Productivity

5 Tips For Choosing A Website Designer

 October 26, 2021

By  Uriah Guilford, MFT

minute read

by Daniel Fava of Private Practice Elevation

Your private practice website is often the first place potential clients will look to when considering your therapy services.

Whether you’re a solo practitioner or running a group therapy practice with a team, making a positive first impression through your online presence is critical to attracting more clients and growing your business.

That’s why choosing the right therapy website design agency to help you reach your goals is such an important decision.

If you want to have an excellent website for your practice, there are a few key things to look for before settling on an agency to help you reach your goals.

Use these five tips to help you find a website agency to work with and level up your online presence.

1. Choose Someone With A Clear Process for Success

The first thing you’ll need to understand before contracting a company to create your website is what their process is for getting their clients results.

Whoever you hire should demonstrate a clear process to ensure success and make sure that you know where things stand every step of the way.

You will want to know what a typical timeline looks like, as well as how they evaluate milestones.

At Private Practice Elevation, we operate using a unique process that’s proven to get our clients results and ensure that nothing is missed along the way.

While most of the steps for a project remain the same for each client, we’re able to customize the execution of those steps based on the client’s needs.

For example, at the outset of a project we determine what you’re doing online currently and how you can enhance your presence to reach your goals. Then, we come up with a strategy to get you there. We start with the website and then conduct an SEO and traffic audit to see how you’re performing versus your competitors.

This audit lets us know how we can help you efficiently and effectively. It helps determine the content we’ll create, how to speak to your audience, and how best to optimize all elements of your website for maximum benefit.

Once the website is launched, we continue to monitor progress towards your goals through the use of your custom website dashboard that tracks your traffic and SEO rankings.

When I first started building websites for therapists back in 2016, I had no process and it was a mess.

I’d have clients just send me some content and photos and I’d put it together how I thought best.

Now, I’m able to do this much more strategically and orderly to make sure decisions are made based on data and the goals the client wants to achieve.

So, ask your potential website designer what their process looks like before committing to a project.

2. Make Sure You’ll Own The Website

I can’t tell you how many private practice owners have come to us because they have big goals for their business but their website won’t allow them to do what they want to do in order to reach those goals.

They’ve signed on to a platform or had someone build their website on some proprietary software and now they’re ready to move on… but they can’t.

They don’t own the website or the tools connected to it because they’re actually leasing it from the marketing agency or service that built it.

They’ve got tons of blog posts that should be helping them get traffic from Google, but they can’t take those articles with them so that SEO power is lost.

I believe it’s essential that you own your own website so that you can redirect it to another domain or work with another team if you wish.

Make sure that you clarify that you own your content before committing to working with a therapy website agency.

It’s sad to me when I see people spend a lot of time and money working with a company to build their website only to end up unhappy with the results.

Then, when the time comes for them to redesign their website, they realize they can’t take their content with them, so that costs them much more to get the website they envisioned for their private practice.

We actually write in our contracts that you own the website and it’s content. While we offer ongoing support to our clients after launch and most of our clients stick with us, we understand that some folks just want to move on.

So, make sure whoever you work with allows you to own the content, and, should ever decide to end your working relationship with that person or agency, they have no qualms about that.

3. Find A Website Agency That Has Made Websites Similar to What You Want

Always look at the website agency’s portfolio of work to ensure that it’s in line with what you are looking for.

Take a look at the websites they’ve built to see if any of them represent your business in a similar way to what you’re looking for.

I don’t think they necessarily have to have made other private practice websites before, but finding someone who’s worked with similar businesses does help.

Because I’ve been working with therapists for years, I’m able to understand the challenges they face with marketing a practice online.

Plus, my wife is also a therapist in private practice, so I understand what happens in the weeds of running such a business, and what works for her and her website.

It’s always helpful to work with someone who understands where you’re coming from and the goals you want to achieve in your private practice.

So, take a look at their portfolio and ask questions related to their experience with similar types of businesses.

4. Understand How They’ll Support You After the Website Launches

Ok so you’ve found someone who’s going to bring your private practice website vision to life and they launch the website into the world… Now what?

Having a great website is one thing, but actually using that website to market your private practice is another.

Challenges come up along the way. New content needs to be created. Technology needs to be updated or fixed when something breaks.

Ask them how they’ll support you and your website after the website is launched.

Do they maintain the website and keep it backed up, safe and operating in tip-top shape? Or is that responsibility on you?

Are they available if the website crashes to help you get back online, or will you be left scrambling to make sure your site gets back up and clients can still find you?

Knowing how this will work will help you plan and hopefully offload a lot of the tech headaches and allow you to focus more on the activities only you can do in your business.

5. Understand How You’ll Collaborate on The Website Design Project

Collaboration and communication are two of the most essential elements for making sure a website design project goes smoothly.

You’ll want to know what types of tools the agency will use to keep you in the know and inform you of their progress.

Do they provide updates weekly or do they check in frequently to let you know what’s needed of you?

Our team uses a project management software, called Asana, that allows everyone to see where we are at every part of the process.

We also solicit feedback along the way to make sure that we’re ideally on track. This keeps everything regarding a project all in one place so nothing is missed.

Organization of communication is key when it comes to large projects such as a therapy website design.

You’ll also want to ensure that they communicate in a way that works best for you. If project-management platforms and having to visit a link to check on your project sounds like torture, maybe you need someone who can just give you a call each week to inform you of the progress.

If you want to have complete peace of mind, make sure that you understand how your therapy website agency is planning to communicate with you.

Conclusion

Hiring the right person or agency to design and build your private practice website is an extremely important decision. You want to make sure that you do your homework in order to partner with someone you’re confident can have a positive impact on your business.

Choosing wrong could mean a project rife with delays, miscommunication and ending up with a website that doesn’t actually serve your private practice and help you reach your goals.

Use these tips to help you ask the right questions and choose a therapy website agency that you can trust will give you a positive ROI and a website you love.

About Daniel Fava

Daniel Fava is a digital business consultant and founder of Private Practice Elevation, a web design agency focused on helping therapists and private practice owners create websites that increase their online visibility and attract more clients. After building a website for his wife’s private practice and seeing the impact it had on her business, he became passionate about helping others achieve the same. Private Practice Elevation offers web design services, SEO services, and website support to help private practice owners grow their business through online marketing.

Uriah Guilford, MFT


Uriah is a group practice owner and the creator of Productive Therapist. He is a technology nerd, a minimalist travel packer, a rock drummer and business development enthusiast.

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