Common Mistakes Therapists Make With Their Websites

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In this recorded webinar, Cory will share the key things he’s seen therapists do that minimizes the effectiveness of their website. Cory has been building websites since 1999 and built a multi-million dollar software business helping web designers over 11 years.

This insightful webinar will cover:

  • Common mistakes you might be making
  • Key components to include on your site
  • Identifying your audience

Webinar Transcript

Speaker: Cory Miller

Hey, everybody, welcome back to another all counselors webinar, I’m excited to share with you today, five mistakes therapists make with their websites. Over the years, I have, over the last year in particular, looked at a bunch of therapists and counselor websites, and made some notes. And by and large, I want to say before we even get started, I’m excited that therapists have websites and domain names.

That’s that’s a key, just having a website is a key. If you don’t have a website, that’s part of what we do at all And I’ll be sharing that here in just a second. But if you have a website, that’s awesome, I want to try to help make it better. So along the way, if you have a website already, and would like me and our team to review it posted in the chat, we have time to the end of this, I’ll go over that and give you some suggestions.

So my name is Cory Miller. I’m the founder of all counselors calm and my prior prior career from 2008 2009 teen was building a software company and started in 2008, built it up to we had about 25 people more were acquired in 2018. And in 2019, after we got the team transitioned, and all that left the company, my company that started and was eventually required and settled on this next adventure for myself, which is trying to make an impact in mental health.

And one of the key ways we do that, and I do that, personally and professionally, is by serving and supporting clinicians like you. So I am not a software developer. But I have been building websites for a very long time. I guess you could go back to 1999 when I created my first website, but my software business was actually building tools for website designers, most of the tools, same tools we use at our counselors to build websites for therapists.

Here is my email, if you want to get a hold of me, you’re welcome to email me at [email protected] and you can also hit the contact form at all and it’ll get to our team. So okay, I want to dive right in. And I want to leave some time to answer questions. And then also, if you have a site for review, please post that. And we’ll try to look at that during this next hour.

Okay, so when we’re talking about the five websites I see most therapists making on their website. Number one is they don’t design it for their clients. And what I mean is, you spend all this time and this isn’t this isn’t not, this is just trying to help you improve and get better. But you spend all of your time in school, then you go into supervision. And then you’re talking to clients and things like that. But you spent all of this awesome education, being very academic about it.

But what we ended up doing is take that jargon, so to speak, and put it on our websites, and our clients don’t know what that really means. And so I’m not a clinician, so I’ve benefited of saying like, I know more than maybe a typical client, because I’ve been around clinicians for a long time, I live with the clinician, I serve and support you all. But when you put things like MDR, or CBT, or whatever, on your website, don’t assume the biggest mistake we make is we assume that our clients understand what that means.

And so cut out the jargon on your site, and say, if you know, you want to think about who you serve your ideal client profile, and you want to think about who that is, right? The if it’s demographics, if it’s certain kinds of issues, and translate that and say I help, you know, teenagers, I help couples work through that. And some of the tools or methodology I use are this, if you say EMDR, CBT, or whatever, those act, those things, and here’s what that means.

That’s the kind of stuff you want to make sure and put on your website. So many times, we’re just talking to other conditions, so to speak, that if you all see each other’s website, you go yes, I know what that means. But our clients don’t know that. And so on any site. In fact, we had a pure 100% ecommerce operation for 10 plus years. And so we didn’t have face to face, we didn’t even have a phone at the time. We tried to interact. But if we had to use just jargon on our website, we wouldn’t have sold as many products as we did.

And so you got to get down to the common denominator, which is your client, not fellow clinicians. And that’s the biggest thing I could say the first mistake I see people make is you’re not unpacking it for the lay person. You’re impacting it where another clinician can really easily do that. And what when we say design it for the clients design it with the end goal is you want them to book with you. You want them to come in, see if you’re right fit, maybe that’s a consultation. And but ultimately hopefully it’s come in or Do telehealth or whatever that however you’re delivering your therapy. That’s the end goal of your website.

And so too often I see people, in fact that talk to a clinician a couple weeks ago, and I was giving him some advice about the site. He said, Well, I really don’t want to change the site design, I go, okay, you’re not your website, your, your practices website is not for you. It’s for the clients that you’re trying to pull into your practice. And a big mistake we make is thinking it’s an art project or design project. And it looks, you know, I spent all this time building this cool website, that is cool to me.

But the end goal is we want you to connect with the people that are hurting, and pull them into your practice. And your website should be a vehicle for that, primarily. And first and foremost should be a marketing website for your practice. In fact, the packages we do at all counselors, that’s exactly why we’ve designed the package the way we did, it’s not to be a cool fancy thing that you can, that the only goal is to show off to other people.

The goal is to help you get clients to help you find the people that are looking for you and your work to find you connect with you learn more about you overcome the obstacles that they might have to determine if you’re the right fit for them, and then get therapy get help through you. So that’s one of the biggest thing we we see is that we don’t think about it from the clients perspective, we think about it from our own perspective. And by the way, that’s an ongoing thing, that’s even something I have to remember to do is like, we’re not doing this for me, we’re doing it for the people that are going to be on the website that we want to convert into customers members, or in your case clients.

So number one,don’t just design it for yourself, design it for your clients. The second I see quite a bit is we don’t make it easy for clients. Once I’ve gotten to the site. If we’ve done our ideal client profile, we’ve messaged appropriately, where we shared what this does what this modality does or who you’re serving better. We don’t make it easy for the clients, or prospective clients to take next steps.

This is as simple as making sure the telephone icons or buttons on your side, if you take phone calls like that you want people to call your your office number that they aren’t clickable in a mobile browser that could just instantly call you even some of the biggest sets of have been on don’t have this foundational feature where you know, if I’m on my mobile phone, I’ve seen this before, click on the little fun button, it should pull up a little dialog on my iPhone or my android that says want to call Yes, I shouldn’t have to copy somehow or redo those numbers make it easy. Now that’s a very small example. But I see it time and time again.

If you’re still if you’re taking clients in your office, making sure there’s directions to your office, where to park, my counselor a year ago, was in a cool part of Oklahoma City where I live. But parking was really restrictive, you actually have to park like there’s three spaces in front of his office that he shares. And you have to actually Park like in a neighborhood, I would highly suggest if you have something like that, no, don’t cause more anxiety for someone trying to get to their counseling practice, whether that’s in an office, for instance, showing a map how to park or online, if you’re doing telehealth, make sure they know where to find the zoom link or whatever video platform you’re using. Make sure they have those details out.

In fact, the counselor I’m working with now, personally, I have to always go back and find the link or our meeting or the video. And it should be easily accessible. Or you should have some servers where you can send reminders about where those links are because having a hunt that it’s just anything in the way can you see the kind of recurring theme here. Anything in the way of someone getting into the office with you or doing a telehealth thing is an obstacle you need to try to overcome as best you can. And one of the best ways to do that is through your website.

So another thing I see with counselors is not making easy book and scheduling options. It’s usually I remember the first time I worked with the the therapists here in Oklahoma City. We went back and forth three or four emails just saying when when are your next appointments? I’d much rather see like, be able to book it myself. Then go back and forth. Well, well, Tuesday at two o’clock work well, Wednesday at 6pm work where you know, making that so simple and easy for someone to book with you again another recurring theme here.

I’ve already talked about what to expect and or expect on your website. That’s typically it can be accomplished through an FAQ section for Frequently Asked Questions section on your website. And then again, is to be mobile friendly. Don’t assume that your clients are on this desktop. I’ve got a nice, I don’t know, 24 inch, you know screen right here. Most people are going to be using a phone to find you. So how can they click and, and Can they see all the information on your website easily held mobile responsive on an iPhone or Android or a tablet, making sure that your website is, quote, mobile responsive is absolutely key.

So I’ve talked about Mistake number one. therapists don’t design it for their clients, they design it for themselves as mistake. Step number two, they don’t make next steps easy. If the ultimate goal is to help get you booked up, then step number two is absolutely critical. Make sure you take away any obstacle for them contacting you. And starting the process, including your intake forms, including the process for parking and getting on zoom, or whatever it is.

Number three is a big one. Now I’m going to give you term and only to share that this is a huge, multi billion dollar industry and why Google exists really is called the mistake I see is that you don’t therapists don’t optimize their websites for Google. And I understand it’s hard to keep up with technology and marketing. And the algorithms, even Google changes their algorithms quite frequently.

This is one of the reasons why we’re taking that pain point out at all counselors an offering done for you website service. But not optimizing for Google is a huge Miss. If you have a website. Great. Now, let’s get you optimized for Google. What I mean is when someone you know, let’s say I’m sitting here in Oklahoma City, probably about five miles from downtown. And I go into Google and I think I’m having problems I want to find a therapist and I type in therapist in a Google, you should show up if you’re in my area, and being optimized with your website.

So you’re shown if you’re a counselor marriage in therapy at marriage and family counselor in Boulder, Colorado, when someone in Boulder, Colorado and adversity types therapist or counselor, we want you to be found by them. And it’s a big Miss if you’re not done. This whole industry called search engine optimization, SEO. And specifically, we’re talking about local SEO, it’s geographically based, is a huge industry.

And for good reason. Everybody from your plumber to restaurants and you therapist should be optimizing your websites for local SEO to get found when someone types in. Now, when I say Google, it’s just not just the search engine rankings, part of your website that you want to it’s like Batman and Robin or Shira and Wonder Woman is you want your website to be local SEO. So someone in your town in your geographic area when they’re talking to therapists finds you.

And then second, Google My Business when you type in therapist or plumber, whatever. These are the results that it’s called Google My Business, it’s basically the map. We want you to have a Google My Business account for your clinic for your practice that syncs with your website. And they’re Batman and Robin Shira and Wonder Woman, they’re sidekicks to each other. They play Yin and Yang. And it’s another way to be found.

Those are critical essential pieces, one having a website that you control that you have can and that is optimized that is talking to clients and not to fellow clinicians. A second is having that Google My Business account. If you just type in wherever you’re at, just create a new browser tab and type in plumber, you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about that map or therapists actually, if you’re in your office, and see who pops up, you want to be found in those rankings for people in about a five mile geographic range area for you to be found.

That’s called Google My Business, I’ll put a link in the chat to where you can sign up for Google My Business account another thing, another service that we do, and all counselors for you. So not optimized for Google huge mess, see it all the time. Just It doesn’t mean cramming the keywords into the page. That means some elegant ways to share with a user you are the person they are looking for in the geographic region that also is optimized for search.

And for Google, and also Google My Business is a key part of that with your website. As we go, if you have questions, please post those in the chat or the q&a function. I’ll get to those as soon as we can. I want to leave some space for reviews and open any questions to help you make progress on your websites and your marketing. But here’s another big thing is I see it’s maybe if conditions have a website. It’s not part of a cohesive strategy. At all counselors, we believe your website should be the hub.

And everything else is a spoke coming back to and from that hub, which is your website. Your website should be your center business card, so to speak digitally for everything you do in your practice. And if you think about it, when you’re talking to potential clients, you’re given a business card out you’re talking to her referral person like a doctor primary care, you want to be able to give them their card, and then make it easy for them to refer people back. And what’s the best way to do that is an email introduction.

But even better is like, here’s your websites, they can go check you out, get these answers the first three things that we’re talking about, or specifically the first two things, answer the objections, make sure you’re right fit and make it easy for them to book a consultation or a session. But I see time and time again. It’s just Well, someone told me I needed a website.

We believe that all counselors should be a part of a strategic cohesive system. But the website is the foundational thing. That’s why we started with the service to offer clinicians, therapists and counselors, a great marketing website for their practice, because it’s absolutely foundational and central, and everything else, whether it’s a directory listing, business cards, you put out there a flyer, just telling somebody at a restaurant, what you do should come back to your website that is your full on 24/7 365 days a year, brochure salesperson to help people see what you do and how you can help them and not making that part of this cohesive strategy. or putting one above it, like making something else the head is a grounds for ineffectiveness, and potentially disaster.

It’s great to have social outposts like Instagram, if you’re prolific on Instagram, I’ve got a business partner, actually, that has 40,000 followers on Instagram. Well, that is great. But she doesn’t own that account. A website with a domain is something you own those outposts should be part of the spoke, you should do that curate your audience use that as a vehicle to publish content. But it should ultimately push them back to your website where they can find out more about you and book a session. The ultimate goal is to get you booked up with the people that are hurting.

The next and last mistake I see people make is wasting time and and sometimes money trying to do it yourself. In if you have expertise with this, by all means go do it. But for most people that we talked to, you want to do therapy, you don’t want to do digital marketing, you don’t want to be a web developer. That’s why we offer the service at all counselors is to take all that out, where you can basically just say, here’s the information. Now go optimize it for me. And I want to pick out my design Cool there, you can use our library to do that. But we want to take out all of this time and effort and offer it at an extremely affordable price.

So that you can get your practice out there. So you can be found by the people that are hurting that need you your help and your healing in the world. And so a lot of times just like it was actually a psychiatrist talking to you. I can’t imagine what he bills, you know, but I know it’s significantly more than the output of doing his own website, I want him thinking about going to awesome continuing education. I want to I’m thinking about like psychiatrists, particularly when I’m thinking about the new medicines that are coming out that could help integrated with other people, the therapists in the community, I want them to think about that not thinking about website technology and digital marketing, if it’s your hobby and passion, cool.

But I see a lot of therapists trying to go to Wix or Weebly and try to figure out themselves, it’s great that you one have priority to have your own practice website. And you can do great by searching out there. And we try to put resources if you want to do it yourself. But I think how much is your hourly rate, what is your session rate, I want you to continue to work on that with your credibility and authority and experience out there to continue to charge more to connect with the people, the ideal clients that you need to help in the world that you help best in the world with your particular tools, and modalities and treatment options and things like that.

And I want you spending more time there and worrying less about technology and digital marketing that changes consistently. This is what I’ve made my career of the last 15 plus years is marketing and website development specifically. And the new technologies that come along. I actually part of another project that I have is teaching digital marketing.

So I I kind of I used to at our my previous software company would kind of like put my head on my hand on my head when I’d see like a dentist that would purchase one of our products and try to do it all themselves. And I thought I get it sometimes it’s hard to find the right vendor to help you. But it’s like that dentists can charge way more than what they could hire to somebody else to build a great site that connected. We’re trying to put all those pieces together for you in a box and all counselors calm.

Okay, so that’s my five mistakes and give you some takeaways about that. I’m happy to answer more questions in the chat or q&a. I want to pull up the chat here real quick, make sure I didn’t miss anything. But let me go over the the five mistakes I see therapists making on the website.

Again, number one, they don’t design it for their clients, they design it thinking of the jargon in your head. And that’s tough. Sometimes it’s tough to translate the jargon, the, you know, modalities and the acronyms and all that for your clients. But it’s absolutely essential. And it’s part of running your practice marketing practice, and being successful, to sign up for your clients, not for yourself.

Make it easy, I’m going to flip these mistakes into the admonitions make it easy for prospective clients, and current clients to take next steps, book another appointment, find your find your place, know how you work, how much you charge, what services and what people you specialize in. Please, please for sure, do that. So don’t make it easy. Or I’m starting to make it easy for people to take next steps.

Optimize your website, make sure your site is always optimized for Google, for people typing in therapists, that that is the most from a buying perspective, a business perspective only people that type in plumber, people that type in therapist, Counselor, child psychologist, those are the most ready to buy buyers, those are the hot buyers. That’s why it’s so important that you’re optimized for Google, you have a Google My Business account, or profile. So you’re being found by those hottest, most ready to buy clients.

Number four, make sure it’s the hub like the center of your universe for everything you’re doing for your marketing your practice. Everything else if you have a Facebook account, or page, if you have an Instagram, that’s very active that you’re pushing back to your website. Ultimately, that’s where you want to make those easy to buy bought options you should see now I hope hub and the spokes the hub is the website spokes are all the other things that come back to it.

Like your directory listing and psychology today or for another free directory. We’re working on those at all counselors calm to By the way, in the next two to three weeks, we’re going to be launched that you should have a profile on those those are outposts, though that should point back to your website so they can book a session with you. And then finally is I see therapists spinning their wheels wasting time and effort on of doing it to themselves?

The tools are out there. They’re awesome if you have a proclivity if you’re interested in like it’s a hobby to you and you like learning these things by all means go do it. Wix Weebly, Squarespace are great options for that and WordPress too. That’s what we use internally here at all counselors calm and what I’ve spent my career doing. But Wix Weebly, Squarespace are all great options. If you decide to do it yourself, I just always say, what’s that cost benefit?

Can you be out doing more sessions, hire somebody that can help you do all of these things better. And instead of trying to learn stumble and fumble over those things, and I want you to be able to connect to the people that are hurting and need your help. So that’s the five mistakes, keep this short and sweet. So I can get on to q&a and reviews of your website if you’d like. We want you at all counselors to continue to focus on and hone the therapy to help you do in the world.

And we want to take the marketing off you so you can book a discovery meeting with us free 25 minute I think it is discovery call Kayla our awesome clients success director, myself, Ani King, our CEO, and others are all here to help you take next steps to market your practice to help those that are hurting, looking for you in the world. So that you can build a practice that could do good in the world and do well in the world as well.

So I’m gonna end the recording so we can get on to our q&a session. There might be a couple questions here. But thank you so much for being here today. And if all counselors can help you lead, please let us know. We have a currently a special for building your websites. I’ll put a link here in the chat. And you can go there. We’re right now through the end of June, offering $67 a month instead of charging you $5,000 for a website. To build a website. We’re doing it we’re trying to make it as economically affordable and effective as possible.

So we’ve got the $67 a month, no setup fees, all that kind of stuff. You can see all the things we do here for you. You can look through our some of our designs and pick one that matches your brand and share what you’re doing. reach people on Google, get them booked. do all the things that have been talking about today. We’re here for you at all counselors.

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