Make your websites work for your practice

Jessica Foster
March 29, 2016
By
We are often asked to provide guidance on how website content should be written for optimal results. What we advise is you need to be aware that your content must be written to appeal to two very different audiences: the search engine robots and the human site visitors.

Moving up the rank
How many times have you heard your clients say, "I couldn't find your site on Google," and then when you go to check it out you find that not only are you ranked on page one but you are near the top? Odd. Why would they be getting different results than you did?

It is more than likely they are using different search terms than you are. It is very important that you determine common search terms that your clients and potential clients would use when looking for the services you offer. When you have identified the common search terms, you will need to tailor your site's content to appeal to those terms.

Talk to your clients and friends. Ask them how they would search online for the services that you offer. Compile a list and identify the top five or six search phrases they use. It doesn't matter if they are technically correct phrases or not. Remember, this is likely how your potential clients will be searching online for your services.

For example, you may find they do not search for "myofascial release in Toronto" but rather "licensed massage therapist Toronto lower back pain" or even "relaxation massage Toronto." This doesn't mean that your website should not have a modality write up on myofascial release. It just means you need to tailor certain areas of your website with terminology that specifically mentions the common search terms you are targeting.

Try using the search phrases on your list, with the popular search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) to see where you are listed in the search results.

Next, edit your site's content to include these words or phrases reasonably often to improve your ranking. Be patient, as it will take some time for the search engines to re-assess your site and update your listing. More than likely, you will start to see your listing move up in the rankings, which means you are on the right track. Keep going, continue to fine tune your content using the terms and you will climb the search engine rankings to appear on the first page, and even potentially become number one. This will ultimately generate much more traffic to your website.

Turning traffic into clients
As mentioned, your website content needs to engage the human visitors, your potential clients, and provide them with the information they need and are looking for. Put yourself in the mindset of a prospective client who is searching for a massage therapist in your city or town. What kind of information are they seeking? Make sure you have that relevant content on your site. Keep your site interesting with informative and newsworthy articles.

Remember, in today's online world, your website is often the meeting place where potential clients first learn about you and your practice. You will want to put your best foot forward.
Introduce yourselves by including professional bios of the practitioners in the clinic and be sure to include their specialties and interests – this will help viewers get to know them.

Your website should provide these necessary elements:
- Logistics of your clinic – hours of operation, the treatments/modalities offered, client intake forms for new clients to download, etc.
- Contact information, with directions on how to get to your practice
- Most importantly, a "call to action" – give readers the ability to immediately book an appointment with you online

Wise investment
A well-thought-out and presented website will ensure that you are noticed and that your clients and prospective clients find what they are looking for. It is an important investment in both time and money; however, it is an investment that will more than pay for itself via increased business for you – if done right. You may want to think about partnering with a professional to work with you. The good news is that it does not need to be expensive.

There are website companies that offer a complete service to massage therapists. They have pre-written relevant website content that will give you a running start that can be fine-tuned to your specific practice. Services include modality pages you can personally edit to appease both audiences – search engine robots and human visitors. They may even offer a complete practice management system as well. The practice management portion may include appointment scheduling and reminders, invoicing, online payments, SOAP notes, financial reporting, and much more.

We have all heard the real estate industry speak about the importance of location, location, location. In the website industry, you are just as likely to hear about the importance of content, content, content.

Until next time, be well.

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