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Are you looking for new ways to attract clients? How can you easily increase the flow of clients to your practice via your website? Where are the best places to start when you begin to revamp your website?
In this podcast episode, Whitney Owens speaks with Daniel Fava about 5 ways to simplify your website to increase conversion.
Meet Daniel Fava
Daniel Fava is a father, husband, podcaster, website consultant, and founder of Create My Therapist Website and Private Practice Elevation. He helps therapists create websites and attract more clients online. After building a website for his wife’s private practice and seeing the impact it had on her business, he became passionate about helping others achieve the same.
Daniel offers web design services, SEO services, consultations, and online training to help therapists grow their business through online marketing. Daniel lives in Atlanta with his wife Liz, son Samuel and a rabbit named Bunzai.
Visit Daniel’s websites Create My Therapist Website and Private Practice Elevation.
In This Podcast
- “Wrangle” your website navigation menu
- Focus on one clear call-to-action
- Remove unnecessary clutter
- Clarify your message
- Use a color palette and limit your color usage
1. “Wrangle” your website navigation menu
You want to get them to the information they’re looking for, but you want them to think as little as possible to get there. You wanna guide them a little bit, but you don’t wanna give them too many options
Even though you may want to your show website viewers all the options and information you have, having too many tabs or drop-down bars can overwhelm a viewer from the very point they land on your page. Having too much choice, although one may like having lots of options, is often counter-productive.
The goal is to organize content into relevant, related contents so that you’re not overwhelming the user with all the choices on the menu.
Focus on the services that you are offering so that the website viewer can understand exactly what the services are that you provide. Try to limit your menu tab to only 5 to 7 options at the maximum that hold all the essential information. If you have multiple extra services that you offer, place them together under a specialist tab.
2. Focus on one clear call-to-action
It’s very important to give these clear directions to users, like ‘click here’. We live in a very distracted world, everyone is easily distracted and you never know what someone is doing or trying to do while looking at your website … you wanna get them to that contact page or whatever that one thing is that’s the main next step that the user is gonna take to become your client.
In this case, a call-to-action is not a link to try – it is a specific action that you want your viewer to perform, that is a goal. For example, it could be: ‘contact me for a free consultation’ as this is a direct action that the website viewer can take to get into contact with you and start the process of becoming your client.
Making a clear call-to-action with clear directions to help people navigate your website is not only helpful to people who are working in busy, distracting environments but it will also help people that may have trouble navigating websites in general.
Practice thinking about what a potential client would be going through when looking for answers or ways to connect with you on your website – they may be dealing with anxiety and, seeking help for it, so they may be more overwhelmed by a busy website. Making things simple and easy to follow will make for a more peaceful user experience and will encourage them to return to you.
3. Remove unnecessary clutter
It may happen over time that as your practice grows and you have more services to offer that you keep adding them to the website, and before you know it, it has become cluttered and filled with information that may not be vital for the client to know at first contact with your website.
Remind yourself; what is the most important thing people need to know? What are the most important things people need to understand, or read about when coming to you? Once you have these clear objectives, you can remove the rest as it may be unnecessary.
4. Clarify your message
Be clear on who your website is for, and what services you offer. Focus on what exactly it is that you want to do and who you are wanting to help – what do you help people do? Put this exact information on the website. Sometimes you might want to make it creative, but try sticking to clear headings that give the above information. In the subtitles, you can try a little more creative writing, but the focus is the keep the pathways clear for your website viewers to follow.
5. Use a color palette and limit your color usage
Color combinations that may look fantastic to you might be confusing to viewers. Pick 2 or 3 colors as your main ones and have some background colors if necessary. Try not to use too many bright colors for different items as that can confuse viewers.
If you do not fully understand how colors can be maximized for marketing purposes, spend some time researching color and design. Take a moment to scroll through Pinterest and look at color palettes that inspire you. Websites like Canva and Design-Seeds are great resources to spend time on, exploring to gather fresh ideas.
Click here to get a free copy of 5 things that every private practice owner can fix on their website in the next week to increase clients!
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Meet Whitney Owens
Whitney is a licensed professional counselor and owns a growing group practice in Savannah, Georgia. Along with a wealth of experience managing a practice, she also has an extensive history working in a variety of clinical and religious settings, allowing her to specialize in consulting for faith-based practices and those wanting to connect with religious organizations.
Knowing the pains and difficulties surrounding building a private practice, she started this podcast to help clinicians start, grow, and scale a faith-based practice. She has learned how to start and grow a successful practice that adheres to her own faith and values. And as a private practice consultant, she has helped many clinicians do the same.
Thanks For Listening!
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If you haven’t already, check out the Imperfect Thriving podcast. Kathryn helps women in midlife become more aware of their limiting self-beliefs, discover what they really want the next part of their lives to be about, and how to take the actions to get there. To learn more, check it out on any podcast player or go on over to practiceofthepractice.com/network.
Welcome to the Faith in Practice podcast. I’m your host, Whitney Owens, recording live from Savannah, Georgia. I’m a licensed professional counselor, group practice owner, and private practice consultant. Each week, through personal story or amazing interviews, I will help you learn how to start, grow, and scale your private practice from a faith-based perspective. I will show you how to have an awesome, faith-based practice without being cheesy or fake, and you, too, can have a successful practice, make lots of money, and be true to yourself.
Over the next few weeks here on the podcast, I’m gonna be talking about a product or a service that we’re going to be launching, and the reason I’m talking about it is because I think it’s spectacular and that you’re really going to benefit from it if you are a group practice owner. So, Alison Pidgeon and I are going to be launching a Facebook membership community called Group Practice Boss, and the whole purpose of it is to teach group practice owners how to be the boss of their practice, but sorta how to be the boss of your own life. A lot of times our practice becomes our lives and that is the exact opposite of what we came into this to do. So, Alison and I help you figure out how to design a lifestyle and how to manage a practice that runs smoothly, so that you can live the life you want, and we’re going to do that through this membership community.
We have had Next Level Practice within Practice of the Practice for a few years now, and Next Level Practice, if you aren’t a part of it or haven’t checked it out, it is a Facebook membership community, for those that are starting and launching their practice and learning how to do that most successfully from a solo perspective and kind of going into the group idea. But there really isn’t a community for group practice owners within Practice of the Practice at this point, so that’s why we’re launching this Facebook membership community. So some things that are involved in the membership community – not only is it going to be a Facebook community of conversation and then Alison and I as consultants are going to be directly speaking to your topics that you bring to the table, answering your questions within the group, we’re going to do tons of live events, at least every week you’ll have at least one, if not multiple, live events, webinars where Alison and I will be leading those. We’ll do ‘Ask the Experts’ when we’ll bring an expert of a certain area in to lead that discussion. We’ll also have open office hours for just random questions that you might have about your practice. Now, what’s going to make this really, really cool is, we’re going to do deep dives into topics each month. I think a lot of times, or at least I felt this way as a practice owner growing my business, that I’d attend a webinar and it would be great, but there was just so much information and I wouldn’t know how to necessarily implement it, or I didn’t have the time to implement it, or it was moving on from one topic to another topic… really hard to get things done.
So, we are going to make every month revolve around a certain topic. So, like, our first topic for the month of October is going to be all about how to design a business around your lifestyle. And Joe, actually, Joe Sanok, is going to be our expert coming in to talk about how to do that, because he has figured that out. He’s actually going to be traveling this year in an RV and that’s because he’s created a business that revolves around his lifestyle. So, he’s going to be our expert in the month of October. But so, that’s what we’re diving into the month of October. We have other great topics such as hiring, or how to track numbers in your practice, how to delegate out responsibilities. So, every month we’re going to hit topics that we know that group practice owners need to hear about. So, if you want to know more about this community, I would love for you to go on over to practiceofthepractice.com/grouppracticeboss and join our email list so, that way, when we launch this, you will be the first to know. The first two days, we are going to offer a discounted rate of $129 for you to join this, and that’ll be October 6th and 7th – it’s actually going to be at the same time as Killin’It Camp – and once you lock into that price you’re in for life. After that, the price will be $149. We’re only opening the doors for this membership community for two weeks, starting on October 6th, and then we’ll figure out after that when we’ll open them again, but it is for a limited time, so I want to encourage you to please go over to practiceofthepractice.com/grouppracticeboss, get on our list, and we’d love to have you be a part of the community. If you have any other questions about that, feel free to please reach out to me and I’d love to talk to you further about that.
So, for the podcast episode today, I interview Daniel Fava. I really enjoyed interviewing him. We know each other from years ago, when I actually had reached out to him to learn more about designing a website, and his practice has grown so much since then. He also is faith-based, which I love having him bring that perspective in designing websites, and I think that’s really helpful for you guys, as you’re figuring out your copyright on your faith-based site, that he’s someone that will understand that and be able to bring that to the table. He gives some really great tips. In fact, I walked away writing all these tips down and I’ve been reusing them as I talk to the consulting clients, but also on my own website. So, you’re going to get lots of good information today. So, let’s go ahead and jump into the episode with Daniel Fava.[WHITNEY]:
Today on the Faith in Practice podcast, I have Daniel Fava. He’s a father, husband, podcaster, website consultant, and the founder of Create My Therapist Website and Private Practice Elevation. He helps therapists create websites that attract more clients online. After building a website for his wife’s private practice and seeing the impact it had on her business, he became passionate about helping others achieve the same. Daniel offers web design services, SEO services, consultations, and online training to help therapists grow their business through online marketing. He lives in Atlanta with his wife, Liz, son, Samuel, and Rabbit, Bunzai. Hey, how you doing today? [DANIEL]:
Hi, Whitney, how are you? I’m doing great. [WHITNEY]:
Good. Good. Well, thanks for coming on the show today. You know, it’s always nice to talk to people who are in Georgia and I feel like you’re close to me, even though we’re podcasting. [DANIEL]:
Yeah, so why don’t you share a little bit… I love your backstory of kind of how you got into creating websites for therapists and so, can you share that with everybody? [DANIEL]:
Yeah, absolutely. And I do want to preface that I am getting over some, I don’t know, laryngitis or something, so my voice might crack like a 13-year-old boy, but we’re just going to work through all that. So, yeah. My name’s Daniel, and I have been creating websites, really, since college. When I went to school… I love design, I knew I wanted to do graphic design, but I didn’t know what type of graphic design, and I really fell in love with creating websites when I was, of all things, I was in a punk rock band and we needed a website to get the word out, share our music. So, I really fell in love with website design then, so that became my field, you know, after college and worked for some marketing agencies, that sort of thing. And then I worked for five years for a nonprofit called Care, here in Atlanta, as a web designer, and then became a manager of their fundraising efforts, as it pertained to the website fundraising stuff.
And then, yeah, my wife has been a therapist since she went to school, and when she started her practice in about 2010, we had just gotten married and she was getting her licensure and getting settled in Atlanta and, you know, once she really got her license and she found a great place – she started working for group practice – you know, she really had to get her name out there. And so, I got super excited about that, obviously, because I just geek out on this stuff, and so, I went and made her a website. And at the time, especially back then, you know, Squarespace – I don’t even know if Squarespace was around – there wasn’t a lot of great resources for therapists to create their own websites. So, there was a lot of really bad therapists’ websites out there. So, it just became this really sense of pride and urgency for me to create a great-looking, cool website that really reflected my wife’s character and aesthetic tastes and all that sort of thing. So, we built a website for her on WordPress, and that really helped her secure those first clients that came to her, and just so many people just kept saying, like, “I chose you because I really loved your website, it really spoke to me, it really stood out to me” and she would hear that over and over for the first couple years of her practice. So, she’s like, “Okay, wow, that really worked”.
And fast forward to about 2016, I really got the bug to start my own business and was just feeling like I wanted to be closer to home, I wanted to have more flexibility, and just did some soul-searching and some prayer and really landed on, I just love creating websites, and so many of my wife’s colleagues were asking me to help them with their websites, and I just kept saying, “No, I don’t have the time, I’m not really looking to do a side thing”, you know, that sort of thing, but then that kind of really clicked for me. So, in 2016, I started creatingmytherapistwebsite.com. It really started as a blog, just to share things that we had learned with my wife’s practice and online marketing, and I’m a big WordPress geek so I shared a lot about WordPress and how to use WordPress, you know, all for therapists. From there, it’s really grown and, just recently, we launched Private Practice Elevation, which is more of the ‘done for you’ side of our business, whereas Create My Therapist Website is really more of the DIY, for the DIY therapist who just needs some more information to do some of this stuff themselves. So, that’s where we’ve ended up, and we’ve got a podcast now, and yeah, it’s been going great, just having a lot of fun, just helping this wonderful community.[WHITNEY]:
That’s great. You’re making me, like, remember what it was like when I started. And I started out in Colorado, actually, with the practice. We kind of did like a collective where were individual therapists, and then we came together and referred within, but I created the website. And it was grueling, like, because I am not one to do website design stuff. And then people would be like, “Oh, I like your website” and I’m like, “Really? It stinks”. And then I got to Savannah and I did it again, because I didn’t know anybody and didn’t have any money, really, you know, I think had like $1,000 going in, so I was like, “This is all I’ve got, so I’m gonna create my own website”. Anyway, and then I found somebody to finally do one for me, and it made the world of difference compared to what I was doing. [DANIEL]:
Right, yeah. A lot of the times, you don’t know what you don’t know. So, I always encourage people, if you can invest, you know, even if you got to push yourself a little bit, invest with somebody who knows what they’re doing. It’s just going to save you so much time and so many headaches. [WHITNEY]:
Yes, I say the same thing, when people are coming to me at the very beginning of practice, “Hey, I have this much money. Where do I put it?” and I’m like, “A website. A website.” [DANIEL]:
Definitely. Yeah. All right, so you have got five ways to simplify your website to increase conversion, which is what we all want. So, let’s go through these, right here. Go ahead, and you can just hit number one. [DANIEL]:
All right, yeah, let’s do it. Okay, so number one I have here is, to wrangle your website navigation menu. And I call it ‘wrangle’ because, you know, it’s really comes out of just experience of looking at so many private practice websites and when people come to me. A lot of people come to us for redesign projects, you know, where they’ve had a website for many years, and they’re like, “It’s not getting me any clients. It’s not doing anything” and, you know, a lot of the times, the first thing that really strikes me, when I’m reviewing it, is that they’ve got these huge menus, these huge navigation menus across the top that’s maybe, like, 10 or 12 options for somebody to choose from, or then, within those options, there’s dropdowns, and there’s just there’s just so much to choose. And, you know, really, and what you’ll kind of hear throughout this whole conversation today, is really that simplification really helps a website user not have to think too much, and that’s really the goal. You don’t want them to think too much. You want to get them to the information they’re looking for, but you want them to think as little as possible to get them.
So, you want to guide them a little bit, but you don’t want to give them too many options, and you kind of educate them along the way, obviously, you know, because they’re coming to you, looking to solve a problem, but really, in the end, you want to convert them. So, really focus on what’s the most important information to achieve that goal, and a lot of times, what we do is we’ll focus on services that the client offers, just so, you know, the user of your website really can understand what you’re offering and that you’re the person that can help them alleviate or minimize that pain that they’re seeing. And so, rule of thumb, you know, if you’re looking for like a quick takeaway is, try to limit it to 5 to 7 options in your navigation menu. And, you know, I know every practice is different, so that can certainly be a challenge.
It’s really fun. Like, we’re working on a project with a client of ours. In her private practice, all she does is anxiety and anger management. So, it’s very clear right off the bat that we’re gonna have, on an inner navigation, there’ll be an About page, there’s going to be Anxiety, there’s gonna be Anger Management, and then maybe there might be like an Info tab, sometimes we’ll do, like, an FAQ section, and then Blog, maybe, and Contact, you know, just really short, to the point, so nobody has to click through anything and they understand exactly what this therapist or private practice offers. And a lot of the times, somebody might have more specialties, and I know a lot of people listening probably do have many specialties, and if that’s the case, we’ll usually do, like, a Specialties tab with a dropdown where you can list them in there. But really, the goal is to organize content into relevant, related content, so that you’re not overwhelming the user with all the choices in the menu.[WHITNEY]:
Okay, this is great. So, when we’re talking about the menu, you’re talking about the very top part of the page, the very first thing somebody sees, right? For the five to seven items, correct? [DANIEL]:
Correct, yeah. You’ll usually have a logo, maybe that appears on the left or center, and then under that, it’s all your options of the different pages that a user can start to trickle down into. [WHITNEY]:
Okay. Now, with service pages, I always hear that you need to have a service page for everything you offer, and that it really improves your SEO. What do you think about therapists, especially group practices, I mean, having, you know, 10, 15 different service pages? [DANIEL]:
Yeah, that that is totally true. I definitely encourage people to have an individual page for each of their services. So, if you have, right now, on your website, you’ve just got one page that says Services and that lists them all in there, you know, basically what Google is doing is they’re looking through the content of that page, and it’s like listening to somebody who is just all over the map, because they’re talking about different topics. Each of those services is a different topic geared towards a different individual who is looking to solve that problem. So, if you don’t have those individual pages, Google just sees it as a little bit confusing, you know, it’s just a bunch of different topics. So, that is something that you can do right away, to improve your SEO, is to start breaking those pages out into individual services, or sometimes we call them Specialties. Because sometimes people will focus on Couples Therapy as a service but, you know, maybe a specialty might be Divorce, Mediation, stuff like that. [WHITNEY]:
Yeah, that’s great. I know, you know, obviously, this is a faith-based podcast and so I get a lot of questions about copywriting, and ‘How do you talk about Christian Counseling but I want to be faith-based but don’t want to be overtly faith-based?’, and I can say, like, even my practice, that’s how I am, too, I don’t want to push away people who are not faith-based. So, I was really nervous about adding a Christian Counseling page, but it’s among many service pages, but it was amazing how much traction that brought for people that just Googled Christian Counseling, even though I had it in different parts, but once I did the actual service page, it made a huge difference. [DANIEL]:
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. So, my wife’s business partner at her practice – they share a space together – and we worked on her website, and she did the same exact thing, where she had so many services, but then she added that Christian Counseling page, and I think that – I haven’t checked in a while – she was ranking like 7th or 8th for Christian Counseling in Atlanta. It certainly helps. [WHITNEY]:
Oh, that’s really good for Atlanta. There’re so many Christian counselors in Atlanta. [DANIEL]:
Yeah. All right. [WHITNEY]:
Number two is, focus on one clear call to action. [DANIEL]:
Yeah. So, a call to action. When I say a ‘call to action’, that is, like, the main focus, the main action that you want somebody to take on a page. So, I’m not talking about, like, a link on a page that maybe leads to more information, or it’s just connected to, you know, you mentioned the word ‘anxiety’ so you might link that over to your anxiety page, stuff like that. A call to action is something like, ‘Contact me for a free consultation’, and then a nice big button that says, ‘Click here’. And it’s really important to give these clear directions to users because we live in a very distracted world. Everyone’s easily distracted. You never know what somebody’s doing or what else they’re trying to do while they’re looking at your website, you know, it might be on the phone, the kids might be running around. So, you want to get them to that Contact page, you know, or to whatever that one thing is, that’s the main next step that a user is going to take to become your client. You want it to be as easy as possible for them to take that step. So, make it very clear.
Another reason why you want to give clear directions is that some people, they just don’t know what to do, you know. In a similar vein, here, making it clear… they might have a little trouble finding that contact page or know exactly, “Okay, this person sounds like they can help me. So, what’s the what’s the next step? I’m not totally sure”, you know, so you want to have that clear call to action there. And – excuse me – and it’s one of those things, if you don’t ask, you’re not going to receive. So, if you don’t put that call to action on there, you could hurt your conversion. So, just giving people the opportunity is one way to boost conversions.[WHITNEY]:
I’m loving that you’re saying that, except for, like, therapists often feel uncomfortable asking or being directive, almost like they’re like, “I’m here for the client” but, you know what? It’s like, if you don’t tell the client what to do, even when they come in for counseling, they’re not going to get much better, like that’s why they’re coming. So, when we’re thinking about someone who’s depressed, who’s looking at your website thinking, “I just want help”, you need to make it so clear; “All you have to do is call this number”. Because they’re already so overwhelmed with life. [DANIEL]:
We have to think about the, like, mental health needs that are coming in when they’re looking at your website, also, because you’re trying to speak to them and trying to make life easier for them. [DANIEL]:
Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s just such a good practice just to sit down and even, almost just dream about, like, what is, you know, let’s say you’ve got a page – I always mention anxiety as an example, just because so many people are working with that – so, you sit down and you think about a client who’s coming to you with a lot of anxiety, just kind of picture what might they be going through when they stumble upon your website? And what can you do to just take away all of that, not take away all the anxiety, but you know what I mean, just make it really easy, an easy process, let them know what to expect through the whole process, so you just have those clear steps to walk them through it. And that will certainly help you with your conversions. [WHITNEY]:
Great, great. Now, number three is, remove unnecessary clutter. [DANIEL]:
Yeah, and this is a little bit similar to the previous point, in that we’re talking about simplifying things, and I will mention, too, like, with the calls to action, you want to make sure you got one per page, you know, just one clear step that someone can take that stands out from the rest. And so, it’s all about just keeping things simple and not confusing the user. So, unnecessary clutter is just kind of, this is really my overarching philosophy when it comes to design. I am what’s considered a highly sensitive person, I know some of your listeners maybe work with clients who are highly sensitive people, and what that means is kind of, I’m actually learning through this right now, I’m learning that it’s kind of a superpower for me as a website designer and developer, because I can take a look at something and realize, just looking at it is overwhelming and I don’t know what to do. Like, you know, somebody comes to me like, “I need a redesign. What would you do on this page?” and I’m looking at the information that’s just like, woah, there’s just so much going on here. And at first, there’s this overwhelming feeling that happens in my brain, but then I can start to pick through it and understand, “Okay, this is not necessary, this is not important, this is not helping the user get to the next step”. And, you know, a lot of the times, it happens over time, especially if you’ve got a website for a while, you start adding, you know, you’ve got a new group that you’re launching, so let’s put that on the homepage, or you’ve got this PDF download, so let’s put that on the homepage. And it happens, sort of out of that holistic context of what you’re looking to get the user to do, which is convert, and it can often just lead to a lot of confusion, and when you’re faced with too many choices, the user will sometimes mostly get overwhelmed and kind of travel away, bounce off the website. So, you really want to just spend some time looking through your website and understanding what’s the most important things that people could click on? What’s the most important things that people need to understand or read about when they’re coming to you looking for help? And try to remove that unnecessary clutter. [WHITNEY]:
Yes, I know that when I am looking at, you know, vacations – which I wish I went on more, even with everything going on – like I might be dreaming about a vacation or other services that I might need in my area, if I go to a website and I have more than, like, two pop-ups, I’m like, “Forget it”, and I definitely go off. [DANIEL]:
Yeah, just think about the way that we experience websites as well, you know? [DANIEL]:
The fourth one here is, clarify your message and focus above the fold. [DANIEL]:
Yeah, and so, this really gets into more of the copywriting, and even some of, like, the SEO keywords. Another thing that I see a lot is that it’s not very clear, when I land on these websites for private practices, it’s not very clear what they offer, it’s not very clear who the website or services are for. A lot of the times, people want to be a little bit, you know, pithy or just clever with their page titles. You land on a page, you know, maybe it’s Couples Therapy, and it’s just like, you know, ‘Reignite the spark’, or something like that, and that’s the biggest thing that you see on the page. And maybe that sounds, you know, cool and everything, but it’s not very clear what the service is. And so, for people who are reading that, and also for Google, you want to be really clear about what it is.
So, I would say, focus more on what it is exactly that you do, and who do you help? What do you help people do? And so, that could be ‘Relationship and Couples Counseling in Atlanta, Georgia’, you know. It sounds a little dry, and I understand that but, at the top of the page – that’s that ‘above the fold’ is really, when the page loads, it’s the first thing that you see at the top of the page – you want to be as clear as possible, what the service is, who you help, and then, below that, you know, maybe you have a subtitle, and that’s where you can kind of get into more of the creative writing aspect of it, but you really want to be very clear because, you know, as we said, people are distracted and you’ve only got a few seconds to really capture your users and help them understand what the website is about. And again, you don’t want them to think, you want them to land on that page. If they’re looking for couples counseling, they land on that page, they know they’re in the right place, there’s sort of a subconscious, “Okay, I’m in the right place. Let me scroll down and learn a little bit more about how this person can help me with couples counseling”.[WHITNEY]:
This is such a good point, and I specifically see this with a lot of Christian counselors. They’ll come up with really catchy titles, and it’s, like, Christian lingo, kinda, and it doesn’t say anything about therapy or counseling, and so you go the website and you’re like, “Is this a ministry? Is this therapy? What kind of therapy is it?” I really suggest people put ‘therapy’, ‘counseling’, something like that, even in your name of your practice, because it can be very confusing for people. [DANIEL]:
Yeah, yeah. And sometimes if you do have that in the name, you know, and in the logo or the domain, like, all of that does help to work together with the rest of the copy on the website for people to, you know, understand what the service is. But yeah, it’s always better just to be super clear. And I’m a huge story brand fan, Donald Miller, and so, that’s a really great book, and that’s kind of where this point comes from. And so, I just encourage anyone to read that. It’s a short read, and it really helps you get into the mind of your users and your ideal clients that you’re trying to reach. [WHITNEY]:
Yes, I agree with that. I read it, I don’t know, about six months ago and it was really wonderful. Yeah. [DANIEL]:
All right. Number five is, use a color palette and limit your colors. [DANIEL]:
Yeah, and so this is another thing that happens, again, where someone has a website for a while and they start adding new stuff, and they want to call more attention to these words over here and this new group they’re launching, stuff like that… And so, it can be really easy to get off of any kind of color palette that you might have or that you have started with, especially if you don’t understand how colors work together, and what could look great to you might be confusing to others, and that’s another thing. You know, where I land on a page and I’m like, “Oh, wow, like, there’s just so many colors going on. There’s too much colored text over here. This doesn’t match over there…” So, this is really kind of an education thing. It could be one of those things that some people just have, like, I just know these colors go together. Others don’t, like myself, I’m a designer and I have a good sense of color, but when it comes to picking out, like, paint colors and stuff for the house, like, that’s totally my wife, like, she could totally decorate a room and I’m, like, totally lost there, so there needs to be some education on my part, I lean towards her for that.
If you don’t fully understand how colors work in design, just spend some time Googling about color and design. Also, looking on Pinterest for color palettes can be really good for inspiration. A great resource that I use a lot when I’m working with my clients to get them to a good starting point for their website project is Canva. If you go to canva.com/colors, they’ve got some great resources there that will teach you about color, but they’ve also got some tools. There’s one where you can upload a photo, if you’ve got a photo and you’re, you know, you’ve really latched on to this photo, like, “I want to use this as my homepage photo right at the top”, you can drop that photo in there and it’ll pull out the key colors in that photo and you can create a color palette from there. design-seeds.com is another one that we use a lot with our clients, where you can browse color palettes that all work together. So, really, find something that’s got that feeling that you want to have, that you want your users and your potential clients to have when looking at your website.[WHITNEY]:
Those are really cool resources. I definitely want to, like, upload a photo now and see what happens. [DANIEL]:
It’s kind of fun to just play with them, like, “I really like this photo. Let me just put upload this here and see what colors it pulls out”. [WHITNEY]:
Yeah, I was talking with a friend, this was probably a few years ago, and she was simplifying her house and we were talking about mental health and depression, anxiety and stuff, and we found this article about, when a room has too many items in it, it actually increases someone’s depression and anxiety. [DANIEL]:
So, houses that are cluttered actually create mental health problems. And so, simplifying, actually, you know, improves your mental health. And so, as you’re kind of sharing this, I’m thinking your website’s kind of like your house for your practice, you know, so you want to simplify that because you already have people who are anxious and depressed coming to your website. [DANIEL]:
Yeah, absolutely. And really, a lot of times, we have maybe two to three different colors, and then we’ll use some, like, light grays or some backgrounds, just something that’s not too overwhelming. You just don’t want to have too many colors because it can certainly overwhelm the users. [WHITNEY]:
Yeah, so all these tips, obviously, will be in the show notes and then Daniel’s website, privatepracticeelevation.com/fivethings, you can get the five things, these five things that you need to do to change your website. So, I want to ask you another question, because I hear this from people who kind of started out with a really simple website, they did a lot of work on their SEO, and now they maybe have a group or it’s expanding and they want to have somebody redo their website. [DANIEL]:
But they’re very worried about losing all their SEO work that they’ve done. And so, what can you kind of say to that? [DANIEL]:
Yeah, that’s a big question. That’s actually something that we’ve been doing a lot lately. I’ve had a number of group practices come to us and do, you know, exactly that. Really, the key is making sure that you work with somebody who understands that migration and that transition, and the biggest thing is to make sure that the structure of your website stays relatively the same, because Google sees that you’ve got links out there for certain pages and certain content, and so that might be ranking pretty well. And so, if you’re going to then change that URL, Google’s gonna be like, “Hey, where’d that page go?”
So – excuse me – if the content changes somewhat, that’s okay and, you know, honestly, we can’t guarantee that there won’t be a dip in some of the rankings, but if content is going to change a lot and you do need to change that link for whatever, you know, organization reasons, you got to use something that’s called a 301 Redirect, and that’s getting a little bit geeky, but what that is, that just makes sure that if somebody lands at that old link, that traffic gets forwarded to the new place where that content now lives. And so, once you do that, Google will still see that old link, and their crawlers, their robots are still going to find that content. So, a lot of the times, we just make sure that we’re using the same URLs for those pages and just try to keep the structure, you know, pretty similar.
We’re actually working on a really large practice in Long Island, and they’ve done a great job with their SEO, because they’ve got, I think it’s, like, 90 pages on their website and they’re all informational pages, you know, so it’s like, Social Anxiety, Specific Phobias, like, they’ve just covered everything, so they’re ranking really well. But they also, you know, to that point about the menu, they had a million items in the menu, the dropdowns were huge, so we’ve really simplified it a lot. But those URLs are not going to change, we’re just going to get people to that information in a different way.[WHITNEY]:
Yeah, well, that’s great. I think that’s something people think about a lot because, as you grow, you start having more money and you want to invest more and so, we’re always kind of updating things, especially group practice owners. [DANIEL]:
Yeah, yeah. [WHITNEY]:
Cuz you keep adding people and you need to change things. [DANIEL]:
Yeah, absolutely. [WHITNEY]:
So, Daniel, if somebody’s listening today, and they’re thinking, “I want to get in touch with you about maybe looking at my website”, what’s the process of getting in touch with you? And then kind of the process of helping someone on their website, or even creating it from the beginning? [DANIEL]:
Yeah, if you go to privatepracticeelevation.com, you’ll see a button in the top right, that’s got our project application there and you can just fill out an application. We’re pretty selective, just because we’ve got limited resources, so we’re kind of selective on who we work with and, you know, over the years I’ve just kind of understood exactly who we help best, so we have an application process. So, we’ll take a look at the answers to the form that you filled out, and then after that, it’s really scheduling a time to chat, where we’ll dig into some of your goals for your business and just see how we can help you achieve those goals. And also, on the website, you’ll find our other services. There’s a Services dropdown, too, where we’ve got some services for SEO, and if your website is on WordPress, we also offer maintenance in WordPress content updates as a service as well. So, you’ll find all that stuff at privatepracticeelevation.com. [WHITNEY]:
Perfect. So, I’m going to ask you the question I ask everyone on the podcast; what do you believe every Christian counselor needs to know? [DANIEL]:
Yeah, one thing that that comes to mind for me – it maybe is more of a ‘What does a Christian entrepreneur need to know?’, that’s the first place my mind went – and that’s really understanding seasons, you know. For me and my business, and also my wife’s business too, my wife’s a therapist, and so, we kind of see the different seasons that her practice goes through. And some might be slower, some might be busier, you know, but throughout that whole ebb and flow, there’s that sort of trust that this is a season and God has us here for a reason and, it’s funny, a lot of the times when, you know, something’s going on in our lives, we’ll either have less clients show up, you know, it’s just like, we’re able to then focus our time and attention because that, you know, when you come through it, you’re like, “Okay, yeah, Lord really had me there first specific reason. I really need to focus on this, instead of being so full with clients that I wasn’t able to get to this other aspect of my life or my business”, you know, whatever it is. And so, especially in the slow times, it’s just that understanding that okay, this is this is gonna pass and, you know what, what else does God have for me right now that I need to focus on? And that’s just been super helpful for us as we go through those seasons, especially those slower months in our businesses. [WHITNEY]:
Yes, thanks for saying that. I’ve experienced the exact same thing, even when I was a solo practitioner, and now group practice or consulting, yeah, there are seasons that are busy and seasons that are slow, and I’m grateful for all of them. Because God has a plan with everything, yeah. [DANIEL]:
Yeah. Well, wonderful. Well, thanks for coming on the show today, and we’ll have all the information on the show notes for how people can get in touch with you. [DANIEL]:
Thanks so much, Whitney. [WHITNEY]:
Thank you for listening to the Faith in Practice podcast. If you love this podcast, please rate and review on iTunes or your favorite podcast player. If you liked this episode and want to know more, check out the Practice of the Practice website. Also, there, you can learn more about me, options for working together, such as individual and group consulting, or just shoot me an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Would love to hear from you.
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