Archive for July, 2008

Creating your website’s Home page

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Page 5: Home Page

We’re now on the Home page and on the home stretch. Your home page should be simple to do. Essentially what you are going to do is welcome your visitor and guide them through your site.  Your home page is called your “Index” page. This is important because search engines look for primarily the page saved as “Index” since this is usually your landing page. 

This may be the first impression they have with you and you want to make sure it’s a good one. You want to make this feel personal. Remember, customers buy from people they know, like and trust. So talk to the visitor as though they are sitting across the table, having a coffee with you. Be personable, friendly and inviting. Don’t write for your 9th grade English teacher. She’s not likely to read your website. Write like you talk. Just like what I’m doing now. Start by introducing yourself or your company and welcoming them. For example:

  •  I’m John Doe and I’d like to welcome you to the My Company website.
  • Hi there! This is Jane Doe and I’m delighted you’ve dropped by.
  • Welcome to My Company. This is what we do and how we can help you. 

Add to the end of that sentence, the kind of company you are and the area you serve. This helps the visitor to immediately identify whether or not you have what they are looking for. If you are a One-Person show, you should personally welcome them, or else introduce them to your company.  You now need to give the visitor a reason to read on. So the next paragraph should tell them in a very clear way how they will benefit from your site, your products or your services. Remember, you need to answer the question “What’s in it for me?” Give a brief description of what you do, and link them to your services page to read more details.

Try this format:

If you are a [identify your ideal prospect] looking for help with [list their problem]
then we can help by [outline your solution].Modify this to suit your needs, but this pretty much covers your bases by identifying who should be on the site, the kinds of problems you can help them with and the solution you provide. 

Let me give you a couple of examples so you can see what I mean in a more concrete way:
Hi I’m Joe Schmo, New York’s top massage therapist and I want to welcome you to my site. If you’ve been in pain and unable to find relief I can most likely help you. I will guide you how to deal with your insurance company so that you get covered if possible. 

Or if you are a local retailer, you can start like this:
Welcome to Skis Haus! Your one-stop shop for skiing equipment in the Brewster area. If you are a ski enthusiast or even just starting out for the first time and are looking to buy or rent equipment, you’ve certainly come to the right place. Brewster is close to excellent ski areas and our ski equipment experts can give you guidance and help you find the exact equipment and accessories you need. 

How I do it 

On my home page I introduce the company and myself with a link out to my bio. I give a brief description “teaser” of what benefits the recipient of Myofascial Release can expect with links out to more resources on the site – internal links. Internal links are valuable for SEO, more on that later. We also have a striking powerful image that speaks to the subconscious mind with the word – look at it – what does it say to you? To me and 80% of people I surveyed, it says “FREEDOM!” Say it like in Braveheart! We have the signup button for a Newsletter, and multiple locations to browse the site deeper, with a definite “Call to Action” option of Emailing our office, or calling us, right there and then. 

This is VITAL, don’t make the viewer dig to find the “Contact us” page in order to reach you. This is absolutely key to the success of your website. After all, unless they take some action, you’re really no farther ahead. From there guide them through your site. Have your links easily accessible, either across the top, or down the left side. These are the “Hot zones” that Google Analytics tells us get the most “eye time” – top and left side, so make sure people don’t have to hunt to find out more. Tell them what kinds of information they’ll find on each of your pages.   I also, at the recommendation of my attorney put a short disclaimer on this page. Only because of the videos, you most likely do not need to bother with that. 

Keep this page short and simple. It should not go much below the bottom of a standard computer screen monitor. If it does, it’s too long! Chop it up, and put that good info on other relevant pages.  It should have, in the text, the keywords you choose to describe what you do – the ones others might use to try to find you, obviously your name too! This is SEO. Notice that I’ve hyperlinked pages in the home page text. This makes it easy for the person to immediately click to the information that interests them. The easier you canmake something, the more likely it’s going to get done. So you need to direct them to taking the action you want them to take:

  • Give a call or drop a note 
  • Request more information 
  • Book an appointment 
  • Refer a Patient
  • Download a coupon 
  • Provide their email address or postal address for a mailing list 
  • Visit your office 
  • Buy something on your site

So congratulations! You’ve done it. You’ve created the MOST important pages of a great website. And an effective one that will help you get customers and boost your sales. The future pages are “icing on the cake”. 

Stay tuned to the blog. Did you know you can subscribe to the RSS feed to be automatically updated when there are new posts? Do it!

Once I get the next few posts written, I will have Rachel put them all together with some bonus bits, into an E-Book which we will sell! So you all get this for free! I hope you took ACTION! I also plan to write a killer post on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and the value of Social Media Networking (SMN). I have a lot in my head, but it takes time to get it onto paper, in between a busy office and a growing family! I have a friend and expert in the IT field who I hope will do a conference call with us on SEO and SMN (see above).   Would you be interested in that? If so please comment below on this post in the blog, or better still, email me, so I can get an idea and price it out. 

One of the things that separates great success from dreamers is taking action! It is important, we all know, to visualize, see our goals, but without action, nothing will happen!  If you’re in debt, and you sit in your living room visualizing winning the lottery, they’ll take your living room furniture out from under you!

ACT NOW! ……..

  1. Would you like to know if we put together a conference call on SEO and SMN?
  2. Subscribe to the RSS feed on the blog to be auto – updated.


The “About Us” page

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Page 4: About Us or “Our Staff” 

Good work so far. Give yourself a little pat on the back for making it this far. As Woody Allen said, “90% of success is just showing up.” The other 10% is getting your hands dirty by doing the work that needs to be done. And I’m glad you’ve been following along and doing it. 

Today we are going to write the “About Us” page. 

The “About Us” page is important because it allows you to build credibility and helps potential customers connect with you personally. The “Products/Services” page answered the question: “What’s in it for me?”The “About Us” page answers the second question visitors logically ask themselves:“Why should I come to you and not someone else?” 

There’s truth in the cliché, “Customers buy from people they know, like and trust.” So it’s actually better for most small business to avoid appearing too corporate and formal. You want the visitor to feel a personal connection with you. For that reason, I would highly suggest posting a picture of yourself or your staff on this page. You don’t have to be drop dead gorgeous, but you should look friendly. No scowls or your faces. 

On the MFR chatline recently there was some flagellations about whether or not to include a photo on your website, and I posted that it is vital! Be as open as you are willing to.  I even link out to my Social Media sites: LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube. More on this later! 

If you have other images that you want to have on your website for visual interest, i.e. your beautiful facilities, your waiting room, your admin staff, happy clients, you in action, etc., don’t use them on this page. But feel free to use them on other pages as long as don’t distract the visitor. 

Side note: Here’s an important rule for creating an effective website: If it doesn’t serve a purpose, don’t do it. There are lots of bells and whistles you can add to a website, but if it doesn’t serve the purpose of your website, avoid it like the plague. Just because you can add flashy things to your page doesn’t mean you have to add it. You want to get your visitor to contact or buy from you and you don’t want to distract them from that goal. 

Use the “About Us” page to demonstrate your expertise. People want to feel like they are buying from the top person in your field. So share your passion with your visitor. Each clinican should link to a bio / CV from this page. 

Highlight your experiences. Better yet, tell some stories of some people you’ve helped. Again, don’t sidetrack your visitor by talking about your belly dancing classes or your last vacation to Disney World. You want to be personable without getting too personal. Even though you may think belly dancing is the coolest thing in the world, you’re visitor may not share your enthusiasm and the last thing you want to do is bore your visitor. 

To keep the visitor engaged talk specifically about how your experience or credentials help THEM get a better outcome, result, benefit, advantage, etc. Even though this is called an “About Us” page, it’s really about them, not you. 

Saying “I’m the best” without sounding boastful 

You can be the most without having to boast. To connect with the reader and improve your credibility without bragging, try talking indirectly about your achievements. 

For example, instead of saying: “I won the American B&B Association award of excellence in two years running,” try something like, “When I accepted the award of excellence for the second time from the American B&B Association, I couldn’t help but think of all the fantastic guests who I’ve had the privilege of serving over the years.” 

To brag without bragging, try phrases like these:

· “Because of my [number] of years of experience with/at/in…you’ll find that you get/receive/benefit…[outline how they benefit from your experience]”

· “You benefit by my experience with [list experience]…because it helps me to…[list the benefit to them]”

· “Because of [list specific experience], you can be sure that you’ll get…”

· “When I [list specific achievement], I immediately thought of the many patients like you who I helped by…” 

If you don’t yet have extensive experience or credentials, then tell a story of one customer who was particularly happy with the result or benefit they received and express your desire to do the same for the reader. 

Don’t think that this page has to be long. Here’s an example of an About Us page that is just a single paragraph long. It’s just long enough to help us connect with this woman on a personal level, give us some sense of who she is.  

Even without any solid credentials, this woman conveys a clear benefit and answers the question, “Why should I buy from you and not someone else?”…. good job Sally! 

“After being in the Travel Agency business for 17 years, I decided to fulfill a long time desire to help people in Rockland County to improve the quality of their life by becoming a Massage Therapist. I am of “retire-able” age and this is a real plus.The young feel comfortable with my motherly-nature and the older person feels comfortable with my maturity of age. I thoroughly enjoy massage and make sure that my clients always have a positive experience. Please make use of the giftcertificate below for your first visit. There’s nothing to lose in trying out my massage and I’m certain you’ll have a great experience.” 

Okay, get busy and do this now. Give yourself ten minutes to write whatever comes to mind and post it to your website now. Don’t put this off or it won’t get done. 

Again, once this is published, you’ll have all the time in the world to improve it. Even if it’s not perfect, that’s fine. Get it up there now. Remember to also put a call to action on this and every page “Email us” or “Call us” with the number. 

Sorry if I sound bossy. I just want to see you succeed with this. So I’m pushing you a little to make that success happen. 

It is easy to just read it and put it off to another day. I know you’re good, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this, but challenge yourself to be GREAT, and ACT now! 

We’ve done all the hard work now and the BIG page, your “Home Page”, will be a piece of cake. Really. No joke. So get the “About Us” page done so we can get this baby wrapped up. The pages after that are “cream on the top” and not essential, but we’ll cover them briefly nevertheless!

 Go for it! Act.


3rd website page to build: “Products and Services offered”

Monday, July 21st, 2008

Page 3: Services Offered / Products

We’ve done the “Contact” page so that customers can get basic information about our business and get a hold of us online or visit us offline. Some people JUST put up a “business card” page, with ONLY this info. That is a poor show in my humble opinion, but it is better than nothing! We’ve created (or at least are in the process of creating) a “Testimonials” page that enhances your credibility and, in a language they understand, gives the customer a reason to pick you specifically over your competitors. 

Great work so far. Let’s keep it up. Now we’re onto the third page: The “Services” or “Products” page. This is important because the reader needs to know in no uncertain terms what you are offering. If you have product and service descriptions in your existing brochure, you can just use those for now. Copy and paste them into the blank “Product/Services” page you created earlier. 

Follow the same process we used for the “Contact Us” page. Simply open the page you’ve created and copy and paste existing text or type in new text. To write this page effectively, you have to understand that a prospective customer’s first reaction to any offering is this:What’s in it for me? 

Did you read that last 2 posts on writing good website copy? Let’s face it: We are not all Mother Teresa. We want to get something out of the deal. Everyone is tuned to ONE radio station: WiiFM = “What’s in it for me?!” 

We need that motivation to take action. So it makes sense that you have to answer that question before you can expect the customer to buy from you. And the “Services” page is where you have a chance to explain how they’ll benefit by purchasing from you.
Side note: Just for simplicity’s sake, I’m calling this the “Services” page, but you can call it the “Products” page or the “Products/Services” page or “Services offered” (as I chose to on my site) depending on your business views and plans. Unfortunately, most businesses focus on talking about themselves instead of the customer. Of course, we are not going to do that. Even though we are talking about products and services, we are not going to talk about what we do and what we sell.Instead, we’ll talk about what the customer gets out of the services and products we sell. We are going to talk about benefits.

We are going to stay focused solely on the customer and their needs. And because it’s all about them, the customer is going to find the description of our services captivating. Let me give you a couple of examples and this concept will be much easier to understand.  Here’s a brief description of a massage service directly off the web: “I provide a variety of soft tissue techniques. I provide Swedish massage  although every session includes a bit of craniosacral work as this is much more effective at getting at the deep fascia.” Does that mean anything to you?

Here’s the service written from a customer benefit perspective: “Do you know how a lot of people suffer from incredible tension in their shoulders and get terrible headaches as a result? Well if you’re one of those people, I can help you remember what it’s like to have a relaxed, pain-free neck.”In this second description, I’m speaking directly to the kind of person is who visiting that website and I’ve identified what’s in it for them: a feeling of relaxation and relief from chronic pain. 

Let me give you another IT business example and I just pulled this off the web. Compare this:We provide cost-effective business enterprise solutions for corporations looking for wireless and mobile technology infrastructure to support field communication across your network of associates.  To this what they COULD have written: “We sell affordable cell phones and other wireless tools to help your sales staff communicate more effectively with each other so they can close more deals and sell more product.”Of course, these are just short examples to illustrate a point. But can you identify some of the differences between the two? Let me point some of these out and give you some guidelines in writing this page.

  1. Write in plain English, not jargon. Writing complicated terms or expressions from your industry does not impress your readers. It makes them confused. And once they start feeling confused, they are going to leave your site.

  2. Point out the specific benefit from your product or service. One way to do this is to list a feature of your product and then answer the question, “So what?”
    After all, that’s the question that the readers are asking themselves. For example, “This car comes with seatbelts and side door airbags. (So what?) This ensures that everyone in your car, including the little ones in the back are safe in the event of an accident.”

Here’s a description of a massage course off the web, geared toward middle-aged women that follows these rules:

Our unique training method has been meticulously developed and refined over almost ten years. It is designed to take anyone, including you, through a highly accelerated learning process. It’s a highly structured program with eachtechnique building on the foundation of the ones before. You’ll develop expertise at a lightning fast rate. After only two weekends of training we unleash you on the public so you can see first hand your incredible development. You’ll be astounded as you watch one customer after another fall blissfully under the spell of your “magic” hands. I know you’re doubtful. That’s exactly why we get you out there working with real people. You have to see it to believe it. Why is it so important to us that you master these massage techniques quickly? Because your time is precious. It’s important that you don’t waste your time. Don’t misunderstand. I don’t believe in cutting corners, but I also don’t believe you should waste your valuable time. Life is way too short. You should get the maximum result for every minute you invest in anything you do. So we’ve developed an accelerated learning process so you don’t have to spend countless hours in class. You shouldn’t have to quit your job or sacrifice precious time with your family. 

Notice the feature in the first paragraph is a structured accelerated learning process. So what? It helps you learn quickly. So what? You don’t waste your time. So what? You can spend precious time with your family. And that’s the ultimate benefit for this market: Having a job that allows them to spend time with their family.

3. Tell a story

Oftentimes, we are so familiar with our product or service that we take it for granted and forget that there is an interesting story behind it. Give the reader some insight into what goes on behind the scenes to provide them with your product and they’ll feel more educated, smarter and “in the know”.
Don’t think your product or service has a story? Let me give you another example. I made a video about Myofascial Release so that I could appeal to the people who preferred to learn via seeing and hearing versus reading. I tell stories, and use metaphors as well as visual aides to describe the benefits and effects of our work. Feel free to link to it on your site.

If you’re feeling stuck about what to write, then visit my and JFB’s site and see how we describe services. Use the descriptions for inspiration, but don’t copy them. Speak in a language your prospects understand and always focus on the benefits to them. I have often thought about dropping my services description of my McKenzie training. But I have not because it generates a lot of web interest would you believe?! I monitor this closely on my web statistics, that tells me how many unique visits the site gets, which pages people go to, how long they spend there, which links are clicked on, how they found it (i.e. which search engine they used, and what phrase they typed in) – the options for analysis are endless.

So here’s your task: Write something and put it on your Products/Services page even if the perfectionist inside you says it’s horrible. The hardest part is getting some initial text posted. Once it’s there you can edit, rework or play around with it as much as you like.

But for now get something written and published on that page.  If you have something written already – perhaps information from your brochure – the process should take two minutes as you copy and paste into your Products/Services page. If not, take just 15 to 30 minutes to write something now – anything! Once that’s done we are almost half way done and only have a few more pages to go. The good news is, it only gets easier! Warmly,

Scott van Niekerk

Write killer website copy that really works!

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

Focus on Benefits rather than Features !  In our YouTube video, we talk a lot about focusing on benefits rather than features. This article takes a slightly different and unique look at “benefits” focusing more on the emotional needs of a website viewer, your potential patient / customer. As a therapist or healing artist, you work with people who are struggling with emotional, physical, mental or spiritual pain. Clients come to you because they are hoping to find relief from problems they are having in these areas.As a skilled professional, you know how important it is to show empathy and caring for the pain your clients are experiencing, and to help them build faith and hope that they can overcome this pain. You also know how much your clients appreciate your showing understanding and caring towards them, and the significant role this plays in their healing.However, if you are like many healers and therapists, when it comes to writing copy for your website, you may neglect to show this understanding and caring. Your copy may sound academic, stiff or dry–and/or it may focus too much on yourself and your healing techniques or modalities.

If this sounds like your website, don’t feel badly… You were never taught copywriting skills in your professional training program. Instead, you learned how to write like an academic or professional. You learned how to distance yourself in your writing.

While academic and professional writing has it’s place, unfortunately it’s not very effective when it comes to attracting clients.

So, it’s time to unlearn some of what you were taught….and to discover how to inject emotion into your writing.

Emotions Are a Key Factor Determining If a Client Will Hire You

It is well known amongst copywriters and marketers that people buy a service or product based on their emotions and use their logic to back up their decision. People want to feel understood and have faith that you can help them or they won’t be inclined to buy your services. The moment your copy touches on your clients’ feelings is the moment they begin to seriously show interest in what you are offering them.

Remember, your potential clients have only the words on your website to help them determine if you might be the person they are looking for. Show them you understand their feelings and desires and they will warm up to you…and the more they warm up to you, the more likely they are to become clients.

Think about the relationship-building process as commencing when your potential clients land at your website – well before they show up in your office.

How To Speak to Client Emotions

The emotions you speak to in your website copy will vary depending on what problems your clients have and the emotions that accompany them. A mother who is having problems with a child in pain who is aggressive and acting out, may feel exasperation, frustration, embarrassment, guilt, fear for her child’s future, etc. If you are targeting this type of client you will need to show empathy for these feelings and convince her that you know what it’s like to be in her shoes.

In addition, you will need to build hope and show potential clients that healing from their pain is possible. Help them imagine what their life would be like if their problems were solved. As you know, many clients have given up hope–or are close to it– when they seek help. You need to show them the way out of their pain and help them become motivated to do what it takes in order to heal. This is a key role of a healer, as well as a skilled copywriter.

In the example of the mother of the child in pain, you might build hope by telling her that other parents have had success bringing their children to seek pain relief which will turn around their aggressive behaviors, and chances are she can as well. Of course, never lie! But I am confident that Myofascial Release is one of the best options poeple have!

Focus on the BENEFITS.“Paint a picture” of what her life would be like if her child behaved less aggressively–e.g. her child would be happier and have more friends, her life would be easier, she would be more calm and relaxed, she would feel more confident and in control as a parent, she could focus more of her energy on other areas of her life, etc.If you know and understand your clients’ problems and desires, you should be able to identify and express the emotions that will touch and move them into taking action.

Use Emotional Language Throughout Your Web Pages

Strong, client-attracting copy will address emotions throughout your website. Some key places to address emotions include: the opening headline on your home page, the opening paragraph, the sub-headings on your pages, and in your “call to action”– the place where you ask the client to do something (e.g. sign up for your newsletter or call you to make an appointment).

Pay particular attention to address emotions early on your home page. You have only a few seconds when clients land at your site to show them what you offer and how you can help them. If they can’t quickly determine whether or not you have something that will provide them what they are looking for, they will leave your site.

The bottom line…

If you speak to your clients’ emotions in your web copy, both you and your clients will be better served in the end. Your clients will have an easier time determining if you are the right person for them to see, and you will ultimately get more clients (and the kinds of clients that you ideally want to work with).

Stay true to your cause!


This post is for people who already have websites, which are not working well for them.

Sunday, July 20th, 2008
Plus…. as we’re getting into designing website copy now, you need to know what is good, and what is bad copy! 
Why Your Website isn’t Working:

If you want to drive thousands of visitors to your site and convert them into lifelong, profitable customers, we can show you how. If you’re disappointed at your website’s performance, or just confused at all the ‘Internet Marketing’ options available, you’re just minutes away from revolutionising your internet strategy and bringing an ongoing stream of customers to your site.One of my absolute driving principles on this website is to tell you the truth. I believe the phrase is ‘Tough Love!’So here’s the truth about the Internet.Most websites are not working as well as they could and should!They’re either a disaster that the owner is well aware of (eg the website sells stuff and nobody buys anything) or it’s a more well established site that’s doing ‘OK’ but isn’t coming close to its potential.

So here are some of the possibilities if your website isn’t doing as well as you would like.

You Have A Great Website and Nobody Knows About It

There’s still a belief among many budding business owners that if they create a great website the world will flock to it.I have absolutely no idea what creates this bizarre logic.Websites are not ‘shopfronts’ that people find themselves walking past. They’re websites, out there in cyber space with millions of other websites.For example: you could create a website that tells the world the secret to immortality but if you just put it up on the web and feel immensely pleased with yourself, guess what, it’ll still be a secret.You have to drive people to your site. You do that with Internet Marketing. But please don’t fall into the trap of thinking that the design or content of your site has much to do with how many people are going to visit it.

Your Website is all about YOU!

This is probably the biggest mistake that website owners make.Here’s some more ‘Tough Love’ Nobody could care less about you! OK, maybe that’s a bit extreme. Hopefully you’ve got a great partner, or some nice relatives and friends, or at least a dog or a cat! But other than that, trust me. Nobody’s that concerned about you. They’re too busy trying to make it through the day. What they do care passionately about is WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR THEM.How many websites have you visited that go into great detail about the history of the business or the fact that they’ve just moved to new offices. Who cares?If you change the wording of your site to focus primarily on meeting the needs and solving the problems of your visitors, you may be shocked at how it transforms the performance of your site.

You Get Visitors to Your Site but they don’t Convert to patients?

This is almost worse than having nobody visit your site, isn’t it? You finally find a way of getting people to your site. Maybe you start paying for clicks on Google. You get 300 visitors to your site and – nothing.First of all, don’t be discouraged. Internet Marketing is a constant process of testing and trying things out. Failure is often an inevitable part of the process. But here’s the good news. If you have a decent product or service, and you can find a way of delivering people to the site, you and I should be able to find a way of getting those visitors to take some action.It’s important to remember that you have two basic choices about what you want people who visit your site to do. Your site should either be focused on getting them to buy into you, immediately – or it should be focused on getting them to give you’re their name and email address (and possibly other contact details)As I’ve said elsewhere on the site, the big move in internet marketing has been the shift from sites that try to sell a product or business, to sites that aim to begin an ongoing relationship. This has become known as ‘Permission Marketing.’ You’re basically getting peoples’ permission to communicate with them – forever.If you choose to go for the sale when people arrive at your site, you’re going to need some superbly written copy, that extols the benefits of what you are offering, leads people to action, and if possible guarantees the phonecall to your office to book an appointment.If you’re going to use your site to get peoples’ contact details, you need to give them a compelling reason to give you those details. The best way to do this is by offering something of value in exchange. It can be a newsletter, or a free report or a free sample of your product, but it needs to have real value.If this is done well you should be able to get 10 – 20% of the people who visit your site to give you their contact details. If you follow this up with a good email campaign, you should be able to get a good proportion of those to convert to customers.Whether you decide that the purpose of your web site is a quick sale or a sign up is up to you. It depends partly on what you are offering and how you want to position yourself. I have a strong personal preference for the information giving site, which convinces the visitor that we can help them. The real answer is to test both and see which works best for you and your business.

You think your Website is fairly good and it may be bringing you in results – but with the Huge Potential of the Internet, You want Many more visitors and You Want Them Today!

OK, once you know your website is working for you, here are the four things you need to seriously look into – now. All are going to be dealt with in detail later…but take the first steps today.

Pay Per Click Advertising

Using Google Ad Words you can have the most geographically targeted visitors imaginable visiting your site within 30 minutes. Once you’ve tested a campaign on Google, roll it out on Yahoo.

Search Engine Optimisation

Don’t overlook the power of the free listings on the search engines. Bring in an expert to do this for you – or become an expert yourself.

Get into the Testing Habit

The internet is the greatest testing tool ever- because you get the results so quickly. Get into the habit of testing different elements of your site. Test different headlines on pages. Test different offers. Test different copy. Test different ads on Google. We’re going to have entire features about micro testing on the internet….but start now. The results may astound you.

2nd page: Building the Testimonials page

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

Page 2: Testimonials 

Hopefully, you’re following along as we go and have already created the “Contact Us”page. I urge you to take the little bit of time it takes to do these tasks as you readthrough this blog and within days you’ll have created a powerful website – a websitethat will work day and night to bring customers into your business.  Now, on to your second page… We are now going to create a “Testimonials” page because testimonials are a greatway to build your credibility and establish trust. And we know with absolute certainty that credibility is one of the most important factors influencing someone’s decision to come to you for treatment. 

Testimonials also give potential customers the opportunity to understand in a more concrete way how you can help them. For example, if you’re a massage therapist or physical therapist, you may want to talk about how your style of Myofascial Release can relieve pressure on pain sensitive structures, stretch fascia etc etc. You may talk about improved range of motion and restoration of balance throughout the body. But that’s all too vague for the average person. They can’t relate. They don’t understand. Someone who reads that thinks, “zzzzzzz, bla, bla, bla.” On the other hand, if a customer says, “Mary did this gentle hold technique on my neck and when I got off the table I couldn’t believe that the chronic nagging pain I had in my neck for the past three months was gone!” That’s something they can relate to and is stated in a simple language that other customers understand. Someone who reads that thinks, “Mary helps people with really sore necks. Maybe I should tell John about this. He’s always complaining.” And even if they don’t read your testimonials, the fact that you have a list of raving fans willing to write about their experience means something. People took the time to praise you and they don’t do that without reason. You must be good. Now you may already have a list of testimonials. If so, that’s great. Dig them up and type them out.  

Creating your testimonial page 

If you are subscribe to a website builder or have an HTML editing software, then open up the blank “Testimonials” page you’ve already created. If not, open up a Word document and start typing. If you’ve got testimonials in the past and have them saved in a document (perhaps the copy you used for your brochure), you can simply copy (highlight your info and then press Ctrl-C) and paste (put your mouse in the text box and press Ctrl-V) it into your “Testimonial” page.  Alternatively, just type straight into the blank webpage.  At the top of the page you want to have an introduction to your testimonials. For example, a list of the summarized diagnoses or problems that are addressed in the testimonials. That will be followed by your list of testimonials.  At the bottom of your testimonials make a request for some action: “You can see how people have benefited by using the services of XYZ Company. And we’d like you to experience the same benefits that they’ve experienced firsthand. So for a short time, we are offering a free 15-minute consultation whereyou can sit down with one of our experienced therapists and discuss your needs. To get your free consultation, simply send us an email at with the words “Free consultation” in the subject line.Be sure to include your name and telephone number and we’ll be in touch shortly to arrange a meeting time that’s convenient for you.” Side note: It’s important to ask people to take action on every single page of your site. You never want to stimulate visitors’ interest and then leave them with no clear idea as to what they should do. Give them direction. Tell them what youwould most like them to do next. For instance make sure there is an easy email us link on every page of your site. 

Formatting the testimonials 

Here are some tips on formatting your testimonials:

  • Customer’s name: Try to get permission to use their name. “Bruce S” is more credible than “B.S.” – but be aware of HIPAA and get their consent first. Most customers don’t have an issue with this, but you need to have a signed release on file.
  • Diagnosis / problem: Again get permission to list their diagnosis. Because all your reader sees is words, a listed diagnosis or symptom will help them to visualize this person and as a result makes them more real.
  • City: Again, it adds to credibility. Not only that, but if you are a local business, having the city listed will help search engines find your site when a customer is looking for someone in their locality. It’s not necessary to know why this happens, but it does and I will explain the process in a future email.

 So the “Author of Quote” text should read something like this:“Donna J., Lower Back Pain, Chicago, IL”If you don’t have testimonials don’t despair. They are easy to get. 

How do you get testimonials?

You ask for them.

To get the type of information you need for a compelling testimonial, you have to solicit it. To do this, write out a series of questions, like a survey for your client. After your customer has been treated and is gushing with thanks, tell them you are collecting testimonials and ask if they have a few minutes to fill out a short survey. Have a page with some open-ended questions with space to write an answer after each.  Surveying yoru patient base is an escellent feedback tool anyway, so you should get in the practice of doing this at least yearly – more on that another time!

So here’s your task: Post any existing testimonials on your site right now following the instructions above. You don’t need to post dozens. Three or four will do for a start.

If you don’t have any testimonials on hand, then use a survey sheet to get feedback from your customers. Alternatively, give a quick call to a few of your best customers, do a quick interview over the phone, write the testimonial on their behalf, give it to them to approve and then post it to your website.

Don’t put this off ‘til tomorrow. Do it now. My late Dad used to say “Don’t put off ’til tomorrow what you can do right now!”

You can do it quickly and it’s over and done with. You’ll have a powerful tool on your website to build your credibility, gain your visitors trust and meet another new patient. It has been brought to my attention that in some areas, making testimonials public is apparently illegal! Wow – that’s interesting, but please make sure it is Kosher in your particular locale! I had a novel idea when I first started, of leaving a testimonial book of HAND written testimonials (in the patient’s own handwriting) on my waiting room table. It was a very effective and handy tool! I highly recommend it. I also had a novel idea to allow patients to blog their experiences of treatment, but that didn’t take off due to the “tech savvy” element lack! 

Next we are going to create a short “Services” and/or “Products” page and your website will be well on its way. Can you believe it? We’ve just started and we’ve already made some good headway!


1st and easiest page: Contact Us

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

Page 1: Contact Us

We are going to start by creating a “Contact Us” page. We’ll start with this one because it will be the easiest page to set up and it will help us warm up our website building muscles.

This is your first “to do”. It’s an important first step and it will only take a minute. So don’t put it off. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

If you are using a website builder or have an HTML editing software, then open up the “Contact Us” page you’ve just created. If not, open up a Word document and start typing.

You’re going to type in your contact information giving the visitor as many options as possible so they can reach you in the way that they are most comfortable with, whether that’s by email, phone fax or in person.

It may be useful to include other commonly requested information like hours and fees. The page can look something like this:

Contact Us page:

Joe Smith / Clinic name

1234 Street Address (near the corner of Main and John)

City, State, ZIP

Click here for a map – build your own, or link to a google or mapquest map

Phone: 123-456-7890

Toll free: 1-800-123-1234

Fax: 123-456-7890


Office hours:

Cancellation policy: Privacy policy

Contact Us / Request An Appointment buttons

(As an alternative to an email address, you can place a form which your designer or sitebuilder can create for you)

Include your business name and mailing address. Many customers will choose you based on your location. If you have multiple locations, list them all. And if your street address is not widely known, then list the closest major intersection.

You’ll notice that I’ve suggested you include a link to a map. This is a nice feature to include for the convenience of your visitor. To get a map of your location go to Enter your address into the search box and click Enter. Zoom in or out to get the view you want and then click the “Link to this page” link that you’ll see on the upper right hand side of the screen.

After clicking that link you’ll have two options:

1)    The website address (URL) to your map which you can hyperlink, or

2)     HTML code that you can simply cut and paste into your webpage. This will allow the actual map to display right on the page.


List your phone and fax numbers. Again, you want to give people lots of options in terms of how they can reach you. It’s very important to include an email address. People want to contact you right away and being able to simply click a link and type a quick question is the easiest way for them to do this.

As an alternative to an email address you can place a contact form on your page. By using a form, you can require certain fields be filled in to ensure that you get all the information you need from potential customers. When the visitor submits the form, you get a notification email with the information.

Setting up a form like this with an HTML editor can be a daunting task. It is a little complicated to do. If you are using a website builder, you can add a “Custom Feedback Form” page to set up a form like this relatively easily and you may want to use this as your “Contact Us” page.

You’ll notice too on this example that I’ve included fees and hours of operation. This is information that people are looking for and by having it on the “Contact Us” page, you’ll answer the question immediately and minimize unnecessary calls that take up your valuable time.

That’s all there is to it! Congratulations, you’ve done it! (You did do it, right?) It was painless, wasn’t it?

That’s one down, only 7 more pages to go! To view the Contact Us page of my clinical site go here



Creating your website – the essential pages.

Friday, July 4th, 2008

Creating Your Site 

Step One:If you are going to hire a designer, surf the web and discover/save pages whose structure, layout and color schemes you like, to give your designer a starting point to work from. Designers usually charge anywhere from $200 to $400 for the home page design, and then $100 to $200 for each additional page thereafter. This depends on how complicated you want it. If you choose to include flash (moving) animations it will be much more expensive! FYI – flash also slows down the download time, which raises the risk of the surfer moving on. The average person will decide whether to stay reading on a site, within 8 seconds. If you are going to use a website builder, choose a template. You’ll see a free demo on their first page, where you can view sample templates. There are also templates available online. A template is just a ready made website. It has all the functionality of a website, all it needs is your content. Hopefully you’ll be able to find one that suits your business, your sense of color, that will match your logo etc. And if you can’t find the perfect one, then it’s easy enough to customize an existing template and get it exactly like you want it.  

The host for MFR success (1and1) has a website builder, and hopefully your host will too. View theirs here: Website Builder First hoose a title, slogan and footer.

Step Two:In the second step you add pages to your site. Each Builder application may be different, but choose your category.  Here are the 8 pages I suggest you create:HomeProducts/ServicesOffice Hours DirectionsAbout UsTestimonialsContact UsLinks Remember, you can always add pages relatively easily later on. 

8 Pages You Must Have

 If you are ready to rock and roll, then let’s get started on creating an effective website that will help you capture new customers inexpensively and with very little effort. A website can serve all kinds of functions and there are all types of “site concepts” that you can use to fulfill these various roles.  What do YOU see as the primary purpose for your website?  Some of these might include:Patient generation sitesEducate your current patientsSell productsMarket to referral sourcesNiche portal sitesAll of the above?! These are concepts you might want to explore in the future, but right now we’re going to keep it simple. We are going to create what many would call a “Brochure Site”. 

Your Virtual Brochure

 Unlike your paper brochures that gather dust and aren’t effective at selling, this virtual brochure will be found and read by thousands of “ready-to-buy” customers that are specifically looking to buy your products and services. And your virtual brochure site will prove to them that you are the only logical choice and will compel your visitors to actually buy something from you instead of your competitor down the street.  This kind of site is easy to set up. Follow along with me as I lead you through the process. Each blog post will represent an outline of one concept and is followed by an assigned task. If you do the task outlined in each post – one each week for ten weeks – you’ll have a fully functional and effective site set up. It should take no longer than 15 or 20 minutes each day to complete your task – about the time it takes to drink your coffee. It’s important to note that brochure sites get found and indexed by the search engines. Google loves these sites. As proof, go to Google right now. Now type the name of your profession or business in Google followed by your city. For example, “Massage therapist in Toronto”, “physical therapist in Brewster NY”. I did this twice just to make sure, and….check up on me if you like, google: physical therapist in Brewster NY

Please note – and we’ll refer to the how’s-and-why of this when we cover search engine optimization (SEO) that Wholistic Physical Therapy appears 3 times:

  1. A listing near the beginning of local listings
  2. 1st line listing           
  3. Possibly, depending on chance and google, in the right column Pay Per Click listing 

Can you see how the local businesses featured at the top of the Google search results?You can be sure these businesses are getting thousands and thousands of visits to their website. And if your competitor’s website is there instead of yours, then… uh, oh! You are missing out in thousands and thousands of dollars in sales each year. That money should be in your pocket, not your competitors. Stick with me through these ten sessions and you’ll create a website of your own that will be found on the first page of search engine results, just like the example above. 

The Yellow Pages on steroids

 Don’t think of your website as an advertisement. Instead, think of your brochure website as a Yellow Page ad on steroids. When you pay money to place an ad in a newspaper, radio or television, you are paying for your prospective customer to see that ad. Unfortunately, you are also paying for everyone else who is not a prospective customer to see your ad. If only 1% of the readers are interested in your type of service or product, then you’ve instantly wasted 99% of your money presenting your business to people who are just not interested or not in the market for what you offer.  For this reason, many small business turn to the Yellow Pages for their advertising. With Yellow Pages you can be sure that people are looking for your services specifically rather than casually passing over your ad while searching for the horoscope or sports scores. But the Yellow Pages has big drawbacks as an advertising tool: 

  1. It’s expensive. The last display ad I purchased was the smallest size available and it cost about $2,700 per year. I could have a great traffic generating website for ten years for what it would cost me to run my Yellow Page ad just one year!
  2. You get calls from bargain hunters. Because all your competitors are listed in one spot, it’s easy for the customer to call around looking for the cheapest price. You don’t want to give your business away and as a result lose that prospect to competitors that price too low.
  3. It’s tiny. It gets lost amongst competing ads and you can’t say much to compel someone to visit your business specifically in the available space.
  4. You’re stuck with it. If it’s a dud, you’re stuck with it for a whole year. You keep paying whether or not it brings you any business.

A website on the other hand is inexpensive, can be changed instantly to respond to new opportunities, and provides the opportunity for you to really tell your story to build credibility and close the sale. Even more importantly, is the kind of customers it attracts. It’s true that the average person searching online is more highly educated and has a much higher disposable income to spend with you…But more importantly, you can be sure that someone who reaches your website has already decided that they need what you have and they are ready to buy now. All they need to determine is who they are going to buy from. And through your website, you become the only logical choice. Look at the process from their eyes: They’ve just done a search and they feel smart that they were able to find you. They are impressed that you one of the few businesses in your category that have a decent website. There are no competitors on your website, so they are focused entirely on you and what you have to say. As they go through your excellent content – getting exactly the information they need – the prospective customer comes to know and trust you. The result: You become highly credible and you become their top choice when making their purchase. And that’s exactly what your new website will be all about: Building credibility and making sure that you are the only logical choice so you can make that sale. 

Let’s get building…

 A brochure site gives your visitor essential information that they need in deciding to buy from you. Of course, you can add to and develop your website as much as you like in the future, depending on the time you have available and your inclination. It really doesn’t cost you anything to add as many pages as you like.   You’ll be surprised how easy it is and of course, I’ll be here to help you every step of the way. You want something that works immediately. So right now there will be no fluff, but rather just the stuff we need to get that visitor to contact you by picking up the phone, sending you an email or even by walking into your office. We are going to put together some pages. These are the essential pages that you must have in your site. They are:

  1. Home
  2. Products/Services
  3. Office Hours
  4. Directions
  5. About Us / Staff
  6. Testimonials
  7. Contact Us
  8. Links / articles 

If you’ve got a subscription to a website builder or have an HTML editing software, start off by setting up those five pages. You don’t need any content on them right now. We’ll work on that next. For now, if you have done it already, just create 8 blank pages with those titles.

Yes, ths is getting lengthy,  but if you prefer, this whole piece will be available as an e-book when it’s done. Problem is – it’s organic, and developing as we go along, so be patient please.

Massage therapists now have NO excuses! – FREE website!

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

Actually no-one has a good excuse to not be on the net, but anyways…….. this is hot off the press!! Your AMBP membership includes a website builder ability! Read this from Indy Eileen, thanks Eileen!…………

It IS a part of my AMBP membership –  I’m not sure if it’s included in all of the levels of membership –  I’m on the “Professional” level –  the highest I think is Certified, for those who’ve taken that NCMTB or whatever it’s called test and passed ( I chose not to take it so far).  They have like a Student level, which I’m not sure if it’s included in that.

Anyhoo –  It’s free,  you have to create it if you want it,  it has one of those web-builder programs to follow with templates – depending on your computer abilities, you can include pictures and even video up to the limit of your free space (which it says is up to 11 pages).   It took me time, some of which was due to my not realizing it was going to time me out of the AMBP site after 30 min for “no activity”-  for some reason it doesn’t pick up you’re working on the web builder.   The more computer and web savvy you are, the faster you can do this.

You can edit your site any time, which i also successfully have done ( it’s great to accomplish new tech tasks!).  

For anyone who’s a member to learn more –  all they need to do is go to the AMBP site and sign on (  ),  and then under the “would you like to” section that comes up,  click on the “create a website/edit your website” – and just follow along.  In the web builder section there are both a FAQ’s and a Manual link to click on to help you create your site.   And you can access in to those areas without actually committing anything to  print (for those less computer savvy, like me, who have that little fear of creating something before you’re sure), to learn about how to do it first.   As I’m sure you know – unless you hit that SAVE button on the screen,  you don’t have to worry about it being saved and out there before you’re ready.

Anyone can see what mine looks like  to get an idea of possibilities —  

Hugs again!    Miss Eileen in Indy

Eileen Huber, RN, MRT,MT – INDYMYOFASCIAL, Indpls, IN

Barnes Myofascial Release for Humans & Animals