You’ve heard of therapist directories.
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.
Impress potential clients with an attractive therapist directory listing.
Your therapist website can increase its online visibility.
Help people seeking therapy discover 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
Creating a great therapist directory entry is time-consuming.
If you live in a city you may have trouble standing out on therapist directories.
Even when listed on multiple therapist directories visibility is not guaranteed.
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:
the number of people searching for a mental health counselor in your geographical area.
the total number of mental health professionals available in the community.
the quality of your profile on the therapist directory.
the quality of your website (many potential clients will visit your website after seeing your profile).
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…
Fit in the space allowed.
Offer a compelling introduction of yourself.
Deliver the message to potential clients that you understand them, they aren’t alone, and how you can help them.
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:
Identify the pain your clients are going through. Show them you understand what they are going through.
Make an effort to normalize their potential diagnosis. This helps the client see that they are not alone in their struggle and that counselling is an appropriate option.
Describe your approach. Note specific modalities you use, the way you work with clients, and any methods or techniques you have found to be particularly effective.
List three frequently asked questions (FAQ) that emerge from potential clients. This could be as simple as “Is therapy worth it?” to “I’ve already tried therapy and it didn’t help me. What makes your approach different?” or “Can I still do couples counseling if my partner won’t attend?”
Finally, end with a Call to Action (CTA). Invite people to visit your website or contact you by your preferred method.
Once you write your biography, take a few minutes to review your therapist directories listings and ask the following questions:
Is your photograph professional and friendly?
Do you give clients a reason to call you?
Do you communicate your services and approach clearly?
Did you review the directories do’s and don’ts?
Have you reviewed your listing for errors before submitting?
Do you offer a free consultation?
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.
The Psychology Today therapist directory is the largest of its kind online. Pros include fast set up, spectacular search engine optimization (SEO), and a free trial.
The Psychology Online listing is so large individual therapists can be overlooked in the swell of candidates.
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.
Cost: $199 or $299 annually, depending on membership level
A by-the-number directory that also offers content pages and e-commerce support. They guarantee that your listing will be viewed at least 365 times annually or the account will be kept active without charge until it reached 365 views.
Somewhat more expensive than alternative therapist directory listing sites.
This directory is distinct for its use of “tribes,” or separate directories geared towards a common problem, such as anxiety or depression. This won’t reduce competition, but it will help potential clients search for the right therapist, which can increase conversion rates.
According to our analysis, TherapyTribe has had inconsistent growth over the last 12 months. While it still brings in quite a bit of traffic you’re listing may not receive as many views over a prolonged period as it would on another listing.
This is a relatively bare-bones directory with a few key features that include a mobile app, direct messages from client and other customizable features. Not to be confused with Find-A-Therapist.
Find A Therapist currently has the weakest SEO of the 8 directories we’ve listed here, meaning that your listing may not be as visible on the directory as it would be on another site.
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.