How the Copy on Your Website Converts Leads to Clients: And Why You Really Need a Niche

I hate to say it, but as clinicians, we can be a little slow on the entrepreneurial uptake. We’re often so focused on serving our clients well, that we struggle to come up for air and think about the professional side of our practices.

And, because we sometimes forget that we’re running a business as well as serving others, it’s not uncommon for those in the psychotherapy profession to neglect business-building activities.

I hate to say it, but as clinicians, we can be a little slow on the entrepreneurial uptake. We’re often so focused on serving our clients well, that we struggle to come up for air and think about the professional side of our practices. And, because we sometimes forget that we’re running a business as well as serving others, it’s not uncommon for those in the psychotherapy profession to neglect business-building activities.

For instance, the idea of incorporating or even relying on technology in our practices is still a bit scary and there is a definite tension when it comes to clinicians embracing modern ways of networking and marketing.

In fact, I literally get questions daily about how online marketing works and whether or not a fellow therapist actually needs a website.

As 2017 draws to an end and we approach 2018, the answer is an unwavering and astounding YES!

Yes, you need a website. But not only that, you need a well-designed website that is both visually appealing and speaks directly to your ideal client.

Now, I’m “technically” a millennial so my willingness to embrace technology may be a bit skewed, but I’m being really honest when I say that even my 90-year-old grandma has an iPhone.

This goes to show that no matter your ideal client population, they are online.

Your website is your greatest business asset.

It’s inexpensive to maintain and it works for you 24/7. Sure, there is an initial cost to set up a website properly, and whether you hire it out or create it yourself, there is a large commitment of either money or time up front.

But take that money you spend and divide it into an hourly wage, and you’ll see that your website is actually your most underpaid employee.

Your website is also your greatest gatekeeper.

When your content is written in a way that speaks directly to your ideal client, you will not only attract them to your practice but repel those that are not a good fit.

The same goes for posting your hours and fees online. Those who cannot fit into your schedule or afford your fees will move on. But, the calls that do come will be serious and motivated inquiries.

Perhaps the best thing about having a well-designed website, however, is the fact that it is a marketing machine.

I’m a big fan of in-person networking and believe it’s essential to growing and scaling any practice.

But, it’s just not possible to meet in person 24-hours a day. What’s more, a client in need whose anxiety has him up at 3 in the morning can’t go in and see his primary care doctor.

So, who better to turn to than good ol’ Google?

Having an attractive website allows you to still be available despite the time of day or circumstances. It also provides you with an internet home base which acts as the hub of your online marketing.

The Truth About Content and Online Marketing

By now, we are well aware that we must market our practices to see any kind of success.

There are just so many professionals in our field, that without a concentrated effort, we will never stand out from the crowd.

However, many of the traditional ways we are taught to promote ourselves: in-person networking, business events in the community, forming partnerships with doctors and psychiatrists, hosting open houses, etc. all demand so much effort that they leave little time for us to concentrate on what we do best – therapy.

The truth about internet marketing is that any AND everything that is posted online counts as content.

This includes the raging rant we posted five years ago after being pulled over for a broken taillight when there are “real” criminals out there. And, it also includes the picture from last week where we are shaking hands with the police chief after implementing a mental health system in the county jail.

Though hilarious (or mortifying – however you want to look at it), what’s difficult about marketing in 2017 and beyond is that nothing ever disappears from the internet.

If it’s been posted somewhere, whether immediately “deleted” or not, it is accessible by someone, somehow. This means that all of the content we have ever created contributes to our online reputation and our web presence.

The fortunate thing, though, is that content is cumulative. So, the more positive things you post about yourself personally and professionally, the better your reputation becomes.

This strategic curation of online content that highlights you and your practice in a positive way becomes what is known as your “brand.”

Positioning your brand’s message so it is easily accessible by those that most need your help is what is known as content marketing.

Content Marketing is an extremely powerful tool for attracting clients and building a practice with much less effort and overhead than ever before.

Utilizing blogs, videos, images, and website copy allows therapists to highlight themselves among all other clinicians in the area and position their practice as the one that is the best match for those needing services.

What’s more, recent surveys show that technology such as the internet and Smart Phones are not commodities.

Regardless of their socioeconomic status, clients are online.

Therefore, content marketing is one way to reach populations that might not ever find their way to therapy through traditional channels.

Lastly, content marketing is a fervent way for us to build practices we truly love and are excited about showing up to every day.

How Your Website Fits into A Content Marketing Strategy

Like I mentioned above, your website is the hub of your presence online.

It is where your brand lives and where all of your potential clients should be going to find out more about working with you.

The first impression, which is almost always visual, is what keeps these potential leads from immediately bouncing away from your site.

However, it is the web copy (read: content) that draws the reader in and converts them from a prospect to a paying client.

There are a few different ways a lead might land on your website.

They may find you directly by putting keyword phrases into a search engine, they may find your website listed on a directory, or they may stumble across your business or rack card.

In each of these cases, the prospect is what is considered a “cold” lead. They do not know you, and they have not received your name or contact information from anyone they trust.

Once they have found you online, the only thing cold leads have to go on when deciding whether or not you are a good fit for them is the copy on your website.

How you speak to potential clients has a profound effect on whether or not they pick up the phone to schedule with you. Talking directly to leads in a language that resonates will cause them to have an emotional reaction and believe that you truly understand what it is they are struggling with.

Ensuring that your website is filled to the brim with such tailored content is the quickest way to earn a prospect’s trust and encourage them to get in contact with you.

And it’s not much different for warm leads.

These are the people who come to your website through a referral. Whether they receive your name from a trusted doctor or loved one, in this day and age, the majority of people will still go to your website to learn more about you.

While warms leads are a bit more primed to schedule with you, they can still be turned off if they don’t believe that you are the right fit for them.

Talking in too general of a way is just not helpful. Without reaching leads at a core level, you will always leave readers of your website in a lukewarm state.

But, if you’re able to get to the core of the prospect’s struggles, and speak to them on each and every page of your site, you can elicit an emotional response and motivate them to pick up the phone.

So, what’s the key to speaking in a way that resonates with potential clients?

Choosing a niche.

What is Niche Marketing and Why Should Therapists Use It?

The idea of defining your niche is still a bit controversial in clinician circles.

One reason for this is there are some that think niching down is unethical as therapists who prefer a certain population are essentially denying services to some who may be in need.

The idea, however, is not to deny services, but to offer therapy at a higher skill level.

In fact, defining your ideal client allows you to hone your skills and become a specialist. So long as you are providing legitimate options and alternatives to those outside your niche, such as genuine referrals, you are not violating any ethical guidelines.

Another common hang-up about niching down is that some therapists believe it to be too restrictive to build a thriving practice.

It’s true, the second you decide to niche your practice, you are basically choosing to alienate a large segment of potential clients. By narrowing your focus to one slice of the population, you are effectively telling others that you do not serve them as well as you serve your chosen demographic.

This can be really scary, especially when clinicians are new to practice or do not have a full caseload.

But the reality is, defining your niche is the quickest way to fill a practice with clients you are excited to work with and that leave you feeling professionally fulfilled.

Incorporating niche marketing into your practice is the best way to write “tight” website copy.

Copy that is too loose or that has too many holes in it will not speak to your ideal clients. It gives them too many opportunities to turn their attention elsewhere.

However, web copy that is written with a niche in mind becomes sharp and provocative and resonates with readers at their core.

A Five-Step Niching Process

So now that you know the importance of your website and also how integral your web copy is to attracting your ideal client, it’s time to figure out how to go about defining your niche.

A lot of clinicians make the mistake of having a niche that is too wide.

Again, this probably goes back to the fear of repelling too many clients and operating from a scarcity mindset.

However, there are enough clients for every therapist to build a profitable practice, so there should be no fear about learning to attract a very narrow segment of the population.

A great tip is to imagine the act of defining your niche as building an upside-down pyramid.

The objective is to work from a wide scope and funnel the concept of your ideal client down until it becomes narrower and narrower.

At each stage, ask yourself questions about your ideal client like “what is at the core of their presenting problem” “what is underneath this complaint” and “what is really going on here” to help you really learn how to target them.

I always recommend going through this process five times so that you essentially narrow your niche down five levels.

An example of this is:

  1. Teenagers
  2. Teenagers whose grades have suddenly dropped
  3. Teenagers whose grades have suddenly dropped because they have developed test anxiety
  4. Teenagers whose grades have suddenly dropped and who have developed test anxiety because they are worried about getting into a good college
  5. Teenagers whose grades have suddenly dropped, who have developed test anxiety, and who are worried about getting into a good college because their older sibling graduated Suma Cum Laude from an Ivy League school

By the time you get to the fifth level, you have a completely clear idea of who you are marketing to and trying to attract to your practice.

Now, that does not mean that this is the only type of client you will see.

Some of your marketing will appeal to 20 or 30 somethings with anxiety or the parents of high-performing teens, but the core of your marketing message will resonate with a certain segment of the population which is the whole point.

This exercise isn’t always easy to do right off the bat and takes some practice, but once you get the hang of it, it can be fun to brainstorm different ideal client populations you’d like to serve.

If you need a little guidance when it comes to refining your niche, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

If you’d like to take your content marketing even further, by defining your ideal client, finding your ideal clients online and generating strategic, tailored website content, download your FREE 8-page workbook here >>> bit.ly/cliniciancontentworkbook

About Marissa Lawtonmarissa lawton portrait sm

Marissa Lawton is a licensed counselor, national board certified counselor, and member of the American Counseling Association. She is also an avid content marketer and lights up helping female clinicians build their private practices through strategic and tailored online marketing.

Marissa is the creator of The Clinician’s Guide to Content Marketing, a comprehensive system of masterclasses, concierge strategy calls, and boutique writing services that helps therapists identify their niche, find them online, and generate content that speaks directly to their ideal clients.

You can learn more about Marissa at risslawton.com

Private Practice Websites: DIY vs Hiring A Web Designer

When it comes to building a website for your private practice, you basically have two options: build it yourself or have someone else do it for you.

In this article, I’ll share my thoughts on when to DIY your therapy website and when to hire a professional to do it for you.

When it comes to building a website for your private practice, you basically have two options: build it yourself or have someone else do it for you. In this article, I’ll share my thoughts on when to DIY your therapy website and when to hire a professional to do it for you.

The Importance of Having A Great Private Practice Website

A website is one of the best investments you can make for growing your private practice.

And I’m not just saying that as a web designer.

A website helps you reach your potential clients by giving them the information they require in order to trust you with their challenges.

It also gives you total freedom to connect with clients, to share your personality through photography, videos or blog posts, creating a bond before the first session even begins.

A great-looking website can also give your practice a professional edge, helping you to stand out as an expert in your field, fully qualified to lead your clients through the transformation they seek.

One study showed that 94% of people cited web design as the reason they mistrusted or rejected a website. (Source: Tyton Media)

So yeah, having a good website is extremely important!

But what’s the best route to take in order to get a great website?

Well, let’s talk about two options: building your own therapy website and hiring out.

private practice diy website

When To DIY Your Private Practice Website

If you’re thinking about building your website yourself, I think there are certain criteria that my make this the best option for you:

1: Your Budget Is Small

If you’re in a place where you don’t have the extra funds to devote to your website investment, the DIY option may be right for you.

The rise of many website building platforms (Wix, Squarespace, etc.) have made creating your own website much more user-friendly, but also much more affordable.

WordPress (the most popular website platform) is open-source, meaning you’re free to use the software for your own website, you just pay for your hosting (which is often cheaper than the monthly fee for other website-builders.)

Related: The Cost Of Building A Private Practice Website

2: You Enjoy Technology (At Least A Little)

Frustration and fear when it comes to technology is one of the most common hang-ups I hear from my blog readers.

To many, trying to create a website is like learning a whole new language.

But if you enjoy the puzzle and trying to get all your tech pieces to fit together, then DIY may be a good fit.

Because there will be those times when technology makes you want to throw your computer out the window and wish for simpler times centered on candle-light and snail mail.

So if you don’t at least enjoy it a little bit, it’s going to be a long road.

I’ve heard many a war-story from people who tried to DIY their website but just hit so many challenges with the tech stuff, it ended up taking over 6 months to create.

They can’t get that time back. Time that could have been used on other high-impact marketing efforts they enjoy if instead they hired a professional to take care of the website.

3: You Have the Time to Build Your Website Yourself

Creating a website is no small project.

Doing it all yourself means you’ll be spending a lot of time to bring it all together.

You’ve got content to write, platforms to learn, questions to Google to get it all figured out.

So, before embarking on a DIY private practice website, you’ll want to assess what’s going on in your life and business and decide if you’ve got the time to devote to the project.

How much time it takes will depend entirely on how complex your website is and your ability to set chunks of time aside each week to work on the website.

I’m a big fan of creating momentum in projects by focusing my time on one project before moving on to the next.

A website is no different.

If you don’t put ample time on your calendar each week during your DIY website project, you’ll likely lose momentum and the whole thing will take you 6 months to even launch.

So, if you’ve got some good chunks of time in your week which could be used for website-building, DIY may be your jam.

private practice website design hire

When To Hire A Web Designer to Create Your Private Practice Website

There are times in your private practice where I think it makes the most sense to hire someone to create your private practice website for you.

Here are some ways to determine if this is the right direction for you.

1: You’re Ready to Take Your Practice to the Next Level

When you’re first starting out in private practice, there is a lot to do get your business off the ground.

Your time and money is often spent on those early marketing efforts of just getting your name out there.

But once you’ve established yourself and have a steady stream of clients and referrals flowing in, it often frees up both time and money to focus on new marketing efforts to grow your income even more.

This is where a professionally designed website could be a beneficial investment.

You know your time is better spent on other activities, like writing, networking and speaking, rather than trying to get a photo to crop the correct way in Squarespace or learning HTML.

Adding a website that looks great, helps with your SEO and gives you a home-base to share your expertise can be the perfect addition to your marketing efforts, helping you attract more of the clients you love, get the rate you deserve and grow your business.

2: You Prefer to Leave Website Strategy to The Professionals

Anyone can make a website.

But it takes a professional to create something that actually solves your business problems.

A good web designer can help you identify the current challenges in your private practice and present you with a solution.

This is a HUGE asset to the future of your business.

If your online marketing efforts are not yielding the results you desire, it may be time to bring in a professional to help you determine how a new website fits in with your marketing strategy.

3: You Know Which Activities In Your Business Are Worth Your Time

In the short term, a DIY website is certainly cheaper than hiring a web designer.

But when you add up all the hours you’ll spend creating content, setting up your hosting, building web pages and a number of other tasks, it may actually be costing you more.

If you think about your hourly rate for a therapy session and apply that to the time you spend working on your website, that’s basically what you’re paying to have it created.

Instead of paying a designer, you’re paying yourself.

So if you’re hourly rate is $125 and you spend a total of 28 hours working on your website, that’s 28 hours you could have been with a client.

Or you could have paid someone $3500 to take care of the website while you focus your time on other marketing efforts and seeing clients.

In that time, maybe you could have brought in 4 new clients.

And if you see those clients 7 times then it’s fully paid for the website while also giving you more freedom to focus on the business activities you know are worth your time and result in more clients.

Then, when your new website is launched you’re set up for even more success.

4: You Don’t Understand The Nuances of Good Web Design

A website not only has to be easy to use, but it also has to look great.

In a study on website usability and design, 38% of people said they will stop engaging with a website if the content/layout is unattractive. (Source: Adobe)

People will judge you and your credibility as a therapist based on how your website looks and performs.

If not done well, visitors will bounce off your website before even having a chance to read your content or learn anything about you.

Whether consciously or subconsciously, our minds register whether a website is pleasing to the eye before deciding to engage with the content.

I can’t tell you how many restaurants I’ve passed up because the place had a crappy website.

If they treat their website so unprofessionally, how do they treat the food or the patrons?

I’ll take my business elsewhere.

Good design speaks of professionalism and helps potential clients take you seriously as the expert I know you are.

So if you’re not confident in your abilities to lay out your website in such a way that it looks good to clients while also communicating clearly what it is you do, you may consider hiring a web designer.

Conclusion

So, will you create your website yourself or hire a web designer for your private practice website?

I hope the thoughts above help you determine what’s right for you.

A website is a BIG project and a huge asset to your private practice.

So take your time with this decision and weigh all the costs before taking the plunge.

If you’ve decided that DIY is just not your jam and you’d like to learn more about what a custom-designed website can do for your business, let’s have a conversation.

I want to hear about your practice and your current marketing challenges and see if a website can help provide a solution.

Together, we’ll come up with a strategy that works for you and grows your private practice.

Sign up for a free 30-minute consultation here and learn more about how we can work together.

,

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!

Join the Free Facebook Community

,

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.

Get FREE access to my library of checklists, e-books and other resources, just for therapists.

CLICK FOR FREE ACCESS!

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

Pin this post for later:

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.

 

Get FREE access to my library of checklists, e-books and other resources, just for therapists.

CLICK FOR FREE ACCESS!

,

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!

 

Get FREE access to my library of checklists, e-books and other resources, just for therapists.

CLICK FOR FREE ACCESS!