When planning your new therapist or counseling website, you may have questions about what content or pages to include. Three primary goals for your therapist or counseling website are to:
- Invite and welcome prospective clients to get to know you
- Inform prospective clients on the ways that you can help them
- Connect with prospective clients and strengthen existing relationships
The following is a list of suggested pages and content that will help you meet these goals and connect with prospective clients.
Your homepage helps establish a potential client’s first impressions of you and your practice. It’s important to strategically place the most essential information in a welcoming, easy-to-read and -navigate way.
- Include imagery that reflects your practice, philosophies, and/or local region invites your website visitors to learn more about you, your specialties, and encourage them to get in touch.
- Short chunks of the most important information (about you, services, get in touch) that link to more in-depth pages help guide your potential clients through your website and makes finding the information they are seeking clear and easy to process.
- A prominent Call-to-Action (CTA) button that links to a form to schedule a consult or send a message makes connecting easy and efficient for new clients.
An About page is essential to include in your therapist or counseling website in order for prospective clients to get to know you, your educational and professional background, and any other relevant information you’d like to share with clients.
- Include your educational and professional background, including degrees, licensure, certificates and any specialty professional development or organizations of which you are a member.
- Include a warm photo of yourself and/or photos of your office to give the prospective client a feel for what a session will be like with you.
- Share small parts of your personal story and interests. One of the best ways to connect with clients, readers, or your audience, is by using storytelling.
3. Services / Specialties
Providing information about your services and specializations helps ensure you and your prospective clients are a good fit for each other.
- Provide a bulleted list for easy reading (most people scan when reading online) followed by more in-depth paragraphs on specific topics.
- Think about the specific problems that you help your clients solve and write about them from a place of understanding.
- Clarify any clinical terminology that may not be clear to others.
- Consider including anonymized testimonials supporting your work in these areas.
Most often, the primary Call-to-Action for a therapist or counseling website is for the prospective client to get in touch to schedule an appointment or introductory consultation. A contact page with an easy-to-use form is a must for any professional website.
- Keep the form simple (name, email, phone, message fields) with no questions about protected health information (PHI) to comply with HIPAA.
- Ensure your website and contact form are encrypted. Make sure that the contact form does not save a copy of the form submission to your web server or database. Establish data retention rules and procedures, if so.
- Use a HIPAA compliant email account for receiving form submissions. Or, set up a HIPAA compliant third-party service (see below) and connect your website to it.
- If you use a third-party service for scheduling, billing, and/or electronic medical records (EMRs) and electronic health records (EHRs) like SimplePractice, TherapyNotes, or TheraNest, for example, ask your website designer / developer to incorporate it. Commonly, these services provide code snippets to easily integrate their services into your website.
5. Fees and Insurance
Including clear information about fees, payment and insurance options helps reduce the time you and your prospective clients spend responding to related inquiries and filtering those who might not be an optimal fit. Including information about sliding scale services that you or nearby providers offer is also useful.
Providing a list of additional useful resources for your clients and website visitors helps guide them to supportive resources, lends credibility to your practice, and helps reinforce your preferred approaches. For example, if mindfulness or meditation are tools that you employ with your clients, linking to a few reputable resources about mindfulness and meditation can foster a deeper dive and integration. Include resources for people in crisis to help ensure they have places to turn in times of uncertainty or despair.
Starting and maintaining a blog helps your prospective clients find you. Each time you post a new blog post (or article), search engines index the new page and create a new opportunity for people searching relevant keywords to find the article on your website. Blog articles also help to build trust and reputability for therapists, counselors, and wellness professionals. By demonstrating your knowledge via written articles, you distinguish yourself as an expert in the field. Use your articles to demonstrate how to solve problems. Think of an issue your ideal clients are facing in life and provide a taste of tips and resources for coping.
8. Prominent Calls to Action
It’s essential to encourage your readers and potential clients to take action with prominent “Call to Action” (CTA) buttons or links used throughout your website. For therapists, counselors, and wellness professionals, the CTA is often to Get in Touch or Schedule a Consult or Appointment. Link the buttons to a page that contains an easy-to-use form for the person to complete this task. Remember to make it as easy as possible to reach you.