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A guest post by Melody Wilding

You’ve created an awesome website for your private practice. You’ve identified who your ideal client is and refined your niche. You’re even blogging on a consistent basis!

 

A guest post by Melody Wilding You’ve created an awesome website for your private practice. You’ve identified who your ideal client is and refined your niche. You’re even blogging on a consistent basis! The only problem is, no one is reading your content or signing up to work with you because they don’t know your practice exists.

The only problem is, no one is reading your content or signing up to work with you because they don’t know your practice exists.

Creating a thriving therapy practice requires that people know about your business and trust you.

But how do you stand out in a crowded marketplace and attract more people to your website?

One of the most powerful ways to stand out, connect with potential clients, and create instant credibility is by leveraging the power of free publicity.

You might be stumped at how to go about getting a slew of shiny “As Seen On” logos on your website. Maybe you feel nervous at the thought of giving media interviews. It’s understandable, but if you can put your doubts aside for a second,

I’ll show you how to get free PR right now, whether you are a seasoned clinician or just starting out in private practice.

Why Psychotherapists Need Media Exposure

Your public profile and platform are keys to your success, regardless of what your business goals are. By getting featured in the media you:

Become easier to find online through Google.

Media exposure is one of the best ways to drive more traffic to your website. It also helps you rank higher on Google by boosting your SEO.

When large, reputable news sites link back to your therapy website, it makes it more likely you’ll show up high in Google search results.

Connect with ideal clients.

You’ve probably heard that you should “go where your ideal clients are hanging out”.

Giving interviews and getting featured in the media is a shortcut to showing up exactly where your ideal customers are consuming content and looking for solutions.

It gives you an opportunity to speak directly to them by providing advice that solves the pain points they’re experiencing.

Gain powerful social proof

Social proof is a powerful marketing tactic that helps potential clients see you more positively.

It legitimizes your expertise in the outside world. When potential clients see you’ve been featured in the media, they come to regard you as an expert.

They trust you more. Having credibility indicators like press logos on your website can mean the difference between a website visitor choosing to book a consultation with you over your competition.

How to Get Free Publicity for Your Private Practice

The simplest, fastest to get media exposure without spending a penny is by using a powerful, free PR service called Help A Reporter Out or HARO.

HARO is a free service that connects journalists with experts. Through HARO, you can get featured in over 55,000 media outlets including top publications like TIME, USA Today, and The Washington Post.

I used HARO to go from zero clients and credibility to being featured in major publications like New York Magazine, Fast Company, Forbes, Shape, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, and Mashable, within one year of starting my business. 

Working with the media is what’s allowed me to build a six-figure business and be booked out with a wait list.

Publicity has also helped me pursue other opportunities like paid writing, speaking, and building courses.

How HARO Works

After you sign up at helpareporter.com, you will start getting three emails every weekday with a list of requests (called “queries”) from reporters looking for experts to comment on topics ranging from health and wellness to relationships and career development.

Each HARO email contains about 50-75 different requests from reporters. This adds up to over 150 more opportunities to get featured in the media every single day, delivered straight to your inbox at no cost.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Scan the HARO emails every day. When you see a query that fits your expertise, act quickly. Journalists get hundreds of emails from HARO, so time is of the essence.
  2. Next, compose a new email to the reporter. Make sure your response is concise, adheres to the reporter’s requirements, and most importantly, provides helpful advice for readers.
  3. If the reporter opens your email and is interested in what you have to say, then you may be quoted in an article or be interviewed. When that happens, you get exposure to the thousands or millions of readers of that publication.
  4. Share it! You worked hard to earn this media exposure, so celebrate. For example, post the article on social media, send it to your email list, and put the publication’s logo on your website. Make sure to follow up with the journalist and thank them, as well.

HARO gives you a great opportunity to drive more traffic to your website and boost your credibility so that more people want to engage your services. It’s also a powerful tool that can help grow your business, your reputation, and your impact.

Discover How to Have Success with HARO

Sign up for my free training, Media Made Easy: The Secrets To Getting Press Coverage (Even When You Have No Connections) and discover the top 3 tips to use HARO successfully and get featured in the media.

About the Author

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Melody Wilding is a licensed social worker and coach who help high achievers mentally and emotionally thrive in their careers. When Melody started her practice a few years ago, she had zero clients and no credibility. Today she runs a six-figure business, has a client waitlist, has given a TEDx talk with over 20,000 views, and has been featured in dozens of top media publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Inc, Forbes, and Fast Company, Cosmo, Shape, Glamour, and dozens more. Melody is also the creator of The Media Darling Method, an online course that teaches therapists how to land major publicity that grows their private practice and personal brands.

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Psychology Today is often the go-to directory for most mental-health therapists when they launch their private practice. Because of its high Google rank and searchability, having a profile can help you get found by more clients.

In this article, we’ll go over how you can add your Psychology Today Verification badge to your website.

Psychology Today is often the go-to directory for most mental-health therapists when they launch their private practice. Because of its high Google rank and searchability, having a profile can help you get found by more clients. In this article, we’ll go over how you can add your Psychology Today Verification badge to your website.

What is A Psychology Today Verification Badge?

Simply put, the verification badge is a graphic with a link that Psychology Today provides to you.

It looks like this:

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You can place this graphic on your website as a way to further connect your website to your Psychology Today profile.

You can use it as a small token to boost your credibility with website visitors looking to vet their new therapist.

Also, linking to credible websites, such as Psychology Today, can also have a slight benefit to your search engine optimization.

Where to Put Your Psychology Today Verification Badge

My personal opinion is that you’re going to create far more connection with your potential clients on YOUR website and NOT your Psychology Today profile.

Plus, because of Psychology Today’s high Google ranking, many visitors will see your profile first, and then go to your website to learn a little more about you.

Because of this, I like to make sure we’re keeping visitors ON your website, reading your blog posts and getting comfortable with you and CONVERTING into clients.

Not just sending them away from your website.

So, where do I recommend you put your Psychology Today verification seal?

Well, there’s no “one size fits all” for this and it really depends on the design of your website.

First and foremost, I usually relegate the graphic to my clients’ about pages.

There, you may have a section toward the bottom of the page that lists your credentials and trainings. It’s here where you can put the seal, along with other organization seals you may be affiliated with.

This creates one area of the website that a visitor can see your credibility.

Another place I may put the graphic when I’m designing private practice websites would be the website footer.

And if I do, it’s usually small and probably the last thing on the page.

Like I said, we want to keep your visitors on your website and lead them to contacting you through your calls to action.

While they could still convert off your Psychology Today profile (which is great), to me, your website provides a better representation of you and your personality and a better chance at converting.

That’s just my opinion!

How to Embed The Psychology Today Verification on Your Website

Ok, so how can you embed this nifty little badge on your own website? Just follow the steps below:

1: Log into your Psychology Today profile

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2: Under your name, in the top right corner, click on “Link and Share”

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3: Choose a size and theme that will work with your website styles

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4: Click on the “Copy” button at the bottom of the page to copy the code

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5: Paste the code into your website

This is where things may get just a little bit tricky.

Each website builder will be a little bit different, but you’re going to look for your builder’s way of adding HTML code to your content.

For example, in WordPress, you can add it right inside any text on a page by click the “Text” tab (as opposed to “Visual”) in your text editor:

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Once you’re in the “Text” or HTML view, you can paste your code:

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Most website builders work in the same way, allowing you to add code into any text block.

Once your Psychology Today code is pasted into the page, you can save or preview it:

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If you’re having trouble getting the code to appear, it’s possible that the code is conflicting with your theme or some other code going on.

It’s always best to reach out to customer support for your theme (if using WordPress) or your website builder (such as Squarespace or Wix).

There you have it! Now your website will be cross linked with your Psychology Today profile.

Get your first six months of Psychology Today for FREE.

You can get started with Psychology Today and get your first six months absolutely free.

My wife has graciously made this referral link available to my audience. (thanks Honey!)

If you’d like to get a free six months, just send an email to daniel@createmytherapistwebsite.com with the subject “Please send me the Psychology Today link” and we’ll send it right over.

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What’s one of the quickest ways to encourage a website visitor to leave your private practice website? Make it hard for them to understand who you help and what you do…

In this article I’ll share with you some tips to create a clear and concise sentence that will let your potential clients know they’re in the right place.

What’s one of the quickest ways to encourage a website visitor to leave your private practice website? Make it hard for them to understand who you help and what you do... In this article I’ll share with you some tips to create a clear and concise sentence that will let your potential clients know they’re in the right place.

 

Content Clarity Wins the Day

Far too many private websites fall short of their mission to get more clients because there’s a lack of clarity when visitors arrive.

I see this all the time…

When landing on a homepage, I often have to struggle to understand what the therapist does and who they help.

And if I’m having trouble finding that information … well, then so are your potential clients.

One of the quickest ways you can correct this is by writing a clear and concise sentence, or “one-liner.”

When website visitors arrive, a one-liner that explains your private practice or any of your services can be extremely helpful in the marketing of your business.

Why?

Because it lets your potential clients know they’re in the right place.

Marketing expert, Donald Miller, explains in his book Building A Story Brand (affiliate link) that your one-liner should contain the following elements:

  • The Character: Who you help
  • The Problem: What you help them overcome
  • The Plan: Can you include HOW you help them overcome the problem?
  • The Success: What does success look like?

Here’s an example of a one-liner someone may have on the top of their homepage:

“I help new moms cope with depression and overwhelm so they can be the mom they always dreamed they’d be.”

You can see how quickly this can get the attention of a website visitor if they were a new mom looking to find help with depression.

It gives them a chance to say, “That’s me! I dream of being a great mom!”

You can do this on your homepage, your about page and certainly on all your landing pages for specific services you offer in your practice.

Write a Headline for Those Most Likely to Work With You

There will always be that small percentage of potential clients who are totally on board with your service.

And it’s good it’s a small percentage! That’s exactly who you want to reach.

Remember, you can’t make everyone happy. The best copywriters know this, so they write headlines and content for those who are most likely to favor the service they’re writing about.

Know your clients and gain insights from the people you work with in your private practice.

Trying to write for 100% of the people will hamper your conversion rate.

Listen to how your clients describe their challenges and write it down in a notebook to use as inspiration for your one-liners.

Write 20 Headline Options and Let Your Creativity Flow

I know, it’s a challenge, but it releases your own creativity. Don’t delete as you go. Allow creativity to take over. Play around with shortening and lengthening your one-liner.

Try elevating the benefit to increase intrigue with potential clients visiting your website.

Twenty variations should be enough for you to turn your ideas into the ultimate headline.

Open up and don’t be afraid of any variations that fall flat. You’ll end up with your share of good ones.

You can start by focusing on a one-liner for your homepage that encompasses your private practice.

From there, you can do this for each of your service pages.

Trim the Fat from Your Content

This is the stage where you trim the fat and delete any obvious junk content. Like any endeavor in the world, there’s always a lot you can learn from your mistakes.

Don’t be hard on yourself for having to toss out junk. It’s all part of the process.

Your ideas that fell short can serve as a springboard for new ideas.

Remember, your physical therapy or mental health practice is about solving problems and providing solutions for them. It’s not about you.

Related Article: Your About Page is Not About You

What The Rest of Your Private Practice Website Copy Should Contain

In addition to that amazing one-liner on the front page of your website, there are other critical elements that your site should contain.

1. Homepage

This is where you want that main one-liner to live. Quickly tell your clients what your private practice is all about. You know the old saying about “first impressions.”

Your homepage is the first impression, and likely the greatest impression, that a potential patient will receive. So make sure you convey that your business has the answers they’re looking for.

A visitor’s attention span will be around eight seconds. Attention spans are growing shorter and shorter.

Make their first impression count. Get right to the point and don’t give the reader too much information or require them to make too many choices.

Focus on the one major thing you want visitors to know, and don’t deviate from your theme.

Also, include an action that you want them to take.

Related Article: 5 Homepage Mistakes Therapists Make & How to Avoid Them

2. About Page

This page should address your ideal client or patient. It doesn’t have to be a mind-blowing page. Just make sure that it has relevant information about your practice.

Write content as if you’re talking directly to your clients. It’s not a bad idea to offer up a glimpse of your life outside of your practice.

Keep it simple and focused on the ideal client you’re trying to reach and think about where they’re at when looking for your services.

3. Services Page

This page is the one where you introduce your services.

Break it down into the categories that your practice addresses. Be specific and informative.

When we design websites for clients, we like to make this page “your practice at a glance.”

You can provide some short introductions to all your services so a visitor can quickly scroll through and see what you offer.

Introduce the service, then link over to a page for each one.

4. A Page for Each Service Offered

These pages expound on each service you have listed on the Services Page.

This is where your content can go into greater detail about each service. This is also where you get to elaborate on your expertise.

You can create a one-liner to go on the top of each of these pages to quickly grab the attention of your ideal clients.

5. Blog

Your blog is where you can really show your expertise on very specific topics.

Google’s algorithm also likes the idea of refreshed and relevant content on websites. So try and write consistently, even it’s just one blog post a month.

It will definitely help your traffic!

Conclusion

It might be difficult at first, but you’ll get used to writing your private practice website copy as time goes on.

Practicing crafting your one-liner can be a great exercise that can help you simplify how you speak about your services and how clear and concise your copy currently is (or isn’t).

Got an idea for a one-liner for your private practice but need some feedback?

Head over to the CMTW Facebook group and post it there. We’ve got a bunch of your colleagues in there who would love to help you out.

And for more tips on writing simple and effective marketing copy for your private practice, check out the book Building A Story Brand or read my review here.

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As a web designer who works solely with therapists, I look at a LOT of private practice websites. As I look at these websites, I often see one specific mistake repeated over and over.

The mistake is this: When I look at your About page I have no idea what you do or who you help.

Your potential clients will leave if it’s not clear you can help them

Yesterday I visited a bike store, looking for one of those cool beach cruiser bikes for my wife.

I had a pretty good idea for what I was looking for as I stepped into a used bike shop, but would have welcomed some guidance.

As I entered, I caught a glimpse of an employee in the back room, working on repairing a bike.

He never looked up. He never greeted me. Never asked me what I needed.

So I spent 5 minutes alone, looking at what options I could see.

Nothing caught my eye, so I left. I was probably in the store for only 8 minutes.

As I got back in the car, I couldn’t help but wonder, “what would have happened had the employee asked me what I was looking for?”

What if he asked me some questions about what brought me into his bike shop, looking to help me solve my problem (wanting a new bike for my wife)?

The SAME thing happens on private practice About pages all over the internet.

We often put what we think is the best information front and center, talking about ourselves, our training and our modalities.

But what is the client looking for?

What is THEIR biggest challenge? What problem are they looking to solve?

When I stepped into that room filled with bikes, it wasn’t clear that anything there would solve my problem.

So, I bounced.

If a potential client lands on your About page and it’s not abundantly clear you can help them, chances are they’ll bounce too.

Your Client Is the Hero of the Story

One of the best books I’ve ever read about marketing a business is Donald Miller’s Building A Story Brand (affiliate link).

I can’t recommend this book enough for it’s simple, yet powerful framework for creating solid marketing materials, including a website.

This book practically breaks down how to use the structure of storytelling to market to your ideal client.

If I could, I’d have everyone in my audience read this book!

He says that the key to marketing is making your ideal client the hero of the story.

Not YOU or your private practice.

When your potential clients can picture themselves fitting into the story of your business, overcoming their greatest challenges and getting what they want in life, they will more easily do business with you.

In his book, Donald Miller suggests these 3 crucial questions to ask yourself in order to market effectively:

  1. What does the hero want?
  2. Who or what is opposing the hero getting what she wants?
  3. What will the hero’s life look like if she does (or does not) get what she wants?

This can directly be applied to your about page!

Instead of starting this crucial page with the headline “About Me,” begin with your client (the hero) as the focus.

What do they want more than anything RIGHT now as they’re searching for help.

What life situations, personal roadblocks or challenges are getting in the way of what they want. Why are they searching for a therapist at this time?

And then paint the picture of what life would look like once they’re able to overcome these challenges.

At this point we can turn the story toward you and your practice.

You are the guide who will help them get what they want. But before you present yourself as the solution, you must first identify with your client’s challenge.

Writing An Effective About Page for your Private Practice

So how do you actually write a great about page for your own therapy website?

Great question.

The first step is to get absolutely clear about who you serve in your private practice.

Knowing who you’re trying to reach will help you write content and know exactly how to speak and what to say.

Use the three questions above to help you craft the story of your ideal client.

Starting with where they’re at right now, your goal is to use the content of this page to guide them to their goal – a picture of what life could look like if they overcome their current challenges.

Here’s a simple outline you can use for your About page:

  1. A headline that clearly states who you help and what you help them achieve
  2. Paint a picture of their struggle – what does it feel like to be where they are right now
  3. Paint a picture of what life could look like if they overcame their current challenge
  4. Give them a plan – this is where you can explain what it looks like to work with you
  5. A clear call to action – have them contact you or schedule a consultation

Need some inspiration for your About page?

Check out this post: Websites for Therapists: 10 Examples of Amazing About Pages

Conclusion

Your clients will leave your website if it’s unclear that you can help them.

The goal of your About page should be to quickly and clearly inform your ideal client that you can guide them to the life that they desire.

I hope these tips will help you put your ideal client at the center of your marketing and focus your About page on them… and not you.

Doing so could mean the difference between a website visitor moving on to the next therapist, or sticking around and becoming your next client.

If you’re struggling to create an effect private practice website and you’re tired of DIY tutorials that don’t take into account the nuances of marketing for therapists then I invite you to check out The Create My Therapist Website Toolbox 2.0.

Click the banner below to get started and I’ll take you through my entire process of creating a beautiful website that attracts new clients while you’re in session.

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Guest post by Maureen Werrbach

Does the thought of marketing your group practice have you scratching your head or making you turn and run in the other direction? I hear ya. Most of us were able to make it work when we were growing our solo practices, but then we didn’t realize that what was working for us as solo providers doesn’t necessarily help our group practices grow.

Does the thought of marketing your group practice have you scratching your head or making you turn and run in the other direction? I hear ya. Most of us were able to make it work when we were growing our solo practices, but then we didn’t realize that what was working for us as solo providers doesn’t necessarily help our group practices grow.

One of the most common complaints I hear from group practice owners is that they have a difficult time getting potential clients to see their therapists.

Part of the problem is that often times, that group practice owner gives the potential client the tone that they feel bad that they can’t take them, only perpetuating the idea that whomever the client gets is a second-rate therapist to the group practice owner.

Working through that issue is a whole other article for another day. But the other part of the problem is that the group practice owner is continuing to market in ways that worked for them as solo providers, further increasing the probability that potential clients will call to see them.

In an effort to help group practice owners learn ways to market that actually work for their group practices, I’ve come up with 10 ways to market a group practice.

1: A website that’s engaging, easy to navigate + makes it easy for clients to reach you.

Nothing screams a bad practice (in the eyes of a client) than a website that’s disorganized, outdated, and difficult to navigate.

Clients need to easily be able to see if your group practice can help them or not, and fast.

They do not (and shouldn’t) want to spend a lot of time scrolling and clicking around your website to see if there is a therapist in your practice that works with their needs. Potential clients will just exit your website.

Even more, with websites being so well designed lately, clients expect that yours will be too. It is a reflection of our physical group practice. If clients feel dissatisfied or think your website is lackluster, it’s unlikely that they will reach out.

Circling back to navigation, it’s equally important that potential clients and referral sources can quickly scan through your list of therapists and find the best fit.

The more therapists you have, the more important it is to have subcategories of presenting issues you work with, to make it easier for them to find their ideal clinician.

2: Having your clinicians blog regularly to their ideal clients. 

Not only does this increase your ranking on Google, it also helps your potential clients have another touchpoint with a therapist before scheduling.

Research shows that potential clients need around 7 touchpoints before scheduling an appointment.

Blogs offer a way for clients to get to know your therapists in another light outside of their bios. Vlogs are even more successful in converting potential clients into clients.

3: Google AdWords, done professionally. 

I was a naysayer of Google AdWords for a while.

For years, I had tried to do it myself, with minimal results.

When I hired out my Google AdWords, I increased my website traffic by 71% in the first month!

In the digital age, an overwhelming majority of people search for the things they need, including therapists, online. Going behind the scenes to make your website get more traffic is one way to increase those referrals.

4: Community outreach + speaking engagements. 

My group practice engages in one free community speaking engagement (often at a local school or business) as a way to give back to the community but also as a marketing strategy.

When we give an hour of our time to presenting on a topic that is important to us, we often get a handful of new referrals that week because of the people who heard our presentation.

Outreaching and speaking engagements are also a way to increase brand recognition and your like, know, and trust factor from potential clients, referral sources, and community members.

5: Clinicians marketing themselves to places their ideal clients go. 

One thing to let go of as a group practice owner is marketing your clinicians individually (unless it is done digitally).

When a group practice owner goes out into the community to market their clinicians individually, what happens is that the group practice owner becomes the person those referral sources refer to.

It’s also less effective than if the clinician marketed out in the community themselves.

An example I like to use is with a therapist in my practice who is a CADC. I have no substance abuse counseling experience. I would have a much harder time, and be less effective at expressing my clinician’s experience in working with substance abuse clients than she would.

6: Checking Google Analytics for sources of potential problems. 

This one is important.

I learn a lot from my Google Analytics.

Like, which pages on my website get less than mediocre traffic. Or which pages have high bounce rates (meaning clients come to it and exit out of my website completely right away.

This tells you which pages need updating or changing in content or design.

7: A Facebook business page or other form of social media for business. 

One that’s engaging and relevant.

Social media is a thing. People spend a lot of time on Facebook and Instagram.

Finding one place (not all of them!) to have a presence not only increases your visibility (and like, know, and trust factor) it also is a great way to lead people back to your website.

8: Having an email list that’s targeted.

Email lists may seem like they have gone on the wayside, but you’d be wrong.

What people hate is getting spammed or receiving emails that aren’t relevant to them. Or being added to an email list they didn’t sign up for.

Email list providers like Mailchimp, Aweber, ActiveCampaign, and others, have some pretty awesome features these days that help you target the right information to the right people.

When people sign up for my email list, they choose what information they want to know about.

Parenting? Relationships? Health counseling? Anxiety? Stress Management? You get the idea.

Adding these subcategories that relates to the presenting issues your therapists work with and write about helps clients and potential clients get the information they actually care to read and need.

This increases the likelihood that they will engage in the email and take an action, like scheduling an appointment or calling to take a group you are offering.

9: Optimizing your website’s SEO so your website shows up for keywords that are relevant to your business. 

This is something you can learn to do yourself (with a lot of time) or something you can delegate. Things like Yoast for WordPress sites is useful for optimizing your website in a DIY fashion or hiring someone to check each page that its optimized can be a one-time investment.

10: In person networking with other providers, especially those that your ideal clients go to and other therapists who specialize in things your group practice doesn’t.

The one type of in person marketing I do (my focus for marketing tends to be behind the scenes-digital) is networking with other groups, whether medical, business, or counseling group practice owners.

Since we are all in the same boat, other business owners tend to be able to understand the concept of referring to other members inside of a group rather than to group practice owners themselves.

Helpful hint: I have a Google Spreadsheet that I open up when I meet with other group practice owners that categorizes referral sources by specialty. That way, we can refer to specific people in other group practices or medical offices that specialize in something specific, versus deferring to the owner of the practice.

I hope these 10 marketing tips helps you organize your marketing strategy in a way that works for you and your business. As a final tip, do only one thing at a time so you can measure that marketing strategy is helping your business receive new clients. Good luck!

Maureen Werrbach is a trauma and relationship therapist in Chicago, a group practice owner [Urban Wellness], and a group practice business coach who helps group practice owners start and scale their group practices [The Group Practice Exchange].

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When search engines crawl through your content, one of the first indicators as to what the page is about is the URL. You can use the URL of each page and blog post on your private practice website to boost your SEO game.

In this article, we’ll talk about 5 ways to optimize URLs for SEO.

When search engines crawl through your content, one of the first indicators as to what the page is about is the URL. You can use the URL of each page and blog post on your private practice website to boost your SEO game. In this article, we’ll talk about 5 ways to optimize URLs for SEO.

1: Optimize for Humans, First

Google is VERY smart.

Gone are the days of just slapping keywords in your content and ranking on page 1.

Because Google wants to show the BEST content for a user’s search, you have to write for humans, not for Google.

Make your URLs as easy to read as possible.

This way, when someone sees a URL, they’ll have a clear understanding of what they’ll find by clicking on it.

Instead of URL like this: http://www.mywebsite.com/home/post?ID=128

You want something like this: http://www.mywebsite.com/10-ways-to-naturally-battle-depression

Which link would YOU rather click on?

2: Place Your Keywords in the URL

This one is pretty straight forward.

Decide what someone would type into Google to find the content you’re creating and place those keywords in the URL.

As I mentioned in this post’s intro, the URL is one of the first places Google will look to indicate what the page is about.

Research has also shown evidence of something called “domain bias”.

This means that users will often judge content based on whether they believe a domain to be worth a click based on the URL.

Putting your keywords in the URL will help users know exactly what they’ll get from clicking your link in search engines.

3: Keep URLs short, If Possible

This one is about usability, more than the technical side of Google.

Going back to tip #1 in this post, you want your URLs to be easily read and understood by humans.

A shorter URL will be much easier to read, easier to remember, easier to copy and past and can be understood more quickly than a super long URL.

There’s not hard and fast rule here, but I’d try and keep it as short as possible and well under 100 characters.

4: Separate Words with Hyphens & Underscores

You can break up the words in your URLs by separating them with hyphens or underscores.

Sometimes, when you leave a space in your URL, it will render as %20, which just looks weird and detracts from the keywords I know you’re putting in your URL.

Most content management systems, like WordPress take care of this automatically, but it’s worth a mention.

5: Keep URLs Consistent with Page Titles, If Possible

To create a consistent user experience and re-iterate the page content, try and match the words in the URL with the words of your page title.

If you have a super long title for a blog post (10 Ways To Survive Family Dysfunction During The Holidays… Without Drinking), it doesn’t mean that it has to be word for word.

But you do want some consistency that will let the user know what they’ll find by clicking the link and then be reassured when they see the title when they land on the page.

Something like http://mywebsite.com/survive-family-dysfunction-during-holidays would totally work here.

This will also help when you share the link on social media.

Your followers will see the title of the page and the matching URL close by, giving them confidence to click.

Wrapping UP

I hope you’ve found these five tips useful as you optimize your private practice website for search engines.

SEO can be a fickle beast, but if you keep tips like the above in mind while you consistently create content, you’ll see positive movement over time.

If you’d like to learn what Google finds most important and how to SEO your private practice website, check out my mini-course, A Little Course About SEO.

Want To Learn More About SEO?

Check out my mini-training, A Little Course About SEO:

Using images on your private practice website is a great way to make your site look pretty, but it’s also a great chance to improve your SEO (search engine optimization). There are a few things you can do when adding images to your website to make sure they’re working to help you get found in search engines.

In this post we’ll go over how you can improve your SEO by optimizing your images.

Using images on your private practice website is a great way to make your site look pretty, but it’s also a great chance to improve your SEO (search engine optimization). There are a few things you can do when adding images to your website to make sure they’re working to help you get found in search engines. In this post we’ll go over how you can improve your SEO by optimizing your images.

Search engine optimization has to do with specific things you can do to let Google and other search engines know your content exists and then show that content to the people who are searching for it.

SEO can be confusing and there are many different factors that affect it, but optimizing images as you add them to your therapy website or blog is a pretty simple process. Yay!

So let’s get into it…

Give Your Images Descriptive File Names

When you upload an image file to your website, you should never just leave the default file name.

Whether you take a photo using your own camera or download a stock photo from the internet, you’ll want to change the name of the file to reflect the content in which the image appears.

For example, an image straight from a camera may be called img_0125.jpg.

Search engines would have no clue what that image could be about or whether it fits in with your content.

So rename that image to something more descriptive and include a keyword that someone may use to find the content you’re creating.

Something like, 5-ways-to-combat-anxiety.jpg.

Search engines crawl not only the words on your website, but the text associated with images on your website. They can’t tell what an image is but they can get cues from the various ways you describe your images. This includes the file name.

Keep Your Image File Size Small

With about half of all website traffic coming from mobile devices these days, it’s extremely important that your content load fast.

Page speed is also one of Google’s hundreds of factors that affect your page rank.

So you want to make sure that your images are not unnecessarily large in file size.

For images within blog posts, I try to keep them no larger than 800 pixels wide and less than 150mb in file size.

I personally use Photoshop to adjust my images. But you can use a free service like TinyPNG.

You can quickly drag an image into TinyPNG and it will quickly compress it down to a smaller file size:

tinyPNG seo optimize images psychotherapists

The key is to make your images as small in filesize as possible without losing a ton of quality.

To test your own site speed and see if you have any images that are driving up your load times, you can use this tool, from Pingdom.

Give Your Image a Descriptive Title Tag

Image titles are what appear when you hover over an image with your mouse.

In WordPress, when you upload an image, it will automatically use your image’s file name as the title. So you’ll want to edit that and give a descriptive title.

Depending on how many photos I have in a blog post, I’ll just use my blog’s title as the title of the image here.

Write Descriptive Alt Image Tags

Alt tags are used as an alternative description of your images if/when your images don’t load.

Like your file name and image title, alt tags help let search engines know what your image is about.

You can be pretty descriptive here and let Google know exactly what the image is and include keywords where it makes sense.

Do your best to describe the photo and the content it appears in.

In WordPress, each time you upload an image, you’ll see a spot for the Alt Text. Alternatively, clicking on an image in your media library will lead you to it as well:

wordpress alt tag seo optimize images

Conclusion

If you make these four steps part of your process when uploading images to your website it will make search engine optimization much easier.

Over time, it will ensure that your content contains everything it needs to let Google know what it’s about and start sending you some organic traffic.

If you’re curious about other ways you can optimize your content for search engines, check out this post all about on-page SEO.

 

Want To Learn More About SEO?

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With all the talk out there about “content marketing” and blogging, it’s really important to know if starting a private practice blog is right for you and your website.

In this post we’ll talk about the benefits of blogging and determine if this marketing strategy is right for you and your therapy practice.

7 Benefits of Having a Blog on Your Therapy Website

1. Blogging Can Help Refine the Focus of Your Therapy Practice

When you write on a regular basis, you begin to understand what topics you’re passionate about.

This let’s you refine your message and philosophy in your private practice and business.

I believe it also helps you become a better communicator in your therapy sessions.

When I first began consulting, I felt pretty unsure of myself and my expertise.

Blogging has helped me learn SO much through the research I do and it has helped me decide where I stand on certain topics.

I’m now confident helping my clients with the many choices they need to make around online marketing a private practice.

2. An Active Blog Can Boost The Search Engine Page Rank of Your Therapy Website

Did you know that websites with a blog tend to have 434% more pages indexed by Google than websites without? (source)

Each time you add a blog to your website, you’re adding another page for search engines to crawl through.

Google is more likely to show your website in search results if it knows that it’s been updated more frequently than a website that hasn’t been updated in months.

3. A Blog Can Increase Your “Like, Know and Trust” Factor

Blogging by nature has a way of showcasing your personality, making you appear more “real” to potential clients.

Over time, readers can achieve a sense of knowing you.

And as they get to know you and your personal touch to what you teach, they’ll begin to trust you.

This survey shows that consumers consider blogs to be the 5th most trusted source of information, because it’s coming straight from the person writing them.

4. Blogging Can Help Prove Your Expertise to Your Ideal Therapy Clients

Blogging can make you appear as an expert in your field.

If your website is chock full of great information, it’s going to make you stand out next to a therapist without information.

It shows potential clients that you’re passionate about your work and that you have a lot to say on the subject matter you cover in your counseling office.

I know I’d rather hire an expert to counsel me than someone with the bare essentials on their website.

5. Blogging Can Increase Your Web Traffic

Time and again, I’ve seen this in action.

When my wife began to consistently post new blogs on her counseling website, we saw her traffic nearly double without doing anything else.

She wasn’t even using social media to promote the blog!

Blogging increases the amount of pages on your website, makes your site look fresh, and increases the amount of keywords found on your website… All things Google loves.

Related: 5 Tips to Increase Your Therapy Website Traffic By Choosing a Niche

6. Blogging Can Lead to More Clients in Your Private Practice

According to Hubspot, “82% of marketers who blog daily acquired a customer using their blog, as opposed to 57% of marketers who blog monthly — which, by itself, is still an impressive result.”

Blogging can attract clients. Nuff said.

7. Blogging is FREE

Free is my favorite!

The only cost of blogging is your time.

If you’re just starting out, blogging can be one of the best ways to market your new private practice.

Combine it with active social media promotion and it’s a completely free system for driving traffic to your website and attracting clients.

How To Determine if Blogging is Right For Marketing Your Private Practice

Blogging may still not make sense for your therapy practice even after seeing the list of benefits above.

Let me explain.

I’m not a business coach in any way and it’s up to you to determine what feels right…

But I can speak from the experience my wife had with her private practice and her counseling blog.

Before her practice saw a steady flow of clients, she obviously had a lot more time on her hands.

This meant she could focus on her marketing.

So, I encouraged her to start blogging on the regular to help her get more traffic to her website.

For a period of about 8 months she made blogging a regular part of her marketing routine.

And her web traffic saw a significant increase.

She finally hit a point in her business where it was easier to say “I don’t NEED to blog in order to get clients”. Most of her new clients come from referrals now.

So naturally, as her business train got moving and left the station, she blogged less and less.

I tell this story to help you think about where you’re at in your private practice?

Are you just starting out and looking to fill your calendar with clients? Or is business a little slower than you like?

Then blogging on a regular basis could be a great way to get more people to your website and potentially get more clients in your office.

But if you’re comfortable with how your therapy practice is going and you have a lot on your plate, blogging may not be necessary right now.

You also may not want the added stress of finding the time to sit down and write every week… not to mention the guilt you may feel when you don’t post a blog as often as you think you “should”.

So, think about that.

And if you’re ready to start blogging, pick a schedule (maybe start with 2 posts a month) and stick to it.

Now go get ‘em, Tiger.

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With all the talk out there about “content marketing” and blogging, it’s really important to know if starting a private practice blog is right for you and your website. In this post we’ll talk about the benefits of blogging and determine if this marketing strategy is right for you and your therapy practice.

 

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So you’ve launched your private practice website. You spent hours crafting the perfect description for each of your counseling services and even more hours getting each page just right. But you noticed you’re not getting the right kind of clients through your website – the ones you really enjoy working with. Why is that?

One reason why your private practice website may not be attracting the potential clients you hoped for is because your website (and possibly your therapy practice) lacks a niche; a specific type of person you focus on serving. In today’s post I'll tell you about my failed blogs, how I learned the importance of choosing a niche and how it can increase the RIGHT traffic coming to your therapy website

One reason why your private practice website may not be attracting the potential clients you hoped for is because your website (and possibly your therapy practice) lacks a niche; a specific type of person you focus on serving.

In today’s post I’ll tell you about my failed blogs, how I learned the importance of choosing a niche and how it can increase the RIGHT traffic coming to your therapy website.

My “Failed” Blogs

Once upon a time, I started my first blog.

I was getting ready to drive cross country, from New York to Montana, then do some misison work in India and Thailand.

I loved sharing my stories and photos from that amazing adventure, but really the only people interested in it were my family and a handful of friends from my church.

Judging by blog comments, only my mom was reading. Thanks Mom!

Granted, my goal was not online marketing at the time, but rather I wanted to journal my experiences, so I was fine with the low readership.

Fast-forward a couple years and I started a website and blog centered around travel photography. It was a continuation of sharing the stories and adventures of the many international trips me and my wife love to take.

I wanted to sell photography as a way to raise money for future trips so I attempted to do this through a brand-spankin’ new website and blog.

Yet again, this website only seemed to attract our loyal group of friends and family with one or two rogue people who seemed somewhat interested in what I was doing.

Here’s a snapshot of my traffic during an average month:

Choose a niche for your therapy practice

I had a few folks stay on the site longer than a minute, so I guess that’s a win!

Ok, so moving right along…

Using My Third Blog as a Training Ground

Photography is still a huge part of my creative outlet as well as the travel we do, however it became more and more clear to me that it wasn’t something I wanted to pursue more than just a hobby.

So, as I became a lost creative vagabond, I basically landed back on my old portfolio website blogging about whatever interested me at the time.

How to make wall art, photography, book reviews. All great stuff but it was pretty random.

However, this time around, things were starting to change.

I began to treat blogging less as a hobby and more as way to grow an audience, share ideas and market my services.

I started an email list, I became more consistent with posting content and then sharing it on social media networks.

You can see the comparison from Google Analytics below. In April of 2015 (the orange line), I posted one short blog. In May of 2015 (the blue line) I posted a blog every week and promoted those blogs. You can see the difference:

Comparing my website traffic in Google Analytics

While this was great to see that I was on the right track, it was still unclear who the heck this blog was for.

Who was I actually helping? Who was I speaking to? I was not connecting with anyone through my efforts.

When it Comes to Web Traffic, Choosing a Niche Makes All The Difference

I started this blog here in July of 2015 because I wanted to share my web design gifts by helping others.

After so many of my wife’s coworkers at her counseling practice asked me about website design, I realized I could finally start a blog with a very specific focus: helping therapists and counselors create their own websites and market themselves online.

Once I landed on that, ideas for blog posts kept flooding my mind.

I had a million things I could write about and I knew exactly who I was talking to and ideas about ways I could help them.

And within that first month, I had over 2500 pageviews, which was double the pageviews on my previous blog’s best month.

I also began to get emails from people thanking me for my content and letting me know how it has helped them. I can’t ask for anything better than that!

I also believe that the specific topics I discuss has helped me grow my Pinterest audience much quicker as well.

I’ve tried to make it very clear by the topics I discuss that if you’re a therapist looking to learn web design, you’re in the right place.

My wife does this in her counseling practice by focusing on establishing healthy relationships. All the blogs she’s posted and content she’s written falls under that umbrella.

And for the most part, they majority of work she does with her clients is centered around relationships, boundaries and breaking dysfunctional habits that hurt connection.

That’s what she loves so that’s the content she creates and that’s who ends up in her office.

5 Tips for Choosing Your Private Practice Niche

So what about you and your private practice website?

Have you made it clear who you help and what you help them achieve?

You may very well already be working with a specific population within your therapy practice, but have you found a way to effectively communicate that on your website?

Doing so can help you boost your web traffic, hook potential clients and help you clarify your marketing voice.

Because I always try to leave you with something practical, here are a few tips to help you clarify your own niche:

1. Over the course of a month, look at the types of clients you’ve been working with. Is there a particular type of client that you just keep attracting? Write down these types of clients, their struggles and how your services can help them and begin to use those words on your therapy website.

2. Thinking about the type of practice you want to have 5 years from now, are there any clients that excite or energize you? Do you love working with couples? Or women with postpartum depression? You can begin to write blogs geared toward helping the clients that you love.

3. Write out your elevator pitch and use it on your website. Something along the lines of “I help [insert population you work with here] achieve/get/establish [desired outcome here]”. Use this on your homepage and on your about page.

4. Write website copy with your ideal client in mind and seek to serve them and guide them. I’m confident doing this is what helps create connection with your website users. You want your potential ideal client to know that they are in the right place and seeking therapy with you is the answer to the problem they’re facing.

5. Ask friends, family and colleagues. Speaking to the people that know you best is a great way to find out if there are any areas where they’ve observed you thriving. They can see gifts in you that maybe you can’t see yourself and help you determine the type of people you are gifted in helping within your therapy practice.

Have you found your niche yet? I’d love to hear more about it in the comments! Post your elevator pitch in the comments below.

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It can be frustrating to work so hard on your private practice website, write blog after blog, only to find that no one can find you in Google. But optimizing each blog post for search engines can be extremely time consuming and frustrating as well. In this post we’ll talk about on-page SEO (search engine optimization) and how to use it to increase your chances of being found in Google.

I’ll also share how you can save time on your SEO efforts with my mini course, A Little Course About SEO.

It can be frustrating to work so hard on your private practice website, write blog after blog, only to find that no one can find you in Google. But optimizing each blog post for search engines can be extremely time consuming and frustrating as well. In this post we’ll talk about on-page SEO (search engine optimization) and how it can help you save time and increase your chances of being found in Google.

What is on-page SEO?

Knowing what keyword or topic you want to write a blog post or web page about should be your first step when it comes to creating content for your therapy website.

But once you know what keywords you’d like to focus on, then what?

You must now take those keywords and know where search engines will look for it within your blog post or web page.

On-page SEO has to do with the key factors that tell both search engines and readers what your content is about.

These are the factors that are squarely in your control – they are places you can put your keywords on the page you’re working on.

Doing it well can boost your search traffic and increase your rankings in search engines.

The flip-side of this is, of course, off-page SEO, which has to do more with links back to your website and content.

According to this article from Neil Patel, “ Off-page SEO simply tells Google what others think about your site. For example, if you’ve got a lot of valuable links pointing to your pages, search engines will assume that you’ve got great content – the type that provides value for users.”

4 Ways To Use On-page SEO on Your Therapy Website

Ok, so let’s talk about some specific ways you can optimize your blog posts and web content to ensure that users and Google are happy with each page of your website.

1. Optimize Your Meta Description

It’s good practice to spend some time crafting an effective meta description for your content.

This description can be extremely powerful in persuading a user to click on your link and view your blog post or web page.

Here’s what the meta description looks like in Google:

Use a meta description to let users know what your content is about in search engine results

A meta description is a 150-160 character description of what that page is about. Users will read this description and decide quickly it your content is what they are looking for.

Make sure your keyword or keywords appears in this description and spend time making it informative and pursuasive.

For more info on crafting the perfect meta description, check out this post from The Practice Academy.

2. Include Social Sharing Buttons

This has more to do with generating more traffic to your website than true SEO tactics, however, having some social media klout (people sharing your content) can be an indicator of quality content, which Google likes.

So, in order to capitalize on this, you’ll want to make it as easy as possible for your blog readers to share your posts.

To do this, you can use a social share plugin (on WordPress) or, if you’re using Squarespace, enable the share buttons within your settings.

If you’re using WordPress, I recommend a free plugin called Share (genius name!) from SumoMe.

I love this plugin because I can easily customize the style to match my blog as well as control what pages the share bar appears on and where on the page it appears.

For more on setting up and using the Share plugin, check out this post here.

3. Use SEO-friendly URLs

One of the first places Google looks to understand what a web page or blog post is about is to look for keywords in the URL.

Because of this, you should use simple URLs, making sure they contain the keyword you think people will use to find your content in search engines.

If you’re using WordPress, I recommend setting your permalink settings to “Post Name”.

Set your permalinks to include SEO-friendly words

Permalinks are the part of the web address that appears right after your domain name and point the user to a specific page on your website.

You can edit your permalink settings under Settings > Permalinks.

Setting it to Post Name means that WordPress will use the title of your blog post or web page to automatically create a URL for you.

If your keyword is in your title, then you’re all set!

Note: Editing your permalink settings is best done at the outset of creating your website, because it could change the URLs of old content on your site.

If you have other websites linking to your content, you could end up with broken links.

Luckily, there are plugins to help fix this. If you’ve got a lot of content and want to change your permalink settings, I recommend reading this first.

If changing the permalink settings is too daunting a task or if you’re not using WordPress… not a problem.

Just make sure your keyword appears in the URL of each page or blog you create to make it easier for Google to know what your content is about.

4. Include Multimedia in Blog Posts & Web Pages

Adding photos, videos or audio to a blog post or web page can indirectly help boost your page rank.

How so?

Well, posts with multimedia have a higher perceived value than those without.

If you have two blog posts about the same topic, one that only contains words about the topic and one that has video showing you exactly what the post is about, which one do you think would be more helpful?

Adding photos and video can also be a great way to lower bounce rates (the percentage of people who land your website and just bounce off rather than consume your content) and get people to stay longer on your website.

When adding photos, it’s recommended you name your files in a way that helps Google understand your content.

So, instead of leaving an image as image456.jpg, include a keyword, such as marriage-communication-tips.jpg.

You should also include a description of the image within the ALT tags of images, as another way to signal to Google what the content is about.

7 More Ways to Optimize Every Blog Post or Web Page for SEO

Making sure that every new piece of content on your therapy website is optimized for Google can seem like a daunting process.

It can suck the life out of blogging, that’s for sure.

I don’t know about you, but for the longest time I’d write blog posts, hit publish and then feel this guilt knowing I did nothing to ensure it was SEO optimized.

Then, I started including a keyword here or there, but never really knowing if I was doing the right thing.

But I’ve learned a lot about SEO through the years and I’ve seen first-hand how knowing what Google looks for – and implementing those things with every post or page – can help your pages rank better over time.

That’s why I created a mini course called  A Little Course About SEO; to take the mystery out of SEO optimization for each blog post or web page you create.

A Little Course About SEO is a mini-training for mental health professionals who want to confidently create SEO optimized web pages and blog posts consistently

In this training, you’ll learn 10 crucial things you can do to help boost your page rank in Google and drive more traffic to your private practice website.

This training will help you reduce the time spent optimizing each piece of content you create, feel confident knowing your web page or blog post has what it needs to rank in Google, and quickly help you get found by potential clients.

You’ll know exactly what’s important to Google and publish SEO optimized content EVERY time.

The best thing is, it’s only $29 and in just 15 minutes, you’ll be armed with the SEO info you’ll need for the next you write a blog or web page.

You can click on the banner below to learn more:

Learn SEO for therapists, counselors and psychologists in private practice

 

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