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Setting Up A Physical Therapy Practice Website

Do I even need a website?

Yes, you do. To get right to it, your physical therapy practice absolutely needs a website. Having a website is not optional these days. By having a website, you:
  • Give your practice visibility on Google, Bing, and other search engines
  • Give your practice credibility with patients and referrers alike
  • Reduce the load on your staff by having basic answers on your website such as hours of operation, directions, and cancellation policy
  • Will look and be professional
  • Will be awesome

How do I get a website?

There’s a lot of confusion about websites out there and it can be hard to understand some of the jargon. Bottom line is that you really need two main pieces to have a website:
 
Domain name – this is your website address. For example www.myawesomepractice.com or www.totallycoolphysicaltherapypractice.com.
 
Host – a host (hosting, server company, etc) provides you with a server where your website will live
 
It is possible to buy these items separately and if you feel very technically competent this may be something you consider. With that being said, it’s much easier these days to get everything from one place. Many companies will let you register and host all in one-place and they take care of all of the tough technical details. This is a great (and inexpensive) way to get your site up and running. Just one caveat – make sure you can take your domain name with you if you decide to change hosts.
 
Last thing is that there are literally 1000’s of hosting options out there. We highly recommend that you avoid the super cheap hosts (and most of the super expensive ones). Super cheap hosts may not be reliable and super expensive ones may not add enough to give you value for your dollar. If you’re only paying $3 a month – can you really expect your site to be running and reliable?

Building your site

It’s awesome how far technology has come! These days you can build a website by drag and drop and clicking. Almost all hosts offer website themes you can pick from. These themes will immediately give you a look and feel to your website. You should be able to tweak some things like colors, etc. Once you have a theme selected, you should use the hosts drag-and-drop tools to build your site and content.
 
You will also find that most major site-building tools take care of being mobile friendly automatically. It’s crucial that your site looks great on phones!
 
You should find it fast and easy!

The basics for your website

A lot of people get scared off from having a website because they fear creating content. The reality is that your physical therapy website can still be effective even with a solid set of basics. Your website can even be just one page as long as it contains these basics:
  • Your practice logo
  • Your practice address (preferably with a link to Google maps for directions)
  • Your phone number
  • A little bit about your practice especially anything you specialize in (nothing crazy)
  • Any other contact information that you would like to offer (e.g. an email address or a contact form, see below)
  • A list of services you provide
  • A list of insurance you accept (or don't accept as the case may be)

Just that on a single page website is 1 trillion times better than no website (we did the math) or a page that is missing this information. A patient or referrer needs to be able to get on that one page and know who you are, where you are, what you do or specialize in, how to get in touch.

Contact forms

Contact forms are a great and convenient way to give website visitors a way to communicate with you. You can create a form with certain fields like (name, phone number, email address) etc and have the user fill them in. You can have a form right on your single page website or you can put it on a separate page.
 
The considerations for these forms are:
  • Ensure that you know who will receive these message at your practice
  • Be sure that you have a procedure for what will happen after you get the message
  • Be mindful of HIPAA, email is not considered inherently secure. Limit your form fields to basics as a best practice.

Social

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest are all very popular these days and many people love them. You might feel that they are a good platforms to use for your practice and they may very well be. Just keep in mind that to be effective social media needs constant attention. You have to be posting to it and keeping it full of information in order to keep it relevant. Many underestimate the time that is needed to be invested to keep it current.

Blogging

Ditto. Same as social.
 
If you do want to writing some blog-style posts, consider posting them as resources on your website as something that is more timeless.

Email

One overlooked part of setting up a physical therapy practice website is having email addresses at your domain.For example, joe@myawesomepractice.com and so on. Every staff member at your practice should have an email address at your domain. It is strongly recommended that practices stop using gmail, aol, hotmail, outlook, etc. Further, it’s more professional if all staff at your practice have an email at your domain.
 
The host you select will almost certainly offer email services as well – sometimes bundled with your domain name and hosting services. Even if email is an add-on it’s not likely to be expensive or difficult.
 
One last thing, not only is it more professional but it will also enhance the security of your practice. By having your employees use practice emails you can monitor emails being sent for compliance and terminate access if and when an employee leaves your practice. You really shouldn’t be using email for staff-to-staff communication. Use a secure solution to avoid HIPAA issues.

The bottom line

A website is an immensely important part of your physical therapy practice marketing strategy and there’s no excuse to have a nice looking website that has key information immediately available and accessible. Get it done!
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