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Three Ways to Achieve the BEST Therapy Website (That Actually Work)

Website Tips

I recently joined Morgan Sinclair on the Weight Inclusive Innovators podcast for a deep dive into what we wish you knew about your therapy website (or other private practice!) – from two dietitians-turned-designers who now create brand/website designs for clinicians. And let me tell you – it's a vibe of an episode.

Morgan and I are IRL friends, and she's the absolute most fun to talk to – especially when we both have the incredibly specific life experience of being a dietitian in an eating disorder treatment center who then starts a design studio (as one does).

You can listen to the episode at the link below, or keep scrolling for the highlights – AKA, three ways to make sure you get the best therapy website possible that actually helps you book clients.

Weight Inclusive Innovators Podcast Episode 122: What We Wish You Knew About Your Website with Amy Hanneke

The best therapy website MUST include photos of yourself (and your team)

As with any business with a website – often, your rapport with your clients begins when they click to your page. The copy, design, and images on your website set the tone for your online reputation – and whether or not your leads actually reach out to book a session.

A website with a few professional photos of yourself and your team immediately creates connection. Photos can build trust with your audience, help clients start forming a mental picture of what it may be like to sit in session with you, and (if properly optimized) they can give your page a little SEO boost.

Your website should cut back on any uncertainty your audience has about hiring you – and having a faceless website only contributes to uncertainty. 

I highly recommend that my clients use the time between booking and starting our website project to refresh their brand photos, but if you don't – there's still great options! I leveraged iPhone headshots and a cohesive design (with brand icons and shapes) to create a powerful About page without pro photos for the NourishED Colorado website:

NourishED Colorado dietitian website design
From client project: NourishED Colorado

Where to use headshots on your website:

On Your Homepage

I recommend using an image of yourself/your team on your homepage, along with a ‘Mini About’ section that directs the user to your full About page.

From client project: Among the Trees Counseling & Wellness

On Your About Page 

(This one may be obvious, but) your About page should display a photo of each person your audience may interact with during the course of their relationship with you. This can help orient your audience to your team and boost their confidence in working together.

On Your Contact Page

An often overlooked one – but using brand photography or headshots on a contact page is an incredibly powerful way to reconnect your audience with who they’re reaching out to! 

Stop rattling off your modalities everywhere on your therapist website

(Don’t yell at me yet – let me explain)

“People don’t care about the specific modalities you use – they care about how they’re impacted by them.”

Morgan Sinclair

Let me put this into a painfully relevant example from my list – which of the below do you think gets me through my errands with kids faster?

OPTION 1: “We're going to get a cake pop, and you can choose between chocolate and birthday cake.”

OPTION 2: “We're going to get a cake pop, but first we need to put on shoes and get in the car. We'll stop for gas – but don't worry, I'm an excellent gas-pumper – and pick up some groceries, then we'll go to Target for your cake pop and you can eat it while I spend an additional 25 minutes grabbing diapers and all the other things we need.”

I don't know if you've ever met a toddler, but I have two and let me assure you: It's option 1.

EVEN THOUGH the gas gets us to the cake pop.

EVEN THOUGH me being pretty quick at the gas pump gets us to the cake pop faster.

EVEN THOUGH the groceries benefit said toddler's life in less immediate ways.

EVEN THOUGH the diaper run is relevant to the eating of said cake pop.

Lemme tell ya – my kid does not give a shit about the process of getting a cake pop. The boy just wants one. Period.

And here's the thing about your audience – they want the cake pop too. Or at least, the proverbial cake pop of results (although if you're an IRL cake pop baker – call me). They want:

  • To stop letting anxiety hold them back from going out to eat with friends
  • To learn how to savor food and in turn, savor their lives
  • To stop burning the candle at both ends and find a job that actually lets them enjoy time on AND off the clock

^ sound specific? That's because I swiped these examples from recent client projects.

Your clients don't care about your process, or your credentials (to a degree  – they do want you to be qualified). They care about where you'll help them go, not the fine details of getting there.

EVEN THOUGH you worked your ass off for those degrees you're rocking.

EVEN THOUGH there's a pile of letters behind your name that cost blood, sweat, tears, and a mortgage of funds.

EVEN THOUGH you have an airtight onboarding process that'll make their lives easier.

You need to focus on the destination – not the journey – if you want anyone to choose you as their guide.

(And you most certainly need to focus on the cake pop if you want to get your toddler's butt in their car seat – not the errands)

You absolutely deserve recognition for the work you’ve put into becoming a top-notch therapist, and your clients deserve to work with someone as highly trained as you. But your main role in writing and creating your therapy website is to highlight the desired transformation of your clients, not the path they’ll take to get there.

Your clients aren’t lying awake at night wishing they could utilize more RO DBT skills in an attuned and clinically appropriate way. They’re thinking about how they want to go out to eat with friends without crippling social anxiety. They want to get ahead at work without getting in their head about it. They want the confidence to navigate relationships and enjoy their lives.

And THAT is what you’re writing about – where they’re going. Not how they’re getting there.

Just to affirm that your audience isn’t specifically searching for you by modality:

Above, you can see the search volume (AKA, number of searches for this phrase on Google each month) for two keywords I considered for a current client project: “DBT therapist Huntsville” and “Therapist Huntsville.” The DBT-specific version had a search volume of NONE – so don't worry, streamlining your message won't hurt your SEO one bit.

Here’s some great places to put your therapy credentials and training on your website:

  • In a “professional bio” section of your website that can also serve as a quick place to send anyone who may need it for speaking engagements or media events you do
  • In a “how we work” section that elaborates on how each therapeutic modality actually supports your clients in their goals
  • In the body text UNDER more eye-catching headings that loop back to your clients’ values and goals
From client project: Among the Trees Counseling & Wellness

If you find yourself providing a lot of education around your modalities or want to create some content around highlighting them as part of your unique value: It’s time to start socials or a blog! Blogging is the perfect option to write long-form content with less worries about conversion and formatting.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Blogging with Showit & WordPress

Don’t catfish your clients on your therapy website

Infuse your website with your actual therapeutic personality and a photo of yourself to help set your audience’s expectations about what it’s actually like to work with you – and then follow through on it once you meet in person.

As a former eating disorder dietitian, I know very well that the way we show up in client relationships and professional settings is just one part of ourselves, so I want to be clear that I’m not saying you need to throw down tons of self-disclosure or things you wouldn’t actually say in a session!

But giving people an accurate and compelling snapshot of your work on your website is a great way to kick off your therapeutic relationship on the right foot.

From client project: Honest Therapy

Here’s some ideas to make that happen:

  • When you’re writing your website, dictate it into a Google doc (favorite plugin here) or voice-record yourself getting your point across, then write it – ensure that you write your website the way you actually sound
  • Use phrases on your website that you actually use in session
  • Match your brand voice to your session voice – if you swear in session, you can swear on your website! (You totally don’t have to though – you do you) Make references to your favorite things! Drop the name of your favorite self-help book author! Make it personal so that you can make it effective.

Want to level up your therapy website even more?

Introduce yourself with words to 

Download The Bestie Bio, a free guide that will reveal the four essential components to an audience-winning About page that will have your website visitors wondering just how fast they can book with you.

win them over.

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