[et_pb_section bb_built=”1″ admin_label=”section”][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]
I don’t need to tell you your website matters. It’s the cornerstone of your online presence and a link to your local community. Most of the time, it’s the very first point of contact for prospective patients—the first chance you have to show prospective new patients who you are, and how you can help them.
Like me, you didn’t go to digital marketing school—you got your masters or doctorate in physical therapy. If you feel a bit shaky on digital fundamentals, and uncertain about how to use your website to generate referrals, you’re not alone. If you like the way your website looks, but you’re not sure it’s doing the job you need it to do, you’ve got plenty of company.
This list isn’t about fancy bells and whistles. These are essential features every physical therapy private practice website needs, to attract new referrals and get them through your clinic doors:
- Responsiveness to mobile
The idea of a responsive website isn’t new. But I still see a lot of PT websites that haven’t incorporated mobile responsiveness to their design. What’s a responsive website? It’s one that adjusts to fit perfectly on whatever screen it’s being viewed. A website that’s responsive looks as good on a 5-inch smartphone as a tablet or a laptop. Since 2016, more website visits take place on mobile devices than on traditional computers. If your website isn’t responsive, it will stick out in the marketplace—and not in a good way. Worse, you run the very real risk of having potential patients not be able to use your site effectively.
- A reason to choose YOUR practice
People visiting your website have already identified you as a PT they’re considering, whether through a referral, an online review, or a geography-based search. They don’t need to be sold on the idea of physical therapy—they need to be told why they should pick YOU as their physical therapist. What is your “special sauce” that separates your clinic from the competitors? Your homepage is one critically important place to answer this question.
- A clear call to action
It’s great to get potential patients to your website. Now, what do you want them to do? This is your call to action, or CTA and it’s essential that you have one!
When prospective patients visit your website, assume they are ready for physical therapy. So, have a clear CTA to address that readiness. Make sure they don’t have to think, just take the next step. Most likely, is it to call and schedule an appointment. Tell them EXACTLY what you want them to do and how to do it.
- Click to call
More mobile friendliness here. You’ve drawn prospective patients to your site, and given them some key information about why they should choose your practice. Click to call functionality makes it as easy as possible for mobile browsing patients (who are a majority of browsers, remember) to call you, right then and now.
- Pictures of you and your team
Strong visual imagery is critical for an engaging website. Stock photos are a quick way to load up a site with images. But they are, by definition, generic. Even the most casual web consumer (and that includes just about everyone) can recognize a stock photo for what it is—inauthentic, and not directly representative of you. Why would you include that kind of content on your site?
Use real photos of you and your team. This will engage prospective patients like no stock imagery can. Headshots are great for a staff bio page, but feel free to use action shots too. Genuine is always better in my book!
Also, throughout your site make sure to also use photos of you and your team in action—doing manual therapy, engaging with and educating patients, and enjoying it.
- Positive ratings and reviews
Don’t be shy about putting these testimonials front and center on your homepage. That’s where the standout reviews belong. (You can share a longer list on a separate page.) Recent research shows the kind of impact these testimonials have: more than three-quarters of customers read reviews before choosing to do business with a company, according to this 2016 article in Entrepreneur. And an even higher number of people put as much trust in online reviews as they do in recommendations from friends and family. Specifically, studies like this 2015 on published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research show us that within the healthcare field, positive patient reviews help drive your reputation and your prospective patients’ decision making. (I’ll talk more, soon, about how to build and burnish your online reputation.)
- A friendly, informative staff page
The second most visited beside your home page is your ABOUT or STAFF page. It makes sense: people want to get to know the people who’ll be treating them. This is a no-brainer opportunity to respond to your visitors’ natural curiosity, and introduce your team. The best staff pages combine friendly, welcoming (read: smiling) photos and short biographies that include both professional experience and interests and some personal information, to give prospective patients an authentic sense of who you are. Don’t limit this page to clinical staff and management; include your front desk and other support staff, too.
- A well-designed contact page
Basic? Yes. Important? Incredibly. This page should be simple and clearly laid out—the goal is to make it as easy as possible for patients to get the information they need. But too often, contact pages don’t get enough attention, and wind up looking like a “leftover” page. Your contact page needs the same thought to design, copywriting, and call to action every other section of your website does.
Final thought: You don’t have to jump on every bright, shiny new digital marketing trend. (In fact, as you’ve heard me say before, there are good reasons why you shouldn’t.) But as a business owner, is up to you to chart the future for your practice. That means being willing to learn, ask questions and get help with parts of the business that aren’t your expertise.
Feeling overwhelmed juggling all the responsibilities of practice ownership? I’ve been there—and I know how to turn things around. Schedule your your free, 30-minute Laser Focus Call to talk about the ways you can take control of your business, make more money, and re-claim a life outside of work.