The Costly Mistakes Many Therapists Make When Choosing a Low-Budget Therapist Website
Having a therapist website is essential. Without one, potential clients will struggle to find you. Even worse, your absence from the internet will drive mistrust. Especially in younger demographics, who’ve grown up tech-connected and savvy. Simply put: without a professional website, your practice will likely struggle.
But most “custom” web designs marketed as “cheap” actually end up costing a small fortune. Five to ten thousand dollars is not uncommon. And this is just for the design and platform. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is what propels your website to the top of the list of results internet users find when they type related key phrases into search engines like Google, and with most customized websites, this costs extra — as do professional forms, secure email, written content, and tech support.
So, if you’re considering a low budget website — including building one yourself — we get it. It’s a way to save big dollars, right? The answer is both yes and no.
The pros are as tantalizing as they are obvious: a way to secure a website and cyber presence without much — if any — financial investment. At least, that’s how it may seem at first blush, but things are rarely what they seem and the decision to start a DIY website is rife with cons. Cons that cost a great deal.
The cons of a free or low budget site
If you think the cons can’t be that significant, we’re glad you’re here. Below, we’ve outlined what you’ll likely be sacrificing when opting to launch your practice on a self-made or low-budget website. We hope this article helps you save your hard-earned cash, as well as some peace of mind.
Lost time and money
To get a free or low cost site, you’ll need to construct it yourself. Which raises two key questions…
- Are you a web designer?
- Do you possess enough tech-minded brilliance to create a site that quickly promotes trust and prompts booked consults?
If not, carefully consider whether you want to take on this task. All website-building platforms involve a significant learning curve. This time sapping venture often descends into a rabbit hole of frustration.
For most, it’s more beneficial for a practice’s health for the therapist to spend their valuable time doing what they’re the experts in — helping clients — and leaving the website creation to an expert team of developers. This will result in superior results and a better return on investment (ROI).
When you consider ROI, delaying ownership of a professional site also comes at a financial cost. A poorly constructed site can result in a diminished reputation, and lost bookings and profits. We regularly speak to new BrighterVision clients who wish they’d realized this sooner.
Remember, at the end of the day the aim of a professional site is to fill your schedule and drive practice growth. If it doesn’t do this, it is a waste of time.
Want to see how a Brighter Vision website can help you get more clients?
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Free isn’t “free”
While platforms like Weebly or Wix claim to be “free,” the devil is in the detail. There are elements that a therapist website needs that aren’t included in the complimentary plans. These include:
The cost and connection of a custom domain
The address of a professional website should be YourWebsite.com, or similar; not YourWebsite.weebly.com. The former is what’s called a custom domain. The latter is unprofessional and can put people off. Yet, to buy and connect your custom domain to a “free” platform comes at a cost.
Removal of adverts
A therapist website should be free from advertisements. Adverts cheapen a site, lowering its perceived value. But, to remove ads most “free” platforms will require recurring payment.
Text, graphics, video, and photos all take up space — storage space that is. While a number of “free” platforms claim they offer unlimited pages, they rarely offer unlimited space. Even a small amount of storage often comes with a price tag.
Timely support, including technical help
When you have a question that needs a rapid response, who do you turn to? When you have a technical glitch that’s above your capability, who’s there to fix it for you?
“Free” sites will answer your emails, at some point. But if you want timely support, you’ll need to upgrade your membership to a level that includes priority customer care.
Technical support may or may not be available, and can cost an arm and a leg.
One of the ways “free” website platforms gain traction and garner exposure is by displaying their logo on the complimentary sites they host. Makes sense, right? They need to reach people to earn an income.
The problem is that having their logo shown on your website is tacky. It marks a therapist as being unable or unwilling to invest in a professional site. That can result in potential clients questioning your success, in turn hurting your reputation and results.
Consider how you would feel about seeking care from a health provider who has a free site. Would this fill you with confidence or leave a lingering worry about their priorities, competence and viability? The “free” platforms know this. That’s why they charge to switch their logo for yours.
Site stats are important. They help you to find and fix glitches, hone in on popular pages, improve website speed, and more. These are essential for a successful therapist website. However, you guessed it, most “free” platforms will charge for access.
While this list isn’t complete, you can see that many of the elements you need to succeed come with additional costs. When you add these up, a truth becomes abundantly clear: free isn’t free!
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Little-to-no room for customization
One of the reasons free platforms can offer no or low cost options is that they provide only a limited number of templates. This leads to a generic, uninspiring aesthetic and little room for customization. The result is a site that looks similar to other freebies, meaning you won’t stand out from competition with similar, or identical, designs.
Half of the traffic that visits your website will arrive from mobile phones. While this is handy for the user, it changes what’s required from you.
The screen set-up for a small device, like a phone, is necessarily different from the set-up for a larger device, like a laptop or a desktop. This is simply because the smaller the screen, the less that can be viewed at once.
Because of this difference, mobile friendly websites are called responsive; they respond by changing their layout to suit the device a visitor comes from. If you don’t have a responsive website, two outcomes occur:
- Your site will look unprofessional and may lose functionality. This harms trust, and …
- The search engines will strike you down. Unresponsive websites don’t deliver an outstanding experience to their customers, the searchers, so these sites are penalized
Make sure you choose a responsive site. Of course, some “free” platforms will only include this capability at a cost.
Search engine optimization
SEO is a specialized field. It’s so important to business success that the SEO industry is expected to hit $83.7 billion in revenue by 2025. Yet, many therapists don’t realize the power this has for their practice growth. SEO is the rocket fuel for discoverability of your website, so naturally, it needs to be tailored for your practice to drive quality visitors to your site. But this can’t be done by a free platform. This is one of their massive drawbacks…
Without great SEO, you will struggle to get ranked and noticed. In a moment, we’ll share a potent way to harness the power of SEO, but first let’s look at the words on your site.
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Professionally written “copy”
Have you ever read a website where the words — the “copy” — spoke directly to you, authentically pulling at your heartstrings? Before you knew it, you’d raised your virtual hand in recognition and taken action?
This is the power of professional copy.
Words crafted to inspire trust and action are (usually) expensive. It’s an elusive skillset; one that has turned many copywriters into millionaires, many times over. It’s not a skill you can learn quickly, and certainly not one offered by free platforms; for obvious reasons. They can’t afford it.
However, there is a powerful way to access therapy-specific copy for your practice website. We’ll share this secret in a few moments.
An unprofessional web presence
As you can see, there’s a great deal of thought, skill, and design that goes into a professional therapist website. Free or low budget sites just can’t achieve the same high standard.
To support more of the people you love to serve — to fill you practice — you need a professional website that builds rapport and encourages visitors to book consultations. Whereas an authoritative site will help to achieve this, an unprofessional site will kill your success. This truly can be the difference between a full or empty schedule.
Wonderfully, there is a middle ground between an expensive site and a free or low budget website. A way to secure an incredible, customized website without paying a fortune. In fact, this option is absolutely affordable.
The Brighter Vision difference is your secret to success
At Brighter Vision, we solely focus on the creation of premium websites for therapists. Yes, just therapists! So, we understand this profession and your needs intimately. We know what is required for your success, and we know how turn your website dreams into reality. We’ve been supporting therapists by providing websites, and more, for years. If it’s time that you owned a professional, converting website — one that works for you, your clients, your practice, and your profits — we are ready to help. Want some inspiration? View our portfolio here.
Want the beautiful therapist website you deserve? Then you’re in the perfect place.
Brighter Vision is the ultimate marketing package for therapists, centered around the best therapist website you’ve ever had. Fill out the form below to learn more about our team of professionals who can’t wait to help your practice grow like never before 🙂