Posts

5 Tips for Writing Effective Web Copy for Your Therapy Website

A guest post by Sharon Martin, LCSW

Your website is your most important marketing tool.

Most people start looking for a therapist with an internet search, hoping to find a therapist’s website that they can relate to. Even when a potential client is referred to you by a trusted friend or physician, they probably still want to check you out online before making an appointment.

So, not only is a website a key marketing tool, it’s essential that your psychotherapy website can convert visitors into clients. Unfortunately, this isn’t as easy as it seems!

Like most of you, I’ve looked at a lot of therapists’ websites and know that getting the web copy just right is a difficult task.

But, you can nail it with some practice and practical tips!

When I teach therapists how to blog, I use these same strategies, so I know they are effective for writing copy that will resonate with your ideal clients.

Every potential client will check you out online before making an appointment. So, not only is a website a key marketing tool, it’s essential that your psychotherapy website can convert visitors into clients. This post contains practical tips that will help you resonate with you ideal clients.

How Therapists Can Write Effective Web Copy

1: Know your audience.

Effective web copy needs to be targeted to your niche or the very specific type of clients that you hope to attract.

So, before you start writing, it’s helpful to identify (in as much detail as possible) what clients you want to serve.

Creating an ideal client avatar (describing demographics, presenting problems, personality traits, childhood history, etc.) will help you write copy that reflects your ideal client’s concerns.

2: Keep it simple. 

Your website should be informative, but you don’t want to overdo it.

Visitors to your website are probably already overwhelmed, so don’t add to their overwhelm with an overly busy webpage.

Leave plenty of white space on the page, break up your content into short paragraphs, and use bullet points and headlines so the most important information stands out.

As for your copy, aim to keep your writing conversational, easy to read, and avoid too many clinical terms. Remember, your potential client is in pain and is looking for relief — not your dissertation on the subject.

3: Be authentic. 

It seems obvious, but I’m going to say it anyway: Potential clients need to see your authentic self come through on in your web copy.

As therapists, our biggest stumbling block regarding authentic web copy is our fear that a bit of self-disclosure, showing our sense of humor or using some curse words, will appear unprofessional.

However, if this is how you usually talk to clients, then having it in your web copy will help clients know if you’re the right therapist for them. I think an easy guideline is to aim for your web copy to align with the way you actually talk to clients in session.

4: Talk mostly about the potential client’s experience and less about yourself. 

Even though your website is supposed to highlight you and your services, it’s not really about you.

Yea, I know it’s a little confusing, but here’s the thing, potential clients are looking for a way to relieve their pain and solve their problems.

They are only interested in you as a vehicle for helping them do this. Therefore, don’t focus on telling them about every certification you’ve earned and every conference you’ve attended.

Instead, reflect the client’s experience, show that you empathize with their pain and that you can help them feel better.

They want to read your website and think, “Wow, this therapist totally gets me!”

5: Always have a call to action. 

Every page of your therapist website should direct the reader to take a particular action.

It might be to call you for a consult, schedule an appointment, watch a video, or visit another page on your website for more information.

Again, it may seem obvious to you that you’d like the reader to call you for an appointment, but specifically asking someone to take action on your website, dramatically increases the likelihood that they will.

So, be sure your web copy invites potential clients to take the next step.

Conclusion

Writing effective web copy is hard work, so be prepared to put in a good amount of time and effort.

It’s definitely a work in progress! As you work on writing your own web copy, I hope these five tips will help you stay focused and write copy that speaks directly to your ideal clients’ needs.

Sharon Martin LCSW 1

Sharon Martin, LCSW is a psychotherapist, blogger, and coach in San Jose, CA.

She loves helping therapists grow in their personal and professional development and particularly enjoys teaching them how to blog and market their practices with social media. Sharon writes the popular blog Happily Imperfect for PsychCentral and regularly contributes to other publications. You can connect with Sharon and find out more about her Blog Like a Pro program for therapists at: https://SocialWorkCoaching.com.

SaveSave

SaveSave

Video Blogging Vs Written Blogging for Your Private Practice

Publishing videos on your blog regularly can be a great way to connect with potential clients. But is there a benefit or drawback to vlogging (video blogging)?

In this article we’ll explore the pros and cons of vlogging and help you discover if video marketing is right for you.

Is there a benefit or drawback to vlogging (video blogging)? In this article we’ll explore the pros and cons of vlogging and help you discover if video marketing is right for you.

The Benefits of Video Blogging

The main benefits of vlogging all come down to building that “know, like and trust” factor with your audience.

When someone feels like they know you, like you and trust you, they’ll be much easier to convert into a paying client.

Know

There’s just something about video that allows you to connect with people.

They get to see your face, look into your eyes and hear your voice.

If you’re consistently creating video content for your blog, over time, your viewers will begin to feel like they know you.

You can even share short stories from your own life that relate to the topic you’re discussing, or just share a little about what’s going on in your world.

This is much easier in a video format versus a written format, where people would probably just skip over such details.

By the time your potential client reaches out to schedule an appointment, they’ll already feel like they know you, making it much easier to transition into a clinical relationship.

Like

It’s kinda hard to hide your personality on video.

Yeah, it may be very uncomfortable when you first start doing videos.

Which may make it difficult to let your personality come through.

But as time goes on, the anxiety will fall and your personality will begin to rise.

At least that’s what’s happened to me as I continue doing Facebook Live videos.

And as your true self begins to shine through, there will be those folks who relate to your personality.

They’ll just like you!

And let’s be honest, therapy is so much better when you like your therapist.

Trust

I believe that trust is built through consistency.

Consistently show your audience that you care about them and provide them with valuable content and they will trust you over time.

Video can be a great medium to deliver that valuable content.

You can share meaningful stories, teach potential clients coping exercises or record a training video for them.

Over time you’ll be seen by your clients as an expert and someone worth trusting with the challenges they are facing.

The Biggest Con to Vlogging: Google Can’t Read Video

Video blogging has one major downfall: Google cannot index videos.

This means that just posting a video in a blog post is not enough to rank your content in search engines.

Luckily, there is a simple work around.

Always post your video with written, search engine optimized content to give the post context and allow Google to crawl through it.

You can write a summary of your video and make sure you include your keywords for SEO.

Another thing you can do is use a service like rev.com to create a written transcript of your video.

It may sound redundant, but this allows Google to crawl even more words and also provides text for folks who don’t want to watch the video.

So, Should You Start Vlogging?

Whether you should or shouldn’t start vlogging is really a personal preference.

It’s a great way to connect with your audience and the only downside (no SEO juice) can easily be overcome by providing text along with your videos.

But you have to do what makes the most sense for your personality and your business.

At the moment, I’m using video in the CMTW Facebook Community only and NOT on my blog.

If I didn’t have that Facebook group to connect with my audience via video, then yes, I’d probably be doing more video here on the blog.

For many, video is a scary thing and requires you to “put yourself out there” much more than writing.

I say give video a shot and see how you like it and what response you get.

You can always go back to old-fashioned blogging if it’s not working for you and your private practice.

,

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

,

How To Write Amazing Blog Post Titles That People Actually Click

The titles of your blog posts are detrimental to the success of your content marketing. In a sea of Google search results and social media, the title of your post can mean the difference between a reader clicking for more or just brushing you aside.

In this post we’ll talk about 5 ways you can write catchy blog post titles that people can’t help but click on.

The titles of your blog posts are detrimental to the success of your content marketing. In a sea of Google search results and social media, the title of your post can mean the difference between a reader clicking for more or just brushing you aside. In this post we’ll talk about 5 ways you can write catchy blog post titles that people can’t help but click on.

Why Blog Titles Are So Important to Successful Content Marketing

Your blog headline is the first impression a reader will have with your content.

It can be their reason for clicking or their reason for brushing your post aside.

How sad would it be to slave over a blog post for hours, getting the content just write and then slapping a title on it that doesn’t draw people to the value they’ll find within the content?

We live in fast-paced times where the amount of information we see each day is astounding.

People are flying through their Facebook feed while waiting in checkout lines or scrolling through Pinterest while watching TV.

It’s become increasingly harder to make your content stand out and reach your ideal audience in this noisy sea of information.

But a catchy headline could cause someone to pause, pique their interest and make them hungry for more of the content they’ll find in your blog post.

It’s also one of the most important factors for your search engine optimization (SEO).

Combine SEO with a catchy, intriguing headline and it’s content marketing gold!

Let’s get into some tips for writing blog headlines that get clicked, shall we?

1: Keep your Blog Post Titles Short and Unique

55 characters is your target for the length of your blog post titles.

This is amount of characters that Google will show users in their search results. Anything longer will get cut off.

Shorter headlines also tend to get more clicks because they’re easier for readers to digest and know exactly what they’ll get when they click.

Get creative here. Don’t just write generic titles.

Include a keyword but also put some emotion into it that will make your title stand out from the rest of posts flying through the internet.

2: Focus On Keywords

Powerful headlines always focus on a keyword.

This is how people may find your blog post and let’s search engines know what your blog post is about.

Decide on what words your audience may type into Google to find your blog post and work that into the title.

3: Get Emotional

A catchy blog post title will have a healthy dose of emotion that will grab the reader’s attention and lead them to click for more.

You can use power words to not only make your post titles unique, but also give a sense of urgency, curiosity and emotion.

You want to stay away from common words like best, awesome, or great.

Go for the jugular here and get creative!

Use words like:

  • Ultimate
  • Greatest
  • Fascinating
  • The Truth About…

For example, a generic headline for blog post may go something like this:

“How to Set Boundaries in Marriage”

It’s not bad, but unless I’m really interested in that topic, it doesn’t really intrigue me much.

But what about:

“The TRUTH About Setting Boundaries in Marriage”

You see the difference? The second title creates a bit of intrigue and makes me feel like everything I’ve heard up to this point about boundaries in marriage was incorrect.

I just gotta click!!

Here’s a great list of 317 power words you can start using today.

4: Use Numbers

There’s something about numbers that increase engagement with blog post titles.

When you say “10 Ways to Set Boundaries in Marriage” as opposed to “How to Set Boundaries in Marriage” it conveys the value of the post and exactly what the reader will gain from checking out your content.

I enjoy creating these types of blog posts myself because they provide a clear outline for the content instead of a giant blank slate.

The same mentality gets passed along to readers, because they can more easily wrap their head around a list of short tips rather than one long “how to” post.

When it makes sense, try and include numbers in your headlines to drive engagement.

5: Write and Re-Write To Get Your Blog Post Titles Right

I had fun with the word-play on that subtitle, not gonna lie

Writing effective and engaging blog post titles takes a lot of practice.

Rarely will you ever use the first title you came up with.

I like to have a working title for my blog post to give me some direction for what I’m going to write.

But as the content unfolds, it may make sense to re-write the title.

Finally, once the blog post is complete, I’ll spend time focusing solely on optimizing my title.

One of my favorite tools to help me do this is CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer.

You can put your headline into the form and CoSchedule will analyze it, score it and give you tips to improve it.

Here’s the analysis for a working title I had for this blog post:

blog post headline analyzer

You can see I’ve got some work to do get the right balance of words and structure for my title.

It will also give you some other scores to help you improve your headline, such as analyzing the length:

blog post headline analyzer length

Conclusion

Writing blog post headlines that stand out and get clicks takes time and practice.

It’s a skill, like blogging, that you’ll grow in over time.

Take note of the types of headlines you see in Google and social media and think about why they stood out to you.

Using the tips and resources above, spend time trying to recreate that feeling of urgency or curiosity you felt when you read those headlines.

Keep at it and, over time, I have no doubt you’ll see an increase in traffic to your blog posts.

Want more blogging tips? I've created a FREE checklist, 11 Things You Should Do To Every Blog Post Before You Hit Publish.

Inside, you'll get 11 simple things you can do to optimize each blog post. You can print it out and refer to whenever you write your next amazing piece of content.

I've created a free checklist for you to reference when writing your next blog post
,

Blogging for Therapists: How to Find Your Niche

When you begin to create a blog for your private practice, your first question may be “What on earth should I write about?” quickly followed by “Where do I begin?”

But when it comes to blogging, there is another question that’s an even more powerful place to begin.

Who are you writing for?

Once you know the answer to THIS question, the rest falls into place.

In this post I’ll share with you some simple steps you can take to help you get clear on who your ideal client and blogging audience is to make writing blog posts easier.

In this post I’ll share with you some simple steps you can take to help you get clear on who your ideal client and blogging audience is to make writing blog posts easier.

Understanding who your ideal clients are and creating content specifically for them is key to driving traffic to your site.

Though casting a wide net and writing in generalizations can be appealing in the beginning, it actually shuts out the opportunity to provide the best content to the specific type of client you’re looking for.

Related: 5 Tips To Increasing Your Website Traffic by Choosing a Niche

How to Find Your Blogging Niche

Take some time to go through the exercise below to help you uncover the focus of your blog and your ideal audience.

Step 1: Take a step back and ask yourself “What clients do I really love working with?”

Really think about that and try and describe your ideal client.

Think about their lifestyle, their age and career. What does their family look like?

Try to describe the in as much detail as you can.

Step 2: What are some common challenges that you love to help your clients overcome?

Think about some of the things you’ve worked together to overcome and the outcome of your work together.

What type of therapy work really excites you?

Do you love helping newly married couples start their marriage off with solid communication skills?

Or is it helping someone move past a trauma in their life?

Step 3: How can reading your blog posts help this population?

What transformation can you help your clients achieve?

Why should they read your blog and what can they expect from reading your blog?

Step 4: What impression do you want to leave on someone after they’ve read your blog?

Think about how you want an ideal client to feel after reading one of your blog posts and describe it.

Do you want them to feel inspired to connect with their family in new ways?

Or maybe you want your ideal client to feel proud and unashamed of who they are.

Do this for each client that has energized you to discover what marketers call your “Target Audience.”

An Example of Defining Your Blog’s Focus

Because I like to be a little more show than tell, here’s an example of what it looks like when you define your blog niche and ideal client:

“I’m energized by the work I do with young professionals, aged 25 -30 years old. They are primarily unmarried, focused on their career and have an active social life.

They often struggle with insecurity, poor boundaries and overcoming shame from past and present relationships.

My blog posts can provide this population with ideas and knowledge that they can apply to their lives today in order to understand their boundaries, improve their communication with others and begin seeing a positive change in their lives and relationships.”

See how descriptive you can be?

Then, every time you have a new blog post to write, you can sit down and picture your ideal client.

Pretend like you’re talking to just one person, and I know your blogs will become packed with extremely valuable information that will attract your ideal clients to your private practice website.

Download the Free Find Your Blog Focus Worksheet

To help you navigate through finding your blogging niche and establishing your private practice’s voice and tone, I’ve created a worksheet for you to download here.

This worksheet is from a future course (tease!) I’m creating all about driving traffic using your blog.

With this Free PDF, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify your ideal client
  • Create a list of blog categories and subcategories (topics) to write about
  • Break through bouts of “writer’s block” with ease

Every client you see is unique, but chances are, they have several things in common.

That is your specialty. It’s what you’ve trained years for and are now spectacular at it. The same practice should be used when blogging for your private practice.

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!

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!

,

34 FREE Stock Photography Resources for Your Therapy Website

One of the best ways to make your private practice stand out on the web is with beautiful images.

But it can be a chore to find amazing (and affordable) stock photos. Especially if you’re blogging on a regular basis, where you’re most likely looking for a key photo for every single blog post.

Luckily, there is an ever growing list of fantastic websites that can supply you with all the stock photos you’ll need for your blog, website, or social media – for FREE. Having a free image directory will save you hours of searching and help you find the most relevant photos for your content marketing.

So, in this post, I’ve compiled the ultimate list of free resources for stock photos for your therapy website.

Note: While the websites here feature free images, you should make sure what licensing is required for each resource. Some websites have images that you can use however and wherever you want, while others require approval for commercial use. Just double check before you download.

1. BlogphotoTV

Blogphoto.tv

BlogphotoTV is a resource and training website for bloggers and content creators. While it is a monthly membership service, the one month free trial will give you access to hundreds of images in their library for 30 days.

2. Bucketlistly

BucketListly

Bucketlistly is a free Creative Commons collection of travel photos anyone can use. Images must be attributed to the photographer when being used.

3. Creative Commons

Creative Commons Search

Creative Commons is a search tool that lets you conveniently search images from a number of independent organizations with resources under the Creative Commons license.

4. Cupcake

Cupcake Stock Photos

Cupcake offers free, do-whatever-you-want-with photos. You can use any image you want, however you want, without asking permission.

5. DeviantArt

DeviantArt

DeviantArt is the largest online community of artists and photographers and a place where emerging artists can share their work and promote themselves. If you use photos from DeviantArt, it falls under the Creative Commons license, so you have to give the photographer credit.

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

CLICK FOR FREE ACCESS!

6. Flickr

Flickr Photos

Flickr gives you a place to upload, store and share your own library of photos. When using someone’s image from Flickr, it is encouraged that you link back to the person.

7. FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Free digital photos
Great selection for all types of stock photos. Only certain size images on freedigitalphotos.net can be used for free on your blog. You must also attribute the free photo to freedigitalphotos.net when using it.

8. FreeImages

FreeImages

Just like the name implies, FreeImages is a repository of free images, tagged and categorized, making it easy to find the type of photo you need. The photos here are user-submitted, so not every one has that professional, stock-photo look.

9. Free Media Goo

FreeMediaGoo

Free Media Goo offers free, high-quality stock photos, textures and digital backgrounds. Images here are free for both unlimited commercial and private use.

10. FreePhotosBank

Free Photos Bank
A simple website with user-submitted photos. Photos are organized into categories of abstract, architecture, computers and technology, fruits and food, nature, objects, miscellaneous, transportation and life.

11. Getrefe

GetRefe

This is a Tumblr featuring “free real life photos”. The site contains a wide variety of artistic lifestyle and nature photos.

12. GettyImages

Getty Images

GettyImages is one of the top resources for royalty-free stock photos. To download images, you’ll have to pay, but you can now embed photos from Getty on your blog for free by choosing your size and copying some code. Photos will have a watermark with a link back to GettyImages.

13. Gratisography

Gratisography

An eclectic mix of stylized, often whimsical, high-resolution pictures you can use however you want, with no attribution needed (although it’s appreciated). Just click on a photo and it downloads to your computer. New photos are added weekly.

14. ISO Republic

ISO Republic

A collection of great stock photos including textures, people and urban shots. Photos are free to use and attribution is not needed.

15. Jay Mantri

Jay Mantri

Jay Mantri is a photographer with a simple site with beautiful landscape, architecture and urban photos. Clearly stated at the top is “free pics. do anything. make magic.”

16. Life of Pix

Life of Pix

This website brings you gorgeous high-resolution photos, many landscape and city scenes, with no copyright restrictions, so you can use them on your blog or other marketing pieces. New photos are added weekly.

17. Little Visuals

Little Visuals

This site is no longer being updated as the photographer has sadly passed away. The website is still operational and you can download and use his photos any way you want. Images are mainly landscapes, objects and abstract shots.

18. Magdeleine

Magdeleine

Magdeleine features a free, high-resolution photo every day. The website is well designed, easy to use and showcases a variety of photographers, allowing you to download their work under Creative Commons license.

19. MMT

MMT

With new photos every week, MMT is a simple site with mostly nature and object photography. All images are free for commercial use.

20. Pexels

Pexels

Pexels touts ‘the best free stock photos in one place’. The homepage scrolls infinitely, in the Pinterest style, so you can search through a ton of images quickly. I think many of the photos here are beautiful, invite emotion and could work very well on any therapy website. And they’re free for personal and commercial use.

21. Photodune

Photodune

While Photodune consists mostly of stock photos starting at the price of $1, they do have a freebie section where you can download photos, backgrounds and other creative pieces. Requires a free account to use.

22. Picjumbo

Picjumbo

Picjumbo, like many other free stock photo websites, can email you each time new photos are uploaded. There’s a fantastic variety across many categories on this site and photos are free for personal and commercial use.

23. Picography

Picography

Another simple, scrolling website with free photos to use however you want. The site has a search feature, which is the only way to find photos besides scrolling through the page.

24. Picsearch

Picsearch

This website is just what the name implies and that’s about it. Type in the search field what you’re looking for and Picsearch will comb the web for the photos, sourcing various websites. It’s similar to Google’s image search. It’s up to you to obtain the proper licensing for each photo, should you use one you find.

25. Raumrot

Raumrot

Raumrot.com features FREE, handpicked, stockphotos for your commercial and personal works. The website has a nice design and they offer curated photo sets and featured photos pulled from Flickr. Photos fall under Creative Commons license and should be attributed to original photographer when used.

26. Re:splashed

Resplashed

Another curated website of artistic and scenic photos. You can copy, modify and use the images on your blog, all without asking permission.

27. SplitShire

SplitShire

SplitShire offers ‘free stock photos with no copyright restrictions and real look for commercial and personal use’. The website is easy to search via keywords or categories. This site contains some really beautiful and well composed photos that would be perfect for any private practice blog.

28. Startup Stock Photos

Startup Stock Photos

Another well-named website, because it contains just that: startup business themed photos. This may not be the most useful for the majority of photos on your therapy website, but if you write about technology at all, you may find some useful images here.

29. StockSnap

StockSnap

StockSnap is a collection of beautiful, free stock photos that is updated weekly with new images. All photos are free from copyright restrictions and no attribution is needed. You can search by keyword or sort the latest photos by date added, trending, views, downloads and favorites.

30. StockPic

StokPic

This is one of my latest favorites. StockPic features premium stock images that you can do basically anything you want with except redistribute. A great categorization and search feature make it easy to find what you’re looking for.

31. Superfamous

SuperFamous

Images at super famous.com fall under the Creative Commons license, so you’re free to use them as you please as long as credit is provided. The photos are a very specific style, many of which are nature and abstract shots.

32. Unsplash

UnSplash

Unsplash.com was the first of these free stock photo sites that I discovered a few years back. Ten new photos every ten days means the bank of images keeps growing. A truly wide variety of beautiful and artistic shots – from nature to objects to people – fill unsplash.com.

33. Wefunction

WeFunction

Wefunction.com is a design blog but has a section of free photos as well. It’s not a huge collection but there’s some great photos in there. All photos are free to do whatever you want with.

34. Pikwizard

Pikwizard

 

Pikwizard.com has over 30,000 completely free images on the site, and over 5,000 of those are exclusive to them. They add new images to the library daily and have a wide variety of categories.

That’s A Wrap!

Ok, now that you have a list of resources you can refer to, you have no excuse for bad photography on your private practice website. Whether it’s a homepage slider or featured images on your therapy blog, you have plenty of photos to choose from and create a great looking website.

Please, let me know if you know of any other great free stock photo resources by leaving a comment below.

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!

 

, , , , ,

What Do YOU Want to Know About Creating and/or Marketing Your Therapy Website?

I want to take some time out to get some feedback from you. Yes… YOU!

While I may know a couple things about how to build a therapy website or digital marketing, I want to make sure that I provide the best, most helpful articles to my readers. And I can’t do that without knowing more about you and the questions you may have.

It would do you a disservice and be prideful for me to just assume what your needs are with building or marketing your private practice.

And I don’t want to do that!

Maybe You’re Wondering:

  1. How can I make sense of Google Analytics?
  2. What’s the most important part of my therapy website’s homepage?
  3. How can I use social media to market my private practice?
  4. What’s the best way to attack a Rubix Cube?

Ok maybe you don’t care about that last one especially. But it proves the point. I can’t assume what challenges you face as a therapist or counselor marketing their practice.

So, Could You Answer a ONE Question Survey For Me??

It would help me out immensely and I would love you forever if you could answer this question for me. I created a one-question survey that asks, ‘What are/has been the biggest challenge you face in creating a successful private practice website?’

It should only take you a minute to fill out. Just click the button below, fill out the survey and I’ll do my very best to answer your questions to the best of my ability.

 

Thanks!

~Daniel