‘well enough’ isn’t good enough for me anymore, even more so now that you are all implementing these tips and improving your page rankings!
Visually, my massage therapy site needs an overhaul. It’s looking a lot like last year’s fashions and needs to be really grab people and make them want to dig deeper into the site for more information. The deeper they dig, the more they have come to know me and develop a relationship with me. Know, Like, Trust.
The most important information that should be on EVERY page
Your contact information.
Do you prefer your clients schedule by phone? Make your phone number visible on every page. You do NOT want to lose them after they have made the decision because they can’t find your phone number. Make it available and make it visible.
Is your site getting you the clients you want?
What about your website? Is it getting you all the clients you need or want? Is it getting you the type of clients you want? Take a good look at it. Is it looking a little tired or dated? Maybe you don’t have a website, but you’d like to get one. What one thing about your website do you think needs changing? Let me know so I can help you.