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Boosting Your Profits With A Web Site
| It seems now and days that everyone and their brother has a web site. The newest fad is to put your web site address on your automobile (not to mention on your shirt and hat, at the very least).
Is all this talk about the Internet hype, or is there some truth in it? Up to a year ago, if one of my clients asked my opinion regarding getting a web site for their business, more than likely I would have told him to wait on that web site, and put their money toward more profitable avenues.
This is no longer the case. The Internet has finally moved out of the "hype" phase and into the "profit" phase.
What this means to you as a Chiropractor, is that now is the time to get a web site for your practice. Why?
An effective web site can give you a return on your investment that few, if any, medium can.
You have your web site address on your business cards, letterhead, advertisements, promotional pieces, and any outgoing materials. Your patients and prospective patients load up the Internet from their work or home computer and go to your site. Instantaneously, they get to your site and your site educates them on Chiropractic - the philosophy behind it, and more importantly how it can help them. Next time they show up for their appointment, what you're telling them makes more sense, and they are more likely so stay with your practice longer. But wait a second. . .
Before they leave your site, they sign up for your FREE monthly newsletter, sent to them by e-mail. And once in a while they will e-mail your web site address to their friends who wanted to know more about Chiropractic but were too nervous to make their first appointment. (And if you design your site right, those friends will understand how Chiropractic will help them, and in turn call to make their first appointment).
Next month you write a little personal article about Chiropractic and send it to all the subscribers of your online newsletter. Since you are sending it by e-mail, there is no cost to you and there are online software, many of which are free, which take care of most of the work for you.
Anytime you have a special event, or you just need an influx of business, you load up the program and send an announcement or promotional piece to your subscribers. It costs you nothing, takes a few minutes, and can bring you a consistent and predictable stream of appointments.
I'm sure that this sounds intriguing, and maybe a little like a fantasy. However, it is no fantasy, as several Chiropractors are doing this already. One Chiropractor even has a weekly online video conference where his patients connect to him online and he answers their questions sent by e-mail. He has a video camera attached to his computer and the camera broadcasts his "show" on the Internet.
However, it does take time and planning to develop a web site like this. Furthermore, very few Chiropractors have the knowledge, and even more importantly, the time to create such a web site. For this reason, more than likely you will have to out source this project to a webmaster.
When you go looking for a web site designer, make sure you find one that has created other web sites similar to what you're looking for. Furthermore, you want a webmaster who knows about Chiropractic. Things will go much more smoothly if the web site designer is knowledgeable about the principles of Chiropractic, and how it works.
Ask around, and don't be surprised to find out that one of your patients designs web sites for a living.
Whether you are creating your own web site or hiring a specialist, there are some things to keep in mind.
1) The web site should be designed for the layman. Do not assume that the viewer knows anything about Chiropractic. She doesn't know what a subluxation or an adjustment is. Explain everything in detail, and use as few (if any) technical words as possible. And whatever you do, make sure that the material is interesting and doesn't put the viewer to sleep.
2) Use as little bells-and-whistles as possible. Some web site designers pride themselves on their ability to put every bell-and-whistle ever invented on their customers' web sites. Stay away from these people like you would the black plague.
Web sites with tons of bells-and-whistles (Active-X, Java, audio, video, etc.) and tons of images, tend to slow the loading of the web site, and in some cases crash the viewer's computer if it can't handle the power needed to view that site.
An ideal site will have only a few images, which are small and fast loading. The emphasis should be placed upon an easy to navigate design, and content (text) that catches the viewers' attention and makes them stay and view the remainder of your site.
3) Make sure that you have a purpose for creating the web site. Is it to educate patients? Or is it to get new patients? Maybe it's to help you communicate regularly with your patients.
Whatever the reason is, make sure that all parts of the site are in harmony to reach that goal.
The next questions most Chiropractors ask is how much is fair to pay for a web site. On average, it will cost you $300 - $500 a year to register your domain name and get it hosted. You want a web site with your own domain name (www.yourname.com). Do not get a web site on a free server just to save money (www.xyz.com/yourname). You will lose much more in credibility than the money you saved.
As far as the cost of the actual creation of your web site, a fair price is anywhere from $1,000 - $5,000, but don't be surprised if it goes higher than this if you want more features in your site. I would recommend you get quotes from at least three web designers, and look at samples of their work, before you shell out your hard-earned money.
If you are having a hard time finding a competent web site designer, visit this web page and I'll have a list of some good web site designers for you to contact. Also, if you would like FREE strategies to help you implement a web site with your practice (along with other tips for improving the profitability of your practice) sign up for our free marketing newsletter.
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