Tips for improving the website for your practice (Part 2)
More basic tips to help you out with setting up your own website.
Knowing not only what to include on your website, but also what not to include can be very important. There is no one formula fits all solution to including content on your website, it depends mostly on what the purpose of your website is.
This might seem like a simple question, but a lot of people get a website because they should have a website. When this is your reason for having a website, it can be understandably difficult to work out what you should put on your website. Often the approach becomes “I will have what everyone else has on their websites, just a standard website”. As you might guess, this is not the best approach to get a website that will deliver you results. Some good reasons you might want are website are:
- To attract new clients
- To improve brand/business recognition in your community
- To make it easy for people to find your contact details
- To advertise all of your services to existing clients
Once you know why you have/want a website, you can then decide on what content is suitable for you.
This is content that you should probably have on your website, unless there is a particular reason not to.
Most websites will have a header of some sort. This is a small part of the screen (usually at the top) that appears on all pages of your website. It will typically contain your logo and business name if not included in the logo. It is also where you will have your navigation options (ie. Home, About Us, Services, etc.).
It is important to have your logo/branding within the header, to ensure it is clear which website you are on throughout the pages.
I would also recommend having your contact phone number in this area also. Calling your practice to book an appointment is usually the outcome you want from someone visiting your website, so you should make that as easy as possible for them. Don’t make them go searching for your number, or they may give up.
This is the page that people will first see when visiting your website. If it doesn’t capture their attention, they won’t go any further. I would recommend keeping it simple and ensure it clearly conveys what you do. Really you want to validate to the visitor that they are in the right place. Ways to do this would be to briefly list/describe the services you offer. It is also useful to list your location(s), as region is very relevant to your visitors.
It is a good idea to have a picture of yourself or your team on this page. People are drawn to pictures of other people, and it also adds a personality to your business, which is much more likely to appeal to your visitor than just words. It is best to find a balance between professional and friendly, either extreme is no good. Some examples:
This is a page that should have all the details about your team. You can call this page “About Us”, “Practitioners”, “Our Team” or anything that feels appropriate. It should list all of your team members, and ideally have a photo of each. Again websites can be quite impersonal if they are just text, show that there is a real person behind the name. For each team member, a little bit of information about the services they provide, and their experience/qualifications is good.
It is also good to add a little bit of flavour by speaking about any hobbies or non-work related interests they have. Each practitioner only needs a paragraph or two, this shouldn’t be their life story.
As you may have guessed, it’s also quite important to list the services you actually provide. If you are a multi-disciplinary clinic, it is a good place to mention the different disciplines you offer, and also some information that helps your visitor decide what service they need. If you have just one discipline, then its a great place to talk not only about the service you offer, but also the benefits of the service.
It is also a good place to explain what they can expect from these services, and possibly have your pricing here too. I know many people have a separate page for pricing, but why not list it in the same place you describe the service itself? It will save your visitor jumping backwards and forwards to see what they are getting for the price. If you have pricing on its own page, you might find your visitors only look at the pricing page, and don’t see the benefits described in your services area.
It is important to have a “Contact Us” page with all of your contact details (phone, email, physical address, etc.). I would also encourage you to include an interactive map on this page. Google Maps can be easily integrated into your website, and lets your visitors easily see exactly where your practice is in relation to themselves.
Contacting you is something you really want to encourage, so it’s a good idea to embed a contact form right into this page. This lets them type straight into your page and send you a message very easily. Saving them the trouble of copying your email address into their mail program might make the difference between them contacting you or not. It is important that you check your emails regularly, there is no point making it easy for them to email you if you then don’t get back to them for a few days.
The Contact Us page is also a great place to list your business hours.
Advanced content is extra information that you can include on your website and can add great value, but you need to decide if it is appropriate for your practice.
A news page, or section of your home page dedicated to news can be a great place to keep visitors up to date with the latest news about your practice. Did you recently add a new practitioner, have you moved, are you offering new services or have a special offer? These are great things to put in a news section. I would encourage you to do this ONLY if you regularly have news, and ONLY if you are really going to update your website with this news. If you do this right, it can show your visitors that you are active, and inform them of your latest activities. If you do this wrong, they will see your last news item from 4 years ago, and wonder if you are still in business.
This is similar to the news section, if you really will maintain this, a blog can be a great idea. A blog is a place to share some views that you have expertise in. It might be a place to regular write health tips or recommend exercises for people. This can be a great way to have new and existing clients visit your site with regularity, it also helps establish you as an expert in your field. Another benefit of a blog is that it can greatly help your rankings in Google search (this is a whole other post though).
Again like the news, it will do you no favours if you have 2 blog posts from 4 years ago before you got sick of it. If it is something that you will do regularly, thats great, if not, steer clear.
Social Media Links
Linking to your facebook page, twitter page or other social media options is a good way to encourage visitors to follow your business. If you are ACTIVE on any of these social media sites, I would highly encourage you to link to them from your website. If you are not active on them, linking to a deserted wasteland won’t look good.
Testimonials can add a lot of reassurance to your visitors that your service is good. If you can source quality testimonials that are heart felt, then it is great to have these on your site. The home page is a great start, but also including on your services page is very appropriate. Putting a persons name to the testimonials is important to show that it is real, if you can also add a photo, that is even better.
Don’t include content for the sake of it, work out what the purpose of your website is and only include content that is aimed to achieve that purpose. Make sure you know what action you want your visitors to take (ie. make an appointment) and ensure that it is very easy for them to achieve that.
It is important that your website is always up to date, if you are not someone that is likely to maintain the site often, make sure you only include information that won’t date easily.
Keep it simple.
Your visitors aren’t going to read everything on your site, the less you have there, the more chance they will read the important bits.
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