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AIDAN : WebHealer’s approach to growing a therapy practice

This is the first of a series of six articles written for Private Practice Hub by Phil Hulme of WebHealer the specialist provider of websites to professional therapists. The series starts with an overview of AIDAN, WebHealer’s approach to helping their customers grow their therapy practice and subsequent articles will explore each step in more depth.

Unlike most website providers, WebHealer strives first and foremost to help their customers attract more clients and grow their business. Design, search engine work and functionality are important of course but only to the extent that they serve the primary goal of growing the business. AIDAN is an approach and methodology that is at the heart of how WebHealer achieves this and has been constantly evolving for over 15 years.                                                                                                                                                                                                      The principles of AIDAN are also explained in the WebHealer eBook “Using the Web to Attract More Clients” available free from www.WebHealer.net.

Does advertising work?

In the good old days before the internet many small businesses would have chosen the Yellow Pages to advertise themselves and people would discuss “Does advertising work for you?”.  Often the answer was “no”. Larger businesses who could afford to pay for marketing professionals would be a little more savvy than this and would take a more forensic approach. They might conclude that parts of the advertising were working but other parts were not and they would make adjustments until they achieved success. For example the advert might be getting exposed to a lot of eyeballs but people tended to gloss over it because the message was a bit dull. Solution: Use more colour or rewrite the advert.

This forensic approach led to the development of structured techniques and one of the most enduring is represented by the acronym AIDA, which stands for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. It describes the emotional journey of a potential purchaser of a product from initial exposure to the point of making a purchase decision.

Updated for the digital age

Whilst there is merit in this traditional system it is somewhat outdated in the digital age, so WebHealer has evolved a new version bringing it up to date and also tailoring it to the therapy sector.  The approach we use is AIDAN and we’ll explain each step shortly but first let’s look at how it can be useful.

Perhaps you’re worried that you aren’t getting many enquiries from your website but you’re not sure why. There could be many different reasons for this.

1. You don’t have a good Google listing
2. You do have high Google placement but not for the phrases people actually search for
3. You are getting plenty of visitors but your website creates a poor first impression and people tend to leave immediately
4. People like the first impression but the content is untidy or unengaging
5. It isn’t clear how you can be contacted or your enquiry form is off-putting
6. Many people do a little research before they are ready to make contact and as your website doesn’t make much of an impression it is quickly forgotten

By combining AIDAN with tools and experience it becomes much easier to explore this problem and work out which of the possible issues is or are the real cause. This is why we developed AIDAN and we use it daily to help our clients do better with their website.

Five Simple Steps

These are the five steps we focus on. In future articles we will explain them in more detail.

  • Attention You need to get the attention of (the right) people to attract visits to your website. This is where search engine optimisation, social media links and possibly AdWords are important
  • Integrity As a therapist your website’s first impression must be of integrity. Factors such as top quality mobile friendly design and clear navigation are key
  • Dwell Time If your visitors dwell (stay) on your pages, your communications are working. Good interesting content, uncluttered layout and engaging messages are a must
  • Action There are ways to encourage action and ways to accidentally discourage it. For example enquiry forms should provide reassurance that the visitor won’t be sent spam. Action is more than an enquiry though. It could be a request for a free download or Twitter follow or newsletter subscription.
  • Nurture Not all your enquiries become clients on day one but by nurturing the relationship they may do so when the time is right for them.

Summary

If you want your website to be high performing you need to be familiar with the five stages of AIDAN – whether you call them the same names we do or not. Our next article will focus on Attention and we will outline some of the key principles for getting a top place on Google.

WebHealer is a specialist provider of websites to private practice therapists and is preferred supplier to members of leading therapy associations.

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