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Choosing a Domain Name for Your Private Practice

How to Choose Your Counseling Practice Name & Domain Name

A name is the most intimate thing any of us own. It’s a personal expression of who we are and defines us over the course of our lives.

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:
  • Why your counseling name is important.
  • How to choose a good private practice name.
  • How a counseling practice name connects to its website.
  • Where to purchase a domain name for your business.

Where To Start In Choosing A Name For My Private Practice?

Let’s break out a notebook (or Word document, or whatever you’re most comfortable with) and rev up those creative juices.

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:
  1. What do you plan to specialize in?
  2. What does your clientele look like?
  3. What strategies do you use?
  4. Is the domain name available?
  5. And Most Important

  6. Who do you want to be as a therapist?
Now, bearing the above in mind let’s look at some formulas for generating a practice name you may want to use.

Examples of Creative Names for Your Counseling Practice

There are a few formulas you may want to draw upon when choosing your name.

Even if they don’t work for you they will help you brainstorm ideas to find the name that does.
1. Your Name For Your Practice Name: You may consider using your own name for your practice, such as Jane Does Counseling (i.e. https://janedoe.com or https://janedoecounseling.com)

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.
Some marketers recommend against using your own name for your practice’s company name. They argue that it limits your ability to expand or rebrand. At the same time, they go on, if you wanted to sell your practice, who’s going to buy a business with your name on it?

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.
2. A Name That Captures Your Specialty If you’re specializing in one area of counseling you may want to incorporate that specialty in the name of your counseling practice. If you specialize in anxiety, and will work exclusively with clients with anxiety, your name could follow one of the two formulas:
  • Specialty + City (e.g. Anxiety Counseling Denver)
  • Specialty + Therapeutic Term (e.g. Anxiety Counseling)
This also applies to particular therapeutic techniques, such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy, e.g. CBT Denver Therapists (https://cbtdenver.com/).
3. A Name Based On Your Location

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:
  • Therapy + city name
  • Counseling + city name
  • Therapist + city name
  • Psychotherapy + city name
  • Counselor + city name
You may also try reversing these formulas, e.g. Denver Counseling.
While all of the above offers easy means of generating names, what do you do if you want a personalized brand name?

A Personal Brand

What if you want something more? What if you plan to grow into an agency with many therapists, and you want a group-therapy name that captures the spirit of your practice?

There are a few rules when it comes to generating a personal brand name:
1. Professionalism: whatever personal brand name you choose, make sure it’s professional. This one should be a no-brainer. But it’s important to keep in mind that professionalism means the name inspires confidence in whoever happens to hear it. Say your name out loud. Hear how it sounds. And share it with friends and family to test their reactions.
2. Keep it Simple: the best brands often have the simplest names. Why? Because they’re easy to remember, and memory being so fickle, this is of paramount importance for sticking out in the minds of potential clients. People won’t be able to remember a long-winded name like “Sunny Side Therapists & Counselors of the Greater Las Vegas Area.”
3. Remember Your Specialty: whatever personal brand name you choose it should match your specialty, or specialties, as best as possible, or at the very least not imply something entirely contrary to what you specialize in.
And then there’s the most important point about any name you choose for your private practice.

If you can’t buy a domain name that matches your brand name, try again.

How Your Practice Name and Domain Name Connect

The domain name you choose for your website should be the same as the name you choose for your practice.

Why?
  • It makes it easier for potential clients to remember your practice’s website.
  • It makes branding easier.
  • It creates a singular identity linking your website and practice.
That’s why it might be helpful to generate your practice name by starting with the domain.

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.)

Registrars include:
You can buy your domain name from these same websites as well.

Examples of Creative Names for Your Counseling Practice

Which brings us to our next point.

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…
  • Therapy
  • Counseling
  • Counselor
  • Therapist
  • Psychotherapy
As mentioned before, combining any of the above with the name of your city is a fine way to generate a name for your practice. But it has the added bonus of including two keywords: [e.g. therapist] + [your city].

Domain Naming Tips

The following tips will help you choose your domain, but they also play to your practice name in general.
Keep it short. Long names are hard to remember, easy to misspell, and may not fit comfortably on business cards and other marketing materials.
Keep it simple. You want your website to be easy to find and leave an impression. A great URL helps you do both.
Don’t get fancy with .io or other endings. Users are familiar and comfortable with .com. You’ll want the most common ending for your country (in addition to or instead of .com) if you live outside the U.S.
Try not to use numbers, symbols, or hyphens—these are often read and entered incorrectly. Make it as easy as possible for potential clients to find you.
Taking time to make a strategic, informed URL choice now can increase traffic and give you a leg up on your competition.

Final Thoughts on Keywords and Your Practice Name

Including keywords in the domain can give your websites an advantage in search results.

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.

Final Note

It’s easy to become so focused on how your URL looks that you forget to consider how it sounds to the reader when processed or read out loud.

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.

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The 6 Pages Every Therapy Website Must Have [Guest Post]

The 6 Pages Every Therapy Website Must Have [Guest Post]

Therapists are a bit like snowflakes. Each one is unique and brings different experiences, training and personality to their private practice.

The same holds true for therapy websites. Each one should be unique and reflect the therapist’s personality and approach to their practice. However, while a therapy website should look and feel unique to the user, a core foundation of key pages can provide potential clients with the best information about each practice. These key pages can help your individual practice shine, highlighting all of the ways you make your specialties your own.

Let’s talk about six key web pages that any successful therapy website must have and how you can optimize those pages. Whether you’re just starting out with ?building your first therapy website or embarking on a redesign project, doing these pages well can help potential clients feel confident in contacting you for that first visit.

1. Homepage: Quickly Tell Them What Your Therapy Practice Is About

First things first: your therapy website needs a homepage.

This is the first and often-greatest impression a potential client will receive of you, your practice and whether or not you have the answer to the problem they’re facing.

Recent studies have shown that the human attention span clocks in at about 8 seconds. Which, as it happens, is less than a goldfish’s. Go humans!

And guess what? In the year 2000, we showed an attention span of 12 seconds. This means our attention spans are growing even shorter.

So when it comes to your homepage, you have only a few precious seconds to capture the attention of your visitors and convince them that you offer something they need. Use those seconds to get right to the point and tell them exactly what you do and how you can help them.

One mistake I see many therapists make on their homepages is giving the reader too many options and presenting them with too much information. When presented with too many choices, many folks will choose none and just leave.

Think of one thing you want a potential to client to know – even if they don’t click on any other page on your website – and stick to that theme.

Then, give them one action to do. Do you want them to sign up for your newsletter? Or do you offer a free phone consultation? Pick one and go with it. This makes potential clients more likely to complete the action that can bring you into contact.

2. About Page: Focus on Your Ideal Clients

Here’s one thing that I’ve learned that may blow your mind: your “about” page is not about you.

At least it’s not entirely about you. Let me explain.

When I first began seriously blogging, all the big shots kept talking about how important the about page is. People said it had it had to be amazing and even tossed around words like “epic” and “killer.” Those are words I never heard to describe any other page on a website.

Now, I never paid much attention to my own about page in the past, but it seemed everyone was saying this. So I checked my Google Analytics and sure enough, at the time, the about page was the second most visited page on my website, after the homepage.

That meant that people coming to my homepage for the first time wanted to know about me before they did anything with me.

They wanted to know if I had answers to their questions and if I could help them solve their problems. So I would be doing my audience and the people I want to help a disservice by not making it abundantly clear what it is I do and how I can help them.

I’m a designer, not a copy writer, so I rely heavily on researching other successful online marketers, bloggers and therapists to see what’s working on their about pages. I’ve noticed a pattern that you can use to outline the about page on your own therapy website:
  • Offer a unique selling proposition that explains who you work with and the desired outcome your counseling services will bring.
  • State the problem or problems your ideal client or clients may be facing that would cause them to seek therapy.
  • Give them the answer to their problem: you! Introduce yourself, your counseling services and what therapy with you would generally be like.
  • Last, share a more formal biography. Talk about your education, certifications and journey as a therapist.
As you build the about page on your therapy website, picture your ideal client and talk directly to them, sprinkling your personality throughout the page. It’s great to add a few details about your life outside of the therapy office as well. Doing so just may make your about page “epic.”

3. Your Counseling Services: An Overview of Who You Serve

Dedicate a page on your therapy website to introducing the people you serve and the topics you can help your clients with.

Typically titled “Services,” “Therapy Services” or “How I Can Help,” this page will give a potential client a snapshot of all that you do, assuring them that you can help with the issue that has lead them to your website in the first place.

When I build a services page, I typically break it into two sections: topics the therapist specializes in and the populations they serve. Do you help your clients deal with depression, a rough divorce or trauma from their past? List these things out on your services page. Do you practice individual adult counseling, just marriage and family counseling or both? Make it clear on your services page.

Your services page should also lead your potential client deeper into those services, should they want to learn more.

Which leads us to the next set of pages that your therapy website needs.

4. A Page for Each Service in Your Practice

There are two very important reasons why I recommend your therapy website have individual pages devoted to each of your specialties or services.

The first is to provide information to potential clients and showcase your own expertise and approach to the services you provide. If your services page were a Polaroid snapshot of all you do, then these pages would be detailed paintings.

Think about the type of client you want to serve and their specific needs. Try to give them the most accurate picture of what therapy with you will be like. Reaching out for therapy can often be difficult and filled with many unknowns. You want to put your client’s mind at ease by eliminating as many of those unknowns as you can.

The other reason I recommend a page for each of your counseling services is for the SEO benefit.

Google is getting smarter and smarter these days, and they want to provide users with the most accurate and relevant information.

So, having a full page devoted to, let’s say, couples counseling, gives you the space to provide that detailed information needed to help search engines find you and direct potential clients to your site.

Use on-page SEO best practices to optimize this page, such as:
  • Placing the focus keyword (i.e. Couples Counseling) in your page title.
  • Making sure the keyword appears toward the front of the page title.
  • Making sure the header of your page is in an h1 tag and includes your keyword.
  • Making sure the focus keyword appears a few times throughout the page with one instance being within the first or second paragraph.
  • Making sure the content is 800 – 1500 words in length.
  • Use the keyword in the page’s URL.
  • Including images.
These pages are truly the meat of what you do as a therapist, so take your time to offer useful information to your potential clients and assure them your therapy services can provide the change they’re seeking.

6. Contact Page: A Simple Way for Potential Clients to Get in Touch

The final must-have page for any therapy website is your contact page. You need a simple, straightforward way for potential clients to contact you.

All the other pages of your website are devoted to why your ideal client should contact you. This page is the how.

When designing therapy websites, I try to make this page as simple as possible. I like to eliminate anything that would distract the user from the task at hand: calling or emailing to set up that first visit.

So, if you’re using WordPress, that means leaving off the sidebar to make a clean, full-width page that includes your phone number, email address and location of your private practice.

It’s also a great idea to include a contact form directly on this page. I’m all about making this easy on the user, so if they’d rather just fill out the form in front of them than call or email, I want to make sure I give them that option. Many premium WordPress themes come with form builders already installed or you could use a plugin like Contact Form 7.

Conclusion: Onward to a Great Website!

Whether you’re just getting started building your first private practice website or you’re ready to tackle a redesign of your current site, these six types of pages can be the foundation of any therapy website. Taking the time to focus on the content and structure of these pages will make that foundation solid and help your potential clients better understand who you are, what you do and – most importantly – how you can help them.
About the Author:
Daniel Fava is the founder of CreateMyTherapistWebsite.com, where he teaches therapists how to create their own kick-butt websites and market them online. Check out his free ebook, 31 Days To A More Successful Private Practice Website for tips that can help you improve your website, get more traffic and gain more clients.

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Keywords For Therapy Websites – Get on Page 1 of Google

Keywords For Therapy Websites – Get on Page 1 of Google

Have you ever wondered how to do keyword research for therapist websites? Which terms you should try to be ranking for?

Choosing the Best Keywords for Your Therapy Website

Find terms that are relevant to people that are seeking help – not too broad, not too narrow, and the same words people in your area are using to search online.

To do this, we’ll be using the Google Ads Keyword Planner. Login to your Google account to access the tool. Click on the “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category” option.

From here, we’ll set the location to your city. Under “Targeting”, it will probably say “United States”, which is way too broad. Click on the pencil next to “United States”. In here, we can remove the US option, and choose our specific city, for example Boulder, Colorado.

Once you have your city selected, hit save. Next, we need to enter keywords for the tool to use as a starting point for our search. You may enter “anxiety treatment”, or “depression treatment”, or “anxiety therapy” – any key things that your website talks about or services you offer – and click the “Get ideas” button.

One thing that we’ve noticed is some big differences between different parts of the country. For instance, in the US coastal areas, we’re seeing “couples therapy” as the term that people often use. By comparison, in the Midwest and in the South, people are more likely to type in “marriage counseling.”

This is why it’s so important that you go to the keyword planner and you put in your area first for the location, right down to your specific your city, and then see what the most popular terms are in your area.

If you want to learn more about improving the ranking of your website, be sure to check out our free report: 6 Secrets to Ranking Therapists on Page 1 of Google (& 5 Mistakes to Avoid).

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