How do you know what works? What doesn’t?
What kind of material should be on your website? Should it be a single landing page? Multiple pages? Should it have a blog? Videos? Lots of images?
Countless questions can crop up and leave you paralyzed before you even start.
You can make headway though.
In this article, we’re taking a look at a few therapy websites and showing you how to analyze them so you can start building your own site.
Start With the Competition
Let’s say one of your specialties is couples therapy.
How do you find other counselors specializing in couples therapy?
The easiest way is to head to Google (https://google.com) and type “couples therapy” into the search bar. Google reads your location and displays local results to you, so you’ll see other couples therapists in your area.
Yes, it’s that easy.
The same applies to other specialties, whether it be addiction, anxiety, depression, divorce, etc.
You’ll see something similar to the following…
We’re not concerned with either right now.
What we want is to see the top ranking website owned by actual therapists.
So skip PsychologyToday and Yelp as well. (They dominate the search results in most areas because they’re aggregate websites.)
Based on my unique Google search I see the following sites own the highest position on Google:
Then I can use that information to get an idea of how I should lay out my own website.
Analyzing the Sites - Homepage
So, let’s take a look (https://www.coloradorelationshiptherapy.com/).
And while looking, I want to ask a few questions:
Notice how many pages are included in the menu. Some items even have drop-down menus.
All-in-all, there are 23 links to choose from.
It might even be too much, but that will vary from one practice to the next.
The point is… there’s lots of content on this site. That means Google likes ranking multi-page sites for the keyword, “couples therapy.”
To compete we’ll also need multiple pages, with lots of helpful information.
(Depending on where you’re located, you may find a single-page site ranking: a site that doesn’t have a menu because it’s only one page. But this is very rare.)
But, do we need all of those sites?
Let’s look at the rest of the competition and see what they include:
The rest feature Facebook. We will definitely want to consider having at least Facebook linked on our homepage.
What Kind of Sites are These?
What I mean is… how were they designed?
Are the websites created by Brighter Vision, TherapySites, GoDaddy? Or, is the site custom made by a web designer? Or maybe Squarespace?
This is fairly easy to tell.
Scroll to the bottom of the page where you’ll find the footer, and you may see text like “Site created by Foley Designs LLC,” for example.
Colorado Relationship Recovery provides a good example. At the bottom of the homepage you’ll find “A Bright Site by Brighter Vision”
We probably want to avoid using a site generator like Brighter Vision or TherapySites if we want to climb the rankings, based on our analysis.
Is There a Blog?
And see if the blog is active.
If all the competition has inactive blogs (blog pages that haven’t been updated in months or years) that’s a great sign that my site can beat them in the rankings—so long as I actively blog.
Google loves active websites.
The search engine wants to show users websites that are actively being updated because it prioritizes the most recent content.
So what do we see in our sample…
Looking at the Specialty Page
Again, let’s ask a few questions:
- Bulletpoints about Relationship Recovery.
- The 5 Phases of how the therapist does therapy.
- A short Q&A
- A few anonymous testimonials.
When we create our own Specialty Pages we’ll want to have just as much content with a lot more substance.
Organizing the Specialty Page
But we may also want to broaden it a bit, to make our Specialty Page unique to us and our approach:
What they’ve done works in the eyes of Google (and by extension for clients) so it makes a good start. But what we want to do is make it better.
You want to stand out. So, take what they’ve done, study it, learn from it, and improve it.
Make it your own.