Website Must Haves Part 2: Required Info
Now that you know what needs to go on behind the scenes of your website, you can concentrate on what needs your website needs to have. You don't need a fancy website with bells and whistles (unless you want it and have the time to create it!); you just need a place for clients to search for you and learn more about your practice. Here is the information you must have, and optional information that would be nice but isn't required.
When you're thinking about what you need on your website, think about what you look for on other business' websites. What information will parents and potential clients want to see? Here's what I've found to be the most helpful:
1. Basic business info: hours of operation, clinic address, & contact info
People are going to want to know when and where you see clients, and how to contact you.
If you are a mobile therapist, note that with your hours (which is where people usually look for an address).
Whether you have a clinic address or see clients in their homes, be sure to put "Serving X area" somewhere visible as well- you never know when your site might be showing up in results for people outside of your target market, and it's better to let them know up front than have them call you and be disappointed.
When I was first starting out and messing around with Google Adwords (do NOT try this at home without taking their training!), I was getting calls from people in Montana and Florida... and I'm in Pittsburgh. That's a waste of everyone's time!
2. Insurances accepted
This is the second most important thing I look for when I'm looking up a doctor, and the number one question parents and clients ask when calling me. Make sure you are clear about which insurances you accept OR if you don't accept insurance, and then resign yourself to the fact that people are going to call and ask anyway.
Also, note which kind of payments you accept- cash, check, credit card, HSA/FSA cards, etc. Not everyone will read this, but for most who are looking for that info, it's a dealbreaker. Personally, I would rather go to a doctor who accepts my HSA card rather than having to remember cash or a check and then submitting that for reimbursement.
3. Services offered & ages served
Do you offer evaluations and therapy? Just therapy? Evals, therapy, and screenings? Parent groups? All of the above? List that in your website!
You're not required to offer evals- you can use current eval results from schools or another therapist, or informal assessments if you are not billing insurance- but parents will want to know this! This can also be a way to set yourself apart from other local therapists- do you offer a service that they don't?
This is what the home page of my website looks like. I have all of the required information in one place, easily accessible and (hopefully) easy to read, with longer lists (Disorders Treated and Therapy Services) in drop-down boxes to keep the page clutter-free:
Optional but helpful info
1. About Me page
This isn't required, but parents and potential clients like to be able to see a little bit about the therapist they're looking into. This doesn't have to be a novel- just add a professional picture and a blurb about your experience and mission statement. One or two sentences about your hobbies is a nice touch as well.
Do you have sites and resources that you love using with parents and clients, and think they'd find helpful? Share them! This helps parents, and gives you a boost to your SEO If you list them all on one page, use a dropdown box or other method to make the page less cluttered- no one wants to scroll through 1000 links at a time.
3. A Blog
You don't need a blog for your practice website, but it can be helpful in the same way that the resources section I just mentioned is helpful- it's one more way for parents to find you on the internet and it sets you apart.
Blogging takes awhile though! If you do it right, you need to be creating pins for Pinterest and making sure the back-end SEO looks good, so don't just start cranking out posts and expecting it to increase your reach overnight.
Those are my tips! Do you have any other tips for websites? Share them below!