Your website provides a crucial first impression to your potential clients. If someone seeking therapy is impressed by your website, it’s likely they will book a session. But if your website is poorly designed, potential clients may leave your site – and never come back.
However, many therapists are intimidated by the thought of improving their website. After all, they are therapists, not web developers!
Fortunately, there are easy ways to improve a therapy website that anyone can do. I’ve listed my four favorite ones below. Of course, this is just scratching the surface – there are a wealth of web design tips for therapists that you can explore. But these four tips are an excellent way to get started on improving your website. Let’s dive in!
Add a Photo of Yourself
Research shows that when a photo of a person is added to a website, visitors to that website become 50-100% more likely to make a purchase.
So add a photo of yourself to your website! A good photo helps clients connect with you, it draws in their attention and it makes your website look unique (because no other website will have a photo of you).
And don’t bury your photo on your “about me” page. Put it in the homepage, somewhere where people can see it when they first load the website. Let your photo help make a positive first impression when someone comes to your website.
Finally, make sure that you use a quality photo. If you have the budget for it, I recommend that you hire a professional photographer.
If you can’t get a professional photographer, still try to make your photo as good as possible – dress nicely, get good lighting, use a high quality camera, etc. If your photo is not very good, clients might assume that your therapy will be low-quality also.
Keep Your Paragraphs Short
People read differently on the internet. They skim instead of reading in depth, and if they get bored, they’re quick to go somewhere else.
That means you need to write differently when on the internet. Specifically, you need to keep your paragraphs short. You’ll notice that all of the paragraphs in this article are only a few sentences long – and you’ll also notice that you haven’t lost interest.
When you have short paragraphs, it’s easy for people to quickly skim through your material. They won’t get bored, because finishing a paragraph feels rewarding and they don’t get intimidated by a big block of text. Of course, it’s fine to have long paragraphs on occasion – but normally, short blocks of text are your best option.
Writing short paragraphs is pretty easy. One way is to try to add a line break every time you move on to a new idea.
Another way is to just add a line break every three or four sentences. It will take some practice to adjust your writing style (especially if you are used to dense academic writing), but your website visitors will thank you.
Keep Your Blog Updated
A blog is a great idea for many therapists. Unfortunately, if you never update your blog, it can become a liability. If your last blog post was years ago, potential clients might assume that you have gone out of business, or that you aren’t very tech-savvy.
So if you have a blog, keep it updated. You don’t need to be writing every day, of course. But try to put a new post out once per month. One easy way to make sure you stay updated is to write several blog posts at once, and then release one per month. That way you can set aside one day to focus on writing blog posts, and then you don’t need to worry about it for several months.
Drawing a blank on what to write about? An easy option is to write a book review of a therapy-related book. Of course, you need to read the book first – but once you’ve read a book, it’s usually fairly easy to review it and tell your website visitors if it is a helpful resource.
You can also a do a “link round-up,” where you compile several useful links and put them in a blog post. For instance, you might write a blog post about 10 great articles for understanding depression or 10 YouTube videos that offer helpful tips for anxiety.
Ask For Honest Feedback
A little feedback can go a long way. Because you designed your website, it’s difficult for you to accurately gauge its strengths and weaknesses (much like how parents have trouble accurately judging their children).
That’s what it’s crucial to get feedback from others. Having another pair of eyes to look at your site can help you notice opportunities for improvement that you missed, and can also alert you to potential problems.
So I recommend that you ask your friends and family member to use your website and offer you honest feedback. You can have them pretend to be a client or simply give their first impression. Stress to them that you’re looking for honest feedback and they should give you a wealth of information.
And then use the feedback you receive! Of course, not all feedback will be good. But think critically and look for opportunities to improve your website based on what your friends and family shared with you.
Web design concept image available from Shutterstock