Get This Crap Off Your Website

I like simple websites. That’s why I hired a minimalist designer for my Blue Streak site. That’s why Kelli Wise made my massage practice site so clean and crisp.

If you’ve got decent content, your website is clear and easy to navigate, you don’t need bullshit music or animation. And if you’ve got it? You may well be driving traffic away. I go apeshit when I hear chimes start up. I can’t close the window fast enough. I can’t stand fancy animations or PDFs of your menu of services. They’re hard to navigate through. If I have to squint to look for a litte magnifying glass icon to zoom in, you’ve lost me.

Please, take just one moment to think about this: what is the main reason people visit your website?

Does your website look like this?

It’s not “To listen to my choice of music.” Don’t include music or video that starts automatically. If you want people to know about the kind of music you use during your massage, write a blog post about it, and include an audio sample. But I don’t wish to hear the chime-y version of Pachelbel’s Cannon blare out when I’m browsing online in Panera. Hush up.

It’s not “To see ads.” Don’t include pop-ups or other intrusive advertisements, and especially not for products and services that you don’t personally offer. When you have Google ads on your site, it makes me think you’re a crappy therapist who can’t make a living doing massage so you sell space on your site for advertising. Ick.

It’s not “To read a paper brochure.” There’s no reason to include a PDF or fancy animation of your print materials. Not only does it make the information included in it more difficult to access, it also makes it useless from an SEO perspective.

It’s not “To look at all kinds of fancy fonts.” Don’t use such an elaborate font that I can’t read the words easily. And don’t use more than two fonts. It’s too distracting.

It’s not “To read flowery and totally subjective descriptions of how great your services are without learning anything about what you actually do.” Be clear. Use words non-therapists can understand.

So why do people come to your website?

  • To learn about your services.
  • To learn about you.
  • To find your location.
  • To schedule a massage.

Make this information the focus of your website, not the afterthought. Of course, you can show these things through words, images, forms, video, or even the colors you choose.

If you’ve got great content, you don’t need bells and whistles. Most aren’t impressed, and some will be actively turned off. Give the people what they want in a way that is clear and free of bullshit. Show them from the very beginning that you understand their needs.

Bonus tidbit:

I sure as fudge will never call a place to ask about pricing. I’ve got stuff to do, and there are 3 other massage places in town that DO have prices listed on their sites. I’m not looking for mystery, I want information from your site, that’s why I’m there. It’s not exclusive or intriguing. It’s annoying. Stop it.

Allissa Haines is a massage therapist with a full private practice in Massachusetts. She creates marketing and business resources for massage therapists at Writing A Blue Streak. She is also a marketing consultant, professional speaker, and a frequent snacker. 

Kat Mayerovitch also helped write this post. Give her high fives if you run into her, because she loves that shit.

photo credit: McBeth via photopin cc

Who Am I To Blog?

There it is. That nagging question that keeps me in check, and if left unreconciled, threatens to render me a useless pile of massage therapist, drooling and twitching on a Big Lots area rug.

The answer is simple: I’ve got something to say. I’ve got something to say about the way we’re treated and the way we treat ourselves. I’ve got something to say about community, support, ethics, honesty, and ideas. I’ve got something to say about fitting in, and flipping off.

And when I say “I’ve”, I mean “we’ve”. You’re reading this; you’re part of the discussion. Whether your head is nodding in agreement, shaking in disagreement, or is clutched in the agony of the realization that you’ll never get the previous sixty seconds of your life back, we’ve got a conversation on our hands. When the question arises “Who am I to passionately shake my fist at the inanimate object on which I type when there’s nary a soul to see me?”, acknowledge that I’ve-you’ve-we’ve got something to say, and unleash the beast.

Our qualifications to be heard don’t have to depend on awards we’ve won, books we’ve published, or checks we’ve taken to the bank. Sometimes others will choose to engage us, and sometimes we may end up feeling like the carton of milk accidentally left out overnight, forgettable and sour, a wasted effort. But really, who cares?

Persist. Live with integrity, embody generosity, speak your truth. Projects as dynamic as what I believe The Young Thumbs to be can emerge from something as basic as a good conversation. We best embrace our right to communicate, simply because we’ll always have something to say.

 

Andrea Lipomi is a licensed massage therapist and esthetician who lives and works in Las Vegas, Nevada. She also peddles massage therapy ebooks and NCBTMB-approved continuing education courses at ConfidentMassage.com, will travel hundreds of miles for a fantastic spa experience, and craves dark chocolate and Depeche Mode’s upcoming tour dates on an almost daily basis.