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7 Sure-Fire Ways to Improve Your Website's Effectiveness

Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes
Last Update: 2/7/2018

I recently did a non-scientific poll in a few of my favorite Facebook groups about rehab practice websites. Looks like there are a ton of rehab professionals managing their own sites. 

Below are seven tips that come from the most common and the BIGGEST mistakes I’ve seen. They are some of the most basic website best practices, but lots of folks still haven’t nailed the basics.   

See how your website fits into a comprehensive content marketing plan

Your Practice Website: If you’re not going to maintain your vehicle, you’d better have a surplus of runners in tutus

What happens to a website that never gets maintained? The same thing that happens to a vehicle - eventually it becomes a pointless heap of junk! Sometimes this happens in the middle of a busy intersection with a van full of drunk runners in tutus who are yelling at you, but you can’t hear them over your own panicked screaming. 

Tutu powered clown van

You don’t have to have a fancy website, and there are plenty of great templates out there. Go for it! If you do get a management company, make them earn their money. Below are my very bare minimum requirements that will stop the screaming.

Website:

  1. If your website is not “responsive,” meaning optimized to be viewed either on a computer or a phone, call up whoever is responsible for your website and don’t stop yelling at them until they fix it. Or fire them and give your money to someone who actually gives a bleep about your business.
  2. Ditch the slider. Need proof, read here. Get a nice pic of someone in your target market getting great care with faces in the picture. No pictures of headless body parts. You’re in the PEOPLE business, not the random body parts business. The picture should convey how you want your patients and clients to feel. Probably something like engaged, supported, and accomplished. See for yourself. Look at the following pairs of pictures and note what feelings come up when you look at each. Which tells the patient-centered story about the care you provide?
Engaged patient care Joint manipulation

 

Engaged patient education Spinal mobilization
  1. Work on your value proposition with your target market in mind. Read this article. But don’t do it alone. Make a team of the owner, an admin staff member, and a PT staff member. Come up with a few options and then show them to spouses, friends, and especially any patients and clients that you feel comfortable asking. This text overlays your banner photo and maybe some spills into your first subheading and body of the website.
  2. Simplify brutally. If you have Google Analytics set up, see which pages get no traffic and delete them. If you’re not there, go to each page, ask the following questions, and edit accordingly:
    1. Can I delete this page without losing business?
    2. Is it clear what I want a prospective patient or client to DO on this page? (Call for an appointment? Subscribe to a newsletter? Click to another page?)
    3. Test all your links and be sure that if they direct someone away from your website, they open a new tab. You don’t want people to leave your site. If you don’t know how to do this, ask your web person or google “how to make a link open in a new tab in xyz web program.”
  3. Have a contact form. This should be an option either as a service from your web hosting company or a plugin for your WordPress site. You’ll want one to field questions and requests for appointments, and you’ll need a version on your blog page for subscribers to join your email list.
  4. SEO
    1. Brainstorm the search terms you want to rank for. That means figure out the words that your prospective patients and clients are typing into google. You want your company to come up (rank) when they hit “search.” Pro-tip – vast numbers of people who need PT don’t know that it’s PT they need! Don’t make all your keywords revolve around PT. If your target market has LBP issues, consider “exercises for back pain,” “how to treat back pain,” “relief for lower back pain,” “numbness and tingling,” “ergonomics for office workers,” etc.
  5. In your website program, there should be a place to enter your Title Tag (50-60 characters) and your Meta Description (about 250-300 characters) for each page. (Side note: Google recently upped their meta description or “snippet” length from 160 to the current 250-300. My web company had put in a 160-character length limit, so I had to contact them and ask them to increase the minimum.)

Meta tags for title and description

Search engines use title tags and consumers use the meta description that comes up (there is no guarantee that Google will put your meta description in there, but it’s likely).

Google search results

If you have a management company, get on the phone with them and ask for a review of both for your main pages. If not, do your own review and be sure your top words and phrases are there in complete sentences and not copy/pasted identically for each page.

  1. Check to see if your top keywords are on most pages in headings and subheadings. Don’t make them cookie cutter, but make sure they’re well integrated. Your meta descriptions should answer the questions, 1) What is this page about? and 2) Why should I click the link to visit?

Final tip: Put it on your calendar to do a quick link check every six months and a deeper review every year or with any major changes in the practice.

See how your website fits into a comprehensive content marketing plan