25 November 2009

7 Things to Think About When Creating Your Website or Hiring a Designer

Websites and blogs both need to be designed. Fortunately, many template-based, free or low cost, easy do-it-yourself (DIY) platforms exist for tech-less solopreneurs to accomplish this relatively quickly.

To work as the effective center of your web-presence, your website and/or blog needs to be created with multiple functions in mind. The old idea of a website simply being an online brochure is no longer a smart approach for attracting clients.

At minimum, this is what all solopreneurs in the healing arts need:
  • a visually attractive and attracting design
  • conversion elements such as data base builder contact management and autoresponder widets
  • good search engine optimization (SEO)
  • compelling copywriting
  • purposeful strategic marketing
Those who are a little more technologically able or fascinated, may also want to include the following (and some DIY web and blog builder programs offer the ability to include these fairly easily):
  • appropriate community-building components such as a forum and rss feeds
  • social media integration
Not all private practitioners will need the more gee-whiz capabilities, particularly if your business relies strictly on in-person clients, and you aren't even trying to reach millions of consumers to become an internationally recognized expert or product seller.

Most web designers can provide pretty pages with smooth navigation and install conversion elements. Many can ensure or advise on SEO. Some will know how to best incorporate community building and social media components.

Few are really skilled in helping you write compelling content. Almost none will know how to develop good client attracting marketing for the private practice professions that have more conservative ethics than the majority of internet businesses.

If you don't yet have a website or blog for your business, or if you know you need to update and upgrade, ask yourself:
  • what do I want my website or blog to do?
  • what do my ideal clients need from my website or blog?
  • what's the easiest, cheapest, best way to provide that?
  • how much can I create and control myself?
  • what will I need a designer's or tech-savvy person to help me with?

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