It’s hard to interview someone when you aren’t familiar with their job. Most practice owners can identify when they need a new website. The process of finding a website design company is intimidating because the options are nearly endless. But fear not! There are some key things you need to ask when narrowing it down.
For a specialized industry like physical therapy, you want a company that is experienced with PT marketing AND that is a seasoned web expert.
You will often find companies that make a good visual first impression, but they can struggle on the technical side. A practice website that is informative and visually pleasing but isn’t easy to update or crashes frequently will cost you time, patients, and maintenance money down the road.
To help you build a PT website that markets your practice and services with flexibility for easy updates and reliable support, include these 5 questions in your research:
5 Questions for Your Website Design Company
1) What does their own website look like?
You want to explore their site and examine how it looks and works. Is it easy to find information and contact them? Does everything load quickly and flow smoothly? How does the site look on your mobile device?
2) What industries are in their portfolio?
Every quality website design company will have a portfolio of their work. You should visit a few sample sites to get an idea of what they provide for their clients. Additionally, you can get a feel for how well they maintain sites after launch.
3) What do they provide to their clients?
This is a big question that, when not fully vetted, can lead to frustration and disappointment down the road. Your website design company should clearly outline exactly what they will provide, what you need to provide and the costs. While pricing can vary, these are some standard features that a good company should include:
- A sitemap or IA (information architecture) that details the pages and primary navigation.
- Copywriting for the main content pages (services, treatments, conditions etc.) that is optimized for SEO.
- Licensed images purchased through an image library.
- A secure web hosting service and technical support.
- An easy-to-use blog.
- An analytics dashboard where you can see key stats about your site and visitors.
4) What is the process for updating your website?
Your website should be updated on an as-needed basis. Adding new services, revised office hours, new staff—all should be easily updated on your website and within a reasonably quick timeframe. The website design company should also have a system to allow for enhancements or more intensive changes. Linking to your EMR system, electronic bill payment, social media posting and monitoring are just some examples.
5) What is the interaction model for communicating during the design and maintenance?
During the initial website design, you will probably be in heavy contact with your developer and account manager for 4-6 weeks. This process will be easier if you know how to best communicate with your website design company. Additionally, you want to have a process in place for routine and emergency maintenance for the website once launched. Will you call the account manager? Email the web developer? Is there a ticket intake process? What is the turnaround time for requests? This information will give you a sense of the level of support available as a client.
These questions and their answers will help you explore different website design companies and pick the best fit for your practice.
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