As a therapist, and the facilitator of The Refreshed Therapists Network, I know the importance of not only having a website, but having a thoughtfully crafted website that clearly shows your audience who you are and what you can offer them on their path to health and wellness. Your website is not only useful for providing practical information, such as your location and credentials, but it is also your potential client's first impression of you, your business, and your expertise. Use this first impression to connect with potential clients by giving them all the information they need, while communicating that you are the best person to guide them through their time of need.
Recently, I had the opportunity to talk with Daniel Fava, the creator and founder of CreateMyTherapistWesbsite.com, which is where he shares tips, tutorials, and website reviews that focus on teaching therapists how to attract their ideal clients with their private practice websites. Daniel offers tips on SEO, web design, Wordpress and other platforms, and more. Daniel has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Web Design, and 11 years of experience in his field. Best of all, he is married to a therapist, and he built her website! I also appreciate that Daniel is an INFJ (as a fellow MBTI nerd), and he shares this with the world on his website's About Page.
So... what are we, as therapists, doing wrong when building our websites? Daniel shares the 5 top mistakes he sees, and tips for how to avoid them:
Daniel is this month's guest expert in The Refreshed Therapist Network. In this month's masterclass, he shares private practice website essentials that attract your ideal client.
Mistake Number One: Forgetting a Call to Action
One of the most common mistakes Daniel sees therapists make on their websites is not creating calls to action. Studies have shown that when potential clients land on a page without a call to action, even when there’s a ton of great information, they will leave, or “bounce,” off the site. Make sure you guide that potential client every step of the way from first finding you online and getting in contact with you, to scheduling their first session. Calls to action allow you to lead potential clients through your website, as well as through an experience that prompts them to reach out. A free consultation is a common call to action used by therapists.
Mistake Number Two: Too Many Calls to Action
On the other hand, it's also possible to have too many calls to action; this can confuse, or even frustrate, potential clients. It's common for therapists to squeeze all of the information about their practice into every page on their website, which can be overwhelming for potential clients. To avoid this, choose one main focus and one call to action for each page of your website. Feel free to have links to lead people through important information on your website, but make sure your potential client knows exactly what one thing you want them to do before they leave your site. Keep it simple. When designing your site, think about the journey you want your potential client to take while navigating your site, so that the journey ends with them scheduling a first session with you.
Mistake Number Three: A Weak About Page
People want to know about you before they do any business with you, so having a strong About Page is super important for building trust between you and your potential. Your About Page can help ensure potential clients follow through on your main call to action. For instance, this is confirmed by the analytics of the website Daniel built for his wife; the About Page is the second most visited page.
The essential piece of advice Daniel gives in regard to the About Page is: Your About Page is not about you. On your About Page, provide information about yourself, but only in an effort to serve your potential client. You can accomplish this by empathically explaining to potential clients how your services will assist them, so that they know they have found the right therapist. Also, take the time to confirm that you understand the struggles and challenges they’re facing, and make clear that you can offer solutions to their challenges.
Mistake Number Four: Not Creating Different Pages for Different Specialties
By creating a different page for each speciality you practice, instead of listing them on one page, you’re not only showing potential clients that you’re an expert, you’re also improving your site’s search engine optimization (SEO). This increases the chance that someone seeking your services will find you through search engines. Over time, create separate pages for each specialty and presenting problem you address in your practice. Again, this improves SEO and shows potential clients you’re an authority in your field.
Mistake Number Five: Not Keeping Your Ideal Potential Client in Mind
It is so important to keep your client in mind when you are designing and writing the copy for your website. Oftentimes, therapists write copy in the third person (“therapists"), or first person plural (“we”), which can feel detached for website visitors.
There are a variety of ways to empathize with potential clients via your website that also allow them to identify with you. They include:
- Writing authentic copy that expresses your way of working and leads clients toward your main call to action
- Writing and speaking in the first person, because it is often perceived as “warm,” shows your personality, lets people get a sense of your relational style, and gives potential clients a peek into what it might be like to counsel with you
- A good rule of thumb is: If your practice or business has less than 3 employees or contractors, always use ‘I’ in your copy.
- Creating a great headshot and/or video to introduce yourself to your potential client. Put the images or video on your About Page or Homepage, where website visitors are most likely to find them. Multimedia is often a draw for potential clients and tends to increase site visitors' engagement, which can build trust and lead them to dial your number.
- Building a “Your First Visit” page that explains to potential clients what they'll experience with you from their initial phone call through the end of their first session. Include pictures of your office. The “Your First Visit” page is likely to reduce anxiety for potential clients by giving them essential information about you, therapy, and the therapeutic environment.
- Adding a Frequently Asked Questions section, or page, on your site.
Your website is an opportunity to serve your potential clients and meet them where they are--most likely, in a painful or challenging time. Communicate clearly that you understand their current problem, and that your services are the best solution.
Let me know in the comments below:
- What one tip from Daniel can you implement on your website right away?