I built a website for my private practice… but the phone isn’t ringing…
How do I get new clients from my therapy website?
Can you believe it? It took all you had to finally click “publish” and feel like your website is “done.” And then you sat… and a little part of you hoped that the phone would just start ringing. However, it isn’t quite that simple!
A website is like a book. Just because a book has been written and there are copies in the world, doesn’t mean people will automatically start buying it. You need to let people know your website exists! Here are the first few steps to helping your new website be seen by actual people so the phone can start ringing:
How to get people finding your therapy website
1. Talk to family and friends about it. I know as therapists in private practice we often don’t like talking about our work- but it is important to let everyone you know exactly what you are doing. Talk to them personally, and then send them over your snazzy new website. Be bold- ask them to share it with friends, and on social media i.e. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. Did you know that one way search engines (like Google) determine how findable to make your website is based on how many people are talking about it on social media? People sharing your information is a kind of “social proof” that you are a real person and awesome.
2. Talk to other business owners about it. Nope, not just therapists. Do mechanics try to get business from other mechanics? While networking with therapists is powerful- it isn’t the whole picture. Build relationships out in the world, especially with people who like to share things they love. Get to know that business owner first- don’t make it just about you- let an outcome develop naturally from there.
4. Take some time to explore what your ideal clients type into Google, and make sure those phrases are sprinkled throughout your website. There are free website analyzers like www.quicksprout.com that will help analyze your website the way that search engines do- that can help you make little tweaks that are needed. Don’t forget to talk about the city you live in on your website. You don’t want to compete with therapists all over the world- let Google know you are an awesome local small business!
5. Blog. Make sure your website has a blog integrated into the platform- 90% of modern websites have this integrated. Write a medium length post a few times a month. Treat this blog post like a little mini-speaking engagement. Set time aside for it, write what you would say in real life if you were speaking to a group, and post it to your website!
There is no magic bullet for therapy site SEO
It takes time for your website to be findable on the Internet. Even if you do a great job- it will take several months for Google to pop you up to the top of the search. And, if there is a lot of competition in your area- it might take even longer- and a lot more work! Your website is a long-term investment, it is your little piece of real estate- your work was NOT in vain.
While you work on your website being on that first page of Google- get out into the world and articulate face to face what you have put so much time into writing on your website. Build real relationships with people. People refer to people they like, know, and trust.
Hot tip: One way Google determines if you are a real person, and amazing is by how many “backlinks” you have. Also known as, how many websites link to your website. You want websites bigger than yours linking back to your website. When you post a comment below, or ask a question, you are linking your website from this BIG website to your little website- so it can help it become more findable over time. So- post your question or comment below, get more help, and help your website become more findable! Just make sure to type it in correctly!
Miranda Palmer, LMFT is a therapist and business coach who sees how business decisions impact clinical work- for good or for bad. She wants to teach therapists how to make business decisions that allow them to do the best therapy work possible. You can check out over 10 hours of recorded free trainings for therapists here.
Palmer, M. (2014). I built a website for my private practice… but the phone isn’t ringing…. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 21, 2017, from https://pro.psychcentral.com/kickstart/2014/09/i-built-a-website-for-my-private-practice-but-the-phone-isnt-ringing/