Many therapists and counseling centers are aware of the benefits of having a website, but knowing what to put on your website can be just as important. Most times, users visit your site seeking helpful information or a way to contact your practice. Without the right components, it’s easy for users to have a bad experience or miss out on crucial information that you had the opportunity to provide them. In this blog, we’ll discuss the basic components of a successful website and why each section is pivotal to the accomplishment of your digital marketing goals.
Your website is going to be your best employee if it’s implemented correctly. We say this because websites don’t go home at the end of the day and they never take breaks! On a more serious note, your website is a critical component of moving someone from being a potential client to a current one. This is where they will first learn of your business, learn about what you offer, and decide whether to stop and fill out a form, or move on to your competitor. You only have one chance to impress each user, so take some time to plan out how you’ll do that. We have a few recommendations as to what pages are “must-haves” to help get you started.
Your homepage is your first impression. You only have a few seconds to show users what you do and why you’re special. Make those seconds count by dazzling them, but not overloading them immediately. Consider including a short and relatable tagline or value proposition so that viewers know exactly what you do the moment they open your home page.
Once you’ve gotten a user interested in your website, they almost always go to an “about us” page. This is where they’ll learn more about your company and determine what sets you apart from other companies in the same industry. Here, you can discuss your mission, vision, and values as a company.
If you’re building a website for a therapy practice with multiple clinicians, you could include them all on one page with multiple sections, or link to separate pages for each of them from a dropdown menu. Highlight what makes each therapist unique and qualified, such as their specialties, experience, certifications, and education.
Now that users know what sets you apart from other practices or businesses, they want to know about everything you offer. These pages will discuss each service that you’re selling, and they’ll gravitate toward ones that help them solve their issue, so make sure to create a page for each service you’d like to market. You can group similar services together such as “family, pre-marital, and couples counseling” or separate each one and go into more specific detail. Focus on the types of clients you would like to serve, rather than giving an overwhelming list of every single condition or circumstance for which clients seek therapy.
A blog or resource page is a place to write and store additional resources and information for your website. Think about it as a comprehensive resource library that you consistently update. This resource provides consistent value to your audience while further explaining who you are and what you can offer. A blog is a great asset to have on your website because it increases the amount of content that can be indexed by search engines, meaning there’s a higher chance of them leading traffic to you.
What is all the common information someone might need before they book with you? This is the perfect place for answers about rates, insurance, what to expect, and more. Seeking therapy is a massive step for many, and this page can help give them the tools to make that step. Common FAQ’s for therapists include the following:
On this page or a separate page, you may also want to include a Good Faith Estimate (GFE). This will give potential clients an idea of your current pricing so they can figure out if you are within their budget.
Users may be interested in your story and your services, but it’s likely they aren’t going to go “all-in” the first time they visit your site. Offer downloadable content that allows them to leave with more information than they arrived with. This can be an eBook, a checklist, or a brief infographic that provides valuable information about the topic they’ve been researching. For a user to download one of these pieces of content, they’ll need to provide their email or phone number, as well as their name so you can follow up with them and help them answer any other questions they may have, as well as determine how ready they are to convert to a client.
For users ready to take the next step and come to the office, you’ll need a page that allows them to send you their information. You can use a simple form or create a separate page that allows them to submit their name, email, phone number, and other valuable information you’ll need to follow up with them. Users who complete these forms are considered to be the highest quality leads because they’ve indicated that they want to actually speak to someone at your business.
Now that you have a plan in place for the structure of your website, there are a few added elements that can help you improve the user experience.
Every page on your website should include at least one call to action. The user should clearly understand what they are supposed to do next. Use linked text or buttons to link out to other pages on your website or a desired action like sending you an email or filling out a form (or downloading the content offerings mentioned above.)
For the forms on your website, consider automating a redirect that will take users to a “thank you” page after they submit the form.
The navigation bars you see either on the top or bottom of a website help the user navigate through and ensure that they don’t get stuck on one page. Include a link to each of your parent pages on this bar.
No one is interested in staring at a wall of text, so add images for visual interest in between paragraphs. You could use stock photos that use brand elements and colors. But, the best images are photos of your office or branding images of yourself and your team. These give your potential client an idea of what to expect when they walk in to seek therapy, making them feel a little bit more comfortable and at ease.
To optimize your images for search engines, use keywords to rename the images before uploading them and add tags if your web host allows.
A 404 error page is displayed when someone tries to visit a web page that is no longer available or incorrectly searched. It happens when a user is taken to your website, but no specific page on your site. You may want to create a custom error page that prompts the user to instead visit other specific pages.
Your blog isn’t the only place where word count and keywords matter. Weave the story of your brand by including at least 600 words on your web pages and include plenty of location and service specialty keywords.
63% of all online traffic comes from smartphones and tablets, so your website should be fully functional on both along with your desktop layout. Some website platforms automatically create a mobile-friendly version of your site, but it’s still important to take a look and make sure all elements transfer over.
Often in the header or footer of a website, social media icons direct users to another platform where they can engage with you. If they aren’t ready to contact you for a consultation, checking out more on your Instagram or LinkedIn page may help them move closer to feeling like they know and trust you.
Make sure that the elements and colors on your website reflect your established brand. If you’re unsure of how to build a website that visually reflects your practice, a professional website designer can help. Your website is such an integral piece of your marketing strategy that this is worth the time and effort to do it right.
Add your logo somewhere near the top of your website on every page, and link it to your home page. This is generally a function on most websites and users expect to be able to navigate your site this way.
With the help of our team, many practices and centers have created websites that allow them to communicate their message to their audience and increase their pool of potential clients. If you’re looking to “wow” your clients and provide them with useful information, you can contact our team or visit our website to learn about our website design services!