Getting Ready To Launch Your Therapy Website
Preparation is everything and especially when it comes to creating a website that is going to bring clients to your therapy door. A little time spent getting all your ducks in a row before designing your website will go a long way to make designing a website you love for your business and one your clients love just as much.
Therapy Website Preparation Steps
1. Know Your Service - What is it you offer? What makes it stand it out from others offering similar? Really think about this one there will be unique things about your therapy practice that make it special and right for your ideal customer. The service you offer is bespoke because you are. Is it the way you do therapy? Is it your professional experience? Is it your backstory? Is it a therapy specialism you offer?
2. Know Your Ideal Client - You don’t want just any client you want clients that are right for you and you are right for them. You need to ensure your marketing messages convey what you stand for to attract the right customers as much as the places and tools you use to attract your customers.
Essentially, it’s all about marketing. You don’t want to appeal to just everyone as you’ll end up appealing to no-one and your marketing, branding and message will become unclear.
It’s useful to spend time and think about the type of client you want to attract. It can feel a little awkward at times doing this as you may struggle to see the value at first and think I just want any client, but you don’t, you want the right clients.
Once you have a clear vision of this ideal client, it makes your website design and marketing efforts so much easier and importantly effective. Clarity over your client means that you will be able to build your business around your ideal target market.
So put any scepticism to one side and sit down with a piece of paper and describe your ideal client - who do you enjoy working with, who do you want to work with, what are they like, what interests do they have, where do they go holiday, what books or magazines do they read, where do they live - country or city, what shops do they go to, what food do they enjoy, what jobs do they have, what age are they, are they male or female, what car do they drive, what style of house do they have, what personality traits do they have, what would they never do etc. You get the picture, be as detailed as you can. Get to know them - you can even give them a name if it helps in visualising them.
As your designing your website the first question you’ll ask yourself is would this appeal to my ideal client?
3. Find Your Personal Brand - Colours, Look and Feel
What brands do I like? What appeals about these brands? What colours do I want to use? What websites do I like? Do I want a modern, minimal look with white space? Do I like a more organic naturalistic feel? What brands don’t I like? What typefaces/fonts do I like?
Before you start designing it's important to have an idea about the style you want to go for with your website. Some therapists will go as far as creating a mood board which can be really helpful - a mood board is just collage (paper or electronic) consisting of images, text, and samples of what you like website wise.
Once you've started to consider your brand you'll slowly settle on a style you like. Make a note of the colours, font, and style of image you like. Most website builder platforms will allow you to select these colours, fonts and images you want to use.
Here are some tools that might help:
- Choosing A Colour - you can use a tool like Adobe Kuler - to explore colour ideas. You can easily explore colour themes that might appeal. If you wanted to use an orange on your website just go to 'Explore' in the menu options and type in 'orange' and it will show a huge selection of orange palettes and complementary colours. You can screenshot these and get the HEX colour value. You can then use this value to get the same colour on your website. Most website builders will allow you to select a specific colour by typing in the HEX value.
- Choosing A Typeface - you'll want to select a font/typeface that represents your business. You need to select no more than 2 for your website. Any more would be confusing. You'll use one for the main body text and one for headlines and menus. Check out Google Fonts to find a couple of typefaces you like. If you pick a typeface it suggests another typeface that would pair well with it which is a nice feature.
- Professional Photographs - often overlooked but so important, spend time and money here. Get headshots and scene setting ones for your website.
- Images - images are important on a website and convey more to a visitor in an instant than a whole paragraph of text can do. I would recommend images of people on your website where you can, perhaps not grinning but conveying a sense of well being. This will engage your visitor from the start and grab a clients attention so it can be worthwhile spending some money in this space purchasing a few stock images. A Google search for 'stock images' will provide a good selection of websites to purchase from. For free images visit https://unsplash.com is great and high quality.
4. Getting Inspiration - looking at other websites often helps with inspiration. You can do a Google search for 'therapy websites' and see what styles might appeal. But also browse other non related websites it doesn't have to be one related to your business. All your looking for here is:
- typeface choice
- layout of pages
- header and footer layout
- what features it has
Once you've found a few that are in keeping with what you're after bookmark these sites as part of your mood board for reference when your building your website. You'll refer back to them later as you're designing your website.
5. Writing Website Content
Ok so now you know who you want to attract, you have a visual style/image ready to go and a professional photograph. The next step is content for your website.
This where you put pen to paper or seek out the help of a content writer to craft the text you need for your website.
For your website, in the main you'll need content to populate these areas:
- Home Page (Main Page)
- Therapy Services Page
- About Me Page
- Contact Me Page
- Blog Page
Rather than list out the common sections required within each of these key areas you can download a free a set of templates that cover each area.
Just click the link and download what you need. I use these templates as the basis for collecting client content so I know they work.
In the template documents, it will mention a 'Call To Action' - this just means what action do you want a website visitor to take on this page - sign up for a newsletter, make an appointment, go to your contact page, read your testimonials etc. They make it obvious the action you want a visitor to take.
The templates are detailed so you may find not all the sections are applicable. But they will put you in a really great position to start building your website confidently and with speed.
6. What To Look For In Your Website Builder?
Right, you're now pretty much ready to go, with all you need to start building your successful website. The last step to consider is where you build your website. There really are a myriad of options in this space. The best advice I can give is to look for a platform or company that offers good support and room for growth. You will face challenges on your way to building your website and you need to know that the support is going to be there. Also, your business will change over time and you'll want to do other things, you need to know your website is going to keep in step with this.
Tips On Choosing A Website Builder
- Avoid using a friend/family member to build a website for you. Your website is a business tool and your main method for attracting customers you don’t want to be running it on favours.
- When signing up for a website check what the process is if you wish to move suppliers at any point.
- Look for a website solution that will allow you to make small changes yourself but also offers support for larger changes.
- Ensure the website is going to be kept up to date with software and security updates (to mitigate any risk of your website being hacked).
With these steps complete you are fully in control of all the elements that will lead to a successful website set up.
I hope the above is useful and will mean you can start building your therapy website with confidence.
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