If you want to build your therapy practice, don’t make this one terrible mistake!
I recently did a marketing analysis for a very capable psychologist in Illinois. She had just had a website built and professionally designed, and the designer used the Wix platform. Never having studied that platform, before, I was shocked to find that it PREVENTS you from implementing basic SEO practices. In addition, it has no blog support! For this reason, I am updating this post to strongly recommend that you NOT use Wix to create a website.
Yesterday, I spoke to about 30 therapists, both beginners and experienced therapists, about private practice marketing. As is usually the case in these conversations, the topic arose: “Which website platform is best?”
Therapists, like most small business owners, tend to fall into one of a small number of groups when it comes to their thinking about websites. Here is the “website thinking” I most often see:
- Fans of beauty: These folks are very sensitive to aesthetics, and colors, and design. They will spend a lot of money for a good designer, and they’ll spend months perfecting the look of the site. (Designers typically know nothing about smart marketing, by the way).
- Fans of platforms: People in this group have fallen in love with a platform. They love WordPress, or Weebly, or Wix (why all the W’s?) They may become fanatics about their platform because they feel jubilant in their ability to navigate it. Or, they like that hosting is included in their template arrangement (Godaddy, Yahoo, etc.) Or someone somewhere at one time told them something about an advantage of their platform (like “SEO is included!” — which it is for all platforms, by the way) and it made a big impression on them
- Fans of Cheap: Many people like free or cheap. Of course, who wouldn’t, all things being equal?
(Admission: I used to be a raving WordPress fanatic. But since I’ve made so many mistakes in marketing by not focusing on what matters, I’ve significantly softened my stance on this.)
Here is my new mantra:
- It’s not about the website platform.
- It’s not about the website aesthetics.
- It’s not about website affordability.
What is it about then?
The most important thing to consider if you want to grow your practice is how you are going to make absolutely sure that you implement smart marketing on WHATEVER website platform you use.
How are you going to ensure that you implement the 4 pieces of smart marketing (download the checklist, here)?
- You need a strong, well-written marketing message: Don’t be locked into a modular website design that limits your home page marketing message to 200 words or something small like that. Also, make sure you know how to write a really good marketing message, and if you don’t, get training on how to write it.
- How are you going to get traffic to your site? Directories? Are you listed, with a good marketing message there? Google Places? Do you know how to optimize your places listing? Blog posts? Are you producing content regularly and is it easy to add it to your site? (You don’t need a lot of traffic if you have pieces 1, 3 and 4)
- You must collect leads (names and emails). If you don’t, you will never build any momentum. Does your website platform allow you to add an enticing free report in a VERY visible spot and allow easy opt-ins?
- You must nurture your leads. Are you sending informative content to your email list each month, or better yet, each week? Does your website platform make this easy to do?
Those are the only 4 things you need to worry about, and they have nothing to do with website platforms, beauty or price.
You can save a ton on a website, and not do these 4 important things. You can spend a ton on a website, and still not do these 4 important things.
You can be on Yahoo Sites, or Site-Build-It or WordPress or Weebly (note, Wix is now removed from this list) — and it won’t matter at all.
Focus on the marketing mechanics, first, and your practice will grow.
And don’t use Wix for your website. It will be like trying to be in a boxing match with your hands tied behind your back! Make it easy on yourself and go with WordPress.