4 Ways to Grow Your Private Practice in 2020
Have your online marketing efforts not quite been paying off for your private practice?
Have you been putting off marketing your practice online altogether?
Would you like to be able to reach even more clients in 2020?
Well, in the spirit of the new year, we’ve put together this easy-to-follow 4 step list to help you build your online presence and grow your practice this year.
To make sure your practice really stands out from the rest and gets you even more new clients, we suggest implementing the 4 steps outlined in this article.
Ready? Here we go!
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1. A Professional Website
In today’s modern world, building a website is every bit as important as finding a physical office location for your private practice. Your website is the virtual storefront of your practice. It’s your virtual business card. It’s the hub of your online reputation. The right website will not only help with brand recognition but, more importantly, it will get new clients to contact you.
We realize there are a lot of options available today when it comes to building a website and it can be difficult to understand what’s really necessary versus what’s soon to be an outdated trend. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the most important things all private practice websites should have:
In 2019, it was reported that over half of all web traffic took place using mobile devices. This includes smartphones as well as tablets. Therefore, if your website wasn’t built for these devices, you’re only catering to half of your visitors.
Responsive design (also sometimes referred to as mobile-responsive design) is an approach to website design that allows the same website to be viewed on any device regardless of how large or how small its screen size is. So, when your website is being viewed from a smartphone, the content on that page will be rearranged (and usually enlarged) making it easier for the smartphone user to read.
Deque University has created an excellent example of a web page that is not using responsive design:
Notice how the website is legible and user-friendly for those viewing it on a desktop or laptop computer. However, visitors using a tablet or smartphone not only have to scroll vertically but also horizontally to view all of the page content.
A responsive website will quickly recognize and adjust the layout of its content to provide every single visitor with the best user experience:
A Simple Navigation Menu
In this digitally dependent era, our attention spans are growing shorter by the day. Plus, with the abundance of websites online today, it’s much faster and easier to find another website that’s easier to navigate than it is to spend time figuring one with cryptic navigation.
Think about your office – you likely have signs guiding them to the correct place in the building. You may even have a receptionist waiting to greet them and answer any questions as they walk in. Why do you do this? To make their experience easy and hassle-free.
The same should be done on your website by providing visitors with a clean and simple navigation menu. By organizing your inner web pages into groups and only including the most important titles in your navigation menu – Home, About, Services, and Contact are all you really need – you’re promoting a positive user experience.
Clear Calls-to-Action (CTA)
If you’ve listened to any marketing podcasts or read any articles on the topic, you’ve probably heard the term CTA mentioned a time or two. CTA stands for call-to-action and, in a nutshell, it’s an invitation aimed at your website visitor to take a particular action. For example, a “click here” button is a very common CTA.
Hyperlinked text and images are also types of CTAs that you can use within a web page. Whatever you choose, just make sure the page content supports the action you’re asking the visitor to take and that it’s clear to the visitor what that action will be. For example, at the bottom of your Couples Counseling page, include a “Schedule a couples counseling session” button that’s linked to your appointment scheduler.
An Informational Footer
Your website’s footer is the section found at the bottom of every page on your site – even your home page. For this reason, the footer is the perfect place to give your visitors more information about how to get in touch with you without breaking the flow of the rest of the content on each page.
In your footer, you can include basic contact information, links to follow your practice on social media, you can embed a Google Map to help with navigation to your office, you can even place a short contact form or mailing list signup box.
Not sure if your website has everything it needs?
Test it yourself with our FREE Website Grader quiz!
2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
You could potentially have the absolute best private practice website on the internet today but if Google can’t find it, it’s never going to be shown in their search results. Meaning it’s very unlikely to get you any new clients.
So how do you make sure Google can find your website and that they’ll want to recommend it in their search results? There are over 200 factors Google uses to determine where you’ll rank in their search results, but here are the most important ones to focus on:
Fresh, Unique Content (and plenty of it)
In the eyes of Google, content is still king. So, if you want to please Google, you’ll need to make sure your website has plenty of fresh, unique content to provide your visitors.
The content on your pages must be relevant to whatever your visitors are looking for, otherwise they will realize your website isn’t useful to them and they will visit another one instead. Google pays attention to these actions and judges the relevance of your content based on them.
A backlink is a clickable link on a different website that directs visitors to your private practice site. In other words, backlinks are created when another website posts a link that points to yours, such as to one of your blog posts they want to share with their own audience.
Google views backlinks as a vote of confidence for your website. When someone creates a backlink to you (whether it’s on their own website or on a public one like Facebook), they’re essentially telling Google, “This site has content I like and trust enough to recommend it to someone else.”
The more backlinks your website has from other trusted and authoritative sources, the more trustworthy it looks to Google’s ranking algorithm. That means when you build a robust network of backlinks, you’ll improve your search engine ranking – not to mention all the new traffic you’ll enjoy from websites that backlink to you.
The main terms used in a Google search are referred to as keywords and this is another way Google determines which searches to show your web pages for in their results. Ideally, the keywords that identify what people are searching for on Google are the same ones used to describe a page on your website. This is one of the main goals with SEO; to bridge the gap between your content and your ideal client to help them find your website in a Google search.
Google wants to show its users the most relevant results for a search. So, if someone is searching for ‘Boulder Play Therapist’, Google wants to show play therapists in Boulder in their results – not play therapists in Denver or therapists in Boulder that specialize in addictions or anything besides play therapy.
Having individual specialty service pages (rather than a single ‘Services’ page with a bulleted list of all the services you provide) is crucial for communicating these keywords to Google. For more on this, check out this article on Specialty Pages: How To Write Pages That Convert For Your Practice
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3. Google My Business
A business listing on Google My Business is essentially the online equivalent of a business listing in the yellow pages. Its main purpose is to compliment your existing website by giving it a public identity/presence on Google so that potential customers can easily find you.
Here are a few more reasons why it pays to have a Google My Business listing:
- When a user searches for your business by name, your listing will prominently stand out on the top right-hand side of the search engine results page.
- When users perform a search from a mobile device, they instantly see all your details including your hours of operation, link to your website, and phone number & email address; both of which they can easily click on to contact you right away.
- Users will be able to easily find you on Google Maps; which is by far the most popular map app these days for people searching for directions to go somewhere. They will be able to click to get directions to you easily.
- You can easily manage your online reputation by responding to reviews and ratings.
4. Social Media
Just like your website, social media is one more bridge that connects you to your ideal clients. But building a successful online presence for your practice depends on one thing above all else – consistency. And you’re far more likely to end up with a full waitlist much sooner if you’re consistently putting yourself out there and building your brand on social media.
Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn provide a boundless referral network for your private practice. By maintaining an active presence on social media, you can maintain connections with current clients and reach new potential clients at the same time.
For more information on the best practices for therapist marketing on social media, check out this article.
Take the Work out of Social Media Management
Private practices and solo therapists alike are now using social media to grow and expand their business’s reach online. However, finding the time to create content for social media, grow a following, and actually get around to posting it can be challenging.
Take advantage of social media management tools like Social Genie that allow you to create posts for multiple platforms and schedule them out in advance, all with a few clicks of your mouse. Schedule an entire year’s worth of social media posts in just about 10 minutes.
We’ve worked with professional content writers to create a library of over 1,000 pre-written posts, all designed to attract your ideal client. Whether you’re taking advantage of our pre-written content or creating your own, all you need to do is insert the content into one of our pre-created campaigns, choose the days each week you’d like to post and let it go!
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Brighter Vision’s websites and our entire suite of marketing products were developed specifically for therapists and mental health professionals. Our goal is to make it easy for therapists to focus their time where it really matters – helping your own clients – rather than spending it on technology and marketing.
Fill out the form below to learn more and see why thousands of therapists made the switch to Brighter Vision in 2019.