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Archive for the ‘Great Website Examples’ Category

What a Therapy Website Can Be

The Co-Founder of Marriage Friendly Therapists is Kathleen Wenger, whom I get the joy of seeing about once a year in Laguna Beach.  She works at Pepperdine University, where this therapist intern went to school.  This is how I know this guy early in his still-young career experienced burnout after highly successful internet marketing.  I know he put a lot into Google Ads, and I have to say, his website to my marketing eyes is both exhausting (to imagine all the work he put in!) and AMAZING.  It really is a dream site in many respects.  I will definitely be using his website as a fantastic example as I build my own private practice website some day.

After you surf around, consider he gets $150/session.  He’s still an intern-level therapist in California.  And you’d never really know he’s an intern as a prospective client based on all that he has to say on the site.

The part that scares me in general, and part of why I’m so passionate about helping therapists with their websites, is this guy has a lot less experience than many of you reading this, and yet to a prospective client, he may appear more experienced and more competent.  This is not a put down to THIS therapist, but more an encouragement and reality check that many of you do not appear even remotely passionate or interesting on your websites compared to someone like him.  And yes, in some ways he’s going to draw a certain type of client over someone else.  You have to trust your instincts and know who you are as a therapist.  My husband, for example, is super against ‘quizzes’ and things he views as more Cosmo-magazine and less demonstrative of the gravitas of therapy.  Of course, this California therapist likely has a lot more clients, so it’s a battle of integrity, marketing-saavy, and what works for your practice and level of comfort.

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Great Website Example: Content

I just wanted to share this therapy website.  Obviously I like it in part because she does a lot of things I want more therapists to do.  For example, instead of having bullet points of human suffering, have DETAILS, articles, content, describe how you help people with those presenting problems.  I say on this blog and in my website audio-trainings like a broken record…imagine your entire world has crashed into bits.  You are totally shattered and are looking for help online.  You’ve been vomiting, not sleeping, snapping at everyone around you, can’t focus, can’t stop crying.  You begin your online search.  This could be for any reason.  Your spouse is cheating.  Your kid tried to kill herself.  You saw a horrendous car accident or your nephew just died.

You discover The THING That Has Ruined You is just a bullet point on a therapists website.  A bullet point?  That’s all my pain is worth to you?  Are you sure you are an expert in “MY pain?”  And if you have a bullet point list of human suffering, what happens if my particular issue isn’t on your list?  Does that mean I’m only worthy of…gasp, an “excetera?”  I’ll probably go to someone else who talks more about my pain and how they can help.  Or, if all else fails, at least find myself on a bullet point list on another therapists website.

I made the link of that therapists website to an article I really appreciate because it hits an issue directly “what is a counselor vs friend?”  In a few minutes on her website, do you feel like you know her?  I do.  It’s a good thing to “ooze” your personality!  It makes it more likely you’ll be contacted.  Or, at the very least, help someone even if they don’t call you for therapy. And notice she doesn’t sound like a used car salesman with slick marketing talk.

There really is so, so much you can write about.  I hope her website whets your writers appetite!

Beautiful website design example

I just found another gorgeous therapy website design.  Of course design is like art…HIGHLY Personal.  I’m unabashedly a fan of the color red.  I even have a rule in life that if I am trying to decide between two items (usually clothing), to ALWAYS chose the red.  Colors are very personal.  But therapy is also very personal!  Does your website reflect who you are and the emotions you want people to feel when they see it?

The issue of design relates to what you want if you chose to grow.  This is a simple website, so there may be issues in growing bigger (more content = more traffic, as a general rule.) We had to destroy what was a very simple, neutral The First Dance website 3-4 years ago because we severely outgrew the design.

Here is a really good website tip!  If you EVER find a website you absolutely love, contact the webmaster about buying the website design.  The amount they want may be a bit shocking ($1,000+) but it IS their intellectual property and they worked very hard for it.  And trust me…if you like it, it may be well worth owning it for 1K rather than going with a new webdesign that may not at all look like what you want and may take months.  You will still have costs of getting your content up and some of the design is “images” that will need to be changed according to what you want.  But even if the webmaster who make the site is a bit of a flake, you already have most of the work DONE so delays won’t take nearly as long as it did for the first person who commissioned the site.  Plus you can ask the owner of the site whether they liked working with their webmaster.

A “Flash” based website example

I’m going to put this website in “Great website examples” even though it’s HORRIBLE FROM A SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING standpoint!  I haven’t spent much time on the site but it’s very colorful, engaging, and seems fun as a parent of young children.  I’d get rid of the music (with an option to play it) but the bummer is Google can only read the homepage, and can only read the text at the VERY bottom of the homepage.

I link to it to show you  this is what Flash looks like.  See how it’s more movie like?  And notice as you click around that the top of your browser you would not be able to bookmark a particular page (bad for parents who are big into social media and would want to share a particular page of the website.)

You can get away with this sort of website is you have no need to market to web surfers who already know who you are.  For example, Chipotle restaurants often do Flash websites and they can get away with that because nobody is searching for “a tasty burrito.”  Flash looks super cool and web designers, as I say over and over, may not have a clue about search engine marketing, so they may sell you on a super slick website without realizing they’re selling you the fanciest, most nearly-useless marketing tool ever.  Sure, if you can GET your website linked all over the web, it’s totally fine to have Flash because you’re “spreading the word” via all those other websites sending you traffic.  But, at least have a non-Flash version of the same website so search engines can read the text.  Or drop flash altogether.

Great therapy website design

This website has personality, especially the about page!  There are lots of little things she could be doing to enhance her website separate from the design.  For example, if you put your mouse over any of the pages, you’ll notice they’re labeled by number.  Those page names, or “file names”, should be rich with the keywords on that page.  A keyword is what people will be looking for, like couples therapy, or to learn more about depression.  Instead of “page6.html” it should describe that page.

But in any event, I don’t often see SUCH a spunky look and I like it!  (Again, the About page is really fun and I haven’t visited every page.)  It seems to show her personality the way many web designs don’t.  This gets to my biggest frustration with therapysites.com which has now FIVE templates, 3 colors each.  I keep annoying my husband wondering why a company that spends tens of thousands of dollars advertising can’t put a few thousand into new designs.    600,000 mental health professionals, whose profession is the interchange and intimacy of YOU, as a therapist, and the CLIENT, should be better represented in diverse website design.  You can’t really stand out if you have the same websites as everyone else.  At best it neutralizing what could be a very bad, very distracting website and at worst, you are zapped of your entire personhood, expertise, and “zest”.  It reminds me of those boards that  have famous characters on them with a hole for your head.

Great website for Branding

This website on adoption is the kind of website where I’d be jumping for joy working with them to improve their website content and marketing.  They have one of the most important ingredients: a brand or niche.

I can’t tell you how rare this is in the therapy world and how, if I were in LA and was dealing with adoption, there is no question I’d call them up.  Even if there were 40 other therapists who mention “adoption” in their profiles on websites, which isn’t very likely, this marketing packs a punch emotionally, spiritually, and with passion.  She leaves no doubt about who she loves, what she does, and why you’d benefit working with her.

Part of why “branding” excites me is how useful it has been in my professional and personal life.  I just got an email confirming a therapist doesn’t need my help getting her website up (using our therapy template).  I feel lighter and more free!  Just as you would want to see a passionate therapist, you want to hire a website person who is passionate about what they do.  My soul is LIFTED, the ideas flow, and my energy buzzes when I talk about websites, marketing ideas, figuring out how to help you help your clients.  But my soul slowly dies at the idea of literally putting your words on a website page (website editing, copy and pasting, real “grunt work”.)  I am not an administrative soul.  I feel blessed that I am able to use my strengths and avoid my weaknesses in my professional life.   I don’t find glory in copy and pasting your words, but in helping you figure out what words to SAY.  You are best hiring someone who loves nothing more than tweaking the code of a website.

As I’ve blogged about a while back, my latest surgery was an eye-opening, soul-enriching one.  I don’t think I’ve ever spent 6 weeks of my life, chair-bound, with nothing to do nor any energy to do anything.  I am convinced the darkest moments of our life can be the most enriching, though rarely in the moment.  Professionally the best thing to come of the surgery was to try staying as far away from soul-draining work as possible while at the SAME  TIME using my skills and passion to HELP AS MANY therapists and educators as I can.  Hence, the hours upon hours upon hours I spent developing my CD trainings.  And this blog, which is fantastically fun for me to write.

What is YOUR brand or niche and does your website reflect it well?  And if you have a brand but don’t know what to do, my CD’s are a fantastic place to start.  I’m a hybrid of marketing, educator, techie, search engine optimization, advertising, cheerleader, researcher.  I never had all this help in one place when I made all my mistakes and I still can’t find this stuff in one place, which is the only reason I created them.  I have NO interest in reinventing a wheel.

Now I have to go do my latest personalized website review for someone I have know for a few years and love.  I think the biggest issue for that website is going to be branding and figuring out how to express that via the website.  These website reviews are definitely soul-enriching for me and recipients (therapists and I’ve done a few marriage educator ones) find the information very useful.

2 Great Website Examples (Visual reviews)

Without going into a full “personalized web review” for people not asking for them, I’m going to continue to share websites that demonstrate the UNIQUE look you can have on your therapy website.  I would have a lot of suggestions for them if they were interested, so I’m not endorsing all the search engine, organization, etc of them.

I like this website for many reasons.  It’s simple but not “blah.”  It’s got color to it, but it’s also managable to read.  I love the use of photos that aren’t beaches, stones, bamboo, sunsets that most therapists use.  Notice on every page they have different photos and that their entire website continues their “Brand”, through photos.  These are unique folks you aren’t going to forget if you find their website!  They’re doing interesting things and their website is well designed.  Professional, calm, engaging, simple.

I also like this website because it’s so visually unique.  It’s masculine, simple, artistic, and also fully  a “brand.”  If you wanted couple help this guy is someone you’d have to decide NOT to go to based on his entire focus.  I’ve noticed websites using Mac’s tend to have a “textured” look, which I really enjoy.

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