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Start With A Business Attitude
A mental health private practice, whether it’s part-time or full-time, is a small business. The same principles and procedures for running any successful small business apply. Having a business plan, a statement of vision and mission, analysis of your competition and a marketing plan are a few of the business elements to consider. All of these fold into your marketing approach and must be reflected in your website if it is to work for you and make your business a success.
Incidentally, there are two aspects of marketing go against the grain of most therapists and counselors, but must be dealt with to accept selling and marketing as a natural and needed piece of your business:
- First, is to learn to highlight the benefits of what you offer to customers and not assume that your credentials are enough to sell the sizzle and attract a clientele.
- Second, is learning how to use your online presence to brand yourself in much the same way as Coca-Cola or other household brands.
A distinguish and differentiated profile of you posted online must showcase you and what benefits your work offers clients. A website tailored to communicate that image of you and what you offer the public is what you need. A properly designed and well-built website, which in turn, is search engine optimized (SEO) using current state-of-the-art procedures can do all that good stuff for you and your business practice.
I call it using the Whole Kit and Caboodle, holding nothing back. The answer to the following question must be embedded in in the fabric of your website:
“What Can You Do For Me Today and How Well Can You Do It?”
The Whole Kit and Caboodle About “How to Build A Website From Scratch”
It’s not quite as simple as figuring out how to get your website put together. Sure, there is that consideration, such as are you going to build it yourself or have someone else build it. But, there’s much more to having a website that conducts online marketing and generates business for your therapy practice.
These are the pieces to consider:
- First, the website needs a domain. Finding and registering your domain name requires some thought because this will have something to do about how you rank online. It’s not as simple as securing “your name.com.”
- That domain name will need to be registered and then each year thereafter, your domain name must be re-registered, unless you register it for longer intervals such as two years at a time, which is rec Otherwise, you lose it and your website is shut down.
- The hosting of your website is the next thing to deal with. “Hosting” means you find somebody will keep your website online for you 24/7/365 using their software and servers.
- Once these decisions about domain name and hosting have been made, you are ready to consider how to get your website built.
- After building a website, it must be launched. There are secrets and keys tricks that can be used to get your website quickly indexed, keep it out of the “Google sandbox” and on its way to high-ranking.
- Finally, a website needs to be optimized for search engine results so that the organic search returns find your website and deem it to be worthy of listing it somewhere in the top three pages . This is a complicated, never ending work, involving up to 200 different factors that determine your webpage rank. To make matters more demanding, the SEO landscape is constantly changing. Like a garden, your website will need regular, watchful TLC.
Building Your Website
The options for building your website are numerous, but we can break them down into three categories:
- Learn how to master all the coding and technical aspects of designing and building the website from scratch and then do it yourself.
- Use what I call a plug-and-play website builder. These are ubiquitous programs aggressively marketed which promise to help you quickly and easily build your website and get it launched overnight. You don’t need any understanding of HTML code or any of the other programming aspects used in modern-day website functionality.
- Commission a website to be built either to your specifications or trust them and rely on the expertise of the person you hire. Bespoken or consignment websites take time to develop and are expensive.
As you would expect, there are pluses and minuses to each of these three approaches. I will let the first one, learning code so you can know “How To Build A Website From Scratch” speak for itself. Suffice it to say, this is a long and expensive path, a big investment just to construct one or two websites.