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Archive for the ‘Website Link Help’ Category

Psychology Today Ad “No-No’s”

I am pointing out Psychology Today ads for three main reasons.  One, they’re one of the largest out there, but my information pertains to all advertising.  Two, they allow groups to join rather than just individuals.  Three, they’re open ended as far as the type of therapy you can do to be listed. 

In no particular order, when advertising for a general therapy ad:

Make sure if you have a website, it is LINKED!  And secondly, make sure the link WORKS!  If it doubt, ask a friend  to go to the site and click on it to see that it works.

If you are focusing on a particular client-base, and you talk about that client base on your website, think about linking NOT to your homepage, but directly to that client groups page.  Help them do one less click to get where they are interested in!

Do not tout your resume, or otherwise “repeat” what is listed on the factual stuff around your profile statement.  That little area to write is meant to draw people in, not regurgiate what they can already read.

If you are in a group, I, a prospective client, don’t care!  I found YOU doing a search for MY needs.  I see YOUR photo and want to know about YOU.  I don’t care that you have five colleagues, or what they do.  Write your ad for YOU, and link to the group website, but don’t use precious ad dollars talking about what everyone does.  When I’m not even in relationship with you yet there is no way you’re going to sell me on OTHER strangers (your colleagues.)

Have a photo!  And have the best photo you can possibly get.  I’d rather see a REALLY good photo of you in casual clothes than a photo that looks 30 years old but you’re dressed up.  Remember there are some good lookin’ folks out there and your photo is what brings a boring web profile life, energy, and emotional connection with your prospective readership.  (I joke that my photo, as seen on this blog, is my “after”, but I live in a “before.”  Professional hair, make up, and professional photographers make a HUGE difference!)    My husband takes bad photos so the one he uses on his website was randomly taken at a fast food Chinese restaurant.  We cut out the kids, have a happy face, and there you go!  One trick I’ve learned by doing it is to look AWAY from the camera until JUST as it’s being taken. The smile comes off much more naturally.  You may also want to experiment with using black and white.  Sometimes it’s shocking what a difference removing color can make to a photo!

Even if you just do this for my mental health, since it’s one of my biggest therapy marketing bugaboos, DO NOT say things like, “I work with children, teens, adults, the elderly, individuals, couples, families, and groups.”  That basically means if your client is a homo sapien, they’re “in.”  You might as well not say that at all for how “useful” it is!  Same goes for things like, “I do play therapy, addiction and recovery, geriatric care, GLBT work, baby boomer blues groups, eating disorders, trauma, sexual abuse, singles groups, divorce groups, marriage groups.”  Oh my!  Too much diversity makes you either come across as desperate to please everyone, over-extended, or possibly less of an expert because the profile next to yours is someone with 25 years working almost exclusively with the prospective clients problems.

NEVER leave your profile statement blank or ask people to just go to your website.  They’ve likely already used their mouse 4-20 times before they arrived at your profile.  They are weary and just don’t care.  If you can’t bother to say “hi” in an ad you’re spending good money to have, your prospective clients can’t be bothered to click through to your website.

I have a lot more but will stop for now!  I encourage you to share my blog with your colleagues.  If you like what you read, help me connect with newsletters in your organization.  I love writing for the Minnesota AMFT newsletter and have gotten really great responses over the months.  I write like I talk and am not a sales person (a risk many newsletters have letting “non therapists” write.)

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Important To-Do!

I would have to say a good 20% or more of therapy website links I “follow” are broken (meaning they go nowhere), the website never loads (so weird), the website page result says “we no longer host websites”, or there are two http in the name so it not only doesn’t load, but I have to close OUT of my entire browser, copy and paste without two http://http:// to get to the site.

Please folks, for all paid and free listings, go today, find your profile the way a regular person would (ie, don’t log in behind the scenes), and see if your website links are working.  If not, get it fixed, or remove them if you no longer have a website.  You shouldn’t be going through the effort of having an “ad” somewhere and not reaping the benefit of your website link not working properly.  I always “test” hyperlinks that I help people set up on Marriage Friendly Therapists, to ensure they’re working.

oh! And the most important thing to remember is to not freak out, beat yourself up, or otherwise feel badly if you’ve been paying hundreds of dollars for a broken link.  It happens to the best of us.  Just get it fixed today and move forward.  It’s not a bad idea every 6 months or a year to go back and review everywhere you are “online” anyway.

Psychology Today Ads – interesting research

I have seen various links to my husbands marriage counseling website on his website traffic from his Psychology Today Ad.  I just ignore the details and summarize all the visits.

But just yesterday I realized something important.  The links TELL you something interesting!  It appears there are two links you’ll see, though I wish there were more because it would be even more “telling.”

One link will have “prof detail” at the end of it and is hopefully the higher number.  This is going to be the people who find you through Psychology Today and click through to your website.  My husband has had 35 people this year click to his website from his profile.  (I have ignored his profile til just the other day and have suggestions for him to change it.)

The SECOND link is going to say something about rms/ NAME and it will list your name.  This one is going to be someone doing a NAME search and finding you!  The reason this is so interesting is because those people (8 for my husband to date) are likely people who found you ELSEWHERE and are doing a Google search on your name to learn more.  I know, weird, but not really.  Even someone who finds my husbands website is likely interested in learning more about him on Google.  So 8 people did just that!  This might have been people word of mouth who heard about him, his ad on The First Dance premarital site, or even his own natural Google traffic and people wanting validation on who he is.

I’d love if anyone reading knows how to see their website traffic and has an ad on Psychology Today… love to see your numbers or at least see how they compare.  And anyone on Marriage Friendly Therapists, we get a lot of therapy name searches, and I know of clients who were interested and then “SOLD” on those therapists because of their profile and being listed on that website.

Really good article on Social Media

I LOVE Wordtracker newsletters.  They never let me down, they always inspire, and perhaps because they’re really about the intelligent research end of marketing, it feed my analytical brain with great information.  http://www.wordtracker.com/academy/social-media-marketing-introduction

If you’re on Twitter or Facebook as a therapist or marriage educator, let me know.  I’d love to know how you use it, any success stories, how it may be altering your website or marketing ideas, whether therapists have any issues with clients following them (HIPPA or just ethical boundary stuff.)

Comment on my blog 1) to help me and others learn from you, and 2) links TO your website, as I talk about in depth in the marketing your website through links CD, is crucial.  Blog comments are one way to do that!

What to Know About Websites

Hello blog readers.  I apologize in advance for being self promoting, but every ONCE in a while I will discuss what I SELL and why I spend so much time doing this blog, website, and why I spent hundreds of hours developing my trainings.

There is a lot to know about a website.  This isn’t even the “techie stuff” for which webmasters go to school, buy expensive software programs, and get ongoing education on various computer programs.  Those folks can be busy, full time, forever doing that stuff.

No, I’m talking about the you and me’s of the world.  The average folks trying to make a living and give back.  Whether you’ve got a website now, and ESPECIALLY if you don’t yet have a website, my trainings will walk you through stuff nobody told me, or they told me way too late, or I learned through agonizing, time and money draining ways.  It’s not rocket science stuff.  It’s some small things and a few big things that add up to “Elizabeth is a website guru.”  I’m not a guru, really, but I seem to have picked up a ton along the way.  And anything I learn, I filter through my own experiences, my life, my gut, and my “systems orientation” that I grew up with having a marriage and family therapist father.  Everything I learn, without trying, I start chewing on how it can be translated to different personality types, or how it can impact therapists, or educators, or ME.

My entire bundle of trainings is something I would have died to have four years ago.  It would have prevented so much wasted money, so much wasted time and effort.  My domain CD involves a lot more than just ‘find a name.’  There is a lot of mythology about domain names out there, and there are some really important, long term things to consider with your name.  And the great news for most of you is you are not heavily marketing and it is NOT TOO LATE to redo your website name!  It’s never too late, but this training will walk you through things to consider in a name, and the important steps to take if you DO CHANGE your name.

Then we move into my marketing your domain name.  This is one of the three pillars of “search engine optimization”.  Ignoring that fancy phrase, it’s just plain IMPORTANT that you don’t have an idle website.  Put it to use, get it out there.  But how? Where? Why?  Did you know you can see where your competitors advertise??  Did you know there are really cool, unique ways to advertise that you probably don’t know about now?  This CD is going to open your eyes.

Next is the dual-team of website content and website organization.  Content is all about why it’s important, how to generate NEW ideas, how to research things you want to write about, how to study your competition, and how to get you inspired to write.  But all that writing is for naught if you don’t organize your website well.  It would be like having your fanciest furniture and art inside the guest bathroom, downstairs in your unused basement.  Nobody is going to see it and nobody will even want to go down there to see it.  The opposite problem is like walking into a house and you have not a bare space of floor or wall.  There is art, furniture, plants, and pets EVERYWHERE.  You get instantly panicked, having no idea where to look and no idea where to step.  Some websites are like that and they always make me gasp.

It’s been a few weeks and I’m STILL getting fabulous, unsolicited emails from people who heard my workshop on website traffic at the annual Smart Marriages conference.  I’m still glowing from how fun it was and the great feedback.  It really keeps me going even more strongly on this blog.  I have a message.  It isn’t unique, except that it’s delivered by ME, and I’m unique.  I have a unique story, background, and passion that I try to infect people with.  Websites don’t have to be scary or boring.  I promise!

The entire CD bundle, organized into bite sized “chapters” for you to listen to over and over, is just $250!  If  you have done any research, you’ll find 1) nobody is doing what I’m doing.  Even if they offer you free stuff, it’s highly confusing, technical, and doesn’t actually teach you anything.  More often it freaks you out so you hire the report-giver!  2) you can pay people to do stuff, but then you have no idea what they did, why they did it, or how to ever translate that to your next website, or blog, or even how to help a colleague.

Listen to the free introduction to search engine optimization, and consider buying the CD trainings here or even the one hour personalized website review.

Website Tip on Advertising Your Website

Here’s a good tip, sort of related to my last website tip.

If you’re like most therapists you have SO many various “groups” you help.  When advertising on a website, consider who goes to it.  Whether you’re on a website that specializes in a group, or any other website, why not direct people on your profile to a SPECIFIC PAGE.  So instead of sending people to your homepage, you should consider sending people to the couples page of your website, if you’re on the Registry of Marriage Friendly Therapists.

If that ‘couples’ page, in this example, has the same text as your profile on the website, then another option is to direct people to another part of your website.  Maybe you have an awesome article that people love.  You could say on your profile, “visit my website and read an informative piece on Y.”  Afterall, your profile already has your contact info, so why not “wow” them with a link directly to some page that may do the “final sell.”  This is where knowing your web traffic helps, to know what people seem to like the most.  You could also design a fabulous FAQ page for the audience you’re advertising to. For couples these FAQ should include things like: What if my spouse doesn’t want to come?  Do you have evening hours?  How often do you see people, is it weekly or less often?  Do you accept insurance for couples counseling?

Make sense?  Feel free to comment!

Relationship Building: Paying for links

To clarify more from my last post, it’s often easiest to pay to be listed on another persons website.   We have done this for The First Dance, until I got the search engine optimization so high that I not only rank higher than expensive websites, but those websites are wedding focused and did not yield me good traffic (at an insane $125/month… 6 month contract, ouch!)

My new couples counselor husband just landed his second call from a large, expensive therapy website.  He has done the math and with 4 client hours it pays for the years worth of fees.  The frugal wife and web marketer in me realizes he’s dead on with his logic but still says, “but you get ALL your other clients FREE FROM GOOGLE SEARCHES!”  But it’s never good to rest everything in one bucket (showing up high on Google) so he’s right that it’s good to have other listings, especially since he has had two clients in 6 months see him.

Paying for website listings is good not just from getting new calls but it helps your own website.  Google and others use the Professional Journal theory that your words must be validated by your peers.  So, links from similar-websites means they are “blessing” you.  Obviously it’s best if you can write for free on other websites in your area of expertise, but paid links will do!

A really “sexy” way to get a link is to be a blog sponsor.  This is very common and can do you very well if the blog is focused on your area.  Every blog entry is it’s own page, so by being on a blog it means you will show up on every page of the blog!  Off the top of my head, I’m not sure how many therapy type blogs are out there that would yield enough local traffic.  But, with some creativity you never know!  If some local parent website has a blog, that might be a great place to sponsor your therapy listing.  Or if there is some entrepreneurial local blogger in your area who talks about a wide variety of subjects, you may be able to be a “blog sponsor” there to get all those local visitors attention.

I will talk more about this idea over and over in different ways.  Signing off for now!  – Elizabeth

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