Promoting Telehealth by Optimizing Your Online Directory Listings
At Brighter Vision, our mission has always been to help therapists build successful private practices through professional website design and simplified marketing solutions. And with the novel coronavirus literally turning our world upside down in the last few weeks, we have never been more motivated to help you grow your practice.
So, we’ve been working around the clock not just to help you make the transition to telehealth as simple as possible, but to make sure you understand the best ways to market this new service so that you’re reaching as many people as possible and continuing to build your client base – even in these trying times.
Still haven’t moved your therapy practice online yet?
Sign up for our free email course to learn the 5 most important steps you should take when transitioning to telehealth.
Last week we covered the best ways to promote telehealth on your private practice website.
This week we’re going to follow suit and go through the 6 ways to optimize your online directory listings so that you can best promote your new telehealth service.
6 Ways to Optimize Your Directory Listings & Promote Telehealth
1. Don’t Go in Blind
Before you decide to sit down at your computer and just start writing, take a little time to do some recon first. Spy on your local competitors and see what other profiles on that directory look like.
It’s easy for a directory listing to get lost in a long list of options – even more so now that everyone is offering telehealth services – so it’s important to make sure yours stands out from the rest.
As you’re looking through existing profiles, take note of things that catch your attention or that you think would attract your ideal client as well as the things that make you want to keep scrolling right past them.
2. Write a Compelling Copy
It’s a proven fact that people do business with those they know, like, and trust. And this couldn’t be any truer than when they’re choosing a therapist – except maybe when they’re dealing with the added stress of choosing an online therapist.
While you were browsing existing directory listings back in step 1, you probably saw a lot of the same things we did; overtly formal profiles filled with so much technical jargon that they resembled professional resumes. Many therapists tend to focus so much on ticking off all the professional boxes that they forget the purpose of this copy; to attract their ideal client.
Need help determining your Ideal Client?
Take our Ideal Client Quiz to find out today!
Unfortunately, profiles like this just scream of boredom. What do bored people do online? They hit the ‘back’ button.
Instead, when writing your own profile copy, try to use a more conversational tone and write in second-person. Using the words “you” and “your” promote a deeper connection with your reader and convey that you really understand what they’re experiencing, that they aren’t alone and that you can help them.
You should also include information on what makes you uniquely qualified to help them more than other therapists in your area – this is your big selling point. Maybe you’re offering flexible hours for your telehealth services whereas your local competitors are only working weekdays from 9 to 5. Whatever it is, highlight what makes you specially equipped to help your ideal client within your profile.
3. Optimize Your First Three Lines
Psychology Today pulls the first 3 lines or so – approx. 200 characters – directly from your profile to use for your listing preview in search results – both in their own search results and on search engines like Google. So, these first few lines of your copy need to grab the attention of your ideal client and get them to open your profile.
Most online directories will show these preview lines along with your profile photo, name, and job title in their search results. Keep in mind that these potential clients have also already provided their location before seeing any results. So, repeating any of this information in your introduction (like the example below) is a complete waste of that prime real estate!
Again, you only have a limited amount of space at the beginning of your profile to attract your ideal client and get them to click on your listing. Don’t be boring and don’t be repetitive.
Start out with an attention-grabbing statement or a question specifically aimed at your ideal client like this therapist has done:
You can also use this space to provide concrete examples of your expertise. For example, anyone can say that they specialize in couples counseling but how many people can say that they’ve been working with couples for 20+ years? Or that they’ve modified existing treatments to create their own unique treatment plan?
No matter what makes you unique, put that front and center. Give your potential clients just enough information so that they want to click on your listing and learn more about how you can help them.
4. Use Keywords to Improve Your SEO
We’ve all seen them in our own Google search results – multiple Psychology Today links before any individual therapist websites are listed.
Most therapist directories are built in a way that they provide your individual profile with its own URL on their website much like an individual ‘About Me’ page on your own private practice’s website. This, combined with the unmatched domain ranking of directory sites like Psychology Today, means that it’s just as important to optimize your online directory listings for search engines as it is your own website.
Just as you would for your website, consider the keywords you want Google to show your directory listing for in their search results.
Hint: if you’re reading this post, “telehealth” is probably one of them!
Then, sprinkle these keywords a few times throughout your copy so that they sound natural.
For more information on how to find the best keywords for your private practice SEO, check out our article on How to Do Keyword Research for Your Private Practice Website.
5. Don’t Forget to Use CTAs
So, you’ve gotten your directory listing to show up in search results, you’ve caught the attention of your ideal client, and your profile copy has piqued their interest.
Now, tell them exactly what you want them to do next.
CTAs are such a simple concept and have been proven to increase inquiries time and time again, yet many therapists still forget to include them in their directory profiles.
A call-to-action (or CTA) is any message that tells a reader what action you’d like them to take next and it usually contains a link. For example, one of the most popular CTAs used today is the “SHOP NOW” button.
Of course, yours doesn’t have to be quite so terse. But providing your profile visitors with a link that reads, “Call me to schedule your first telehealth session” or “Book your first telehealth session online” gives them the nudge they’re likely looking for at this point.
6. Polish It Off With a Professional Headshot
Once you’ve covered all of the technical aspects of writing and optimizing the copy for your online directory listings, ensure your profile really stands out from the rest by using a friendly, professional photo.
We all know how important first impressions are, and your online directory listing could be your only chance for a first impression with a potential client.
Put yourself in your ideal client’s shoes and pretend you’re searching for a therapist online. You go to an online directory, type in your location, select the issues you’re struggling with, and you’re given a list of 3 options:
- Therapist A starts her profile with a vague explanation of how she’s provided therapy services for over 10 years to teens and adults in your city. There’s nothing that really stands out aside from the tropical plants behind her in her profile photo.
- Therapist B introduces herself as someone who has personally experienced post-partum depression and therefore, is uniquely qualified to help you overcome it. However, her directory listing is completely void of a profile photo.
- Therapist C presents herself as equally qualified to help you with your specific issue and has a friendly, relaxed photo of herself sitting in her well-lit therapy office.
Who would you pick? Probably therapist C, right?
While we don’t like to admit it, as humans nearly all of us are guilty of passing judgement based on appearance at some point. And the nature of online directories – i.e. the number of alternate options available – makes it even easier for potential clients to be picky in their search.
Make an impact and make the right first impression by investing in a high-quality headshot taken by a professional photographer. For a relatively low cost, you can get a set of professional headshots that will really help you make an impact.
Want the beautiful therapist website you deserve? Then you’re in the perfect place.
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 🙂