Upgrades and Renovations for Your Website

By Allissa Haines and Michael Reynolds
[Blueprint for Success]

Summer is a great time for home and office improvement projects. We love to do upgrades and projects that make our spaces better. But how often do we apply “home improvement” ideas to our massage practice websites? For many of us, our website is the most important marketing tool we have, but it’s also easy to let it get stagnant.
A website is not that different from your home or office, in that it can become stale, dated, or disorganized. This is compounded by the fact that technology tends to evolve at such a rapid pace that it’s hard for most of us to keep up. So let’s dive into a list of things you can review on your website to make sure it’s in tip-top shape.


Let’s start with security. Security breaches are becoming more common, as more of our lives are intertwined with technology. Even if you are not storing sensitive information on your website, it can still be vulnerable to intrusions or defacing, and some criminals break into websites to use them as storage space for illegal files.
One of the most important security-related things you can do for your website is to make sure you have an SSL certificate. SSL stands for “Secure Socket Layers” and is the technology used by banks to secure their websites. It encrypts information that gets entered into your website, like when a potential client fills out your contact form. This encryption keeps the information safe as it goes through your website. Google has recommended that all websites (no matter how big or small) use SSL. As this is a Google recommendation, it also helps you get found more often in search engines (more on that later). An SSL certificate should cost nothing, so talk to whoever hosts your website to get one activated.
Next, you’ll want to enable two-step verification on your website hosting platform. Two-step verification is a method of logging into a website that requires you to enter a special code that gets texted to your phone before you can log in. It ensures that even if someone knows your password, they would need to have your phone in order to log in. Many website platforms offer this, including Squarespace and WordPress.
Finally, make sure your website software is up to date. If your site is hosted on a platform like Weebly, Wix, or Squarespace, you don’t have to worry about this because they take care of all updates. If you are on WordPress, however, it’s important to make sure you are on the latest version of the software and that all your plug-ins are up to date.


Next, let’s talk about usability. You want to make sure clients and prospective clients can easily navigate and use your website. One of the most important factors here is making sure your website is mobile friendly (also called responsive). This means the website will adapt to fit mobile devices and smaller screens, so people viewing your website on a phone will be able to easily use it. Pull up your own website on your phone and see what it looks like. Is it easy to view and navigate? If not, make it a priority to build a website that is mobile friendly.
It’s also important to make it easy for people to book appointments online (you are using online scheduling, right?). Your “book now” button should be prominent and easy to find on every page.
Another consideration is the speed of your website. A slow website is frustrating and makes it unlikely people will do anything with it. Test your website using a speed test tool like GT Metrix (www.gtmetrix.com) and see what scores you get. If you get “A” ratings, good for you! Your site is fast. If you get low scores, send the report to your website developer so they can review the recommendations and speed up your website.

Search Visibility

Finally, let’s talk about getting found on Google. One of the best ways to make sure your website is Google friendly is to make sure your page titles are accurate and descriptive. The page title is what shows up in the top of your web browser when viewing a page (including your home page). Your home page title should be something like “NAME OF YOUR BUSINESS | Massage Therapy in CITY, STATE.” This tells Google what you do and who you serve, so it can list your site when someone searches for a massage therapist in your area.
Another factor in getting found is to make sure your business name, address, and phone number are displayed on every page. This is usually placed in the footer of the site. This is another signal that Google uses in their search rankings.
Finally, you’ll want to make sure you have a Google My Business (google.com/business) profile set up. Google puts a lot of weight into how well your Google My Business profile is maintained. Make sure you fill this profile out completely, including logo, photos, services, hours, etc. It’s also a good idea to encourage your clients to leave you Google Reviews, as these can help your search visibility.

Cleaning Up

While there are a lot of other things you can do to improve your website, if you address all the issues discussed here, you will be in great shape and your website will be much more tuned for success. If you get stuck in any of these areas, talk to your website developer or give us a shout if you need a recommendation. Remember, your website is potentially the most important marketing tool in your toolbox, so it pays to take good care of it. Here’s to your new and improved website!

Allissa Haines and Michael Reynolds can be found at www.massagebusinessblueprint.com, a member-based community designed to help you attract more clients, make more money, and improve your quality of life.