DO-IT-YOURSELF WEB SITE

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With Innexus, ECPs can customize their practice Web sites.

If you’re an ECP who still does not have a Web site, here’s how to get one up and running quickly and easily.

Perhaps you’ve been considering creating a Web site but have been deterred because you thought it was too much work or too expensive. The time to hesitate is through. There are some do-it-yourself Web site options that you may find simple and affordable.

OPTOMETRY.NET
First Insight offers 41 templates and background colors for building a Web site at optometry.net. You can personalize your Web site, including your practice’s logo and a map showing your location. Consider show-casing the services you provide and expound on your strengths. An online welcome form enables patients to provide background information about themselves before they even arrive at your office, and it automatically integrates with a maximEyes patient health record.

You can use the Vision Library at optometry.net to educate your patients about vision health and possible solutions. Another option enables you to personalize the information you send directly to patients about your services, promotions, and products, saving you hundreds of dollars in traditional printing and mailing costs. Practice administrators have 24/7 access to the site to make changes. You can also select one of the Affinity Partner Programs, including 4PatientCare, so you can automatically manage your online appointment scheduling, reminders, recalls, and product notifications without tying up an office staff member.


INNEXUS
Innereactive Media, LLC offers Innexus™, an optical Web site solution to help connect your patients
to your practice. Its variety of designs and graphical attributes enable you to modify the look and feel of your Web site, which you can customize by adding content such as office hours, biographies, and eye health information resources. The iControl feature of Innexus allows you to edit text and upload pictures and files, including PDFs, Word documents, and flash and video clips, directly to your Web site.

A HOST WITH THE MOST If you post a Web site, you’ll need to do it through a company that will host it. A Web hosting service makes your Web site accessible on the World Wide Web. These companies provide space on a server and Internet connectivity. Some site builders incorporate your first hosting fee in the initial setup, but you can expect to pay either a monthly or yearly fee to the Web-hosting service to keep your site out in the cyber world.



Your Innexus Web site also has a place where patients can register as a “Very Important Patient” (VIP), which then allows them access to special promotions or events set by the practice. Having patients register on the site allows your practice to stay connected with them throughout the year using the included marketing tools such as iNewsletter and iCard. Appointment requests, event calendars, an online store, and blogs are also all possible through your Innexus Web site.

ECPRO WEBSITE BUILDER
EyeCare Pro’s ECPro Website Builder offers custom Web design and over 30 professionally designed templates to choose from as well as optometric-specific clip art. You can build a “powerful optometric practice site in less than half an hour,” according to EyeCarePro. There are over 80 optometric content articles written by industry experts to help educate your patients on subjects such as contact lenses, vision surgery, children’s vision, and visual conditions. In addition to articles, patients can link to three-dimensional eyecare images as well as to videos and films.

There are also options to sell contact lenses through the site, offer real-time appointment scheduling, and link with OfficeMate for automated appointment reminders via e-mail. Patient information forms are secure and HIPAA compliant. Eyecare professionals (ECPs) can edit the content of their unlimited

When building a Web site at Optometry.net, an online welcome form is available so patients can provide background information about themselves before they even arrive at your office.

Web pages and subsections at any time so their site can grow along with their practice. You’ll also have 24/7 access to statistics to see who’s visiting the site and how often, monitor site traffic, and count hits.

What’s the point of having a Web site if it isn’t attracting any visitors? EyeCarePro’s Web site marketing services help ensure that practices’ Web sites get noticed by search engines and in social media. Its Search Engine Optimization services improve your ranking among search engines, and its Social Media Optimization services help increase your practice’s branding, traffic, and visibility in social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

EASY PRACTICE SITES
Practice Concepts offers Easy Practice Sites in good, better, and best options. You can pick your Web design from 26 templates and add items such as your practice description and philosophy, staff bios, client testimonials, frequently asked questions, and contact information with an e-mail link. You can also select additional items including a newsletter set-up and integration feature to enhance your communication with your patients. While others have you develop your site online, Practice Concepts builds your site for you based on the desired content information that you submit. For those who are busy and computer challenged, this may be a good option. Average time to have your site up and running is less than three weeks. Practice Concepts also provides some training so you can update your site when desired.

EWEB EXTRA

TURNKEY WEB SITES There are several things to consider when creating your own Web site. If you’re completely new to Web site development, look for companies that provide a total turnkey product. These are products that are already developed by people who know the optical industry and have developed readymade content for you. This way, you can simply drop information into the Webpages templates you select. As you become more skilled at this, you will find yourself modifying this information and even creating some of your own.
Most beginning Web sites are constructed to provide information about the office. You may also want a Web site that facilitates interaction with patients such as registration forms, appointment scheduling, and reminders. All these features can save your practice both time and money in the long run. Selling products is a bit more involved and should be considered after you are comfortable with Web site development and management.


Eyefinity’s eWeb Extra offers personalized Web sites at a customized Web address (such as doctorbrown.com) and a wide variety of easy-to-use professional templates tailored to ECPs. Five e-mail addresses (such as mary@doctorbrown.com) are included, with the option to upgrade to 15, and there is also a feature that allows you to communicate with your patients via e-mail. It can connect patients to registration forms, a large library of professionally written articles concerning eyecare, as well as to pages that highlight what makes your practice unique and any community involvement you may participate in.

Other features available from eWeb Extra include online appointment scheduling and a link to reordercontacts.com, which lets patients reorder their contacts through your practice Web site. To help you on this journey, Eyefinity offers a helpful Web site marketing guide and ongoing customer support.

As you can see, you can build a Web site for your practice quickly and easily while having a professional-looking product in the end. 

Joy L. Gibb is the owner of Eyes of Joy Mobile Optical Service in Wood Cross, UT.

WHERE TO FIND IT
EyeCare Pro
866-886-4442 • eyecarepro.net

Eyefinity/OfficeMate
877-448-0707 • eyefinity.com

First Insight
800-920-1940 • optometry.net

Innereactive Media, LLC
616-682-9370 • getinnexus.com

Practice Concepts
877-778-2020 • easypracticesites.com

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