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5 Elements Of An Effective Practice Website

An effective website is key to building a thriving private practice in the digital age.

According to Pew Research, 80% of internet users look online for health information, making it the third most popular online pursuit following email and using a search engine. Additionally, 44% of internet users look online for information about doctors or other health professionals.

Since the majority of people are looking for your services online, your website is the heart of your professional web presence. All other online efforts should focus primarily on directing potential clients to your website where they will get to know who you are and how you can help them. Your website is your first impression, your “billboard”, and your best chance to build trust with potential clients. I suggest these 5 C’s when building your private practice website.

11 Comments to
5 Elements Of An Effective Practice Website

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  1. Julie, thanks so much for posting the 5 elements of a private practice website. I must admit that I am lacking regarding element #5. Although I have my Private Practice website & blog for my therapy services, I’m more drawn to publishing posts on my non-clinical blog ( Although a mother should not verbalize that she loves one child more than the other, I have to stand up and confess, “Hi I’m Brigitte and it’s been two weeks since my last blog entry.” While I have tons of post titles/ideas for my neglected website-blog, I’ve noticed that procrastination seems to be a function of publishing more posts on my non-clinical blog.

    I hope I’m not the only one who procrastinates.

    Be Well
    Brigitte (neglected child) (favored child)

    • Brigitte, first of all, I must say that your practice niche is brilliant! Way to go (BTW- I grew up in Studio City/Toluca Lake area near many of the Studios). Curious how you could bring more of your passion to your practice blog…or think about how you can use your “favorite” non-clinical blog to drive traffic to your practice site.

      I’m thinking of doing a 2013 weekly blog challenge for therapist where I post a question or a suggested weekly blog topic to make it easier for therapists to blog weekly and then post the link to share with other therapists and to be accountable. Would that interest you?

      • I love this!! Very interested in the weekly blog challenge. Although I am not lacking in clients, my aim is to work more with the court system, and help my fellow therapists at my practice get more work. Perhaps blogging would step up my goal. And anysuggesttions re my site and how I might get the other therapists more attention would be much appreciated!! Thanks so much!
        Karen Wood, LMHC

  2. Another “hit the nail right on the head” article! Thanks Julie!

  3. Great blog article! I, too, am lacking in element #5 due to time constraints and blogophobia, as you call it 🙂 I do agree that all of the elements can create an effective psychotherapy website.

    You’re blog articles are very well written and very, very helpful!


    • Hi Debra, you are not alone in your blogophobia! Many therapists “suffer” from it. I’m considering hosting a 2013 weekly blog challenge here on the Toolbox where I pose a question, or suggested blog topic to help make it a bit easier for therapist to blog regularly, share posts, give feedback, and a way to be accountable. What do you think?

  4. Thanks for yet another great article, Julie! I must admit, I do absolutely nothing with my website. Somehow, it still seems to generate enough clients that I haven’t been very motivated to improve it. Well, I think this just will be my New Year’s Resolution then! You may have just finally motivated me! I’d love to get some feedback on my two very utilitarian websites of and so that I can have some ideas on which areas you see would benefit from improvement. (Blogging is definitely one that I can’t seem to find the time/energy/motivation for!) Thanks for always keeping improvement in my mind and writing articles that make a solid practice seem attainable to early career clinicians, Julie!

    • Hi Rachael, I sure appreciate your comment and I’m glad that you find my blog helpful! As you can tell I love private practice and I’m happy to help cheer on other clinicians. Curious why you have 2 different websites…that seems like a lot of work if you update both. You may want to choose one to lead with. FYI-all of the links at the top of aren’t working and go to a “forbidden” page.

      I like the clean look of I’d add some additional visual elements like photos to add interest. I really like your personal statement and photo on the home page — very approachable and warm. Also, navigation is user-friendly! Way to go.

      I’ve mentioned this in a few other comments on this post, but in case you missed those…I’m thinking about hosting a 2013 weekly blog challenge where I post a topic or question to spark a blog idea and help reluctant bloggers to blog weekly, share ideas, and be accountable. You in? 🙂

  5. Hi Julie, Thanks for spelling out the 5 most important elements. This summer I designed and wrote my website,
    I have changed it continually as I realize better ways of describing what I offer, to whom, and who I am as a psychologist in private practice. I know my navigation needs improvement on each page, but otherwise I’m happy with the overall look.
    I would appreciate any feedback from you or your readers regarding the content or anything else really.
    Thank you for your time in advance.

    • Kimberly, very nice website. The look and feel of it seem to match your philosophy and practice approach well! The photo banner on the top gives a soothing feel and adds a cohesiveness to the site. The top navigation is easy to use. And nice job blogging! I see there are several posts there that are geared toward your ideal client and helping potential clients understand your approach. Well done!

      A few suggestions…I suggest collapsing the About/Who I am/What I do pages/navigation links into one page (about), or maybe two (who I am & what I do) to simplify. Those 3 feel redundant. I would also suggest cutting the amount of text on the home page by 2/3rds – Try using one paragraph under each heading maximum that summarizes and highlights the benefits of your services.

      Another think to keep in mind is making the text of your pages “scanable” by using white space, breaks, bullet points, lists, etc.

      Finally, you may want to change settings on your blog so your featured images show up on your main blog page to make it more visually interesting.

      Kimberly, very well done. Thanks so much for your comment and I sure hope this feedback is helpful!

      • Totally helpful Julie- thanks so much for taking the time to look it over and write the personal response. I too think it’s redundant, but in using the template I didn’t think about compressing them.
        Shortening on home page, yes. I’ve been trying but somehow it grows over night. 🙂 Thanks again.

  6. Great post. Very informative. I am in the beginning stage of setting up a coaching business specializing in substance abuse recovery. I am very appreciative of any advice to increase success.


    • Hi Mike, Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Ah, the beginning stages of setting up a practice can seem overwhelming at times. Be sure to find good mentors. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help!

  7. Julie,
    Thanks for the article. For those interested in knowing more about how to get started building a website check out my blog: I discuss how to choose a name for your site, how to register your name, how to host your site, etc. I also offer a discount code to get you started.

    My practice website is I have a resources page that may be helpful for other clinicians and their clients. Feel free to use as needed. I am also open to adding things if you have suggestions or additional resources that you feel others could benefit from.

  8. Thank you for this article! I launched my website this summer
    and would appreciate any feedback. I struggled with using the first
    Person– anyone else experience this? Also as a Mom to two kids
    starting my own business and trying to have a balanced life I cannot seem
    To get the blogging going at all.
    Anyway I would love any feedback!
    My website is :
    Thanks so much!

  9. Feedback on my website will be appreciated. Thanks!

  10. I appreciate all the coaching/support. I want to start more of a social media presence however my old school training keeps getting in my way! I have to figure out how to cross over into the social media/blog arena while maintaining ethics. It’s a big leap for me!


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