The Web is the Key to a Successful Massage Therapy Practice
If you’re starting a new massage therapy business or you have an existing practice that you want to grow, you’ve probably been doing a lot of thinking about how to promote your business and stand out from the pack.
I’ve got news for you – promoting and growing your massage therapy practice is easier than you might think. Booking new clients is all about three things:
- Discovery – They need to know you exist.
- Establishing your expertise – They need to know you’re reputable and qualified.
- Establishing trust – They need to feel safe with you.
Once you have these three things, your practice will have nothing stopping its growth. It will just be up to you to keep your clients satisfied and coming back.
So how do you establish these three things? The easiest and most effective way is simply through building a great online presence for your practice.
Website design for massage therapists
It all starts with an attractive, professionally designed website. We all know that the days of being able to get by with a Yellow Pages listing are long past, but even having a website isn’t enough if that site looks unprofessional or outdated.
These days, at least half of all web searches are being done on mobile phones, so you need a site that will look great and be easy to use both on a smart phone and on a desktop computer. You need it to be coded well and optimized for Google, and you need it to be simple to update so that you can add new information when you need to. Unless you or someone you’re close to is a web designer, this means you probably need to hire a professional. However, once that website is built, you should be able to handle the rest on your own.
LinkNow Media offers a customized website design package for massage therapists. Call us at 1-888-667-7186 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Here are the necessities for a massage therapist’s website:
- Attractive, professional photos. Show off your studio, and have at least one professional photo of yourself – this helps to establish trust. You also may want to consider including photos of the types of massage that you perform.
- Important and relevant information. Explain what kind of massage you perform, and if you specialize in working with a certain section of the population (athletes, accident victims, etc.) this is the place to talk about it.
- An attractive bio page. This should showcase you, your experience, and why you’re passionate about massage. You can talk about your training or meaningful experiences you’ve had that inform the way you treat your clients. If more than one massage therapist works at your practice, you may want a separate page for each person.
- A well-formatted menu with the services and prices that you offer. Make it easy to understand. This can also be the page where you may feature special promotions or deals.
There are also two website features I would highly recommend, but which may not be strictly necessary.
- A testimonial page. You want a place to display messages from your satisfied clients. People trust reviews from regular people more than almost anything else. If you have a list of happy clients who are willing to go out of their way to say something nice about you, that can go a long way towards convincing a new client to give you a try.
- A way to book online. We all know people who like to avoid talking on the phone. If you can put a simple form on your site that gives clients the option to book an appointment through their computer, you will increase the chances that someone browsing your website will actually end up on your massage table.
- A blog. Blogging is really the key to long term success in any small business online marketing effort. While a website without a blog is very useful, the blog is what can push you over the top. It’s so important, that I’m going to devote more space to talking about it.
Why massage therapists need to have a blog
Blogs are one of the single most effective marketing tools that exist today. They serve three extremely important purposes for massage therapists.
- They attract an audience. If you have an interesting blog, it will keep people coming back to your site to see what you write next. Even more importantly, it will get people sharing links to your site so that they can share what you’ve written with your friends. More people coming to your site means more clients.
- They establish your expertise and credibility. If you’re writing a blog post every week about a different aspect of massage therapy, it shows people browsing your website that you’re the real deal. In their eyes, you become an expert, and they’re more likely to book a massage.
- They help you get found. Regularly producing content about the work you do is one of the single best things you can do for your site’s SEO (search engine optimization). Writing about massage therapy on a regular basis sends a signal to Google that you’re an authority on that subject. Basically, the more you write, the better the chances that Google will recommend your site when someone in your area searches for “massage therapy.”
Many bloggers struggle with blogging topics, but as a massage therapist you have almost an endless supply of possibilities. You want to write about things that people who are interested in massage therapy would also be interested in. You could write about natural health news, helpful stretching exercises, the benefits of specific types of massages for specific injuries, or anything else related to massage therapy. The most important thing is to publish posts consistently.
Claim/create and verify your Google listing
The last critical part of any massage therapist’s online marketing is to make sure your business has a Google listing. Google has helpfully provided a detailed guide to doing this, but the basics are that you either need to create a Google+ page for your business or claim a page that already exists.
Once that’s all set up, you have to verify your listing. To do this, Google will send a postcard with a PIN to the address you’ve provided. Once you receive the postcard, you enter that PIN into the website, and presto, you’re verified. This means that Google believes you are who you say you are.
Your Google listing is important because it allows you to show up in the local search 3 pack, which is at the top of the search results when people search for local businesses. You want to do everything you can to make sure that people in your area who are interested in massage therapy are finding your website, and properly managing your Google listing is one of the best ways to do that.
Now it’s up to you
Online marketing is critical for any massage therapist trying to build a client base in this day and age. If you follow these tips, you’ll be well on your way to building a thriving massage therapy practice. Do you have any questions? Have you struggled to market your massage therapy practice online in the past? Leave a comment or get in touch with us on Twitter.