Archive for Website Strategy
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.
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
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
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:
3. Your Counseling Services: An Overview of Who You Serve
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
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:
5. Blog: Showcase Your Expertise & Personality
And, just like your individual services pages, having a blog on your therapy website is one of the best things you can do to show Google that you have fresh information on specific topics.
So, if you’re currently in a groove of blogging consistently, great! You get a gold star! If not, it’s time to form a game plan and get consistent.
Now I’m preaching to myself here. Blogging does not come easily to me and takes a lot of discipline. So, I try to make it as straightforward as possible and give myself some grace.
Once a month, I spend just a few minutes putting blog post ideas into a spreadsheet. Then, when I sit down during my pre-scheduled blogging time (see… discipline, people!) I have a list of topics to choose from, and I can jump right in.
I’ve also learned that, for me, blogging comes in waves. Some months, I can write a few blogs; other months, I’m lucky to fit in just one post. But, I do my best to remain consistent and make sure I continue to put out content to serve my audience and help folks find me in Google.
Use your blog to (yet again) speak to those potential clients of yours. Give them a glimpse of your personality and expertise. You never fully know exactly who’s going to show up at your site, but you can do your best to make sure you have the type of content and answers they’re looking for, helping them feel comfortable and confident to contact you for their first session.
6. Contact Page: A Simple Way for Potential Clients to Get in Touch
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!
Choosing the Best Keywords for Your Therapy Website
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).