OPTOMETRY WEBSITE DESIGN - IS DIY THE WAY TO GO?
Updated: Mar 2
When it comes to optometry website design, many busy practice owners feel tempted to try their hand at building their own. And thanks to the growing popularity of DIY website design tools, this task has become much easier and more accessible than ever before. It can also seem like the more affordable option as well. After all, if you do it yourself, you won’t have to dish out all that extra cash to pay an expert, right?
Well, the truth is, you can certainly handle your own optometry web design. That being said, it’s important to be aware that doing so may not pan out to be as easy or cheap as you may think. To help you make a more informed decision on how to move forward, let’s shed a little more light on what DIY optometry website design entails below.
Why You Need a Website
These days, businesses from every industry, sector and niche absolutely must have a web presence. For an optometrist, a well-designed website can help patients and prospects to:
Get to know your practice and your team
Discover your ethos and motivation
Explore the many services you provide
Learn where you are and how to get in touch with you
It’s safe to say that your optometry practice needs a website. The next logical step then becomes determining who should handle the task of building and maintaining it.
The Truth about DIY Optometry Website Design
Self-designed websites require a ton of time.
Despite what you may have heard, DIY optometry website design is not something you simply set and forget. Even once you’ve gone through the daunting task of getting your website designed and built, there’s the process of managing and maintaining it. Let’s say you start offering a new service that could really set your practice apart. Each time a change or addition like this happens, your site will need to be updated.
Shouldn’t your valuable time be better spent on things, like improving the patient experience and growing your business? When you hire a professional, you get their expertise, which equates to a faster process and the ongoing support you need to ensure that your online presence remains active, up-to-date and trustworthy.
Self-designed websites lack flexibility and customization.
The goal of your website is to become an online extension of your physical practice. To accomplish this, your site must be completely customized to your brand and messaging. Unfortunately, one of the biggest pitfalls of DIY optometry website design is that it lacks this degree of customization.
What you end up with is an indistinct website that contains generic imagery and is devoid of your practice personality. This does not convey a sense of warmth, nor does it effectively draw your prospects in. Rather, it paints your practice as cold and banal. And it’s awfully challenging to stand out with that type of look and feel.
When you go the professional web design path, on the other hand, you can really make your website your own. Use your brand colors, share high-quality photos and videos of you, your team and your office, and incorporate your mission and vision as a fundamental component of your site. This sends the message to visitors that you are special and unique, and more importantly – that they should choose you over other eye doctors in the area.
Self-designed websites will not get you found.
When you do a Google search for a service provider in your geographical area, how often do you go past the first page of results? If your answer is rarely, then you are certainly in good company. In fact, one recent study revealed that a whopping 75% of people never make it past the first page. Furthermore, over 25% of web searchers surveyed in a different study say they typically go with the very first result.
What does this mean for your optometry practice? Well, if you’re relying on web searches to land new patients, which almost every practice does these days, then getting your site listed on the first page of the search engine results is critical. And, unfortunately, unless you have experience in optimizing your site for maximum search-ability, then your DIY website will almost certainly underperform in this area.
SEO expertise is among the top benefits of professional optometry website design. And if you think about it in terms of ROI, the investment you make to get your site ranked better can easily be recouped by the new business your higher ranking generates.
Self-designed websites are risky.
Your optometry website is the very first impression many prospects will get of your practice. Don’t you want that impression to be a powerful and positive one? This is one of the main benefits of professional optometry website design.
Most DIY web design tools contain generic, cookie-cutter design elements, limiting how much you can really make your online presence stand out, particularly from a brand-recognition perspective. Furthermore, do-it-yourself websites often convey an amateur look and feel.
With all the hard work, dedication and determination you’ve put into building a successful practice, the last thing you want is for your prospects to get the idea that you’re a novice.
Self-designed websites still require technical skills.
Many DIY website builders give the impression that you don’t need any technical skills or experience to use them. While this may be true to a certain degree, especially in the beginning stages of building a website, what they fail to take into account is how complex the process of maintaining your site over time can truly become.
As an example, let’s say you’ve successfully handled your own optometry website design and your site is now up and running. Do you know what to do if that site should become hacked? Imagine if a cyber-attack left your client’s personal information vulnerable to theft and misuse, or caused the site you worked so hard to build to suddenly go offline.
Situations like this are far more common that many people realize, and they can be devastating to an established eye doctor’s hard-earned reputation. A website that is built and managed professionally, on the other hand, comes with enhanced protections against such attacks, making your online presence much safer and more secure.
Self-designed websites can end up being incredibly costly.
At first glance, it may seem like a wise business decision to go the DIY route vs. hiring and paying for the expertise of a web designer/developer. While this may be the case initially, what many well-intentioned practice owners fail to realize is that there are a lot of other, lesser known fees and expenses associated with do-it-yourself optometry website design.
For instance, there’s the cost of hosting your site, as well as security measures to protect it against potential cyber-attacks. Then there is the cost of theme and plugin licenses. And, of course, what good is a website without beautiful, eye-catching imagery? Not only do stock photos and videos take away from the personalization of your site, but they also often come with licensing and usage fees.
Finally, there are a number of costs associated with the ongoing management and maintenance of your site. Be sure you’re budgeting for unexpected technical issues and necessary security updates, because these things will happen, and they’re rarely cheap.
Benefits of Professional Optometry Website Design
So, there you have it. A list of pretty compelling reasons why going the DIY route with your optometry website design may not be exactly what it’s cracked up to be. Alternatively, there are a number of key benefits that come with entrusting your website design to a skilled professional. These benefits include, but are not limited to:
Better First Impression
A professionally designed website sends the message to your patients and prospects that you are committed to quality in every aspect of your business. This can go a long way toward winning over new patients.
Chances are you’re not the only eye doctor in town. A professional website can help differentiate your practice from others in the area, which can help you win the war for new patient acquisition.
The more prospects your website attracts, the more your business will continue to grow and flourish. In this way, professional website design can easily pay for itself through a steady increase in revenue.
Improved Search Rankings
A cookie-cutter website that is not properly optimized for search engine performance will hinder your chances of being found online by prospective patients. A professionally designed, SEO-focused website, on the other hand, will help you move up the search results and capture more clicks. This can directly contribute to more conversions and a growing book of business.
Reduced Bounce Rates
Once a visitor finds your site, the next hurdle is getting them to stick around long enough to (hopefully) convert them. According to the Nielsen Norman Group, viewers typically leave (or “bounce” from) a website within 10 to 20 seconds. That means you have an extremely short window of time to make a good first impression. A professionally designed site will vastly improve your chances.
We’ve discussed previously the many hidden fees and expenses that come with DIY optometry website design. When you hire a professional, you’ll know what to expect cost-wise and will never have to worry about all those little extra expenses that really add up.
Flexible and Customizable
Your practice is unique. Your website should be as well. A professionally designed site will help set you apart because it will allow you to completely customize it to your brand and messaging.
When it comes to choosing a local eye doctor, most prospects will gravitate toward the practice that seems most established. Professional websites help to build this type of credibility and create a sense of trust that is so important in the vision care industry.
Who has the time to constantly tweak a website? Certainly not you. And let’s not forget – your time comes with a price tag. It is far more lucrative for you to be spending time with patients and developing business ideas for growth than to waste time tinkering around with your site. Why not leave it to the experts instead?
If you find yourself wondering whether you should just build your own website, the points listed above should provide more context. Is DIY optometry website design possible? Sure. But is it worth it? In most cases, no.
Your patients defer to your expertise for their vision care needs. Why not defer to the experts on our team for your web design needs? We’d love to chat! Get in touch with us today to learn more about how our professional optometry website design services can help bring your practice to the next level.