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The Marketing Coach

By Cary Bayer

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It's High Time You Got a Website

I recently came across a shocking statistic which indicated that 81% of massage clients polled said they would be more likely to refer family and friends of theirs to a licensed massage therapist who has a website than to one who doesn't have such a presence on the Internet. Well, if there's anything more compelling than that for massage therapists to get into the 21st century with regard to internet marketing, I haven't seen it.

Far too many LMTs I've come across have sat back while traffic is zooming past them on the information superhighway. It's a cyber version of the world's greatest libraries, the world's greatest shopping malls, and the world's greatest bulletin boards.

According to Pingdom, an international website monitoring company, the total number of websites on the Internet had exceeded 255 million as of December 2010. By way of reference, there were some 156 mi1lion in 2008 and, in August 1995, there were only 18 million. There were also 1,975,000,000 Internet users as of June, 2010, 266.2 million of whom live in North America. As of 2008, Internet sales in the U.S. totaled $34 billion, or three cents out of every dollar of retail sales in the U.S. took place on the Web.

The longer you wait, the more massage therapist websites will have been up, and attracted the clients you want to attract. The more sites that there are on massage therapy, the harder it will be to get Internet users to find yours. That's because search engines are like the old-fashioned traffic cop, they help take Internet users to where they want to go. The longer you wait, the harder it will become to differentiate your site from the sites of thousands of other massage therapists.

If the Vatican, a nearly two thousand year-old organization that's not noted for being particularly "with it" in the post modern world, has launched a channel on YouTube, so can you. Pope Benedict XVI referred to digital technology as a "gift to humanity" that can spread understanding and solidarity further and faster than ever before. If having a presence on the Internet is good enough for those who perform mass, it's certainly good enough for those who perform massage. Think of a website as a glorified, interactive massage brochure, in much the same way that a brochure is a sophisticated elaboration of a business card. The elements of a successful massage therapy website include the following items:

  • Name of business and location.
  • Types of massage modalities you practice.
  • Your philosophy of massage.
  • The benefits of massage available to clients.
  • Testimonials about your massage from satisfied clients.
  • A bio of you, which includes your training background.
  • An article about massage by you. (This helps the search engines like Google give you a greater chance to drive traffic to your site.)
  • Relaxing design elements to keep people on your site, and relaxed while they are visiting.
  • Contact information on you, which includes phone, addresses (snail and email), social media sites, like Facebook, etc.

Nowadays, a website is relatively inexpensive to write, design, maintain, and host. A one-time fee to purchase a domain name and host a site can cost less than $13. Costs to create such a site vary widely, of course, but for approximately $500 you can get one professionally done. However, if your budget is very small, you can get it done using already-created templates for far less. You can hire a web designer to also maintain the site for you and make any changes that you desire in their special html code for about $75 per hour, give or take a little, but you can also use the pre-fabricated sites that allow you to make the changes easily by yourself. For about $10 or so a month you can get the site hosted by a company.

Spider-Man might have taken a long time to see the opening of the musical about him spinning his webs on Broadway, but you can get your web up far more quickly, providing a fast and broad way for you to reach people and interest them in getting massaged by you.

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