Your website can be your main source of clients! It is also a great educational tool and helps build trust with readers helping to get more clients in the door!
Follow these steps and Do-It-Yourself – Create your Massage Website!
- Choose a domain name. A domain name is part of optimizing a site. It used to be that the best domain was the words ‘massage your city’. In 2014 that is not necessarily true. Ideally, the best domain is short, to the point and describes what you do. Hyphens are out unless it is your very last resort. There are always better domains. It is part of the first impression that people have about your business so make sure people know what you do by just reading the domain name.Bad names: happyhandsmassage.com , massage-therapist-tulsa.com. The other thing is if you have had your domain name since before 2011 when Google started making all of their big algorithm changes, your site itself may not be liked by Google and there will be some things you can try like getting rid of poorly written pages and creating regular weekly or even daily posts until it recovers.
- Find hosting. If you are a member of ABMP or AMTA, you will get a free website. Start there at least just so you can learn the ropes. ABMP sites actually seem to work if you know what to do. AMTA websites are another story especially the free versions that have Google ads on them which makes AMTA money.
WordPress is another option- it is blogging software that can be set up to be a website. There is a fairly large learning curve to using the software and there isn’t any guide really. You can Youtube for directions and also look at their documentation. See also: WordPress for Massage Websites article here.
Weebly.com is a drag and drop system that is fairly easy to use. You still will need to understand what to do to get your site found by the search engines. See Weebly Massage Business Websites
SBI! (Site Build it!) is where I get most of my info and experience with websites. It is like a college level course in websites – probably too much for most massage therapists but if you really want to take the time to learn this is a good place to learn. I have simplified SBI! for you here.
- Choose a design template or have one created for you. Your design should load fast in browsers and look the same in most browsers. You can spend thousands on a design and it won’t matter if you don’t learn search engine optimization and get people to your website. Keep it simple. Lots of white space, black/dark text. Don’t use flash.
- Once you get your domain and hosting together so your site is live, create your Home page. This is one of the most important pages. It needs to tell people what solution you provide for them. It needs to be about them – not you! Your About Me page is about You! People don’t want to know about you until they know you have what they are looking for. What they are usually looking for is some relief for pain or stress. They want to know if you can handle what they have! You do that by also adding content and writing about what it is that massage does and what it means to you.
- Learn about metatags. Each page needs it’s own set of metatags. The tags are what tell the search engines what is on your website. It is also what usually shows up in the listing of the search engines. It needs to make people want to click on the listing! It is simple really, but needs some time to learn. See how the tags show up – this is exactly what I had for the metatags.
- After you get your homepage up and ready for viewing – submit your xml sitemap to Bing/Google. This is a special file that needs to be set up on your website that tells the search engines what is on your website. WordPress has a plugin that you need to add to set this up. I like xmlsitemap by Arne Brachhold which you can find in the plugin search within your WordPress. SBI! creates one automatically. Weebly has one too. You will need a Google Webmaster and a Bing Webmasters account (free).
- Check to see if your hosting company is providing traffic reports. If they don’t have a stats program, sign up for Free for Google Analytics. Analytics is really overkill as far as data you will need but use it to track your results and what keywords people are using to find you. You can also find out things like how many visitors are using their phones or which browsers. If your hosting company does have stats, you need to know how they work – what traffic do they count? Many stat programs will track the many bots that come to your site too which is fine but it isn’t accurate when it comes to finding out how many people you are getting a day. You need to know this info and watch it to track your traffic and also to watch for changes that Google/Bing make in their algorithms so you can see if your site is affected.
- Create pages for your massage services/fees, an about you page. These are the next two most important pages on your site.
- You will need photos for every page of your website. Photos are a part of SEO. The best thing to do is to buy some stock massage photos from Ryan Hoyme (aka masagenerd.com) and use something like www.picmonkey.com to add text to each photo. Put a saying or put your contact info.
- Create a list of articles that you want on your website. Here are some ideas for starters. Create a page for every type of massage you do. Create a page for the various diseases and conditions that you work with. Write about how massage works and why. Start a regular schedule of writing a page each week or as often as you can. Google in 2014 is really all about content. (Content = articles, pages on your website.) Google can now understand the context of pages – the meaning of words. Yes, scary but needed to weed out all the spammy sites.
- That pages need to be linked together in a specific navigation system. The navigation links are a part of SEO. Every page needs to be within two clicks of the homepage. This creates a tier system for your website. Search engines follow links. It is what actually makes the internet work -that is why they are called “Hyperlinks”.
- Previously, (2005-2011) Google found websites by following links from other popular sites. The idea was that the more links you had that went to your site, the more popular your site must be. There used to be a way to do what is now called “Google Bombs” where you could type a few words into Google and a funny website would come up. (Search for miserable failure and the White House site used to come up when Bush was in office.) You can’t do that anymore! Google doesn’t look at links in the same way! You do still need to get links but it needs to be natural links. Getting natural links is about writing such great content that people will want to link to it!!! Get natural links from posting on reputable blogs/websites and by getting ‘citations’ in directories like the Yellow Pages, Yelp etc.
- Set up a blog if you are ready to write something every week. Everyone wants to set up a blog or be blogging – it is the new buzz word I think. I don’t recommend blogging until you have followed all of the steps, written at least 30 pages of content and have followed everything in the ebook and still haven’t gotten the results you want. There is nothing worse than a blog without recent posts.
- Decide if you want to use Social Media and pick one or two. The most popular are Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest. Facebook is making it harder to reach your fans there. They want more people to start paying for ads so they are limiting what they show people. You can get around that by learning how to use it more effectively. See more on Using Facebook to build your massage business.
- Keep creating content until you are on the top of the first page of Google results and getting all of the clients that you need! Content is what makes this all really work! It is what will separate you from all of the other massage websites out there and help you to look like the expert in your area! With all of the group buying deals/low cost massage franchises out there, you really need to up your game and be the expert! Get people to trust you and remove the barrier of cost! The latest information from Google says build a site that show that you are the Expert, Authority and are trustworthy! See also : Is your website good enough to E-A-T.
If all of these just seems like Greek to you – just keep with it! If I can learn it – anyone can! My first website ever back in 1999 – I thought I would break the internet – Haha!
All of this information is freely available if you do your research and I have put it all together in my latest edition of my Ebook
or join my Private Coaching Group DIY Massage Websites and get all of the help you need in implementing these steps and the EBook.
(Ebook included in the price of the group membership!)
I also provide added help for implementing all of these steps in a private Facebook Group with weekly lessons that you can follow at your own pace!
The DIY Massage Websites group will help you to understand all of these things and help you get your website dialed in so that it can be doing most of the work of Getting you new clients almost every day!