5 myths about physical therapy websites
Physical therapy websites can educate, they can publish important content, and they can produce leads. They serve as online hubs for social media discussions and engagements. And when a web user and potential client needs your services, a good website will show high up within his or her search engine results.
Your physical therapy website can do just about anything, it seems. But just as Swiss Army-style knives go, bigger isn’t always better.
While certain features make this an irreplaceable tool in many situations, this doesn’t play out the more bells and whistles you add. Sure, some features are invaluable and convenient, but others may do little more than add bulk, expense and maintenance while bogging down the tool’s effectiveness.
(Need a visual? Get a load of this multi-tool and tell me if you’d like to lug this with you on a backpacking trip.)
And yet, we’ve seen it time and again – bulky, feature- and page-heavy physical therapy websites that are difficult to navigate, rendering them less (not more) effective. They’re the classic “throw it out and see what sticks” websites, many of them likely costing a pretty penny to develop and maintain.
Such an approach has, over time led to the genesis of what we at BuildPT have identified as 5 Myths of Physical Therapy Websites – items that, rather than enhance physical therapy marketing, can actually hold your website back from connecting with your local 2020 healthcare consumers.
PT Website Myth #1: More is Better
Your website doesn’t have to be an encyclopedia to be effective. And in an age when consumers tend to prefer social media and apps over the Regular Ol’ Web (ROW), people aren’t likely to peruse your website anyway.
Today’s consumers want to quickly find what they need – or what first attracted them to your site (e.g., a social media promo of a blog post) – then move on. So you have precious little time to deliver.
8 seconds — that’s how much time. Really, I’m not kidding. According to a 2015 study by Microsoft Corp, that’s the average human attention span in the digital age – just 1 second worse than goldfish.
PT Website Myth #2: All Mobile is Created Equal
If your website isn’t mobile, you’re essentially cutting your website’s effectiveness by more than half. That’s because smartphone users of the world exceed desktop users … and have for over 2 years now.
But not all mobile is created equal. There’s straight mobile – someone’s built a second version of your site specifically for smartphones – and then there’s responsive. The difference is significant.
A responsive website is one that’s built to remain attractive as it automatically adjusts to all screen sizes. From desktop monitors to tablets to your smartphone, a responsive site (you guessed it) responds to the
dimensions of your screen, ensuring your site is readable wherever or however you’re viewing it – with no need to create, manage and maintain a special, small-format site.
PT Website Myth #3: I Can Set It, Then Forget It
As your PT practice is continually changing, evolving and growing, so should your physical therapy website. From continually updating page content to regularly sharing information on your blog, your website will only work for you if you give it the tools (the content) to do so.
Outside your clinic, your website is the best representation of your physical therapy practice. So when it comes to services, staff, programs, locations and contact info, accuracy is (no surprise) critical. But don’t underestimate the power of your blog.
A blog is where you educate, share news and update people about your clinic. It’s also where your personality lives – where you can spotlight your clinic’s culture, how endears itself to the community, and what truly sets you apart from others.
And from an SEO perspective, and consistent blog entries are a green flags telling search engines that your clinic and its site is alive, active and consistently sharing something new – all of which can lead to higher search rankings.
PT Website Myth #4: Clinical = Credible
When PTs gather together through work, education, workshops and conferences, it’s perfectly appropriate to speak in terms the general public may need Google to understand. But on your website? Avoid like the plague!
Use of lingo and medical jargon on your website is making the message about you. It’s not improving your credibility, and it’s certainly not meeting your client where they are – likely frustrated, injured, in pain, stressed, and in need of finding someone relatable.
Whether in person or online, your job is to relate to your clients and your community the best you can. And you don’t make this connection by forcing potential clients to leave their comfort zones in order to learn about you and what you have to offer.
PT Website Myth #5: You Get What You Pay For
This is possibly the greatest misconception about physical therapy websites. So let me say this in the most certain terms I can:
No, you do not have to make a once-in-a-decade investment for your website to be effective. You do not need to spend hours explaining your profession to an agency that’s never worked with a physical therapist before, and your sitemap does not need to read like the appendix of a biology textbook.
An affordable, slimmed-down site (or web hub, as we like to call them) can be as attractive, functional and effective, and ours at BuildPT can be developed starting at just $750.
To learn more about our physical therapy websites, drop us a line and we’ll get back to you with more information.