As therapists in 2016, we understand that having a functioning, informational, and attractive website isn’t just a good idea-it’s a necessity. But if you’re just starting out in private practice, it can be intimidating to build one from the ground up. How do you design your home page so a user can easily navigate and find what they need? How do you present information in a way that isn’t overwhelming or too “busy”? What’s the best way to make sure your content is mobile-friendly? And even when you figure out the answers to these questions, how do you make the vision in your head actually become reality on a website?
One of the many issues that new clinicians face is deciding whether or not to hire a web designer or to create their own site. Starting a practice isn’t cheap, and a budget may be tight. Is a professional developer really worth the cost? And if so, who says he/ she will do a good job? Would it be maybe be a better idea to just google how to build your own website? Every individual is different; some may have more experience with coding and web development than others, but I will say this: most of the therapists that I’ve consulted haven’t had the know-how to create their website from the ground up.
We learn along the way, but we usually need some help from the pros getting started or rebranding an older website. You may be the exception to the rule (able to build your own site), and that’s great! Still, I can confidently say that the single most important factor in finding success in my career has been maintaining a strong online presence, which all started with a website. In other words, don’t skimp on this step! The return on investment makes it definitely worth it.
What To Look For In A Web Designer
So if you decide to spend money on a web guru (which I do suggest, especially when you’re first getting the hang of things), there are a few key things to look for:
- You need someone who will work with you, and not just for you. This is your site, and you need to understand as best as you can how it works. A developer may be brilliant, but if he/she can’t relay to you what’s going on with your site, go with a different option.
- You need excellent tech support. So look for someone with the heart of a teacher that will help you learn how to update your site and address any technical concerns.
- You need something that's affordable. obviously need someone within your budget, but there’s truth to the saying that you get what you pay for. Going with the lowest bidder may be tempting, but it could also mean that the quality of the service is subpar.
- You need someone who understands Search Engine Optimization (how “findable” you are online to people in your city or community) and can also help you with the best hosting and web domain options.
If you’re convinced that hiring a developer is the right decision for you, check out Brighter Vision Web Solutions. I have referred several of my consulting clients to them for customized websites. They specialize in working with therapists, so they know what kind of website works best for those in our field. What sets Brighter Vision apart from other website designers? Perry Rosenbloom CEO & Founder of Brighter Vision says that everything they do is designed to help convert website visitors into therapy clients by doing these 3 things:
- Call to actions throughout your website. These action calls help guide potential clients to the right location to learn more about you or contact you to make an appointment.
- Built with a mobile-first mindset. This means that your website will format perfectly on any device and always have your phone number and email address at the front and center of every page, no matter what device is being used.
- Professional and personalized website design. Brighter Vision designs with your potential clients in mind so your site visitors can connect with you. They build websites as unique as your practice. Each website is customized by a professional designer who works very closely with you to understand your vision, style and philosophy, and they build a website for you to reflect that.
Check out their therapist website designs on their portfolio page.
Listen to The Therapist Experience - a podcast started by Brighter Vision. Every week they interview successful therapists about what it's really like starting, growing and marketing their private practice.
Brighter Vision offers competitive pricing (get your first two months free!) and free tech support even after your website has gone live. Visit them today!
Financial compensation was not received for this post. However, Brighter Vision is a "Fantastic Sponsor" of the Most Awesome Conference for Therapists. To join me, Joe Sanok, and Kelly + Miranda of ZynnyMe for 3 full-days of private practice-building consulting and training in La Jolla, CA this May visit MostAwesomeConference.com!