Five Ingredients Every Therapist Website Must Have
Is your therapist website bringing you fewer clients than you’d like? It might be because you’re missing one of these five crucial elements.
An Easy-to-Find Contact Form
This one is a no-brainer. Your clients want to contact you, so make it easy for them with a built-in contact form.
“But wait!” you say. “I already have my email address –isn’t that enough?” Unfortunately, the answer is no.
An email address is inconvenient for clients, because they need to open a separate email program to contact you. Plus, having your email address published where anyone can see it makes it a bit easier for spammers to harvest your email address.
So add a contact form, and make it easy to find. Some therapists hide their contact form in confusing places, like their location page. Don’t make clients search for a way to contact you. Put your contact page right in your menu, and label it something obvious like “Contact” or “Book a session.”
A List of Specialties – Not Just Every Condition You Treat
Looking for a therapist is overwhelming. Seriously – take ten minutes, pretend to be a client, and go hunting for a therapist in your area. You’ll usually find yourself scrolling through dozens of options, all of which can seem pretty similar from a client’s perspective.
That means if you want to get attention, you need to set yourself apart. And one of the best ways to do that is to show your specialties. By specialties, I don’t mean “every condition you could conceivably treat.” Instead, I’m referring to the treatments that you are the best at.
Think of it from the client’s perspective.
If I am a client and I want treatment for a particular condition, I want a therapist that specializes in that condition – not a therapist who treats that condition alongside twenty other conditions. If I’m a member of a particular population, I want a therapist who really understands my group.
But I don’t know that you are uniquely qualified to treat my condition or my population unless you tell me. So I recommend that you set up your website in such a way where your top specialties are front and center. Perhaps you might want to mention them on your front page, or you might want to have a specialties page that lists the areas you are an expert in.
Of course, you don’t want to limit yourself to only the conditions you specialize in. You may not be the world’s expert in a particular condition, but if you are still qualified to treat it, it’s okay to mention it.
So I recommend that you provide some kind of two-tier system, where you discuss your specialties, and then you discuss everything you offer. However you manage it, make sure that it’s easy for a potential client to see what you’re best at.
An SEO Strategy
SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” In essence, SEO is the art of convincing Google and the other search engines that when someone searches for “find a therapist” or something similar, your website deserves to be shown.
Search engine optimization is essential to your therapy practice, because search engines are one of the best sources of visitors to your website. If you have the best website in the world but no visitors, you won’t get any new clients.
Of course, you can hire an SEO consultant to do all the work for you, but that can be very expensive. Some SEO consultants cost several thousand dollars a month, which is unaffordable for most therapists.
A better option is to learn the basics of therapy SEO yourself, and partner with a professional to provide oversight and fill in the gaps in your knowledge. Brighter Vision’s free yearly therapist seo audits are a great option for this – as long as you are willing to work during the year to implement their suggestions and keep your SEO momentum going.
Learning SEO can seem tricky, but trust me – doing therapy is much harder than doing SEO! So if you can give good therapy, you can learn how to do good SEO (especially with a little help from a yearly audit.)
A Professional, High-Quality Photo Of The Therapist
It’s shocking how many therapist websites don’t have a photo of the therapist at all – or if they do, it’s a grainy low resolution photo, or a cropped Facebook photo.
Many studies have confirmed that adding photos to websites greatly increases the chances that visitors will become customers. “Real” photos – not stock photography – have the strongest positive effect. So make sure that your therapist website features a friendly, professional photo of yourself.
Go look at any random therapist website’s about me page. And then look at Lillesol Kane’s, a therapist in Morristown, NJ. Who would you connect with more?
If you don’t have a good photo, consider hiring a professional photographer. If a professional photo brings in a single new long-term client, your professional photographer will easily pay for themselves.
A Mobile Friendly Design
In early 2014, mobile internet usage exceeded PC internet usage. In other words, more than half of your potential clients will visit you on their mobile phones. You can’t afford to ignore them.
So make sure your website is mobile friendly. The most important step here is to make sure that your website uses what’s called a “responsive” design, which ensures that your web pages will resize themselves automatically to fit a smaller mobile screen. All Brighter Vision sites are mobile friendly by default, but if your website is hosted somewhere else, I recommend you test it.
The easiest option is to test using Google’s mobile friendly tool. You also may want to test your site on your own mobile phone. Even if Google’s tool gives it a passing rating, there is no substitute for your own eyeballs. Browse through the website on your phone and see if you can find any mistakes.
If Google’s tool gives your site a failing grade, or if your website doesn’t look good on your phone, it may be time to give your website a facelift (or invest in a new website.) While a new website can be expensive, losing customers due to an outdated website is expensive too.
Well, there you have it – five ingredients every therapist site must include. Does your site have all five?
If not, make sure to add them in so you can get the best value out of your website. To optimize your website even further, take this website grader and see what score your website gets and then implement all the helpful tactics directly to your website! 🙂