Therapists need a website these days and there are 2 distinct reasons why: 1) When clients receive your name from a colleague, or other referral source, they WILL Google you to learn more. A lack of a website can leave clients frustrated and unable to connect, and move on to the next referral, and 2) You want to use your website for online marketing and client referral generation. It is a lot of work to appear on top pages in organic search, and if you optimize your psychotherapy website to ensure you are found, and clients land on your website, it doesn’t mean they will make that call.
This post explains 5 important areas that you must consider before building your psychotherapy website to increase the chance that you are found, and that a potential client will make that first call.
5 Important Considerations for Psychotherapy Websites:
1) Think about the structure ahead of time that features your niche. There are thousands of therapists around you and they all offer the same thine – Psychotherapy! So… if a client lands on your website, you need to set yourself away from the pack and speak to a specialty you have a passion for. This helps you target the clients specifically looking for your niche.
A great example of this is a website I built for a fellow MFT (MindfulJourneysMFT.com). If you land on her website, you get an immediate sense if you belong, or not. Meaning… if you are in her target population, and suffering from Trauma, PTSD, Domestic Violence, you will immediatly feel like she can help you, trust in her experience, connect with her style, and quickly make a call. A client like that comes in and stays, rather than a client coming in out of the blue and leaving after a few sessions.
2) Once you target your niche, you can focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), set and determine your keywords, and work toward organic search.
Let’s use the same website above as an example. We targeted ‘east village’ and ‘nyc’ in search because people usually put location terms in Google. Then we targeted her specialties of ‘domestic violence’, ‘Trauma and PTSD’, and ‘individual and couples counseling’. If you search in google for these terms: couples counseling east village nyc, or trauma and ptsd counseling east village nyc, etc… she comes up on the first page.
3) Once you target your keywords, you build your keywords into your pages. This is very important to get your psychotherapy website to rank in organic search. I use a plugin for WordPress called ‘SEO by Yoast’. If you are using WordPress.org to build your website, not WordPress.com, many plugins are available to you. If you aren’t, I will give you a quick tip here (longer post to come) to optimize your website.
Google wants to deliver the most relevant and current search results to users when they type keywords into the search bar…so…your website must be focused, updated, and targeted. Its best to focus one keyword to each page/post.
Use this post as an example: my target keyword for this post is ‘psychotherapy website’. you will notice that I have included it in the following areas:
- The URL (needs to be the title or URL)
- The first paragraph
- At least three times in the body of post
- In a header (H2 is the best one)
- As a title in a photo (You can’t see it but I tagged the photo with the keyword)
- As a tag on this post
- And the body of the page/post must be at least 300 words.
Use this simple formula on every relevant page and post of your website as a good foundation to the optimization process.
4) The content must be yours!! I see many corporate websites out there giving you fake content to generate a quick website. this is a no-no for therapists websites!! I can’t stress it enough. When a client lands on your site and READS your content, they are connecting with you at a conscious and subconscious level, about to enter into an extremely vulnerable,intimate, and deep therapeutic relationship. If they show up in your office and you are not the person they connected with…they may not come back!
5) Lastly… make sure the look is updated, professional (especially if you are attracting full-fee private pay clients), clean, clear, not-cluttered, and not too wordy. If you want to deliver a lot of information just make a bunch of additional pages people can link to.
You Have to Spend Money to Make Money
I am reminded of this all the time! So, my last piece of advice here is to spend money and hire a professional website designer like myself. A website is something that can be seen so many clients and generate referrals that will pay for itself! Sometime just 1 long-term client generated from your website will pay for the website itself!!