Archive for Marketing For Therapists
Maybe you even discussed the effectiveness of getting listings and which ones to use and avoid with your professional colleagues.
So, is investing your time in therapist directories like Psychology Today or Good Therapy worthwhile?
Let’s delve into the often confusing, sometimes overwhelming, phenomenon of adding your practice to a therapist directory. Specifically, we’ll shed some light on the value of online directory listings and the rate of return you might see.
We’ll look into the pros and cons of employing therapist directories, offer tips on how to use them to engage clients, and take a closer look at the cost and benefits of the top rated directories for therapists.
After reading this article you’ll have a much better idea as to whether or not investing in a therapist listing is the right move for your practice.
Many therapists view therapist directory listings as if they’re an electronic version of the Yellow Pages. But, Yellow Pages are simple when compared to a digital directory listing. Think of Yellow Pages like a business card: What you see is what you get.
Listing your practice on a therapist directory is about much more than simply getting your name and number added to a website directory listing.
Therapists who set themselves apart from other mental counselors can see a significant benefit from listing on therapist directories.
Sites like Psychology Today and Good Therapy help qualified therapists make authentic connections to their target audience. Used well, they can increase a therapist’s online visibility faster than getting their site ranked on Google.
And with a well-written profile page, you too can make a good impression on potential clients, regardless of how they first hear about you or your practice.
That all sounds great, right?
The Drawbacks of Using a Therapist Directory
The cons of using online directory listings to help clients find you are not insignificant.
Building a profile that will connect with clients can be time-consuming. (To help simplify the process I walk you through how to write an outstanding bio a little later in this article.)
If you’re in a sizeable metropolitan area—like New York City or San Francisco—you may have a hard time standing out among the hundreds of other mental health professionals with similar practices or backgrounds as yourself.
In order to drive the desired results you’ll need a strong profile page and a great website.
There’s also a misconception that joining a therapy directory guarantees a certain level of visibility. Many listings tend to randomize the therapists they show on their front page.
And if you choose therapist directories that don’t offer the ability to produce and publish new content it could take several months before you’re able to secure a regular spot on related search results.
Another potential roadblock is the persistent belief among some therapists that people who browse a database are reliant on specific insurance companies. This could mean that private practice therapists are drawing from a much smaller pool of potential clients than their peers who are on insurance panels.
None of these cons are reason enough to completely reject joining counselling directories. But, they illustrate the importance of finding the right therapist listings for your practice and location, and the benefit of writing a strategic and engaging profile page.
Tips to Find the Right Therapist Listings
There are a wide variety of therapist directories available online. Of course, some are more naturally authentic and relevant to your specialties than others.
Doing your homework about different counselling directories and how they might relate to your practice is important.
One of the most effective ways to begin narrowing your list of directories that feature the best therapy websites is to Google each of your specialties, along with your geographic area, e.g. “Anxiety Treatment Denver,” or “Marriage Counseling Dallas.”
By examining the results you can see which therapy directory is most relevant to your practice and location. If different counselling directories appear at the top of the search for different specialties, you might want to consider listing your practice in more than one database. You might also consider asking colleagues which directories they find most effective.
Factors to Consider before Listing on a Therapist Database
Be aware that a variety of factors can affect directory referrals, even after you find the best therapist directories for your practice and location.
These factors include:
When you have selected a few directories to explore, take advantage of free trials to ensure you know what you’re getting for your monthly payment.
Some paid therapist directories will give you free listings for a period of time—up to six months in some cases. It’s a wise move to put a reminder on your calendar for a few days before the trial ends so you can cancel without losing money if you get few or no referrals.
Choose Directories That Work for You
Keep in mind that the most effective online therapist directories don’t just offer static content. A successful listing will bundle original content or give you a platform to express your expertise, bringing new readers to your website and boosting your search results.
Finally, you can further leverage your opportunities by getting listed in the directories associated with your professional state, provincial and national associations. While they may not contribute directly to referrals, therapist directories do provide you a degree of professional credibility.
Your professional colleagues may also check their association’s directories rather than general search engines or counselling directories when looking to refer someone to another professional.
Creating a listing may not be an instant ticket to success, but leveraging your online therapist listing can be an effective way to build your digital marketing brand and grow your client base.
Once you find the right directorie it’s time to write an outstanding profile page.
How to Write a Standout Bio for a Therapy Directory
Your biography should be brief but compelling.
Easier said than done, though.
The best approach we have seen for this step—and the one we use to help our clients get more out of therapist directories—is to develop a mini-specialty page.
This page should…
It should also communicate why they should choose you instead of another therapist. This unique selling point could be about your methodology, background, hours of operation or even that you validate parking in a busy city.
If you choose to put a listing on multiple therapist directories, don’t duplicate your biography! Each bio should be unique in its language, message, and tone.
In crafting your mini specialty page, keep these points in mind:
Once you write your biography, take a few minutes to review your therapist directories listings and ask the following questions:
Reasons a Directory Listing Might Not Work
First, don’t give up too quickly on whichever therapist directories you choose to list on. It takes some time to connect with potential clients, and even people who are “ready to get started” may take weeks or months before calling.
Success can also be modulated by your specialty, geographic area and competition.
Other factors that can impact the effectiveness of a therapist directories listing include the quality of your bio. Is it optimized for search engines? And does it connect with potential clients on an emotional level?
If you specialize in a modality or condition that people aren’t searching for (or that only serves a small population) you may struggle to attract potential clients to your profile. Making things more difficult, potential clients don’t always know what to search for in describing their problems.
Take a few minutes to do some research and find out what potential clients are looking for online—for example, “marriage counseling” instead of “couples therapy”—then incorporate those terms naturally into your bio.
Finally, market saturation can impact the efficacy of a therapist directory listing. Make sure that your profile sets you apart from the competition. And, consider whether paid advertising may help you rise above competitors while your listing gains traction.
The Top 8 Therapist Directories You Can Use Today
There are literally dozens of therapist directories listed online, and finding the right place to start can be a little intimidating.
To get you started, we’ve broken down 8 of the most popular online directories for so you can get a sense of what will work best for your practice.
Keep in mind that if you practice a specific therapy or distinct approach, such as arts-oriented therapy or neurofeedback, you may have better luck listing your practice with therapist directories that cater to your specialty than one of the standard directories below.
You have a very short amount of time to connect with a potential client, and you’ll want a great website or social network where potential clients can learn more about you and your practice.
Finding Local Therapist Directories
Keep in mind that you also have a ton of state and local options for listing your practice and expertise. These may include local therapy networks, state and local associations, professional affiliation groups, religious organizations, or LGBTQ+ resources, among others.
To List or Not To List
As we said at the beginning, therapist directories can be a valuable tool for attracting new clients to your practice. However, some time and effort must be invested in your therapist directory listing in order for it to generate paying clients and draw attention to your practice.
It’s also important to identify therapist directories that are in line with the character and location of your practice.
Lastly, a therapist directory listing should be just one part of an overall marketing strategy that includes digital marketing and the use of social networks.
We hope this guide has been helpful in understanding and navigating the benefits (and potential drawbacks) of listing on therapist directories and that your efforts lead you to a more successful and busy practice.
If you would like to learn more about how to market your practice we encourage you to engage with our Private Practice University, where you can learn to create and operate your own strategic website and online marketing to build your client base and generate inquiries from potential clients on a more regular basis.
AND... before you go... get our FREE 9 step guide to make sure your counseling website works for you.
That’s why it’s so important to choose a name for your private practice that aligns with both who you are and the type of counseling practice you want to own.
Your name will ultimately determine how you represent yourself to potential clients both offline and online, as a domain name.
In this post we’re covering everything you need to know to find a catchy name that works for you:
Where To Start In Choosing A Name For My Private Practice?
Don’t settle for a name that doesn’t feel as great as it sounds. Whatever name you choose will stick with you for the rest of your career (or until you rebrand).
It helps to ask yourself a few questions right at the outset:
- What do you plan to specialize in?
- What does your clientele look like?
- What strategies do you use?
- Is the domain name available? And Most Important
- Who do you want to be as a therapist?
Examples of Creative Names for Your Counseling Practice
Even if they don’t work for you they will help you brainstorm ideas to find the name that does.
Using your name establishes yourself immediately as a counselor, and makes it easy for both potential clients and current clients to find your business and know who you are. And as far as your website is concerned, personal brands tend to drive higher conversion rates over the long-term.
I disagree with this line of thinking. If you’re committed to your practice, and feel most comfortable using your name, then go for it. We’ve worked with many counselors who use their own name and are so booked with clients they can’t accept new ones.
You can always change to a new domain from your old site if you wish to scale to a group practice. The process is simple, inexpensive—it can be done for less than $150 in many cases—and can be done without affecting your website’s traffic.
Names that incorporate your zip code may provide both name recognition and SEO value. Practices like “Denver Recovery Center,” or “Boulder Therapy” may not have as much personal value as using your name but they are easily remembered and are recognizable.
However, names based on your location may not be as readily available in larger metropolitan areas.
One way to test names is to combine keyword terms with the name of your city:
A Personal Brand
There are a few rules when it comes to generating a personal brand name:
If you can’t buy a domain name that matches your brand name, try again.
How Your Practice Name and Domain Name Connect
Head to a domain name registrar where you can search for available URLs and type in the private practice name you want to see if it’s available. (Any of the sites below will work for your search.)
Examples of Creative Names for Your Counseling Practice
When choosing a practice name, and by extension a domain name, it’s never a bad idea to include keywords. Though including keywords is not necessary either to create a thriving practice.
But it does help you gain traction in Google’s eyes in the short-term, and creates easy brand-recognition.
By including the right keywords, you send a very clear message to Google and your audience about what your website provides.
We’ve already mentioned quite a few keywords above, without calling attention to them. They include terms like you city or specialty. But the main ones call attention to the fact that you’re in private practice, such as…
Domain Naming Tips
Final Thoughts on Keywords and Your Practice Name
While we recommend including one of the most common related keywords (e.g. therapy, counseling, therapist, etc.) plus your city name, doing so is not a guaranteed win.
Therapy websites that employ a sound strategy will always pull ahead of private practice counselors who use keywords in their domain name and don’t implement a strategy. A keyword-focused domain name is just one piece of a larger puzzle.
Ultimately, whether or not a site succeeds is due to long-term commitment, not a domain name.
Humans have a cognitive bias toward things we can easily think about and say. If site visitors have a hard time processing or pronouncing your URL, they’re less likely to remember it (or remember it positively).
A name should be short and sweet, and capture your practice.
Whether clients are finding you through organic searches, paid ads, directory listings, or social media, your domain name is the online door to your private practice.