These are in no particular order but hopefully easy to “tick off”:
1 – is your email available? I really, really think therapists need email addresses visible on their websites. The way email programs work, it could be as simple as someone typed in their email wrong on the contact form and then wonders why you never wrote back. (This happens a shocking 33% or more for couples writing to us on the Marriage Friendly Therapy website. It’s so sad when the email bounces back and there is no way to tell them.) Or they don’t want to fill out a form (or can’t at the moment but if they had your email they could write you later.) You can get your email into an IMAGE so you don’t get as much spam. But seriously, spam with clients is better than no spam and no clients. The best is to make your email “clickable” so their email program opens and they can write to you.
2 – does EVERY page of your website have your contact information on it? Your name, email, telephone? It should.
3 – If your website visibly tells you how many people have visited your website (a “counter”) TURN THAT OFF. It’s extremely mid 1990’s and dated looking. Plus you don’t want people to see that number because it may seem like a lot, or a little. Or, as happened, I went from the homepage, to the contact page, and back to the homepage…. that act alone made another VISITOR. Very silly.
4 – I have a whole training on websiteorganization, but TRY, with FRESH EYES, to look at your website for 3 seconds. Can you tell where you’d have to go if you’re a client? What about if your web audience are educators, doctors, or other types of people in the community? Do they know where to go immediately when landing on your homepage?
5 – Do you have a photo of yourself? Not only do you need a photo, ideally it’s on your homepage. Canned photos may look prettier (no offense…) but people are hiring you, not canned family joyfully running in a field. Some therapists have their photo on every page with contact info directly underneath. That’s about as personable as you can get.
6 – do you have your LOCATION on every page? It’s not just how to contact you but where you are?
7 – have you considered a “bookmark” or “share this website” button on your website? It’s great if you see couples so they can press one little icon and their spouse can be emailed. Two websites that do this are http://www.addthis.com and http://www.socialtwist.com.
8 – can someone easily tell what you do from your homepage? Do you make them click around a lot to get a sense of whether you treat eating disorders, couples, or teens?
9 – do you list your full address? It’s not super common but I find it a bit creepy when therapists hide their office address. This is especially bad if you’re in a huge metro area where people may not be able to see you 1 hour across town but they don’t have your actual address to know where in the city you are. Beyond the weird “hiding yourself” factor it’s really ridiculous because your contact information is public record with the licensing boards in every state.
10 – is your personality on your website? Is it all canned, marketing-heavy content? Is it all psychobabble that lay people don’t understand? Is it your resume instead of your personality shining through? Maybe show your website to a non-therapist friend and ask if they “see” any of you on your website.