Does having a welcoming website really need to be a priority for your occupational therapy practice?
Good question, let’s talk about it…
I know you care deeply about the clients you service in your occupational therapy practice. It shines through every day for those who walk through your doors.
But what do those who aren’t your clients yet know about you?
For most potential clients, the first impression of your services happens before they even enter your clinic — when they investigate your practice online.
Yup, I’m talking about your website. According to LSA, 60% of consumers run a Google search before booking an appointment.
In my work as an occupational therapist who writes web copy for other occupational therapists, I’ve spent a lot of time looking at practice websites to figure out best practices when it comes to writing effective websites.
What I’ve discovered is that there is a disconnect between the amazing services of OTs and the first impressions that are created by their websites.
Especially when you take into consideration the perspective of a client who is newly discovering a need for therapy or is a little anxious about what to expect.
Here’s the important takeaway: the biggest role of your website is to welcome and reassure that new, potential client.
I’m going to share with you the 3 main ways to create a more welcoming client experience on your website: sharing processes, highlighting community connections, and infusing an authentic brand message.
Create Confidence By Sharing Your Processes
This one is powerful and so frequently missed.
When you share your processes, you not only create trust, you get your reader to start envisioning what it will be like to work with you. Let’s look at this a little more deeply.
There are two areas of practical information that I recommend sharing with your reader:
- The process to get started
- What to expect during ongoing sessions
Let’s dive a little deeper on each one.
The Process to Get Started
This is basically paving the path from your call to action to receiving services. For many occupational therapy practices, this process is booking an appointment, filling out some paperwork, and getting signed up for that initial evaluation.
A big goal is to keep this super simple and straightforward. Remove any sense of confusion.
Check out how Bearfoot OT does this.
But just making it easy to get started isn’t enough. You need to make sure your reader really feels like they’ve arrived at the right occupational therapy practice. To do that, I recommend you share a little more about what they can expect when receiving therapy services.
What to Expect When Receiving Services
It is essential that you paint a picture of what it’s like to work with you. Remember, the visitor to your website might have no previous experience with therapy. The job of your website is to make them feel 100% at ease with what’s going to happen.
You do that by answering some basic questions:
- What should they expect at that initial evaluation?
- What should they expect during ongoing therapy sessions?
Sharing these processes does two things. First, it reduces fear of the unknown and prepares them for their visit. Second, it gets them to start envisioning themselves having an appointment and getting results. Visualization is a powerful tool when it comes to getting readers to take action.
There are several options for sharing about what a visit looks like:
- Your services page(s).
- A page titled: “What to Expect” or “Your Visit”
- In a FAQ page in response to questions such as:
- What to expect at your initial evaluation?
- What to wear to your therapy sessions?
- What is a treatment session like?
When you take the time to really explain what to expect to book an appointment and for visits, you’re succeeding on two fronts.
You’re reassuring and welcoming your new clients. Plus, you’ll save time and improve outcomes as your clients will show up better prepared and ready to jump into occupational therapy from day one.
It’s really a win for you and a win for your future clients.
Talk About Your Location and Community
The next way to make your website feel more welcoming is to talk about your location and community. This both connects your therapy practice to your community and also helps your website show up better in Google searches.
Create Personal Connection
It’s such a simple thing but is easy to miss because we forget that the reader of your website (or even Google) doesn’t automatically know your location. But this information is key.
First and foremost, occupational therapy is a personal experience. Your clinic is not an impersonal corporation. You’re a neighbor who is looking to support the needs of your community! Clients enjoy connecting with someone from their own community. That’s instantly something you have in common.
Here are some easy ways to do this:
- Describe your location in terms of other local landmarks.
- Include references to your community in the About Page
- Include details or favorites only locals will know
- Blog about community resources that would benefit your clients
This aligns perfectly with the value so many occupational therapists already offer around the community. You build connection and trust just by adding a local flavor to your website.
The Extra SEO Bonus
Using location terms not only builds a relationship with your audience, it also helps Google show your website to the right people. So that when a person in your town puts in “occupational near me” – your website shows up.
Whether you have a physical location or an online practice using telehealth, licensing laws make it important that you find clients living in a specific area. This is where including geographic terms becomes important.
Ultimately, you want your website to be found by people living in a specific geographic area. You do this by using geographic terms as keywords.
So talk about the community you’re in, mention your county, or the broader region. Talk about the cities that people might travel from.
The Unique and Authentic Flavor of Your OT Practice
You’ve got heart. You’ve got passion. You probably started your practice because you saw a need to do things differently.
Your website is the place to let your unique approach to therapy shine! Be brave highlighting your mission and purpose. A website that pops with boldness will set you apart from the stiff and impersonal therapy practices on the internet search results page.
You’ve got to weave in your brand message!
What do I mean by brand message?
- The ways your company does things differently (aka better).
- Your beliefs as a therapy practice.
- The people you love to serve
- The transformation you provide.
A brand message really boils down to exactly what makes you distinctive and why people love your occupational therapy practice. With a solid brand message on your website, the right clients will feel right at home and the wrong ones will know to keep on searching.
From the Home page to the About page (and really across all your marketing), this brand message needs to be consistently woven in for a cohesive experience that promotes connection.
When you do this, your ideal customer will find themselves shaking their head in agreement thinking, “These are my kind of people.”
Ready for an Occupational Therapy Practice Website That Creates Connection and Growth?
So go back to your website and see if you’ve covered the processes, your community, and your unique brand message for a more welcoming website. Is there a mismatch between the thoughtfulness of your services and your website presence? It’s never too late to make some updates!
And I’m here if you need it. My passion is writing websites that support the growth of your business and take care of your clients from the moment they land on your Home Page. Your website should do justice to the transformative and relationship-focused work you offer each day to each client.
Schedule a free consultation to get started!