Setting up your own business is an exciting time. There’s a never-ending list of things to do and to top it all off, you now have to organise a website! But let’s slow down for a minute, take a deep breath, and have a look at the quickest, easiest and most sensible way to go about building your new business website.
Why is having a website so important?
Having a website is still the best way to have an online presence and increase your exposure to new customers. Being visible online is critical today, as more people turn to the Internet to find what they want. A website will do the following:
- let people know that you exist – it makes you ‘official’.
- tell people about the services you offer
- give valuable information about pricing
- give you a chance to tell people why they should trust and choose you
- frees up your phone line by offering all this information online, which in turn frees up your valuable time!
Keep it simple!
A website for a massage clinic does not need to look like a work of art, not does it need to cost the earth. Ten years ago, building a website could be a costly exercise. Today, there are many different DIY website platforms available and thousands of stylish website templates to choose from (check out themeforest.net or templatemonster.com).
The world’s largest (and simplest) small business website and blogging platform is WordPress, but there are plenty of others to choose from including Joomla, Drupal, Square Space and more. Each of these platforms comes with its own idiosyncrasies and varying degrees of difficulty, but if you’re up for the challenge, you can achieve quite a lot on your own without the need for a web developer. If not, choose someone trustworthy to do the website design for you, but keep it simple and affordable.
Important pages to include on your website
The golden rule here is to keep it simple. Focus on providing the information that your customers are looking for and prioritise it by making the most important pages clearly visible in your navigation bar.
- Keep your homepage simple. Control the desire to throw absolutely everything you want to say on the homepage and bamboozle your customers!
- Place your logo at the top left hand side of the page. It should be the first thing visitors see.
- your phone number prominently at the top of the page in the header (usually on the right hand side). This way, it will be visible from every page on the site.
- Choose an attractive image to feature on the homepage – if you don’t have your own photos, stock shots are a great, affordable alternative (e.g., istockphoto).
- If you can, think of a short but clever headline to write on this page. This is a couple of sentences that captures not just your offerings, such as what type of massage you do, but the benefits – in other words, how your business well benefit your potential customers.
- When writing copy, it’s also good to try and highlight any points of difference from your competitors. Think about what makes your service unique.
- At the bottom of your home page (and indeed, all of your pages), include a ‘call to action’ – typically an invitation to ‘call now’ or ‘contact us now’.
Services page or pages
- If you are providing lots of different services, or have a lot of content about each service, it may be worthwhile having a page devoted to each, for instance, deep tissue massage, myofascial release, aromatherapy massage, etc.
- If you feel that you don’t really have a lot of content, you may consider putting all the services information on the one page. Just make sure you highlight each section with nice, clear subheadings.
- If possible it is a good idea to put your pricing online. People will appreciate your honesty and transparency, and it will allow them to find out what they’re looking for faster.
Contact Us page:
- Make sure your contact details are clear and easy to read. Include a sentence or two telling people that you’d be happy to hear from them and that you’ll get back to them in a realistic time frame.
- It is best not to include your email address in case people send spam email to you. Instead, use an email enquiry form.
- Make sure you include your entire physical address and your telephone landline number, not just a mobile number. If you want your business to be recognised by Google and to show up in Google’s local listings you will need these details to be on the page. This will also help your readers find and contact you easily.
About Us page
The ‘About Us’ page is more important than people think, it’s very often one of the most visited pages on a website. It’s essential that your potential clients feel that they can trust you – and being able to see you and read about you helps build this trust.
- Make sure you include pictures of you and your staff to add credibility and make it real.
- In the first two paragraphs, you should make sure your “About Us” page tells the readers:
- who you are
- what you do
- when you started doing this
- where you are located
- a bit about the your company values and style
- After the essential info above, add a couple of paragraphs expanding upon your services and specialties.
- Also, you can tell people how they can contact you and give them some enticing information about your social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter.
- See our blog on getting started with your Facebook page for more information.
Include a blog on your website
Including a blog on your website is useful for a number of reasons. Firstly, It gives people interesting things to read about your business, topical information about massage and industry events your staff attend, so you are viewed as more of an authority on the services you offer. In addition, people are able to gain a greater understanding of what is important to you and your business.
Secondly, search engines appreciate regular, fresh content being added to your site. Blog posts tell Google that you investing time and energy on your website and that you care about providing information. Consequently, you have a greater chance of ranking higher in Google searches than your non-blog writing competition.
Finally, have fun with this creative and exciting project. Yes, it can be a bit of work getting everything together, but running a business does involve hard work. So if you are committed to it, make sure you love what you do and enjoy the process – at least most of the time!
Sage Institute of Massage – it’s more than a job, it’s a rewarding career.
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