Before you start building a new website, or update your current website, you want to make sure its not going to be a waste of your time and money. We put together a list of must-haves for your website. So, before you start building a website, make sure you include the following.
1. Must have a Blog
Surprise, surprise. It may sound like I’m a broken record, but building a website without a blog is a complete waste. A blog is a vital part of an effective therapy website, and without one you are only cheating yourself. Blogging is the easiest way to increase the size of your website (more pages = higher ranking in Google), connect with potential clients and increase visitor duration on your website. Click here to learn about the different types of blog posts you can include on your website. If you would like help writing blog posts, you can also learn more about our Therapy Blog Library here.
2. Must have the ability to design your homepage so that people can see within one second what you do
Your website must pass the one-second test. Within one second, a visitor to your website must be able to tell what you offer immediately. We recommend choosing a website building platform that allows you to design your homepage with a top navigation bar, above the fold (which means you don’t have to scroll down at all to see it). A deep header, or photo on your homepage that takes up the entire screen will not pass the one-second test and turn people away. We also recommend that you give a visitor a very clear path to follow. For example, if I think my child has anxiety, don’t make me work hard to learn more — provide me with a clear path to get to your specialty page about anxiety, then blog posts about childhood anxiety, then a clear call to action of what I should do next. Building effective client-getting mental health websites requires smart strategy. Keep reading.
3. Must have separate specialty pages
Having separate pages for each specialty is also a must. What I have found to be a very common practice with therapists, is listing all their specialties on one page, and possibly including a small blurb about each one. The benefits of having separate specialty pages outweighs a single-services page, tenfold. Not only will doing this increase your rankings in Google, it will also show your potential clients that you are credible and helpful. When writing your messages, talk to your website visitor about their specific issue, so that there is no question that you know what they are going through. You can learn about how to write an effective specialty page here.
4. Must have the ability to do SEO on all your pages
Incorporating well thought out SEO on each page is another ‘must’ for an effective therapy website. Luckily, if you create individual pages for each specialty, SEO is already planned in from the beginning. Creating individual pages shows Google that you specialize is say, couples counseling in Austin, Texas; and with a good marketing message, you also show Google that you are an expert in that field.
If you have a WordPress website, we highly recommend using the SEO plugin, Yoast. Yoast will allow you to easily add high-quality title tags, meta description, focus keywords and more to each page on your website.
5. Must have your corresponding blog posts visible on the specialty pages
Adding blog posts to your corresponding specialty pages is the easiest (and best) way to increase your website visitors site duration. As I mentioned before, adding related blog posts to your specialty pages will provide a clear path for a potential client to follow, to learn more about your services. We have found that people are much more likely to read your blog posts if they are added to your specialty pages, as opposed to scrolling through all your blog posts on your blog page. We recommend using the WordPress platform, as some website platforms don’t allow you to add such functionality.
Does your therapy website include all ‘must-haves’ from the list above?