Starting a Website in itself can be confusing. There are so many options out there for hosting and design services. Most of the massage associations offer a free or low cost massage website. While these are a good place to begin learning about websites they are in my view just a start. These free websites do not get found by the search engines. They can be used if you are just starting out so that you can have an address to put on your promotional items such as business cards. If you have access to these site designers I recommend that you start there just to get things going until you can get up a real site.
There are many components to building an effective website. The goal is to get a site found by the search engines so when someone is searching for the words massage, your city your site should come up in the top of the first page.
Here is the basic outline of what you need to do:
- Choosing a domain name : getting the best domain will help you get your site found.
- Creating an xml sitemap and submitting it to the search engines. This is a special file that needs to be on your website so that the search engines know what is on your site.
- Using metatags – These are an invisible part of the site that search engines scan to see what is on your site also. It is all about using keywords correctly.
- Writing Content- Having many articles and as much information as you can on your site will help both the search engines and getting traffic as well as help build trust with your readers. You don’t have to be a writer. Just learn to write down the things you talk about with clients anyways everyday.
- What to say on your homepage- make it about the client/reader. They want to know what is in it for them!
- What to say on your about me page.
- Having an email newsletter- Collecting the email addresses of people who visit your site so that you can send follow up information in the form of a newsletter will help build your client base.
- Using Affiliate programs to make additional income can provide residual streams of income which means the money comes in when you are sleeping and doing massage.
- After planning these things then it is time to decide on a webhost. It depends on how much you can do yourself or want to do yourself.
After you get your website built, there are more things you can do to get it found by the search engines. One of the key things is to just write more content. Write pages on all of the types of massage that you do. Write about how muscles work and how massage works. Write down the things you say all the time to clients anyway. Writing doesn’t have to be exceptional like for a book- it just has to be in your own words, in your own voice. Search engines love content and so do readers/potential clients. The other thing search engines like especially Google is seeing other websites link to you. It is called getting backlinks. There are many really easy ways to do this. You can even get an idea of how many you will need to get placed at the top of the searches for your keywords (massage your city). Do a search for massage your city and see what sites come up in the top 3-5 spots. Use the Google toolbar and see what their pagerank is. Then take a look to see how many other sites are linked to that site. You can use a tool like www.majesticseo.com You will need to get more links than them and get your pagerank up higher than their rank.
So to get backlinks here are some of the things that you can do:
- Write free really short articles on free article directory sites. (Article Marketing)
- Submit your url to free website directories
- Post on blogs and other websites and leave your url on the post like this one!!!
You will also need to submit your website to the Local sections of the major websites.
You can also promote your website and business using Facebook and Twitter. I use Twitter to post my last minute openings each day directly on my website and always get my schedule filled that way. You do need to have a fair amount of traffic on your website so that people will see the feed.
So all of that information may seem overwhelming to you. Just take it step by step. It is really worth learning and implementing because when you get your website up and running it will be your main source of clients if done correctly. People will be coming to you. You won’t have to do as many other things to promote yourself.
If you don’t have time to do it yourself you can hire someone to do it for you. Be sure that the company that you hire understands search engine optimization and also about how to use content to get traffic and new clients. It would also be good if you can update your pages yourself and be able to add more content yourself and not have to pay someone to make those small changes. SBI! offers a service to create your website for you that will also allow you to learn about creating pages and you can update them yourself. There are a few different plans you can use. They will also teach you everything you need to know about getting your website found by the search engines.
Should you build a website or build a blog for your massage business? With so many options it is so confusing. You have to figure out what works. I do like WordPress but it has some drawbacks unless you know how to use it. I have more details on how to set up and use WordPress for your website here- wordpress massage sites (PDF).
If you don’t have a website, don’t have a free website and don’t have any interest in starting one then your best option would be to use Facebook and other social media services like twitter or linkedin.com. While these services can be helpful the basic way they work still makes you go out looking for a needle in the haystack. With a website, clients will come to you because of the information that you have put out there telling people about what you do. This is the ultimate in the way of attracting your ideal client.
See also: Starting with a free Website