I have talked to several therapists over the years who have told me, “I have a website, therefore people should find me on Google, right?” or “Everyone tells me they love my website, so I don’t understand why I am not getting any new clients.”
As much as I wish I could say “If you build it, they will come,” things don’t really work that way in the world of online marketing.
The truth is: creating a website for your therapy practice that will actually get you more clients is an involved process. There are many different aspects of a website that cause it to actually work, and to actually get you more clients.
Because I have talked to so many different therapists about this topic, I wanted to share the five things your therapist website needs to get you more clients. Without these five characteristics, your website is likely not to work as well as it would otherwise.
When reading through the list, think of each item as part of the framework of a successful website. There will obviously be many visual pieces and add-ons not included in this list (i.e. site colors, photos, etc), but without the following 5 pieces, your website will not get your more clients.
1. A Clear Path
You only have 1-2 seconds to grab the attention of your website visitor! Wait, what?
Yes, you read that correctly. If someone cannot determine what you offer (or really, if you can help them with their particular issue) within 1-2 seconds of their arrival on their site, they are going to click away to a different website where they can find that information. While this may come as a shock to you, studies have shown that this short period of time is the determiner of whether someone will stay on your website.
The way to ensure someone stays on your website is by providing them with a clear path to follow upon arrival. You want to make it very easy for anyone visiting your website to clearly know what you offer, and how you can help them with their specific issue. You can do this by listing your specialties in your navigation bar, directing them to click to the page of their specific issues. If you have too many specialties to list them clearly in your navigation bar, consider creating a ‘Services’ drop down menu where you can list all your specialties clearly.
Whilst it may be tempting to list all of your specialties on one page titled ‘Services,’ this has been proven to be much less effective. You can read more about page specificity below.
The bottom line is: make it extremely easy for your website visitor by providing a very clear path to follow, with as few clicks as possible.
2. A Way to Grow The Size of Your Therapist Website
The second thing you want to consider is having a way to grow the size of your website. According to the 2014 Search Metrics Report, the bigger the website (AKA the more pages on your website) the higher the website is ranked.
The easiest way to grow the size of your website is by blogging consistently. We recommend writing a 600-word (minimum) blog post at least once per month, and if you can manage more than one, definitely write more. There are many different types of blog posts to consider when writing your monthly posts. Blogging consistently also offers more valuable content for site visitors, and provides you with content to send to your email list.
One thing to keep in mind: in order for this to have an effect on the size of your site, your blog must be integrated with your website – it cannot be a separate website.
If you can’t seem to find the time to blog each month, be sure to check out our blog writing services. We have a couple different options to choose from based on your budget and desired types of posts.
3. A Page for Each of Your Specialties
As I mentioned before, you must be able to clearly communicate what you can do to help, with your site visitors. In order to do so with both your potential clients and with the search engines, you must have a separate page for each of your specialties.
Page specificity is key to ranking your therapist website well in Google.
On your pages, you will want to speak specifically about the issue, and how you can help remedy the pain they are feeling. This is not the place to talk about how you work, your modalities, the industry terms, or about you — instead, you want to focus on the potential client, the pain of their issues, and how you are the right person to help.
Also, you want to ensure your pages are optimized well. If your on page SEO is done poorly (you aren’t including enough content, you aren’t choose the correct focus keywords, etc), then those searching for you won’t find you.
4. A Way to Stay in Touch With Your Website Visitors (aka Potential Therapy Clients)
The fourth thing your website needs is a way to stay in touch with your website visitors. Before I dive into the ‘how’ of this piece, I want to share some interesting numbers with you.
The truth is, people do not call and make an appointment the first time they hear your name, see your website, or hear you speak. In fact, only 2% of people buy on first exposure and 80% of therapy clients come in after the 5th-12th exposure to you. So, how do you ensure you have the exposure so they do contact you?
The best way to stay in touch with your website visitors is to a) get them to sign up for your email list by offering a free report or download, and b) email them valuable information (aka the blog posts we discussed before) each month.
They key here is this: ideally, you want a free report on each of your specialty pages. That way, you create very specific lists based on your specialties, that you can then send specific content to each month. Dead are the days where you can send out a newsletter to everyone. You instead want to send valuable content (in the form of blog posts) out to a very targeted list of people.
You can learn more about what goes into a free report here.
5. A Clear Call to Action
Lastly, you want to make sure to tell you site visitors what to do next. Without a specific call to action, you lose interaction and decrease the likelihood of the potential client contacting you.
Examples of calls to action include: telling the the site visitor to call you to set up a free consultation, scheduling an appointment on your online scheduler, calling you to schedule an appointment, or downloading a free offering (like an ebook or report).
BONUS — The 6th thing your therapist website needs is to be mobile friendly! Google announced recently that as of April 21st, they will start ranking websites that are not mobile friendly lower.
Does your website have these 6 things? Let us know in the comments section!