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What A Simple Facelift Can Do For Your Private Practice Website

I never get tired of seeing a new website come to life for my clients.

It brings me so much joy to take their ideas, their content, and their creative input and then turn that into a website that reflects both their personality as well as the vision they have for their private practice.

private practice website facelift pin

Recently, I had the pleasure of working with Rebekka Ouer, LCSW from Dallas Rainbow Counseling.

At the time she reached out to me, she had such a clear vision for her practice; being a beacon of hope for the LGBT community in Dallas, TX.

But she didn’t feel like her website at the time was reflecting that vision and doing a great job to make her stand out the way she wanted to.

She was seeing great success in her practice, but her WordPress website needed a facelift.

She wanted a fresh, modern website that was more inviting to her ideal clients. She also wanted a website that was easy to update in the future.

You can see from this screenshot below what her homepage looked like before Rebekka and I worked together:

Dallas Rainbow Counseling

Her private practice website was simple, which I always love, but it lacked a little life and felt a little outdated.

The dark green was not giving the website that light, hopeful feeling that Rebekka wanted her new clients to feel when they landed on her homepage.

And her logo and homepage banner just needed a little love to make it feel more modern.

Giving Her Private Practice Website A Facelift

Because Rebekka had some great content, and the structure of her website worked well for her, we decided that the perfect way to breathe new life into her website was with one of the customizable Divi templates I’ve designed.

Rebekka chose the layout she liked the most from the three templates available.

Then, I got to work collecting all I need to know from Rebekka about her personal preferences for her website.

Through a questionnaire I give all my clients, I gathered info to help me customize the website to her tastes. Things like:

  • A color pallette she loved
  • The fonts she liked best for headers and body copy
  • What vibe did she want her website to give off to her potential clients (ie bold, calm, fun, natural)?
  • How did she want her header navigation laid out?
  • What websites inspired her?

Armed with the answers to the above and the great content she had currently on her private practice website, I went to work customizing her Divi WordPress template.

I was also able to bring over some of the functionality she had on her old WordPress website, such as scheduling options through vCita and a way to subscribe to her blog.

Rebekka also did a fantastic job finding some great photos to reflect both the Dallas area where she practices, as well as the community she serves.

I had a ton of fun updating her homepage image of the Dallas skyline to something a bit more modern, which you’ll see in the screenshot below.

The Final Product

After getting all her content, photos, colors and fonts in place, her new website came to life.

The colors and white space really gave the website that light and calming presence Rebekka wanted to share with her potential clients, who may be reaching out for her services in a time of pain, anxiety or trauma.

The image of the rainbow over the Dallas skyline became that beacon of hope to the community that Rebekka serves.

The Divi WordPress theme also added that modern touch to her website, making it both easy to use and look beautiful on all devices.

So, here’s the new Dallas Rainbow Counseling website:

LGBT Counseling Dallas Rainbow Counseling

There’s just something special about seeing a new website come to life, and I’m really happy with how Rebekka’s website turned out.

Here’s what Rebekka had to say about the project:

Daniel did great work for me, on time, (early actually) and with great communication throughout about what he needed and how to go about moving forward. My website looks amazing and I’m incredibly happy with his work. And his price was more than reasonable, which is a huge plus in this industry.

Does Your Private Practice Website Need a Facelift?

You may be in a similar boat as Rebekka was in before her project began.

Maybe your private practice website hasn’t had a design touch in years and you may want to breathe some new life into it to reflect who you are and where you’re taking your private practice.

I’d love to help you do just that and attract more clients with a brand spankin’ new website.

Please feel free to check out my website design packages here, and reach out for more information about what we can do together to create a new website for you and your practice.

Websites for Therapists: 10 Examples of Amazing About Pages

Your About page is one of the most important pages on your private practice website. Because it be one of the most visited pages on your website, it’s vital that your About page helps you stand out.

Your About page is a place where potential clients will go to learn more about you, your practice and attempt to find the connection they need when searching for a therapist to help them with the challenges they are facing.

But writing and creating content for your own About page can be very overwhelming.

I myself have written and re-written the content on my About page multiple times!

My wife has done the same with her private practice website.

So, to help with your About page woes, I’ve gathered 10 great about pages for therapists to inspire you.

These About pages are great examples that not only share information about the therapist, but they create a sense of connection by identifying with their clients’ struggles and letting their personality to come through.

Your About page is one of the most important pages on your private practice website. Because it be one of the most visited pages on your website, it’s vital that your About page helps you stand out. Your About page is a place where potential clients will go to learn more about you, your practice and attempt to find the connection they need when searching for a therapist to help them with the challenges they are facing. But writing and creating content for your own About page can be very overwhelming. I myself have written and re-written the content on my About page multiple times! To help with your About page woes, I’ve gathered 10 great about pages for therapists to inspire you.

1: Amanda Patterson LMHC, LLC

Amanda Patterson LMHC Therapy Pembroke Pines FL

2: Jackie Flynn EdS, LMHC, RPT – Counseling in Brevard

Counseling Brevard

3: Maya Benattar MA, MT-BC, LCAT

Maya Benattar LCAT Music Therapy and Psychotherapy

4: Liz Fava LPC

About Liz Fava Counseling Services Atlanta

5: Colleen B. Kradel

Be Well Betterment Counseling Service About

6: Rachel Rabinor, LCSW

About Rachel Rabinor LCSW

7: Healing Paths (Example of A Group Practice)

About Healing Paths Trauma Addiction Therapy

8: Crystal Glenn, LPCC, RYT, SEP

About Crystal Glenn LPCC RYT SEP

09: Katie Lynch, LICSW

Katie Lynch Couples Infertility Hopkinton

Conclusion

I tried to collect a large swath of styles and approaches to private practice About pages.

Some therapists inject their personality really well.

Others do a great job connecting with their target audience.

I hope these examples of therapist About pages inspire you as you create your own about page for your private practice website.

Are you a therapist with an amazing About page? Post your link in the comments below and add to this list!

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Why I’m Starting A Facebook Group for Therapists

If you’ve read the title of this post, you already know the news: I’m starting a Facebook group.

Now, with so many groups for therapists already in existence, you may be wondering why the heck I would do such a thing?

This post will be an attempt to share my heart and my vision for a Facebook group I’ve wanted to start a long time ago, but was always afraid to do so.

online marketing facebook group for therapists pin

Because It’s Not About Me, It’s About You

For the last three months, I’ve been a part of a business coaching program called The 90 Day Year.

This program culminated in a live event in San Diego with the program’s creator, Todd Herman, and a host of extremely smart and successful entrepreneurs.

At this event, I was blessed to be a part of a small-group mastermind meeting where we shared the challenges facing our businesses and brainstormed ideas to overcome them.

I talked about my products and services and the things I want to create and BLAH BLAH BLAH.

Someone spoke up and cautioned me about making all these products and “passive income” a shiny object to keep chasing.

As I unpacked that statement and reflected throughout my three days in San Diego, a sense of conviction continued to rise within me.

I knew he was right.

You see, I’m good at getting stuff done in my business.

Creating websites. Setting up email campaigns. Launching new products.

Give me a vision and I run with it until it’s done.

But what causes me more fear and insecurity in my business is doing the harder work of actually reaching out to individuals I claim to serve, having conversations and figuring out how I can help.

It’s less predictable. I can’t control it, and I often allow my insecurity to hold me back.

I started this business because I saw my wife’s private practice grow so much because clients loved her website and I wanted to help other therapists do the same.

But each and every person’s story and practice is different and thus, their needs are different.

If I’m not intentional about serving individuals, I end up trying to help people from a distance without first connecting on a deeper level to really understand their struggles in marketing their business online.

So, I want to focus more on that connection, rather than on just building a business.

I want to help you find answers, even if the answer is another service, not one of my own.

I want to create relationships that propel your private practice forward by bringing a group of like-minded people together who want to learn more about online marketing in a fun and vulnerable environment.

Because People Are More Important Than Money

Having my first baby has also had a profound impact on how I see the world.

It’s solidified in me the things I profess to be values in my life, but don’t always find ways to express practically.

I want my boy to know that people are more important than money or business.

That’s something I’ve always believed, but beliefs don’t matter if your actions don’t back it up.

I want the CMTW Facebook group to be a place where people can find help for their private practices.

I want it to be a place where we can all grow and face the challenges of online marketing together, where no question is stupid and new solutions are discovered.

I’ll still have my own products and services, but I want the focus to be on providing the BEST products or services for each individual’s situation, regardless on whether they are mine or someone else’s.

Because Online Marketing Can Be Fun!

Call me a geek or whatever, but I truly enjoy building websites and using technology to help people market themselves online.

It’s like one huge and fantastic puzzle to me!

I’ve seen so much fear surrounding the mental health community when it comes to using technology, and I want to help remove that fear.

When you’re having fun, solving problems becomes so much easier.

So, as I learn to be myself more in my business, I’m learning bring more of that fun to the conversation.

Facebook groups allow a bit more freedom for fun conversations and connection than mediums such as an email list or blog.

Because I’m Learning To Listen More Than I Talk

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” – Abe Lincoln

Do you ever feel like online marketing is just you talking AT people all the time?

I know I do.

The truth is, no one just wants to be talked AT. We want to be heard and understood.

I’m learning to do this more and more.

I often do this through surveys and some of the email exchanges I have with members of my audience.

But there’s something different and dynamic about Facebook groups that I love.

Conversations are way easier and connection happens much faster.

I don’t want to guess at the types of challenges facing you and your online marketing.

I want to hear it straight from you and enter into those challenges together and help you overcome them.

A Facebook group can be both an extension of conversations started on my blog, as well as the place where new blogs and trainings will be birthed, based on what the community actually needs help with.

Join The CMTW Community Now

I couldn’t start this Facebook community without first laying out some of what was in my heart and mind, and that’s what this post is about.

If you want to walk this online marketing journey together, in a place where we are all learning to serve our clients better and be ourselves online, please join the Facebook group.

I can’t grow alone, and neither can you.

Click here to join the free Create My Therapist Website Community.

cmtw community banner

5 Resources to Create the Best About Page Ever

Your about page on your private practice website is a huge asset to your business. This page is often one of the most-visited pages on your website, so it’s important that you spend time making sure your about page works for you, turning potential clients into paying ones.

In this blog post I’ll give you some great resources to help you write your about page to speak to your potential clients.

Your about page on your private practice website is a huge asset to your business. This page is often one of the most-visited pages on your website, so it’s important that you spend time making sure your about page works for you, turning potential clients into paying ones. In this blog post I’ll give you some great resources to help you write your about page to speak to your potential clients.

Why Your About Page is So Important

We launched my wife’s therapy website back in 2011 and began the process of growing her practice and trying to attract traffic.

When I look back at her traffic, through Google Analytics, I can see that even after all this time, her About page is still the second most-visited page after her homepage.

Many people find her through word-of-mouth referrals or land her website from her Psychology Today profile.

So once they come to her homepage, people want to know more about her and how she can help them in their present situation.

I’m willing to bet that the same case is true for most of you reading this post.

It makes sense, right?

In therapy, we open up our lives and our hearts to strangers. It’s natural to want to find a person whom you can relate to and trust before beginning this journey.

Your about page can build that trust. It can give your potential clients the reassurance they need in order to take that next step and reach out.

You’ll want to do your best to not just share about yourself on this page, but about how YOU can help solve the problems your potential clients are facing.

Take a look at the below resources and get ideas for ways you can improve your own about page and focus it not just on yourself, but your ideal client.

5 Resources For a Therapist About Page

1. Nikki Elledge Brown’s About Page

about page nikki elledge brown

Nikki’s resources helped me in those early days when I was trying to figure out my own about page. I agonized over what to put on this page, but her simple “recipe” for an about page helped me get organized and understand the flow of the content and what to include. Check out her own about page, which identifies the various sections you can include on your private practice about page.

2. Nikki Bonsol’s Free About Page Course

nicole bonsole about page course therapists

There’s just something about the name Nikki I guess. Nicole Bonsol has a fantastic (and free) email course to help you write an awesome about page. When my wife wanted to improve her about page, I sent her to this resource and she got some great clarity to help her write a whole new page that reflected her style and felt authentic. Check it out here.

3. Melyssa Griffin’s Post: How to Write a Killer About Me Page for Your Blog

about page melyssa griffin therapy

While Melyssa Griffin’s website is mostly focused on helping bloggers increase traffic and grow their audience, she’s got some excellent advice on how to attract clients with your about page. You can check out this post here, all about about pages for some tips you can use on your private practice website.

4. Copyblogger’s Post: Are You Making These 7 Mistakes with Your About Page?

about page copyblogger

I love this post. It identifies 7 common mistakes that people make with their about page and how to fix them. Are you making any of these about page mistakes?

5. 99u’s Post: How To Write an “About Me” Page That Gets You Hired

about page psychotherapist 99u

Your about page is constantly a work in progress. You’ll write it, edit it and update it as time goes on. This post from creative blog, 99u, describes the process, along with specific ways to get clear about your passions and sound authentic on your about page.

I hope these five resources give you some of the clarity and inspiration you need to finally start your about page, or refine the one you currently have.

Your about page is something that will change over time. Keep working at it and know that it will never be perfect.

Got an about page you’d like to share? Post a link in the comments below and make sure to check out someone else’s page and give them feedback!

Check out my latest FREE training to learn the content you need in order to attract your ideal clients to your website, plus tips on driving more traffic. Just click the banner below to get started!

7 Elements of a Successful Therapist Website Homepage

No doubt about it, your homepage is one the first impressions your future clients will have of you and your private practice. With just mere seconds to grab the attention of a website visitor, it’s important to know what to put on your private practice website’s homepage.

In this article I’ll give you 7 crucial elements you need on your therapist website homepage to impress potential clients and capture their attention.

7 elements of a successful therapy website homepage pin

1. Your Logo

Your homepage is the epicenter for your brand and business, so you’ll want to have a legible logo displayed on this page.

It’s often the quickest way to communicate who you are and what your website is about.

Logos are typically displayed in the upper left corner or the top center of websites, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a little creative if your website theme allows it.

While it can appear smaller on your secondary pages, it’s a good idea to make sure your logo is prominent on the homepage, because this may be the first page many people see when they first come in contact with you and your private practice.

For some tips on how to create a logo for your therapy practice, check out this post here.

2. A Headline That Captures The Attention of Your Potential Clients

You only have a few seconds to let your website visitors know they’re in the right place.

Create a clear and simple headline that speaks to your potential clients and let’s them know who you serve in your private practice and the outcome you help them achieve.

This is your quick chance to convey the benefits of working with you, so think about your ideal client and what they want to achieve and write your headline from that place.

Here are some examples of great headlines in private practice:

mental wellness private practice home page 6

liz higgins marriage counseling headline

3. Clear Navigation

There’s nothing more frustrating to me than landing on a website and not being able to find the information I’m looking for.

Left to wander around the website, I end up spending more time thinking about the poor user experience than taking in the information on the pages.

One way we can minimize the frustrations of our website visitors and make our information shine is to be really concise and clear with our navigation menus.

Do your best to create a clear structure for your navigation menus, putting only the essential pages in the main navigation, with secondary pages nested underneath.

You can think about it like a well-organized set of folders on your computer. In order to drill down to specific info, it helps to have a few set of top tier folders, with relevant information within those folders.

Do the same for your navigation and keep it organized.

Let your navigation be located in one consistent location throughout your website. It’s ok to have a few links within your content to lead folks to relevant information on your website, but try not go overboard so that it becomes a distraction and people don’t know where to click.

4. A Primary Photo

When laying out or designing your homepage it’s often best to have a primary photo or graphic that draws the user into your therapy website.

What this does is gives your content weight and pulls you down the page.

We typically read left to right, top to bottom, so if you have multiple photos of various sizes and shapes, they will compete with one another and confuse your website viewers because they won’t know where to look.

It’s ok to have multiple photos, but I suggest having one “hero” image that’s larger than the others, conveys what your website and private practice are about and then follow that with other, smaller photos below.

Here’s an example, with names blurred to protect the innocent 😉

We’ve got a landscaping company with a clear, large image that pulls you into the homepage, let’s you know what it’s about and also draws your eye down the page into their information:

primary photo therapy website homepage 1

Now, compare that to another landscaping website, where the images are of similar sizes with no clear hero to give the page weight:

primary photo therapy website homepage 2

Do you see what I mean?

The first example makes me feel like I know exactly where to go and feel calm as I digest the information on the page.

The second example makes me feel overwhelmed because it’s a lot of information and images all at once.

If you can, try and use a website template or theme that has a nice flow to the homepage, with a primary photo that pulls you in and compels you to go further into the information on your private practice homepage and website.

5. The Problems You Help Your Clients Solve

You’ve only got a few precious seconds to connect with your website visitors and let them know that your therapy services can help them with the issues they’re facing.

Think about your potential clients and their state of mind as they’re searching for a therapist they can trust with their problem.

Then write from that place.

As I mentioned above, you can create a headline for your therapist website homepage that explains who you help and what you help them achieve, like an elevator pitch, to quickly let them know if they are in the right place.

Another great copy-writing tactic is to include questions to connect with your visitors and let them know you can relate to the pain or challenge they find themselves in.

Here are a few examples:

  • Is pain from your past or worries about the future making it hard to enjoy the present?
  • Do you find yourself on the brink of divorce, wondering if there’s any hope at turning your relationship around?
  • Do you struggle to find the passion and joy in your life?

So, what do you help your clients achieve? Do your best to make it clear on your therapy website’s homepage.

6. An Introduction About You and Your Practice

After your headline, include an introductory paragraph of a few sentences about yourself, your practice and some of the results one can expect from working with you.

I always like to consider this a lead-in to your more in-depth About Me page that you’ll want to create for your website.

On your homepage, you can keep this brief but use it as a way to, once again, connect with your potential clients.

Follow that with a call to action and you’re in business!

7. A Prominent Call to Action

The final element for a successful therapy website homepage is a clear call to action.

You want to frame the next step that your potential clients should take when they get to the end of your content.

Try to choose just one action you want them to take and make it prominent.

Do you have a free phone consultation you can offer? Or do you want them to simply email you and start a conversation about counseling?

My wife knows that in her private practice, if she can get someone on the phone, she’s about 90% certain she can get that person scheduled for a first-time visit.

So, she offers a free 20 minute phone consultation as her call to action.

Think about what your visitor needs to do in order to become a client after looking at your homepage, then make it simple for them to take the next step.

Conclusion

I hope these seven essential elements help you as you create or tweak your own homepage on your private practice website.

Did I miss anything? Is there something that you have on your own homepage that works well for attracting clients to your therapy practice?

I want to hear about it. Let me know in the comments below!

If you want access to more tips, advanced tutorials, videos and cheat sheets, go ahead and join my VIP list, where you’ll get FREE access to a library of resources to help you create an awesome therapy website and market your practice online.

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Websites for Therapists: Website Platform Comparison Guide

If you’re starting to think about building (or re-building) your private practice website you may be wondering which website platform is the best. From robust content management systems like WordPress to more simplified templates like Weebly, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by the options for building a website.

So if you’re unsure which website platform to use to build your therapy website, this comparison guide will show you the breakdown of some of the top platforms available today.

Short on time? I created a free resource so you can quickly compare each website-builder’s good points, bad points and full pricing charts. Just click here or on the image below to download.

free download therapist website platform comparison guide 1

WordPress

wordpress therapists counselors psychologist

WordPress is a content management system containing all the software you would need to create a fully-functional and robust website and blog.

To be clear, I’m talking about the version of WordPress you’d download from wordpress.org and use on your own hosting server and not the web-based service found at wordpress.com. Click here to learn about the difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org.

Let’s weigh the pros and cons of using WordPress for your private practice website.

The Pros of WordPress for Your Private Practice Website

  • It’s free: Using the WordPress software is free when hosting the files on your own server. You just have to pay for a hosting account and domain name.
  • Use with your own custom domain name: When you sign up for a hosting account, (I recommend iPage (affiliate link)), a free domain is usually included and part of the set up. This gives you the chance to brand your website with a professional-looking URL.
  • No Ads: There will be no ads on your website when you self-host a copy of the WordPress software, unlike building your website on wordpress.com.
  • Nearly unlimited amount of themes: WordPress is what’s called “open source”. This means anyone is free to create themes and plugins to work with the WordPress software. This means that there are thousands of options to choose from when picking a theme and adding new functionality to your website. For some great themes you can use with your private practice website, check out this post.
  • Freedom to grow with your business: Because there are so many themes and plugins that you can add to your website, you’re only limited by your imagination. If there’s something new you want your website to do, you have access to all the code behind the scenes, so you can always find a plugin or developer to make it work with your website.
  • Quick Installation: Because of the popularity of WordPress, most web hosting providers now offer “one-click installation”. This means installing WordPress on your hosting server is just as easy as signing up for the free account at WordPress.com. For a guided tutorial on setting up a hosting account and installing WordPress, check out this post.
  • Use with a web host of your choice: You have the freedom to choose which web hosting service (GoDaddy, Bluehost, iPage, etc) you’d like to use and you’re always free to transfer your WordPress website to another host if you need to.
  • You own everything: If you want to move your website to a different web host, or want to backup your database, you have the freedom and access to do what you want/need with your information.

The Cons of Using WordPress for Your Private Practice Website

  • Extra responsibility: Because WordPress is hosted on your own server, you’re responsible for keeping the software, along with any themes and plugins, up to date. This is often as simple as clicking a button, but problems do arise when updates conflict with plugins and themes.
  • Steeper learning curve: Because you have full control and access to all the settings, there’s the potential to get overwhelmed by it all. More time will be required on the front end to understand the WordPress dashboard and how to edit your website.
  • Things can break: Because there are more moving parts, you can potentially break your website when making updates or changing the wrong settings. Creating backups of your website and having access to customer support via your hosting provider becomes more important (but, of course, there are plugins for that!).
  • No direct support: Unlike other website-building services, WordPress is a collection of files, not an actual service, so there’s no support line to call for help. Instead, you’ll rely on the online community and forums built around WordPress should you need support.

Price of WordPress

WordPress is considered “open-source”, which means the software is completely free to use by anyone.

Anyone can take the WordPress core files and add new plugins to it. Most plugins are also free, but there may be a cost involved in the really fancy and robust ones.

So the only initial cost to using WordPress is your hosting account and a premium WordPress theme, which is optional (free themes exist too).

Hosting Cost: $1.99 – $29.99 per month

Premium WordPress Theme (optional): One time cost of $13 – $100+

Squarespace

squarespace for therapists private practice

Squarespace is a user-friendly website-builder you can use to create a fairly stunning website for your private practice.

It’s completely web-based, so there is no code or software to install and hosting is part of the Squarespace service.

The standout feature of Squarespace is their attention to design, with stunning templates and great user experience for both viewers of their websites as well as you, the editor.

Pros of Using Squarespace for your Private Practice Website

  • Beautiful templates and design: Squarespace offers a number of templates, built with the latest design trends in mind, such as responsive/mobile usability. The designs are modern and professional-looking
  • SEO features: Squarespace gives you the ability to write custom titles, URLs and meta descriptions for each page you create, helping you optimize your website for search engines.
  • Style editor for customization: You can change the colors, fonts and various features of your template, helping you make your website unique and reflect your tastes or brand.
  • Customizable content layouts: Similar to drag-and-drop builders found in WordPress, you can create custom page layouts with Squarespace’s LayoutEngine and Content Block system.
  • Edit directly from your website: This makes editing easier as you can make changes right on your live website and know exactly what you’re editing.
  • Built-in ecommerce features: Squarespace makes selling products on your website seamless with a host of ecommerce features such as payment processing, product variants, analytics and pretty much anything you’d expect from an ecommerce platform.
  • Offers single page design: If you just need a simple one-page website for your therapy practice, this is a great option for you.

Cons of Using Squarespace for your Private Practice Website

  • Limited number of templates: I can pretty much pick which websites are Squarespace websites as many people use similar templates. Because the amount of templates (although they look amazing) are limited, you run the risk of your website lacking a custom quality.
  • Website editor can be cumbersome at times: Sometimes you run into the “I just want to move this picture to the right side but I just can’t figure it out” type of scenarios. The templates look great, but customizing layouts can be less-than intuitive at times.
  • Price: You are limited to only 20 pages (including blogs) with the $12 monthly plan. For unlimited pages and blogs you’ll pay $18/month. You’re paying for a dedicated service and support, so the features can be a little limiting for the price you pay. You do get a free domain when you sign up, but this is only for one year. After that the price jumps to $20 a year, which is much higher than many other domain registrars.
  • Menu/navigation limitations: The Squarespace menu editor only lets you have one level below the main navigation, so if you have a lot of info on your website, you’ll need to organize it without multi-level dropdowns in the menu.
  • Email list limitations: Squarespace only integrates with Mailchimp for building a newsletter.

Price of Squarespace

Squarespace has two different plans, depending on whether you’re building a website or an online store.

Remember: if you purchase a custom domain through Squarespace, you must add on a $20/month charge after the first year.

Price for Websites:

  • Personal plan: $12/month (billed annually) and limited to 20 pages and blog posts
  • Business plan: $18/month (billed annually) gets you unlimited pages and blog posts

Price for Online Stores:

  • Basic plan: $26/month (billed annually)
  • Advanced plan: $40/month (billed annually)

Wix

wix therapists counselors design

Wix has become an increasingly popular website builder in the last few years.

Wix gives you hundreds of templates, unlimited pages plus free hosting starting with their free plan.

They have a structure very similar to wordpress.com, where you can then pay for more professional features like using your own domain name, removing Wix ads and getting more storage.

Pros of Using Wix for your Private Practice Website

  • Beautifully designed templates: Wix offers hundreds of designs geared toward a vast swath of industries, allowing you to find something unique that will suit your private practice needs and personality.
  • Easy to use drag and drop editor: This allows you to create custom layouts and move elements around to where you want them to be, all without having to know code. Where some editors limit the amount you can move elements around, Wix’s editor is quite flexible.
  • App Market: Choose from hundreds of third-party apps to add new features to your website, such as online booking, event calendars and newsletter opt-in forms.
  • SEO features: You have the ability to create custom titles, meta descriptions and alt tags on web pages.
  • Creative freedom: Wix makes it easy to move elements of your website around and control how and where things appear.
  • Dedicated support and plenty tutorials: Wix offers great support if you need help. They also have a large library of tutorials to get you started building your website.

Cons of Using Wix for your Private Practice Website

  • SEO customization is lacking: The blogging features are basic and you’re unable to edit the URL, title tag and meta descriptions for blog posts.
  • Depth of menu navigation: You are limited to two levels of navigation. If you plan to have many nested pages on your private practice website, you may find this limiting.
  • You can’t change your template: Once you set up your website and choose a template, you are not able to change to another template. Other services, like WordPress and Squarespace, let you change with a few clicks.
  • Too much freedom may break your design: Because you can easily move elements around, you run the risk of creating a monster of a web page, lacking consistency or rearranging layouts by mistake.
  • Price: In order to remove Wix ads and use a custom domain with your website, you’ll have to pay for the $10 a month Combo plan, which is limited to 2GB of bandwidth and 3GB of storage.

Price of Wix

  • Free Plan: Unlimited pages but will include a Wix domain name and Wix ads
  • Connect Domain: $5/month lets you connect your own domain but will not remove Wix ads. Remember: you’ll still have to pay for the domain through a service like GoDaddy.
  • Combo Pan: $10/month removes the Wix ads and gives you a little more bandwith (2GB) and storage (3GB).
  • Unlimited Plan: $14/month adds unlimited bandwidth, 10GB of storage plus some extra apps (Site Booster and Form Builder).
  • eCommerce Plan: $17/month gives you 20GB of bandwidth and storage plus some online store functionality and the features of the lower tier plans.
  • VIP Plan: $25/month will give you first priority support, unlimited bandwidth, 20GB of storage, professional site review, plus the features of the lower tier plans.

Download your free quick-guide PDF resource so you can easily see how each website-builder stacks up with the others.

Weebly

weebly website builder therapists private practice

Weebly promises to get your website to the finish line faster by making the process as simple as possibly.

No technical skill is required to use Weebly’s user-friendly interface, cutting down on the amount of time you spend having to learn their system. This has lead many to conclude that Weebly the easiest website builder to use. (source)

Let’s take a look at some of Weebly’s features and the pro’s and cons of using their service to build your therapy website.

Pros of Using Weebly for your Private Practice Website

  • Super easy to use and get started: There’s pretty much no learning curve with Weebly. You can sign up for a free plan and get started in no time.
  • Flexible and stylish designs: Weebly offers some beautiful modern designs for your website. Each is responsive so you know it will look good on all devices. If you’re feeling really crazy, you can even edit the source code for more control.
  • Unlimited levels of navigation: If you have a complex website, you’ll be able to add as many levels to your navigation as you’d like.
  • SEO features: Title and meta description tags are customizable at the page level. You can also edit your ALT tags for images and include a sitemap.
  • App Center: Weebly’s App Center lets you integrate new services and functions into your website.
  • iPad & Android App: You can easily edit your website on the go by using Weebly’s own app.
  • Pre-designed page layouts: When staring at a blank page, this feature makes it really easy for you to create a layout that looks great. Just choose from a list of about 40 layouts to get you started.
  • Content export: If you decide you want to take your website elsewhere, Weebly lets you easily export your content.

Cons of Using Weebly for your Private Practice Website

  • Free domain only lasts for a year: Like Squarespace, signing up for a free domain is only good for a year, after which it will cost you $19.95 a month.
  • Limited amount of templates: With less than 50 templates to choose from, your starting point is similar to many other Weebly-created websites out there.
  • Limited amount of control: Because Weebly is meant to be simple and easy to use, you forfeit the ability to fully control where elements are placed in your website’s layout.
  • Limited Customization: Weebly allows you to adjust font styles and color schemes but if you’d like to customize specific elements, you’ll have to edit the code of your template to do so.
  • Blogging features are basic: While you can include social sharing and schedule your posts, Weebly lacks some basic blogging features like displaying recent posts, related posts and most popular posts.

Price of Weebly

  • Free Plan: Contains Weebly ads, only 500MB of storage and a Weebly.com subdomain (no custom domain)
  • Starter Plan: $8/month removes Weebly ads and lets you connect your own domain
  • Pro Plan: $12/month gives you the features of the previous plans plus things like site search, video backgrounds, HD video & audio and phone support.
  • Business Plan: $25/month gives you the features of previous plans plus membership registration functionality and extra ecommerce features.
  • Performance Plan: $49/month will add on some extra ecommerce functionality (gift cards and abandoned cart emails) plus the ability to create 5 email campaigns a month to a list of 500 contacts.

BrighterVision

brighter vision review therapist website design

Brighter Vision calls themself “the complete web solution for therapists.”

If you want to create a therapy website with very minimal effort, letting someone else do the heavy technical lifting, then this could be a great solution for you.

Their process is pretty simple: sign up, choose a template and then work with a developer to customize the template to your liking. The whole process takes about 60-90 minutes of your time and your website is launched in 2-3 weeks. Boom!

Pros of Using Brighter Vision for your Private Practice Website

  • The process is completely streamlined: Brighter Vision will work with you the whole way to get your website up in just two weeks.
  • You get to work closely with a designer to customize your website: Brighter Vision takes a concierge approach to building websites, so you’ll work with someone to customize the colors, fonts and images to make your website unique.
  • Built on WordPress: You get the many benefits of having your website built on one of the most popular and robust content management systems there is.
  • Yearly SEO audits: Each year, Brighter Vision will provide you with an SEO audit to make sure that Google knows what your website is about.
  • It’s hands off: If technology just isn’t your thing, all the heavy work is done by Brighter Vision, you just give them the content and direction they need to build your website.
  • Ongoing support: Because it is a monthly service, you get the benefit of having ongoing support for those times you want to make changes, install plugins and make backups of your website. When stuff breaks, you won’t have to pay anything extra to get back up and running.

Cons of Using Brighter Vision for your Private Practice Website

  • May have to rely on their developers for changes: This might actually be a pro for some folks, but because you’re paying to have someone manage your website creation and editing, making changes may take longer as it requires you to rely on Brighter Vision to make them. However, because it is built on WordPress you can learn to make certain updates yourself.
  • Limited number of templates: While you can customize colors, fonts and photos, you’re limited to a certain number of templates, so your website may still end up looking similar to many others.
  • Pre-written content may lack your “voice”: Since Brighter Vision will handle much of the content creation of your website, your content may lack your personal voice that clients will experience in therapy.
  • Price: Brighter Vision has a $100 setup fee (waived if you pay yearly) and costs $59/month. That’s $700 a year. If you’re not utilizing their services consistently, that’s a pretty steep price.

Price of Brighter Vision

  • Bright Site Plan: $59/month + $100 setup fee (waived if you pay yearly) gives you the suite of services they offer, including ongoing SEO, 10 stock photos and unlimited tech support.
  • Bright Site + HIPAA: $79/month + $100 setup fee gives you all the features of the Bright Site plan plus 1 HIPAA compliant email address and HIPAA compliant contact forms.

TherapySites

therapysites review private practice website comparison

Similar to Brighter Vision, TherapySites is another all-in-one website design service.

Pros of Using TherapySites for your Private Practice Website

  • No setup fees: You just pay the $59/month service fee.
  • Live in minutes: You can quickly create a website, with pre-filled content in VERY little time.
  • Downloadable client form templates: You can easily create forms for your clients to access and download.
  • Easily edit your website: TherapySites puts you in complete control of making changes and updating your content without the need to rely on a designer.
  • Simplicity: All you have to do is sign up, choose a template and start updating your website with your specific info.

Pros of Using TherapySites for your Private Practice Website

  • Limited templates: With just 15 templates to choose from, it may be hard to create a unique website with TherapySites.
  • Mostly outdated designs: Many of the design templates lack a modern feel to me, especially compared to other website builders like Squarespace or Wix.
  • Cut-and-paste SEO: Your website comes “pre-loaded with the best keywords for searches related to the therapy industry”. Since Google prefers unique and specific content, this could be detriment to your SEO. You’ll still need to work hard to create unique content.
  • Lack of customization: With TherapySite’s website builder, you will not able to edit any of the code or add any new features beyond what TherapySites editor gives you.
  • No blogging features: TherapySites lacks basic blogging functionality. Blogging is great for SEO, so if you’d like to blog regularly, you’ll still need another website or service to do so.
  • Price: The cost is $59/month and lacks the amount of hand-holding and personal attention that Brighter Vision offers.

Price of TherapySites

TherapySites has one plan at $59/month which gives you a website with unlimited pages, ready-to-use client forms, online appointment requests, a domain name, 10 email addresses and more.

They also offer an “SEO Boost” package on top of that to offer you ongoing SEO support.

Download the Website Platform Comparison Guide

With so many platforms to choose from, it can be quite overwhelming to choose where to begin.

I created a free quick-guide PDF resource so you can easily see how each website-builder stacks up with the others.

In the PDF you’ll get the overview of the pros and cons discussed here as well as each platform’s pricing table so you can understand exactly what you get for the cost involved.

Just click on the image below to download The Website Platform Comparison Guide and start building your private practice website today.

free download therapist website platform comparison guide 1

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if you’re unsure which website platform to use to build your therapy website, this comparison guide will show you the breakdown of some of the top platforms available today.

Mistakes Therapists Make When Building Their Own Private Practice Website

As a web designer who’s been in the field since 2001, I can usually spot a DIY therapy website. Not because they’re terrible, but because they lack a few crucial elements that often comes from understanding some basic web design principles.

In this post I’ll discuss some of the common mistakes I see therapists make when they create their own private practice websites to help you avoid the same pitfalls with your own.

In this post I’ll discuss some of the common mistakes I see therapists make when they create their own private practice websites to help you avoid the same pitfalls with your own.

Forgetting Calls to Action

Every single piece of content on that therapy website of yours should have a purpose.

You may want to entice folks to call you for a consultation or schedule an appointment. Or perhaps you want to foster community and interact with your audience.

When creating web pages or writing blog posts, I always find it helpful to begin with the end goal in mind. This will help frame the content and lead the reader on a journey to that end.

And the way we lead website visitors is through calls to action; asking them to do something.

Presenting the reader with a call to action allows you to frame the next choice they make. When a user gets to the end of a blog post and there’s nothing for them to do, their choice is to either click through to another page on your website or, more than likely, leave all together.

Do all you can to present them with a choice that will serve your ideal client and let them further interact with you.

Too Many Calls to Action

Have you ever tried searching for something on Google and clicked on a link only to have no idea what to do when you land on the website?

They want you to download an ebook. BUT check out their blog! BUT sign up for this newsletter! BUT learn about this new awesome thing I posted about!

On and on it goes.

Sometimes (and I’m guilty of this too) we ask too much of the users of our websites.

Going back to the mistake mentioned above, each page should have a specific function with a specific call to action. I think it’s ok to have a few links to other content, but as far as ASKING your readers to do something, stick to one thing.

Giving the reader too many options runs the risk that they will choose NONE of those options and leave your website altogether.

Try making your message clear and give them one thing to do. Create dedicated pages or blog posts for the services you have, to give context, so that the reader understands the benefits of what you are offering them.

Then ask them to sign up, download, comment, etc.

A Weak About Page

When I first began seriously blogging, I read tons of blogs and listened to podcast after podcast on online marketing. I wanted to know every single tip I could find about making my blog great.

Time after time I’d hear people say stuff like “make your about page epic”.

I didnt believe the big-shot online marketers at first, so I checked my Google Analytics. Sure enough, the about page was the second most visited page on my website.

This means that the majority of people landing on your site want to know about you before they do anything with you.

This also means that you want to do your best to capture the attention of your potential clients on this page.

So, what’s the biggest piece of advice that I can give on the topic of about pages?

Your about page is not about you.

Let me explain.

Your about page isn’t entirely about you. This page is still about your potential client. They are the reason you have a therapy website in the first place, right?

Once I started imagining my ideal client and the people that I really wanted to help the most, writing this page came so much easier and my message became so much clearer.

This page was no longer just a bio of my life and accomplishments, but a story of how my experiences have equipped me to help therapists in private practice create websites and solve the problems they’re facing with online marketing.

So take some time and evaluate your about page.

Are you speaking directly to your ideal client and letting them know you understand the problems they’re facing?

Do a little research of other about pages out there, both therapists and non-therapists alike, to get ideas for your own.

I highly recommend Nicole Bonsol’s FREE course all about about pages.

Not Creating Specific Pages for Your Therapy Specialties

While it’s great to have one landing page for the services you provide, going deeper into the topics you focus on as a therapist by creating specific pages for each has some great benefits.

The first benefit is to provide information to potential clients and showcase your own expertise and approach to the services you provide.

You can get laser focused and talk to a potential client who is in a very specific place, such as going through a divorce.

The other reason I recommend a page for each of your counseling services or specialties is for the SEO (search engine optimization) benefit.

Having a specific page devoted to a topic (or keyword… see where I’m going here?) is the best way to optimize for search engines.

If someone is searching for help with “grief counseling in Atlanta”, and you’ve got an entire content-rich page devoted to the topic, Google is going to like that.

Take a look at the services you offer and the topics you love to help your clients with. Go ahead and create landing pages or blog posts focused on those topics.

Use on-page SEO to optimize these pages, doing things like:

  • Placing the focus keyword in your page title
  • Making sure the keyword appears toward the front of the page title
  • Making sure the header of your page is in an <h1> tag and includes your keyword
  • Making sure the focus keyword appears a few times throughout the page with one instance being within the first or second paragraph
  • Making sure the content is 800 – 1500 words in length
  • Use the keyword in the page’s URL
  • Including images

By creating these specialty pages you are providing more detailed information to potential clients, assuring them that your therapy services can provide the change their looking for.

Not Using Responsive Design

Responsive design refers to the way your website appears across all types of devices.

It means that if someone views your website on a smart phone or a desktop computer, it still looks good and is easy to navigate.

If your website is responsive, it ensures that, no matter what, users will be able to easily use your website and read your information. It would be a shame if you could truly help someone, but they gave up on your website because they couldn’t read it on their phone.

Another reason to make sure your website is responsive is that Google now considers mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal in search results. So if you want to increase your chances of being found, make sure your website is responsive.

The good news is that responsive design is pretty much the standard with the latest services and themes.

So, if your website isn’t responsive, and is due for an upgrade, consider going with a premium WordPress theme, using a service like Wix or Squarespace, or working with a designer on a custom website.

For examples of some great themes, check out my roundup of WordPress themes for therapists and counselors.

Not Thinking of a Potential Client

When it comes to creating therapy websites, I often encourage my clients to envision their ideal client and place themselves in their position.

Finding the right therapist can be a difficult decision, one that’s filled with anxiety and unknowns.

Your website may be one of the very first interactions you’ll have with a client, so it’s important to be there for them and make them comfortable with you as their potential therapist as well as the therapy process in general.

You can do this in a variety of ways:

  • Speak in the first person and let your personality come through, not being afraid to be yourself
  • Use a professional headshot or shoot a short video to include on your about page
  • Create a page for “Your First Visit” and include pictures of your counseling office
  • Include frequently asked questions to help potential clients understand the process of working with you

Using empathy, you can fill your website with the exact information that your ideal client needs to find before they feel comfortable enough to step foot in your office.

For mor tips on on designing a therapy website with your clients in mind, check out this post here.

Conclusion

I hope you found this post helpful and you found some tips you could use to improve your own therapy website. By keeping your ideal client in mind, you’ll be able to avoid many of these mistakes, speak to their needs and have a truly effective website.

 

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Therapist Webite Design: Anatomy of the Perfect Sidebar

If you read my last post, you should be familiar with how to create and edit your sidebar in WordPress. But what types of content should you put in your sidebar on your therapy website? In this post I’ll go over some tips to help you choose the best content for your sidebar to help your website visitors get a better picture of you and your private practice.

What types of content should you put in your sidebar on your therapy website? In this post I’ll go over some tips to help you choose the best content for your sidebar to help your potential clients get a better picture of you and your private practice. | Create My Therapist Website

What Is the Purpose of a Sidebar?

So, why should you even have a sidebar on your therapy website? What’s the point?

Well, to be honest, you don’t NEED a sidebar. Your website can and will survive without one.

But, in my opinion, having a sidebar on your blog posts is a quick way to give a passing website visitor a chance to get to know you more and learn more about your private practice.

If you blog consistently, chances are a potential client may see one of your posts on social media or in Google’s search results. If they then land on a blog post, without knowing anything about you, a sidebar can easily lead them into more of your content on your therapy website, should they want to explore it.

It’s also for that reason that I recommend you only have a sidebar on your blog, and not on every page on your website. Your blog can be a great way to hook new traffic, but your about page, services pages and other pages can do without the distraction of sidebars.

Focus those pages on what you want to say to your potential client and what you want them to learn and leave the sidebar out of it.

Ok, now that I’m off my soapbox, let’s talk about the types of content you may want to include in your therapy website’s sidebar.

A Very Short Bio to Say Hello

It has become somewhat of an expectation – in the land of Pinterest and blog posts – to see the face of the author at the top of the sidebar.

I love this approach because it lets your web visitors know who this person is and what they’re all about. It creates connection and that’s what we’re after with your private practice website.

I recommend using a photo of yourself, combined with a very short (one or two sentences) about who you are and who you help. Do you have an elevator pitch for your private practice? Now is the time to use it!

For more details on how to make a widget with a bio in WordPress, check out this post about creating sidebars.

A Search Bar

If you have more than a handful of blogs on your website, it’s helpful to add a search bar so that potential clients can search for specific topics.

WordPress comes with a search widget right out of the box. Visit Appearance > Widgets to grab the search widget and add it to your sidebar.

therapist website sidebar search widget

Links to Your Private Practice’s Social Media Profiles

Since your sidebar is a way for web visitors and potential clients to further connect with you, it’s a great place to link to the social profiles you’ve created for your private practice.

You want to make it as easy as possible for your readers to connect with you, and having icons that link to your social profiles is a great way to do that. It has become quite standard and most people expect to see those icons in the sidebar.

Many WordPress themes come with customizable widgets containing your social media icons. If yours doesn’t, don’t worry, there are tons of social media plugins to choose from.

Another way to get your readers to connect with you on social media is to embed your Facebook page or Pinterest profile. If you look to the right, you can see that’s exactly what I did in my sidebar.

The benefit of this is that your readers can like and follow you without even leaving your blog.

Again, there are many plugins that can do this. Or you can grab the code right from Facebook or Pinterest and place it within a Text widget.

Showcase Your Blog Posts

Another bit of content you’ll want to feature in your website’s sidebar are your blog posts.

This is another one of those “standard practice” type of things that we’ve come to expect to see when visiting blogs.

You can easily show your latest blog posts by using WordPress’s default Recent Posts widget:

latest blog posts in a therapist website sidebar

Just drag that bad boy into your sidebar and give it a title (i.e. Latest Posts) and tell it how many links to show and you’re good to go.

Many WordPress themes include an advanced version of the Recent Posts widget that you may like to use instead.

Here’s an advanced tip: If you have Google Analytics installed on your private practice website, find your most popular blog posts and create links in your sidebar for those.

If you know what’s popular and what’s working on your website, why not give them what they want?

To find this info, log into your Google Analytics. Click on Behavior in the left navigation, and then Site Content. Finally click on All Pages and you’ll see the stats for the most visited content on your website.

I highly recommend staying away from displaying a running list of your Blog Archives. It’s pretty ugly and quite overwhelming when you see that long list of links. This was something that was popular when blogging was fresh, but today it just becomes clutter and can make your blog look a bit dated.

Email or Newsletter Opt In

Do you have a newsletter that you send out weekly or monthly to your blog readers?

Your sidebar is definitely one place where you should advertise how folks can join your list.

Try creating a helpful PDF resource and include that in the welcome email they’ll receive when they join your mailing list. Giving something useful away is a great way to add people to your list, because let’s face it, people don’t need just another newsletter.

Keep It Simple and Keep Testing

I change my sidebar often as I have new ideas and new things I want my readers to know about.

So have fun with yours and keep trying new things.

But remember: Keep it simple!

Think about what’s most important to your potential clients and the actions you want them to take (like calling you for an initial consultation). Having too many options in the sidebar can be overwhelming and cause readers to ignore it all together.

We don’t want that.

So be intentional and keep it simple!

 

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How to Create & Edit The Sidebar On Your Therapy Website

The sidebar on your private practice website can be a great place to quickly display some of your most important info to potential clients. In today’s post I’ll take you through the process of creating a sidebar for your blog, using WordPress, so that you’ll know exactly how to build one yourself.

The sidebar on your private practice website can be a great place to quickly display some of your most important info to potential clients. In this post I’ll take you through the process of creating a sidebar for your therapy blog, using WordPress, so that you’ll know exactly how to build one yourself.

Finding Your Sidebar Settings in WordPress

If you’re starting at the very beginning with WordPress, there’s probably not a lot going on in your sidebar at the moment.

If you’ve already installed a WordPress theme, then maybe it looks a little bit more interesting than the generic one you’ll see after WordPress is installed.

For my tutorial on setting up a therapy website using WordPress (in less than 10 minutes!) check out this post here.

For the sake of this tutorial, I’ve got a fresh install of the Divi WordPress theme going on. You can see the sample blog post page and the boring default sidebar below:

Here's what a default sidebar may look like on a new therapy website

The default info is fairly generic, all text and pretty boring. So where do we go to change it?

Once you log into your WordPress admin dashboard, you’ll find your sidebar content under Appearance > Widgets.

Clicking on Widgets will bring you to a page like this:

Put widgets in a sidebar on your private practice website

Now, this area will look slightly different to you depending on what WordPress theme you’re using.

With my Divi theme here, you can clearly see a box on the right marked “Sidebar”.

A sidebar in WordPress is made up of small content blocks, called “widgets”. Hence them being found within the Widgets section of WordPress. Clever nerds!

These widgets are the darker gray boxes within the sidebar. Each one performs a different function and displays different content. Comparing the titles of each one in your WordPress dashboard with what you see when you load a blog post, will give you an idea about what each widget does.

Adding and Removing Widgets from Your Sidebar

Adding and removing widgets is as easy as dragging and dropping them where you want them to be.

To remove a widget that currently appears in your sidebar, just drag it from the sidebar area on the right over to the bank of widgets on the left. WordPress will automatically save it and now when you visit your blog, you won’t see that content any more.

To add a widget to your sidebar, choose from the list of widgets on the left and drag one over to the right, placing it in the sidebar box where you want it to appear.

Depending on the theme you’re using, you may have many more options for widgets than in the example photo above.

Try adding each one and seeing what it does. This way you know all the options available to you to make an awesome sidebar.

Example: How To Create A Bio For Your Therapy Website Sidebar

Enough talk, Daniel, more show!

Ok ok, I’m on it. Let me give you an example and walk you through the steps.

Let’s create a short “about me” widget in a sidebar.

The Divi WordPress theme that I’m using comes with a widget that’s got everything I’ll need to do this, which is pretty sweet. It’s labeled “ET About Me Widget”.

create a bio widget for your counseling website

I want my bio to appear at the top of my sidebar, so I’ll click and drag it over to the right, placing it in the first spot:

Dragging the widget into your sidebar, you can then edit the info

When I drop it into my sidebar, the widget expands to automatically show me what options I have and what content I can place in it. Looks like I can add a title, and image and a paragraph of info about myself.

Note: In order to add an image, I’ll need the URL to where my image is uploaded. So I’ve added a photo in the Media section of WordPress.

Now I can go to my Media Library and click on the photo to get the URL I’ll need:

Find an image for your therapy website's sidebar

I’ll go ahead and copy that URL and paste it into my widget settings, like so:

Fill in the info for your private practice website widget

Now, I’ll click the Save button and then reload my blog post to take a look.

A bio widget in a WordPress sidebar

Beautiful!

Now here’s a little tip if your theme doesn’t have a specific “about me” widget but you’d still like to add a bio.

You can use the default WordPress Text widget and just a little bit of HTML code. Gasp!

Don’t worry, it’s not that tricky. You’ll still need to upload an image to your Media Library and get the URL for that image. The difference here is that you’ll probably have to upload it at the proper width for your sidebar.

If you don’t know the width, you can get away with making it about 300 pixels wide, then use this snippet of code to add the image to the HTML widget:

<img src=”your-image-url-here.jpg” alt=”” width=”100%” />

Except you’d replace your-image-url-here.jpg with the URL to your own image. Here’s how it looks in the WordPress dashboard:

Using text widget for a bio for your therapist website

And how it appears to visitors of the blog post:

Preview of bio text widget in therapy website sidebarConclusion

So, if you’re using WordPress on your private practice website, you should know have a grasp on what a sidebar is, how it’s structured and how to make some basic edits to your existing sidebar.

Stay tuned for the next post, where we’ll talk a bit more strategy and what types of content you should include in the sidebar on your therapy website.

It’s gonna be wild!

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Five Things Your Therapy Website Needs Most

Guest post by Becky DeGrossa.

Several therapists ask me things like, “I have a website, so people should be able to find me on Google, right?” or “Everyone tells me they love my website. Why I am not getting any new clients?” Although I wish I could say, “If you build it, they will come,” online marketing just doesn’t work like that.

Becky DeGrossa shares the truth about creating a therapy website that actually attracts new business. Does your private practice website have these 5 essential elements?

The truth is creating a website that actually attracts new business is an involved process. There are so many factors that play into the success of a website. Because I’ve talked to so many different therapists about this topic, I wanted to share the five most important secrets to creating a fruitful therapy site. Think of this list as a starting point. There’s way more to add here, such as visual pieces and add-ons, but these steps are vital, and will get the ball rolling.

1. Provide Clear and Easy Navigation

You only have 1-2 seconds to grab the attention of your website visitor. Wait, what?

Yes, if someone doesn’t find what they’re looking for within 1-2 seconds of their arrival to your site, they’re going to click away. While this may come as a shock, studies show that this short period determines whether or not someone will remain on your site (and therefore, use your services).

The best way to ensure people stay on your site is by providing a clear path for them follow. You want to make it very easy to understand what you offer and how you can help. You can do this by listing your specialties in the navigation bar, directing users with queues and images and by providing a clear welcome message on the homepage. If you have too many specialties to list clearly in the navigation bar, consider creating a ‘Specialties’ drop down menu where you can list all your specialties. (While it may be tempting to list all of your specialties on one page titled ‘Services’ or ‘Specialties,’ this has been proven to be much less effective. Read more about page specificity below.)

The bottom line is: make everything extremely easy for your visitor. Provide a clear path with as few clicks as possible.

2. Stay in Touch

You need to stay in touch with your website visitors. Before I dive into ‘how,’ I want to share some interesting facts. The truth is people don’t call and make an appointment the first time they hear your name, visit your website, or hear you speak. In fact, only two percent buy on first exposure, and 80 percent of therapy clients respond between the 5th and 12th visit to your site.

The best way to stay in touch with your website visitors is to a) get them to sign up for your email list by offering a free report, quiz, or download, and b) email them valuable information, such as blog posts.

Ideally, you will want a free download on each of your specialty pages. That way you create specific lists based on your specialties to target your content more effectively. Sending out valuable content keeps your business fresh in your clients’ minds.

3. Provide a Page for Each of your Specialties

As I mentioned in step one, you must be able to clearly communicate what you offer so that your users know if they’ve arrived at the right destination. You should have a separate page for each of your specialties not only so that you can clearly communicate what issues you work with to your potential clients, but also so that your site ranks well on Google. Specialty pages are incredibly important for your site’s rank.

What to include on each page: On your pages, you will want to speak specifically about an issue and how you can help remedy the pain your potential client is feeling. This is not the place to talk about how you work, your modalities, the industry terms, or about you — instead, you want to focus on the potential client and show how you’re the right person to help.

You want to ensure that each of your pages are well optimized. If a page’s SEO is executed poorly, for example, you aren’t including enough content, you aren’t choosing the correct focus keywords, etc., then that page is going to be very difficult to find on Google. Incorporating well thought out SEO on each page is ‘must’ for an effective therapy website. Creating individual pages shows Google that you specialize is say, couples counseling in Austin, Texas; and with a good marketing message, you also show Google that you’re an expert in your field.

Tip: if you have a WordPress website, I highly recommend that you use the plugin Yoast. Yoast allows you to easily add high-quality title tags, meta description, focus keywords and more to each page on your website.

4. Supersize Your Site With More Blogging

Consider the ways in which your site can grow. According to the 2014 Search Metrics Report, the bigger the website (AKA, the more pages) the higher it ranks.

The easiest way to increase the size of your site is by blogging. We recommend writing a 600-word (minimum) blog posts at least once per month, and if you can manage more than one, the more the merrier. There are many different types of content to consider when you’re writing your monthly posts, but blogging consistently is what’s most important. Blog posts offer valuable content to your visitors, which makes them stay longer, and provides you with content to send to your email lists, which keeps people returning to your site.

Tip: in order for your blog to effectively impact your site, it must be integrated– it cannot be a separate website.

If you can’t or don’t want to find time to blog each month, check out our blog writing services. We have a variety of options to choose from based on your budget and preferred writing style.

5. Call to Action

Make sure to tell your visitors what to do next. Without a specific call to action, you lose interaction and decrease the likelihood of being contacted.

Examples of calls to action include: inviting visitors to call and set up a free consultation, scheduling an appointment on your online scheduler, calling to schedule an appointment, or downloading a free report, quiz results, etc.

Does your website have these five things?

Learn more about what goes into creating an effective therapy website at www.counselingwise.com

 

Becky DeGrossa CounselingWiseBecky DeGrossa is the founder and CEO of CounselingWise.com, a small company dedicated to helping therapists effectively market their private practices online. After spending 20 years in the corporate world, Becky pursued her master’s in psychology and became a successful therapist. Now she combines her technical, marketing, and psychology backgrounds to serve the therapy community, and has helped hundreds of therapists in the fine art of website communication. She has helped hundreds of therapists in the world of online marketing since 2007.

​ Schedule a free, 30-minute consultation with CounselingWise ​by visiting www.counselingwise.com and clicking on the ‘Lets Talk’ box in the bottom right hand corner, or give us a call at 720-370-3272.