How To Use Traditional Marketing Techniques for a Therapist Website
This article from Conversion Rate Experts is long and complicated but it explains how they helped a client improve their website by increasing their conversion rate by 363%.
“Conversion rate” means the number of people who visit the website and then take action, whether that’s scheduling an appointment or clicking on a link you have.
There’s a lot we can learn from this case study so here are 5 takeaways from the article and how they apply to a therapist website.
1) “You can’t have a webpage that’s too long, only one that’s too boring.”
Content, and specifically text or written content, is invaluable to your website because it is what Google can READ about your website, then interpret and determine what is useful to share with potential customers.
But this article really highlights that content is also important for engaging potential clients who are on your website.
They are there because they’re looking for help. Don’t bore them with your credentials, your work experience, and research articles. In fact, you don’t need to say a whole lot about you at all! Focus on your client.
Connect with them. Address their concerns, their questions, their fears, their hesitations. Don’t be afraid to get specific and really consider adding in those common phrases you hear from people.
This also highlights that indecision creates a lack of action.
When people have their questions answered about the service you offer, they can make an informed decision. And when you tell them exactly how they can work with you, they know what action to take next.
Here are some easy ways to answer questions that potential clients might have and make it easy for them to call for an appointment:
Focus on connecting with them first and foremost, on every single page.
Provide specific examples of problems you help people overcome.
Use case studies or examples to show how therapy works.
Identify how counseling is different from another service (coaching, psychiatrist, etc.).
Answer their common questions about pricing and insurance.
Use comparison or alternatives to combat objections on the price of therapy.
Don’t assume they’ve read everything on this page or any other page.
When your website is engaging and informative, people will stay to read it and, ideally, they’ll call you for an appointment.
2) Use different formats to say the same thing.
Write copy for your website. Record a video for your website. Have audio available on your website.
Do you need to do all of these on day one? Absolutely not!
However, your goal should be to offer information in various forms so that it is easily accessible to everyone.
Different people learn differently and having multiple ways for people to consume your content is ALWAYS a good thing. And guess what? It doesn’t mean you have to create everything three times!
You could record a video and then outsource the editing of the video, have the editor provide a separate copy of the audio alone, and then outsource someone to transcribe the audio or video version.
Voila, you now have three different forms of information but it only took you a few minutes!
This strategy is especially helpful for ongoing marketing, such as writing blog posts. If you’re thinking, “Oy vey, that still seems like a lot of work” then click here to learn more about our ongoing marketing content services.
3) Create scarcity.
This is a difficult one for us as therapists. We don’t usually offer “buy one get one free” specials over a weekend sale.
But there are definitely ways we can use this very common marketing strategy to our advantage… while also staying ethical.
For example, you can highlight that you have a limited number of openings. Now, the way you implement this is important because you don’t want to say, “I have no clients and you can see me any time this week, PLEASE!”
However, you could say “I currently have two spots open for new clients.”
Or something like “Currently accepting a limited number of Saturday appointments.”
This lets people know you have availability but also gives them the idea that you are sort of “popular” and they should take action soon.
4) Provide explanations and credibility.
No, this doesn’t mean to include your education and experience on all your web pages. It means you MUST address your client’s barriers to starting therapy.
Think about this in every stage of the website process.
One caveat here: It is really easy to get stuck in our professional mindset at this point! But I encourage you to think like your average client, because their concerns are likely not what you’d initially think.
Once they land on your home page, what might stop them from clicking on your About page to learn more about you?
Here are some common website mistakes that might be keeping clients from calling:
They aren’t sure where to go next
They don’t connect with the message of the website
The website looks outdated so they think you’re outdated or out of touch
The website isn’t easy to navigate
They don’t understand the language you’re using and don’t know what to do next
There are pop ups that turn people off (my personal pet peeve, btw)
Once they are on your About page, what might stop them from clicking a button to contact you for an appointment?
Here are some common About page mistakes that might be keeping clients from calling you:
You don’t clearly tell them to contact you
You don’t make it easy to contact you
You spent the whole About page talking about your professional experience only and it’s not interesting enough for them to read to the end of the page (remember lesson #1 and that your ultimate goal is connection, not impressing people with credentials)
Clients typically don’t want to know which license you possess or what school you attended, where you trained, or what certifications you have. They just want to know you get them.
Lastly, once a client is about to enter their contact information, what might stop them from taking this final step?
Here are some common things that might keep a client from reaching out from your website:
Not knowing where your practice is located (have this info on every page!)
Not having their preferred contact method readily available (phone, email, contact form)
Not knowing how you’ll get back in touch with them (explain what happens next)
Guess what most potential clients are NOT worrying about: HIPAA! Most clients just want help. They don’t really care that about submitting an email address online, they just want to know you’ll return their message.
Side note: I am not saying to ignore HIPAA. I am saying to evaluate the risk of making an initial contact with you so complicated that it’s a barrier to someone seeking treatment.
5) Test, Analyze, Revise
Whether your website is 10 days or 10 years old, you will ALWAYS be updating it!
Your website is like therapy, it’s a fluid process and things change over time.
That means don’t let your perfectionism get in the way of starting a website TODAY or of hitting “Go Live” to make your under construction site accessible to the public.
Start with what you have, then review how things perform and make changes.
The key here is that you need DATA to really analyze what works and keep doing more of that. But if you never make your site live, you never get that data.
Now, let’s revisit #1 at the top… this is a LONG blog post! But you’re likely still reading because you found the information helpful and got lots of specific things you can implement on your website right away.
Marketing and creating a therapist website can feel overwhelming and yes, there is a LOT to think about. However, you don’t have to do it alone!
If you want to improve your current website but still aren’t quite sure where to start, click here to schedule a Marketing Strategy session and we’ll identify a clear and prioritized plan based on your specific needs.