New Year, New You New Website
This past year has been challenging. Many therapists have told us that they feel insecure. They’re unsure what might happen next to change the private practice landscape. Many have cut back on their marketing or taken a lower-key approach. They’ve put their heads down and simply hope the future will work out well. If you feel this way, you’re not alone.
However, these strategies are risky. Many businesses who go down this road will not recover. This is particularly poignant now. The emotional and physical trauma we’ve all experienced has created an even greater need for healers; we need you, your expertise, and your care. Not only is therapy much needed, but the digital world has also opened up.
As social distancing and fear of illness has become common, people have moved online en masse. Digital alternatives have, often, replaced the previous norm. We believe this digital evolution is here to stay. Through necessity, people have grown accustomed to cyber options. Being present and engaged digitally now matters greatly.
We can see the proof in the financial gains of certain businesses. As the NASDAQ shows, the value of companies who provide high-quality online experiences has skyrocketed. In hindsight, I wish I’d had Zoom shares at the start of 2020!
Your business is the same. People need you, and you need to be online. The combination of demand and digital progress makes now an ideal time to focus on — even expand — your business. A specialized website will form part of your success. It truly is the best time to design (or revamp) your private practice website!
So, how do you make your site matter? How do you know if your current website is up to par? What questions should you ask if you’re considering a new site?
What do you need to ensure your website works for you? Grows your business? Helps to secure a stable future? These six steps are key to answering all of these questions:
1. A fully built-out website
We are well past the days of a website working only as a digital brochure. If you only have an “about us,” “contact us,” pricing, and location, these basics no longer cut the mustard. They haven’t for years. You desperately need to update.
Or maybe you’ve noticed a single-page site called a landing page and wondered if this will do? These are designed to either provide non-interactive information about a company or collect simple details (maybe an email and name) in exchange for a freebie.
We have had new clients tell us they unsuccessfully tried a single-page site because of their low cost. And they are right – they are cheap! They don’t consider that that’s what many visitors who land on this type of page think too: “this business is cheap.” Single-page websites are awful for building credibility and converting a visitor into a consultation. Which defeats the purpose of investing in a website, right? You need to build your reputation and your business.
Mind you, a single-page site is also highly unlikely ever to get seen by a potential client because it is not built to achieve a good ranking with search engines (think Google, Bing, Yahoo). It is more likely to float in obscure cyberspace, useless and unseen.
A fully built-out website, however, enables a visitor to learn more. It acts as an ethical persuasion tool. If you are the right therapist to guide their recovery, this will become apparent.A fully built-out website, however, enables a visitor to learn more. It acts as an ethical persuasion tool. Click To Tweet A visitor wants to learn about your practice, your qualifications, experience, and expertise. They want to discover the conditions you are best at treating. They want to see your location, opening hours, and days. They want to virtually connect with you through your blog posts and consume content that provides answers and builds trust (more on this in a moment). And, most importantly, they should be able to contact your practice with questions.
A great website also allows clients to complete client forms, saving you time and money.
Wondering if your website is up to par?
Test it out with our FREE Website Grader tool!
2. A responsive design
Did you know that more than half of the world’s web traffic comes from mobile devices?
That means current and potential clients are highly likely to view your site from their mobile phones. As is evident, a desktop, a laptop, a tablet, and a smartphone are all very different sizes. This means the structure and design of your website needs the flexibility to suit each and every one.
If you have a non-responsive design, your website can look like a jumbled mess or leave information hidden from view when visited from a phone. A smaller device simply cannot fit the same content as a larger one. Your web design needs to allow for this. It must be built on a structure that shows information differently. This shows content in a way that is appropriate to the device.
If you use a non-responsive design, glitches will increase your bounce rate. Visitors will land on your site and then bounce away because of the clunky experience. And, once they bounce, there is a high chance they will not be back.
In this day and age, people not only like a responsive design, they expect it. Fail this expectation, and your business will take the hit.
3. Content that speaks to your ideal client
Who is your ideal client? This is a critical question you must answer with precision.
How old are they? What’s their gender? What challenges do they face? How do they talk; what phrases do they use? What frustrations do they vent? How much do they earn? Where do they hang out? What techniques and care do they need?
Think about it; in great detail!
You need to know who they are and how best to deeply connect with them by speaking to their struggles in their language.
Need help with this step?
Complete our free Ideal Client Worksheet to uncover who your ideal client is.
When you speak to a young child about the nightmare they have awoken from, your language and tone are appropriate. When engaged in a professional conversation between colleagues about a psychological theorem and its technique, what and how you share will be appropriate to that situation.
Both scenarios are entirely different, as they need to be. If you spoke to a frightened child in psychological jargon and with a detached manner, your words will fall on deaf ears and fail to help. Yet, if you calmly and kindly soothe with quiet, simple words, the child will feel heard, connected, and be more responsive.
By deeply understanding your ideal client, you can speak to them in ways they understand, benefit from, and connect with. They will feel like you know them and understand their lived experience. That you, not your competition, are the right — maybe even the only — therapist that can help.
How can you determine who your ideal client is? How can you connect with them? And how can you use language that ethically persuades them to contact you?
Listen as therapist Kelsey Torgerson shares how she used her website to target her ideal clients with laser focus and how her practice flourished as a result.
To learn more, you can read our article: Tips on Writing Copy That Attracts Your Ideal Client.
4. An active, high-quality blog
Blogging has many benefits for practice growth. There are three that can change the game, so to speak.
Blogging provides search engines with new and useful information, enabling you to rank in your area of expertise. This helps you “get found” organically and free of charge. It brings more eyeballs to your site, which, in turn, can increase client numbers.
It develops the perception that you are a leader in your field, supercharging your appeal. This attracts clientele and gets tongues wagging. It switches you from commodity to expert, which lowers — even eliminates — price from a client’s decision-making equation. It magnetizes your attraction because people want to consult with the best.
Blogging importantly allows people to learn from your expertise; to benefit from your advice. This promotes and nurtures a relationship and trust before a client ever sets foot in your practice — in real life or virtually. This boosts bookings and can smooth new client interaction. Blogging also engages current clients and increases re-bookings. The benefits are enormous.
Plus, when you write an awesome blog, you can speak to many. 24/7/365. Blogging is more efficient than speaking one-to-one. Great content also increases share-ability, meaning you can reach unexpected people through unanticipated channels.
While helpful content is imperative, so is consistency…
Have you ever visited a blog only to find their last post was a year prior? What did you think? Not great, is it?
Search engines and visitors want up-to-date content. To rank and appeal, you need to post high-quality content regularly.
Need help keeping your website updated with fresh content?
Sign up for a free 14-day trial of our social media & blog automation tool, Social Genie!
5. Multiple specialty service pages
As we say in our article, Specialty Pages: How To Write Pages That Convert For Your Practice, “Any page that describes concentrations or procedures specific to you and your practice could be considered a specialty page.”
Make a list of all the concentrations or specialty services you offer clients.
Now think about each of these from your ideal client’s point of view. Keep in mind; they are looking for answers and relief. Be specific and honest about benefits and your ability to help. Remember, don’t sell the service; sell the solution.
If you have a specific therapy with proven efficacy for treating alcohol addiction recovery, this would make a great specialty page. What about an evidence-based technique for stepping through a divorce? Absolutely!
While these may both be experienced by one person, they are separate challenges. Someone who requires addiction treatment needs an expert in this field, as does someone experiencing a divorce. Creating a specific page for each specialty enables you to speak directly to an individual issue, to talk directly to that ideal client. It also allows you to naturally embed keywords that draw attention and approval from the search engine to maximize your rank.
Listing a single services page may be faster but will hinder your success in the long run.
6. Written and designed to aid search engine ranking
Previous research has shown that over 71% of search results lead to a click on a page one listing. If you aren’t on the first page, there is little chance of your site or your practice getting found organically. Remember, being found online is essential to growing your practice, and organic equals free.
Creating a website with a robust and ethical search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is essential. A focus on attracting the search engines’ attention — for the right reasons — is key for boosting your website ranking. If you get this wrong, you can get struck from the rankings or effectively become invisible.
There is a range of ways to incorporate what is called White Hat SEO into your site. At Brighter Vision, we take these approaches with all our websites, and SEO is included in every one of our website packages. The result? Enhanced findability, less work and financial outlay on your part, expert and error-free implementation, and better results.
It’s time to get started. Your services are desperately needed and, with reduced competition, there has never been a better time.
Brighter Vision is the ultimate marketing package for therapists, centered around the best therapist website you’ve ever had. Fill out the form below to learn more about our team of professionals who can’t wait to help your practice grow like never before 🙂