Creating your website – the essential pages.

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.

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