This post is here to help you – the therapist.
As a therapist, your content has to speak directly to your potential clients needs.
They need to be confident enough in what you can offer that they decide to take the next step – perhaps, contact you to arrange a consultation.
The greater the level of client interaction with your website, the greater your ranking on Google and your visibility online, meaning you can expand your business to help your desired number of clients.
This post will help you create content that will rank your therapy business website on the first page of Google and vastly increase your potential to attract new customers.
I’ve been a successful marketer for over twenty years, a published author and content writer / SEO consultant for fifteen years and I also hold a Masters in creative writing. I use my combined skills end experience to help you get the most from your own marketing efforts.
How many therapists are there in the UK?
As of November 2020 there were 32.3 thousand psychologists in the UK. The British association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) also boasts over 47,000 members. If we were to include various other disciplines, such as NLP (Neuro linguistic Programming) and CBT, then we could probably estimate there to be over 55,000 practitioners in the UK today offering their services.
What does this mean for your therapy service in 2021
That you are in a saturated market and there are more therapists than people in the UK in need of care?
In 2018, 26% of the population was diagnosed with a psychiatric condition in the UK. Of those 33% were in the age group 45 to 54. Children diagnosed with a psychiatric condition stood at 23%.
Covid19 and the resulting aftermath from increased bereavement, decreased feelings of self worth and seclusion have brought the total number of people in the UK who desperately need the help that a therapist can offer (according to the centre for information health) up to 10 million!
The number is rising every day.
From a business perspective, the good news is that if you are a therapist, have the right content and can be found online then you have the potential to reach and help as many people as you need to.
If you are currently finding your therapy business struggling to reach and attract your potential clients, then there is something wrong and in all likelihood your content and marketing strategy needs a serious revamp.
As I have done with previous posts I will be breaking down the elements from a top ranking therapy site and outlining what they are doing right so you can take those points / strategies and apply them to your own therapy website.
Before I do this however, let’s take a look at the type of people that your site is designed for.
Who visits a therapists website?
Well, the most obvious answer is:
People that need therapy.
Whilst that is partly right, it certainly is not the whole answer. From a prospective client’s point of view, there are three main types:
- Those who know exactly what they are looking for (e.g. ACT, CBT, NLP Transactional therapy etc.), and know exactly how much they are willing to pay for it.
- Those who don’t know specifically what they want but are looking for solutions to their mental health problems and have money set aside to pay for the right service.
- Those who are still in the ‘research phase’ looking for answers to a problem which may or may not lead to a buying decision.
It important to note that many site visitors will not be prospective patients themselves at all but are perhaps friends, parents or family members searching for a service on behalf of a third party.
So many people set up their therapy website without considering exactly who their clients are and neglect to cater for them and their position in the buying funnel (not everyone is sitting at their computer, credit card in hand and ready to purchase your service there and then).
TakeAway – Do your homework, research your web customers and make sure your content (on every page) speaks directly to them. On a website dedicated to therapy your content must not assume that the only people reading your content is the prospective client. Very often it is an interested third party doing research on behalf of your potential client.
Emotion and the therapy website
Even the most seemingly ‘dull’ business sectors need to produce web content that appeals on an emotive and a practical level. The two are often intertwined so when the web user is ‘sold’ on an emotional level they don’t have far to look for their buying decision to be justified logically.
I have written about this in greater detail in previous posts which you can access here should you wish to.
For a therapist service to appeal to prospective clients, the copy needs to show that you both understand and can provide solutions to help guide people through their turbulent emotional journey.
Therapists aside, many people who search for a therapy service on Google are doing so because they need solutions to perhaps a debilitating mental health condition, something which, as you will already know, carries with it an increased emotional response.
Competition and the therapists website
There is a way to make your potential competition almost negligible and that is:
Don’t compete, instead niche.
There are so many therapists in the UK, offering a broad range of therapies catered for just about anyone who cares to use the service they provide. The problem (especially if you are a relatively young business) with this is that you will find the market place is saturated and those established companies with the big, well-known brands are taking the bulk of the pie, leaving the remaining therapist businesses out there scrambling around for the few remaining crumbs.
- Could you for example offer your services primarily to a specific demographic or market sector?
- Perhaps your therapy service is directed at children.
- You might offer a specific type of therapy such as transactional therapy, in which ‘inner child’ work plays a key role.
The point is, the more you are able to niche your offering the greater the chances of your target market recognizing and using your service.
Your web content as a therapist
I’ve taken a top ranking therapy service in a geographically competitive area and we’ll break the site down together:
Your therapy site needs a good meta description
There are many reasons why the Private Therapy Clinic is ranking so highly, among them is NOT that they have a good meta description. When you see an ellipsis (three dots) at the end of a Google description, this means that the company have not bothered to add an appropriate description and Google have truncated some content from their page OR that the meta description they have provided is simply too long.
TakeAway – If you want prospective clients to click through to your site they will need an emotive and compelling reason to do so. Alongside your title, your meta description may well be the difference between a web user visiting or ignoring your site in favour of another.
Ease of use, emotionally appealing, client focused and informative enough to want me to read more is what I expect to see when I click through to a therapy website.
On average it takes a web user 50 milliseconds to form an opinion of a therapy website. In that time I’ll either read on or click away.
I am drawn immediately to the smiling face of an attractive female, it is clearly a professional photograph and is both welcoming and inviting. This is exactly the right type of image for a therapists’ home page.
According to recent research, commercial websites with a picture where the person appears to be looking at the web user enjoyed a significant rise in the number of purchases made.
If I were to be critical however – As a hobby I’ve researched the work of Paul Ekman and facial expressions and the smile in this picture is a little ‘forced.’ On a subliminal level many people will pick up on this.
Is your therapy website copy client focused?
This one is. In one paragraph I learn that I will be seen by a specialist who will:
- Improve my mental health.
- Get me back on track.
- Positively transform my life.
- Adopt the approach that best suits me.
Emotionally I am sold. Now the other section of my brain kicks in and is looking to support the buying decision I have already made:
I learn that the people I will be dealing with are:
- Have a wealth of experience
The Private Therapy Clinic has communicated ALL of this information in just six lines.
Simplicity is important in a therapy website
Notice how the site has not baffled you with science and long-winded technical terms. If they had – as a prospective client – that would have been enough to compel me to stop reading and go back to Google and search for another company.
Also note their use of personal pronouns:
… improving your mental health
… getting you back on track
… approach that best suits you
This makes me feel like the site is speaking directly to me, which helps create an emotive synergy.
Social Proof and the therapists website
What others say about you carries great weight as a therapist, and you will already be aware of this when you review the clients who have, through word of mouth referrals, come to use your service.
The Private Clinic displays a 4.8 out of 5 rating based on 377 reviews based on verified customer feedback. When I click on this I see all of the reviews are also date stamped which comforts me as a prospective client, knowing the reviews are current.
Call to Action and your therapy website
There is a plethora of calls to action depending upon what the web user is more comfortable with. I can:
- Speak directly to a therapist on the telephone
- Call on WhatsApp
- Click on a live chat
- Book an appointment
- Book a free consultation
TakeAway – Make sure you have relevant calls to action on your site. If you have a sales page with no call to action then you risk the web user simply clicking away, even if your web copy is engaging.
Does a therapist need a blog?
Right now that’s sorted, thank you for reading this post. Unless of course you’d like to know what a blog will do for your website:
If you want your therapy website to rank on the first page of Google, you NEED a regular blog (at least one per week).
- Having a blog sets you up as a trusted expert in your field.
- Because of the informal nature of blogs you are also seen as approachable.
- The latest stats indicate that web users are thirteen times more likely to click on your site (and use you) if you have a regular blog.
I hope this post has helped. If you have any specific queries relating to your own therapy business I’d be happy to help.
I work alongside AWE Business Networking, an amazing group with members from all across the UK. It is a great way to meet new business contacts, pass business and receive real time business support and insight to take your business to the next level.
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Till next time
AWE Networking / Your Content write