FAQ: Websites for Therapists

Q. Why do I need a website for my practice?

A. Well, you might not need a website at all! For some therapists, referrals are enough. For others, a listing on the popular Psychology Today directory may be sufficient.

However, having a website for your practice is helpful if you’d like to…

(1) Be found by potential clients searching for someone like you
For example, you’d like to be found by people searching online for a therapist not just in their geographic location, but one with your specialty or focus. A website can help you emphasize that specialty and increase your visibility in search listings.

(2) Give potential clients a way to vet you online
More and more, our first reaction to getting a professional referral from a friend, colleague, or service provider is to visit their website and find out more to see if they seem like a good fit.

(3) Build or grow a reputation in your field
Conference organizers searching for or vetting speakers, journalists, and other people often find it helpful to visit a website to learn more about someone. Your site is a way for you to bring together the accomplishments and focus areas you’d like to feature.

Q. What about those services that give me a template already designed for therapists?

A. That depends — would you and your potential clients be pleased with the final product? Pre-designed templates have many advantages, and as you’ll see below, I recommend them under certain circumstances. One challenge with some templates designed for therapists, though, is that internet-savvy clients can often spot them immediately and may be put off by the cookie-cutter style or generic imagery.

Another challenge is that these templates may constrain how you describe your practice. Some even include pre-written text, the use of which I’d suggest avoiding. Finally, if you are not familiar with website design and you modify the design of the site yourself, it may appear unfinished or “broken” to potential clients.

Q. What’s the process for working with you?

A. The process starts with an initial 15-minute phone conversation. This gives you an opportunity to ask any questions you might have and allows both of us an opportunity to see if working together would be a good fit.

Subsequent calls of 45 minutes to an hour, as well as a written questionnaire, provide a foundation for a strategic plan for the site and for content development. Our first milestone is a “map” of your potential website.

Depending on your budget and preferences, I’ll recommend a selection of versatile and tasteful templates (not from therapist-specific platforms) for you to choose from. If you prefer a site custom-designed from scratch, I’m glad to recommend designers. In either case, we’ll discuss where and how to find the best images for your site.

The next phase is a collaborative process of developing site content that authentically reflects your practice, after which it’s integrated into your chosen design. Site content and design are finalized at this stage, as well as titles and descriptions for search engines.

Once your site content is final, you may choose to use it to update your existing Psychology Today listing or to create a listing there.

Q. How does pricing work?

A. Pricing can range depending on your design preferences and your goals for your site. For most therapists in private practice, a site will be 5 to 10 pages. Start-to-finish solutions, which include all consultations, content that speaks directly to your target potential clients, and a polished, tasteful site that has been customized for you, start at $2,500.

Q. What if I want to work with you on updating or fine-tuning my existing website?

A. While many therapists benefit from a comprehensive approach to website content and design, others will have specific questions or goals that are best addressed “a la carte.” For instance, if you’re happy with your current website design but would like to fine-tune your wording to appeal to certain types of clients, a series of hourly phone consultations may be for you.

Q. How can I get more traffic to my website?

A. There are a number of excellent strategies, so it comes down to identifying the ones that are a fit for you. Getting more traffic is a combination of demonstrating both to search engines and potential clients that your site is trustworthy, fresh, and relevant.

To convince search engines, it’s helpful to be linked to from other respected sites (trustworthy), update your content periodically (fresh), and use terms that relate to those things for which you’d like to be found (relevant). To convince potential clients, you’d want to create descriptions for search engine listings that are professional, well-written, and address their concerns or the solutions they’re seeking.

In some cases, maintaining a professional presence on social media or creating a blog can also help drive traffic to your site. These strategies are most relevant for therapists who are highly motivated to engage on these platforms and have a very specific therapeutic approach, focus, or target population.

Q. Should my website appeal to everyone?

A. Your website should appeal to the types of clients who are the best fit for your practice. For example, if you generally see clients for an average of one to two years, someone seeking a six-week solution might not be a fit.

On your site, you can convey a great deal about your specialty or specialties and preferred client base through what you write, what you emphasize, and the visual look of your site. Being clear about the types of clients you work best with is helpful to you — and it helps those clients find you more easily, which is helpful to them as well.

Q. How do I set up the initial 15-minute consultation?

A. Just contact me to set up a time for us to talk. It’s especially helpful if you include your time zone and a few days and times in the next week or two when you’d like to connect. I look forward to speaking with you!

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