Everything you need to know to get your practice online
If you're just getting started with your chiropractic office online, it can be overwhelming knowing where to start and how to get the most for your investment. A great chiropractic website can be a powerful marketing tool, but a poor website can be an expensive boondoggle and months of frustration.
Over the years, we've built close to 1,000 websites for chiropractors, and so we have a pretty good sense of what works and what doesn't work. In this Complete Guide, we're going to discuss the key elements necessary for a great website and how your website is the basis of a powerful chiropractic marketing strategy. With this information, you'll be much more informed about how to proceed with your site and you'll be able to save yourself time and money by asking the right questions from your hosting company.
Step 1: Picking a Domain Name
Before your new website goes online, it needs to have an address or URL. Your domain name is what you'll print on your business cards, offline marketing, and it's what your patients will see in the Google search results.
To help you choose a great domain name, we've put together Choosing Your Chiropractic Clinic Domain Name.
Step 2: Setting Up Email Addresses
This sounds simple, but there are some important things to consider when setting up your email. Your email address is how you'll be communicating with patients, so it's important to get this right.
Learn more about email here with Setting Up Your Chiropractic Email Addresses
Step 3: Choosing a Platform or Hosting Company
Every website needs a server where your site files exist and are available to the public, and there are literally hundreds of different options.
This is one of the most complicated parts of getting started with your new site. Should you build your own? Should you use one of the generic hosting services? Should you have a custom site built?
Choosing the right platform early in your site development process can save you a lot of time and money later, plus it can actually make the difference between having a successful website or something that hurts your practice.
Step 4: Getting SSL
Google is now requiring sites to have HTTPS or SSL installed for security. SSL is a web protocol that encrypts communications between your patients web browser and your web server. There are a few reasons why this basic security is required, and we cover those more thoroughly here in our coverage of SSL.
Step 5: Editing Your Website
Your website is going to need a CMS (Content Management System) that makes it easy to add, delete, and make changes to pages and posts on your site. Most platforms include this functionality, but there are some custom designs that might not. It's important to make sure that you or your staff can make changes to your site without requiring help from your webmaster.
In addition, make sure that your CMS allows you to embed video and scheduling functionality.
Step 6: Making Your Site Mobile-Friendly
Over half of all traffic to your website is going to be coming from phones or tablets, so you need to make sure that your site is optimized for those devices. If a patient tries to visit your website and it's too hard to read on mobile, they'll leave and find another doctor. Read about Responsive Chiropractic Website Design and how it's a necessity today.
Step 7: Taking Professional Photos
When people are looking for a new chiropractor, they're going to check out websites and find a doctor who looks professional and competent. Too many times, we see sites with poor quality and poorly lit photos.
Your website is the first impression most people will have of your practice, so spend the money to have professional photos taken of you, your staff, and your office.
Step 8: Creating Content
Having a great chiropractic website doesn't mean anything if your patients can't find it! Getting your website online is just the first step.
There are many, many aspects to successful online marketing for your practice, but the first one is to have content on your site that helps Google index and rank your site well.
The first step to creating content is to write about how you can help patients with their health issues. Patients are visiting your website for a reason: they're looking for an answer to a problem. Provide those answers with articles, blog posts, and videos about how chiropractic works and how you've helped other patients with similar problems.
Step 9: Telling a Story
What inspired you to become a chiropractor? How have you helped patients? What do you love about your work?
People love stories and they want to get to know you before they come in for their first appointment. Create content on your site about the work you do.