This is unit 3 of this marketing series and we’re going to be covering what you need to do to optimise your website.
Two Things People Look For On A Website
There’s a number of key things that you need to do on your website that work to help people move from know to like to trust. The very first thing is understanding that there’s only two things that people look for on a website.
People are so overwhelmed with the number of options that they have, so you want to simplify the process for them. These are the questions they ask:
- Am I in the right place?
- Can this person help me?
‘Is this the place I should be if I’m looking for a counselor/chiropractor/massage therapist. Specifically I’m looking for a counselor that can help me with my marriage or help me with my kids’. We don’t want to make it hard for people to understand that right away, we want people to know they’re in the right place, so if you’re a mental health therapist then you should:
- Have the words counseling therapists or family counseling on your page
- It should be in your URL if possible
- It should be in the name of your business (it should be clear, front and center without having to scroll anywhere)
- Have your specialty clearly articulated above the fold – this is so that you don’t have to scroll down
Think of your website as the hub of everything, because you want to send people back to it. If it’s a tweet, if it’s on social media in any form, you want to be sending people back to your website as well as referencing that website. If you’re ever on the radio, if you’re writing for the local paper, the more that you can see that as your hub online the better.
Mistakes Counsellors Make On Their Websites
There are a couple mistakes counselors make in their private practices:
- Putting social media in the header – when people are there they then click on the Twitter/Facebook or Instagram icon, next thing you know they’re looking at pictures from their friends vacation and they forgot completely about wanting to book with you. You want to eliminate that the header altogether.
- Huge resource list – they’ll link to national websites, suicide hotlines or all these different things that direct traffic away from their website. It’s important to provide some resources if someone’s dealing with a mental health emergency, but you want to view those links off your website almost like a hole in a bucket of water. It’s sending people away from the main thing and that’s scheduling with you.
- Huge book list – they list all these different books and similar to the other points, it drives people off your website. If you’re going to do that then at least have it be part of a blog post that spotlights your skill set and have it be connected to an Amazon Associates account so you can make money from that referral.
Blogging And Internal Linking
When you do more blogging and internal linking it helps you rank higher in Google. We know that the top one and two websites get over 80% of the click throughs and so we want to help you continue to rank.
- Link to your other blog posts that you’ve written
- Link to your homepage from the bio
- Use keywords as the anchor text
As an example: if you want to help people with anger management counseling, in your bio you’re not going to put the name of your practice as the link, instead you’ll put ‘anger management counseling’ then link back to your homepage. In this way the homepage can continue to rank high in Google for that search term, not the name of your practice.
Focus On The Pain And Outcome Of Your Client
If you help girls that are dealing with cutting, what is the outcome for their family? If someone is dealing with sleep, anxiety or marriage issues, what does that look like as a pain? How would your ideal client describe that? You will then want to know what that transition looks like through therapy.
Really understanding the pain, and the outcome will help you in making sure you articulate that all over the website, as this is really important to your marketing.
Make Scheduling Easy
When a client lands on your website make sure that scheduling is easy.
- Display your phone number at the top
- Have a ‘schedule now’ button sometimes
- Schedule through your electronic medical record right away
In general every extra step that you add for someone tends to cause a drop-off in follow through, so whenever possible you want to make it easy for people to pick up the phone, text you, call you, and schedule in any way possible. Of course the assumption is that it’s all HIPAA compliant and that you have a system that’s HIPAA compliant as well.
Scan your website:
- Two things people look for on a website
- Review headers to make sure you’re not drawing people away from the website
- Evaluate blogging and internal linking
- Look at the pain and the outcome that you’re articulating
- Assess the ease of scheduling
Joseph R. Sanok, MA, LLP, LPC, NCC
Joe Sanok is an ambitious results expert. He is a private practice business consultant and counselor that helps small businesses and counselors in private practice to increase revenue and have more fun! He helps owners with website design, vision, growth, and using their time to create income through being a private practice consultant. Joe was frustrated with his lack of business and marketing skills when he left graduate school. He loved helping people through counseling, but felt that often people couldn’t find him. Over the past few years he has grown his skills, income, and ability to lead others, while still maintaining an active private practice in Traverse City, MI.