Most people start their search for any service, including counseling, online. They want to know what their options are before taking the next step. That’s why counselors must have websites for their practices. And it’s best to build therapy websites using WordPress.
Why Build Your Therapy Website Using WordPress?
WordPress is the No. 1 content management system, powering almost 40% of websites in 2021. This percentage means about 500 million websites run on WordPress.
People choose WordPress because it’s reasonably priced, easy to use, and the roughly 60,000 available plugins help make it highly flexible. So whatever you want your website to do for your practice and your clients, WordPress can do.
While you may need to hire a developer to create your initial website and get it running exactly how you want it, WordPress should be simple for you to update afterward.
If you’re already nervous about building a site on your own, don’t worry.
How to Build Therapy Websites Using WordPress
Once you decide that WordPress is right for your counseling website, it’s time to get started building your site. First, you need a strong, professional online presence that introduces you and your services to potential clients.
Sometimes, a targeted landing page is your best option. It will help generate leads from your ideal clients. These pages will explain your services and help you direct potential clients to do just one thing — provide you with their contact information.
Choose a Host and Domain
A web host connects your content to the internet while a domain name points visitors to your website. You need both for a WordPress site.
- Choose a managed host company to keep your website running quickly and protect it from hackers.
- Look for a domain name that is short and as close to your service’s name as possible. It may be best to use your name. Either way, you want it to be easy to find and remember.
- Don’t choose confusing words or easily misspelled words. It makes them hard to remember and isn’t ideal for name recognition.
- Many hosting companies also provide domain name registration, so you can do both with one group once you choose a host.
- Most hosts also have WordPress installed, so you’re ready to work on your site as soon as you sign up.
Choose and Install a Website Theme
Choose a website theme that best suits your practice and the tone you’re trying to establish with patients. Think of your theme as the basic template for the site. Keep it simple. Plugins will provide all of the additional features you need.
Your site’s theme should include:
- Header. The site should have a header section to display your branding, including your site’s title, tagline, and a logo or photo.
- Copy. You’ll want space for copy to explain your services and counseling approach for potential clients. You also want to be able to add pages to your site.
- Colors. Choose a theme with colors that establish your brand’s tone. Consider light, calming colors like blues or greens.
- Fonts. Choose a site theme with a font that matches the tone you’re establishing. Make sure it’s easy to read.
- User Experience. Choose a theme that users can navigate intuitively. You don’t want so many things on your site that it distracts users from the basics of why they visit your site — to learn about you and your practice to see if it’s a good fit for them.
- Photos. Whether you put it in your header or elsewhere, you want to include a professional headshot on your website. You want potential clients to see what you look like and envision themselves in counseling with you. Do they trust you? They’re likely to make an initial decision based on a photo. Also, consider including photos of your office space and location to help them feel comfortable with the whole counseling experience.
Plan Your Site’s Content
When planning your site’s content, think about what you would look for as a potential client visiting a counseling site for the first time. Try to envision the site as a potential client.
Pages to consider including on your counseling site:
- About. An about page tells visitors who you are, establishes your credentials, and helps them get to know you. The about page also is an excellent place to put a photo of yourself.
- Services. A services page tells your clients what you do. It tells them what services you provide and for whom.
- Blog. A blog page where you write regularly about issues your clients face will help your site appear in search results and establish you as an expert who can help solve problems.
- FAQ. Answering frequently asked questions on your site will help provide essential information to site visitors. It also may help them feel more comfortable when they visit your practice for their initial appointment.
- Contact. Include a contact form so visitors can leave messages for you to return.
- Scheduling. Allow patients to schedule sessions via the website.
Add Content to Your Site
Write the content for all of the pages and sections of your site. This content should include a few blog posts to get visitors started there. Even though your site is new, you want visitors to find value, or they won’t come back, and they might not book an appointment with you.
When writing your counseling site’s content, consider:
- Audience. Write to clients and potential clients. You want your site to speak directly to them.
- Completeness. Your site is a work in progress, and it can change. But you want to make sure you have helpful information on every page before you launch.
- Accuracy. Make sure you check your site for accurate spelling and grammar before you publish.
- Skimmability. Most people visit websites from their phones. It’s difficult to read large blocks of texts on small devices. Instead, break up information into small paragraphs. Use bullet points, numbered lists, and subheads to make the text easier to read or skim.
- Keywords. Think about what potential clients are likely to search for when looking for the information you’re providing. Use those keywords throughout your site and in blog posts.
- Call-to-Action. Make sure your site tells visitors exactly what you want them to do next. For example, do you want them to fill out the contact form, book an appointment, or call your office? Tell them so in multiple locations.
Once you finish writing, it’s time to assemble all of the parts of your site. Fill in the theme’s content blocks with your copy and media like photos, graphics, and videos. Varying content makes the best user experience for visitors.
Launch Your Site
Before you launch your website, proofread the copy and test the links one last time. You want the experience to be seamless and informative for your clients and potential clients.
Once you’re ready to launch, your hosting service can help you get everything online. They likely have a step-by-step process for you to follow.
When your site is up and running, you’re ready to advertise your counseling services, along with your new website.