Saturday, December 20, 2008

Wow! A Dozen More Reviews to Come!

It's Saturday, and I'm about to get snowed in here in Seattle (again). And, I'm not really in a work mood, so no reviews tonight, but my call for websites to review (on the Forums at garnered over 10 sites to reviews. They'll be coming up in next 2-3 weeks.

Happy holidays everyone! Drive (and fly) safely!


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Website Review #2 (by Request)

Today, for your viewing pleasure, I present the website of Samuel Rainey, MA.

(click on the image to visit his site)

I think I'll go in reverse order of how I did the last review - starting with overall impressions and what I like and then "what I'd change".

OVERALL, a pleasant, relaxing site to look at. This is partly due to the clean and sparse design (note how crisp every element is, how nicely laid out and spaced it all is). I love the matching of the shirt color to the overall color! The photo is direct and yet relaxed. It's not busy, and is pretty clear to see how to navigate around it.

HOW I'D IMPROVE IT: If this were my site I would....
  • Eliminate the horizontal scrolling on the home page
  • Not use italics for the word "Therapist" on the home page
  • Mention my city/area somewhere on the home page
  • Have my phone number & email address more visible and persistent
  • Fix weird font-style shift in first paragraph of "About Me" page
  • Beef up content about the therapy services offered.
  • Consider whether all clip-art makes sense for my geographic area (I am looking at the FAQ page). I have a pet peeve about clip art that seems from a different geography (like an ocean beach on a site in Nebraska).

That's it! Good job Samuel!

Best, Peter
Your Google Guy - Always Ready With An Opinion :-)

Monday, December 15, 2008

First Website Review (That's By Request)

Hi Googlers,

Well, two people have requested reviews, and tonight I am getting to the first one. So, without further ado, here are my thoughts on

I'll take this on in my new-found way, which is by saying is this were my website I would...
  • Not have the headshot fade out - I'd have it all strong
  • Not have the "search the web" box on top - why send people off your site?
  • Have something about my geographic location visible (maybe in the top banner, like adding "in Frisco and Plano, TX")
  • Have contact info (phone & email) on every page (at the bottom is a great way to do it, or under the menu system on the left).
  • Clean up the pronoun usage in "About Cheryl" (it says "I" and "my" and then "she" in the next sentence).

Those are my quick to-dos. Overall, I like the site. It's got a nice feel to it. My reaction is it's professional, I get a feel for who this person is, it's easy to navigate, the menu is laid out clearly, the colors soothing (and they do together - this has been designed not just thrown together). It looks to be a Microsoft product (so much nicer than the old FrontPage crap).

I could find things to critique in the text but these would be nits (other than the pronoun consistancy, as noted).

Good job Cheryl!

Best, Peter
YourGoogleGuy - All the Web Marketing a Good Therapist Needs

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Thoughts on TherapyTribe

So I bet some of you have also gotten an email for It's a new Therapist Directory, costing $20/month or $199/year. It touts itself as being different as traffic is driven by its large social networks.

Those social networks are ones such as
and, as well as a few others.

I feel like a big wet blanket sometimes, because I find lots of web marketing to be full of holes. And, I am raining on this parade as well.

In going through some of the other Tribe websites, I find social networks built around the symptoms and conditions listed. The people who are there seem to be invested in their symptomology - and they seem to be pretty chronic. This is not my ideal client. I'm also not certain that this population is really going to be seeking new therapists - they have likely been down that road a few times before.

Thus, I am going to give my thumbs down. If this population seems like your ideal client, it may be for you.

Best, Peter

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Best Websites to Publish Your Articles

Hi Friends,

It's Saturday, I am busy catching up on gobs and gobs of emails and to-dos. My Biznik newsletter had a good story I will share with you (cuz heck, I don't have to think of all this stuff myself!).

One search engine strategy is to publish articles - ones filled with pertinent keywords and with a link back to yourself. This article goes over the best places to post them

Happy Saturdaying! Peter

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Website Review - Well-done & Straightforward

Hi folks,

I was doing a weekly thing, Googling therapists in my area to see who shows up, and who is new. I ran into a new ad (a Content Network ad) and pasted the link (I never cost my colleagues money by clicking their ads!), and voila, a site that was concise, and I thought really well done.

I present for your perusal, Bellevue Therapist Kim Gilliland.

I like straightforward sites, and this is one of them. From the URL (her last name + "therapy") on, it's all direct and done right.

On her home page, she presents herself (in photo and words), where she is located, and what she does (both generally and specialties) in a pithy manner.

The design is compact, professional looking and attractive. This site does an interesting job of bringing much of the information from an "About Me" page onto the home page, which works here very well.

If you were looking for an example to go from, it wouldn't hurt to use this one.

Best, Peter

CORRECTION - Updated Info on

Hi folks,

My posts on Google's statistics on the therapy sites garnered the attention of's Noah Rubinstein. Noah is the man behind GoodTherapy, and I've watched him really take on search engine optimization for his site with a lot of energy and zeal. Whereas PsychologyToday is more of a corporate entity, GT has an actual wizard running the show :-)

I'll let Noah tell you the stats on his site, which turn out to be higher than I previously reported  (this also reminds us all to take Google's stats with a grain of salt).

It's Noah Rubinstein, from want to let you know that your information is either very very outdated or incorrect. For example, for October we had well over 40,000 unique and over 200,000 page views.

Noah, I'm happy to report what you're telling me. Let the record be noted as more straightened now. :-)

Happy surfing, Peter

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Visitor Demographics Info -

NEW INFO ADDED 12/1/08! - Please see this post for more accurate stats from GoodTherapy themselves......Peter

Continuing our visit to Google's statistics about therapy directory sites - here's their take on

Google reports 11,000 unique monthly visitors (US) with 83,000 pageviews.

Here's the rest of the info! Best, Peter

Your Website is Your Salesman

I love a good analogy, and one came to my mind today - Your Website is Your Salesman.

A salesman is a representative, the one who is the initial contact point to the potential client. They represent you, they reflect you, and they make a big difference on whether you get a sale or not.

So let's imagine some different salesmen, the websites they would be, and their impacts on your prospects.

Would you buy from a salesman who is sloppy, disorganized and makes mistakes?
That's a website with typos, broken links, a poor menu system, and content that isn't organized well.

Would you buy from a salesman who can't answer questions about his product or service?
That's a website that's missing basic information such as your phone number, email address, fees, insurance information, a photo, or what school you went to.

Would you buy from a salesman who doesn't believe in his product?
That's a website with text in which you don't speak confidently about what you do, the people you help, and the benefits they often get from seeing you.

It's hard to look at your own site objectively, but I encourage you to take a cold hard look, and see what kind of salesman your site it.

Best, Peter Hannah

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Google Demographics Info on

Following on my post the other day on's stats, I thought I'd follow up on some of the other big directories. Today, (known to many on forums as NT).

According to Google (their stats, I am just reporting them), NT gathers about 18,000 unique visitors per month, and gets about 130,000 page views.

Here's the rest of the graphs....

Let me know which sites you want to hear about!

Best, Peter

Marketing to Women on the Web

Folks, here's one from Casey Truffo of I respect and admire Casey's work (sometimes disagree with some of her opinions, but always in with the best of spirits).

If you don't get her newsletters, I thought this one was pretty good - How to Market Counseling to Women.

Best, Peter

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Web Design Lessons from WebsitesThatSuck

Well, here's a little resource for ya! My friends at WsTS have a great little checklist to help you give yourself an honest assessment of your website's design quality.

You'll need to pardon their use of the word 'suck' and 'hell' - but there is gold in this list. This guys been doing this for 13 years.

Without further ado.....Does My Website Suck? Checklist #1

best, Peter
Guy Who Makes Therapist Sites Not Suck

Website Review #1 - A Bushel of Pet Peeves

OK folks, I've been pondering this idea. I am going to try it here and see what happens. It might hurt feelings (and being a recovering Nice Guy that might be hard), but I learned so much back in the 1990's about web design from a site called WebSitesThatSuck. This guy would find poorly designed sites, and use them as teaching tools. That's what I am going to try here.

So tonight's victim, er, I mean example, came while I was Googling "Seattle Counseling" (I do this about every day, to see who is new, who is offline, etc.) There are a flood of newbies tonight, which is odd. One is Christian Counseling in Lynnwood, WA. (Editor's note - I have nothing against Christian Counselors, Christians, Jesus himself, or God).

I could spend several hours on this - but will just hit the overall points:
  • *The blinking "Call" makes me want to scratch my eyes out. Or, it could be that it's 1997 all over again. Woo hoo! I'm young again!
  • *For a text-only site, it's text design is....just bad. Different sizes of fonts, odd justifying of text, etc.
  • *Lacking in content - so very little info to go on here.

Perhaps I should have just let this one go, but knowing that this guy is spending $2-$3 a click to get people to visit this site makes me feel sad. FYI, when I do this, I never click the ads - I just type in the URL on a fresh browser screen.

If you'd like your website reviewed (both the good and the bad) - send me an email!

Best, Peter

If You Thought Horizontal Scrolling Was a Keen Idea

Just another tidbit from the killer Adwords class (of which I get no toaster, I just was really jazzed to have a class that was filled with value and given by a smart and experienced individual).

One piece of research he gave us was called "Where Users Click" - a study of the surfing habits of individuals. It turns out that if your link is right of the visible area on the screen (meaning you need to horizontally scroll to see it), all the clicks there total only 0.4% of clicks!

And if you want to see the value of having your most important links visible without vertical scrolling (which is called "Above The Fold" after the newspaper term) - 76.5% of all clicks happen here.

Best, Peter
Your ever-lovin' Google Guy

Monday, November 17, 2008

Google Demographics Info on Psychology Today

Hi everyone,

I went to a killer Adwords class last week - and one of the sections was on a new Adwords tool called AdPlanner. It has all sorts of demographics data on major websites.

Since I know a lot of us advertise on - I thought I'd let you see what Google has to say about their visitors. Please note this is Google's data - not mine - and is all based on U.S. data.

They estimate 240,000 unique visitors a month come to PT, and accumulate 1.3 million page views.

And I've pasted the other info below - enjoy! Best, Peter

Thursday, November 13, 2008

If I Were Buying a URL For My Private Practice Today

I'm often asked for advice on domain names - what web address should I try to get for my new private practice website. Folks, this is an easy one for me.

If you're planning on laying down roots in a locality, you're going to want to try to get a URL that incorporates your locality name, and a word that describes your service.

So I'm here in Seattle. If I had graduated with my Masters in 1996, I might have been able to jump on Wow that would have been great. I graduated long after that and it was taken, and because in 2002 we were not really thinking about Search Engine Optimization, I got good ole for my Seattle-based practice.

I think the locality word is obvious (if you are in a big city, this may mean a neighborhood, like SoHo - if you are in some states, it might mean a county name - just think how people search where you are).

The service word can vary a bit. If you are a counselor, therapist, or social worker, I would try to get "counseling". It is searched much more than "counselor". If you specialize in couples, couplescounseling or marriagecounseling are about even (I'd lean to marriage counseling, I think it includes couples, but not the other way around).

If I were a psychologist, I would go for that word (never, ever "psychology", though).

Definitely go for a .com address - please do not bother with .net, .org, .edu. .us, .info, .biz or any other (if you are in the US). It will just lead to confusion for people, and seems second class to the consumer.

So, there is a great chance that your primary domain choice will be taken (, for instance). Here are some other ways to go.....

  • Best, Peter

    PS - domain names are not case-sensitive. I add in capitals so you can see the words better (I do at in ads I place, too).

    Watch out for Adwords Phishing Email


    While I have often gotten phishing emails (ones that try to look legit, to get your userid info - but are fraudulent), some "from" banks, many more "from" eBay. Yesterday I got one "from" Google.

    This email was very well crafted, but I have seen enough of them, so I hovered over the link in the email and it was something meant to look like the Adwords URL of course.

    So, please remember, always, ALWAYS just go straight to a site (eBay, Adwords, your bank) from a fresh browser window if you get an unsolicited email from them. Never click the link in the email.

    Save surfing! Peace, Peter

    Wednesday, November 12, 2008

    Getting Ready for Holidays - Marketing Advantages

    Hi folks,

    If you read my post a while back about the book "Click", you might remember he noted special search traffic patterns around January 1st.

    I think it's a good time right now to start pondering the use of the holidays to make our ads stand out.

    From mid-November until just after Christmas, most people will be focused on the holidays. This bring certain problems to the fore:

    • Family Relationship Stress
    • Feeling Lonely (Singles)
    • Feeling Disconnected from Joy

    This might be a good time to engage people with ads like "Got The Holiday Blues?" and the like.

    If you want to take this approach, here is an important part 2 (which could be implemented instead of the above). From December 30th to January 7th, there will be a huge spike in searches for diets, smoking cessation, gyms, and other things related to New Years resolutions. The spike is *huge*, people!

    If I were a life coach, personal trainer, nutritionist, or hypnotherapist - I would be all over this.

    That's it for now. 15 days 'til Thanksgiving!

    Best, Peter
    Unwrap the gift of new clients!

    Wednesday, October 22, 2008

    When? (Part 5 of 5 W's & 1 H)

    OK folks, I'll be real with you. I am sitting here stumped. What the heck does "When" have to do with therapy websites? I'm not really sure.

    I think this is the least important of the 5 W's, but let's explore together and see what we can come up with. Let's see some "Whens".

    • When do you see clients? (evenings? weekends? M-F?)
    • When am I ready for therapy? (how about getting started right now?)
    • When can we get started? ("I can usually see new clients within a week")
    • When will we know we're done? (when we reach your goal)

    That's all on this one folks. I promise, "How" will have a little more to it than this :-)

    Best, Peter

    Sunday, October 19, 2008

    Why? (Part 4 of 5W's and 1 H)

    So far we've focused on Who, What and Where. Tonight's post in on Why.

    Why is a powerful question - I think the most powerful of them all. For our purposes it frames two particular questions:

    Why are people visiting your website?
    Why should they pick you to work with?

    Let's start with the former. Why are people visiting your website? The bulk of them (or, the ones you hope to reach most - potential clients) have a problem that they need help with. Again, going to the 80/20 rule, most of those people are suffering from anxiety, depression, or relationship troubles.

    Mark that one word - suffering. Many of the top therapy marketing experts talk about this - meeting your clients pain. You need to write in a way that recognizes that people are coming to your site in pain - in trouble. Your job is to communicate that you understand the kinds of pain they suffer, and that you can help them with it.

    Let's go then to the latter question. There will likely be a number of therapist websites in your area - and most will at least list anxiety, depression & relationships somewhere in their site. Why will they pick you?

    This has different layers to it. First, you need to be legitimate - you have to seem credible, professional and confident. This is relayed in everything on your website - the design, text, photos, all of it. This is the gestalt of your website.

    Secondly, if you've passed that "sniff test", people will see if they think you cover their problem. If you have a specialty and they need help with that, you are in.

    Finally, they want to see if they resonate with you. I call this idea the "Resonance Niche". It says that who you are (your history, your personality, your style) will determine some of the people who choose you. No use in faking this stuff. Some people will be into it, some won't. I don't know anyone, though, who is into incongruence.

    OK - off to work!

    Happy Counseling! Peter
    Get Therapy Clients Online Thru Google

    Saturday, October 18, 2008

    What? (Part 3 of 5 W's and 1 H)

    I brainstormed several different ways of starting this post. Here's the winner:

    Q: What?
    A: Counseling. For human problems. That gives your client some benefit.

    OK, that might be too succinct, but if you just get that question and answer, you'll improve your site.

    The What of our sites (whether you call yourself counselor, social worker, therapist, analyst, or psychologist) is our paid services. To me, the goal of our sites is to get clients to come in, let us provide counseling services, and then pay us for it.

    I know there are people who want to have other streams of income - sell e-books, tapes, etc. That's fine, but for a vast majority of you therapists out there, that income is going to vastly overshadowed by your fee-for-service income. I bring up this point because I think in developing your content for your website you should make it crystal clear that you...

    1) provide counseling services - and be direct about whether your services are geared to the individual, family, marriage, pre-marital, child, adolescent and/or teen.

    2) you do services for with certain complaints. Depression, anxiety, relationships (these 3 words cover the vast majority of client complaints - it is the 80/20 rule in effect) are the clearest examples.

    3) if you have a niche or specialty, that you do these services for those issues too.

    4) and that the counseling is given to provide benefits to your clients. There's a saying in advertising - "Features tell, benefits sell". People don't come for the DBT or the CBT or the EFT, they come for the peace of mind, or the returning of hope and energy, or the end of fighting in their marriage.

    OK, I'm getting off my soapbox now.

    Best, Peter
    Market Your Private Practice With Adwords!

    Friday, October 17, 2008

    Who? (Part 2 of 5 W's & 1 H)

    Continuing down our journalistic path, we come to "Who".

    Not just Who as in "Who is this website about?"

    No, I think the more important focus is "Who is this website for?"

    And you know the answer already - it's for clients and potential clients. So this helps us frame the conversation right away.

    The first generation of my website (and many others I've run across over the years) was, to be clinical, ego-centric. The pages? "Who I Am" - "What I Do" - "What I Think".

    Guess what? This site did not generate a lot of calls.

    I learned, the hard way (which seems to be how I learn, and why I now teach and consult) to focus on the potential clients as the main "Who" of the website. I learned to focus on their problems, their lives, their issues, their pain, and what I would do for them. This made all the difference in the world.

    I put myself in their shoes, and wondered what I would want to know before I'd feel good about making a call.

    Now don't get dogmatic here, and think that who I am, the therapist, doesn't matter at all. I still let people know who I am. And they do want to know this. They want to know I am qualified, that I have some experience and some confidence in what I do. Many like to know a little about me, too (I coined the term "Resonance Niche" to acknowledge my belief that potential clients will often be drawn to a similarity in your life - such as a high-tech background, motherhood, being from a different part of the country, etc).

    So, I've got to run to see my own clients, so thus endeth the lesson for today.

    Just remember the Who is them, not you :-)

    Best, Peter
    Get Clicks, Get Clients - Your Google Guy

    Tuesday, October 14, 2008

    Where? (Part 1 of "The 5 W's and 1 H")

    When I was on my college newspaper, I learned about the basic questions to answer in a news story - the 5 W's (who, what, where, why, when) and 1 H (how). The same can be said of therapy websites. Let me elaborate with my favorite pet peeve W - Where.

    Now, what's a difference between a therapist's site and, say, a website for a service like telephone coaching, or for a web designer? The answer is our customer-base is local. Therefore, our sites are for a local audience.

    It amazes me that I can visit a counselor's homepage, and not know where in the US they are located. This is a problem on a couple of levels.

    First, I believe potential clients quickly orient themselves on a site (or don't) - to ensure the website they are on is what they were looking for - that this is in fact the right service (counseling) in the right place (their city). People may keep going if you don't meet these standards, but they tend to be easily dissuaded while surfing the web.

    Secondly, think of how people are searching for a local service. They tend to be entering a city name in their search - otherwise they get results for all over the country. If your site doesn't have your city or town listed, the search engines certainly won't show your site in the results for a local search.

    Coming next - More W's.....

    Friday, October 10, 2008

    A Small Post on Web Page Width

    Folks, for what seems like ever, we web designers have made our pages just over 700 pixels wide. Why? Because the vast majority of people had small screens with the resolution set to 800*600 (that's 800 pixels wide, and 600 pixels tall). Take away scroll bars, and browser window panes, and most people shot for 712 or so.

    Not anymore. I'm working on a new site (code name: Peter's New Site), and doing the first bits of design, and am now free to go wider! The vast majority (over 90%) of US visitors now have their screens set to 1024*768 or 1280*1024. My statistics package agrees with other posts I have found around the web that says only around 7% of people are using 800*600 now.

    A little geeky of a post, I know :-), but just more info for you.

    Best, Peter

    Wednesday, October 8, 2008

    Custom vs Template-Based Websites

    Hi folks,

    I am often asked this question: should I pay a designer for a custom website, or use templates on my web host?

    Well, here is a great article about that.

    By the way, Biznik is another great networking site. For me, it is my #2 professional networking site behind LinkedIn.

    Best, Peter

    Tuesday, October 7, 2008

    Breaking News! LeapFish Pricing!


    I asked for pricing on some of those permanent LeapFish ad spots, originally mentioned in this post and they sent it to me. Thought you'd like to see it.

    Note, they sell only one keyword combo, and that they will sell you different ad slots (first, second, third) for different prices. These prices are the current ones (rep said they would keep going up) and only for Seattle.


    Seattle Counseling
    Pos.1 - $ 3,739.94
    Pos.2 - $ 2,617.96
    Pos.3 - $ 1,495.97

    Seattle counselor
    Pos.1 - $ 3,689.32
    Pos.2 - $ 2,582.52
    Pos.3 - $ 1,475.73

    seattle therapy
    Pos.1 - $ 3,201.11
    Pos.2 - $ 2,240.78
    Pos.3 - $ 1,280.44

    seattle therapist
    Pos.1 - $ 3,362.29
    Pos.2 - $ 2,353.60
    Pos.3 - $ 1,344.92

    Best, Peter

    Latest Search Engine Market Share Results

    Hi folks,

    Search Engine Watch has reported the latest news on search engine market share - for July 2008.

    Who is #1? Google, of course. Of all searches done in the US, 61.9% were done on Google or Google-fed sites. The next highest is Yahoo at 20.5%. MSN comes in third at 8.9%.

    Best, Peter
    Your Google Guy
    Get Clicks, Get Clients

    New Report on % of People Clicking Ads

    I hear the question sometime - "do people really click on those little Google Adwords ads?". The answer has always been "Yes" but some now research gives me some numbers to back that up.

    According to a new iPerceptions report, 25% of consumers are likely to click on simple text ads (such as Adwords ads). This is higher than banner ads and video ads, no matter the format and the placement.

    Good news for people using Adwords!

    Best, Peter
    Your Google Guy
    Get Clicks, Get Clients

    Monday, October 6, 2008

    LeapFish - what to do?

    So I have been contacted by a sales rep from LeapFish, a new
    aggregate search engine. Of course, he's selling something. At least one of my Google Guy clients has been contacted too, and was asking for advice, so I've decided to post my thoughts here.

    Their basic sales pitch is that you buy a permanent advertising slot on their results page - for a certain phrase (such as "Seattle counselors" - which is different to them from "Seattle counselor" by the way). You pay a 5% fee (5% of the original sales price) each year. You then "own" this advertising slot for....well, forever.

    It's an interesting idea. It's like buying a Google Adwords slot....except LeapFish is no Google. They are a new and unknown search engine, and are basically re-vamping a concept that was tried by DogPile and People get quite used to their habits, and so I don't foresee LeapFish changing people's searching habits.

    In short - I wouldn't do it.

    Best, Peter
    Your Google Guy
    Get Clicks, Get Clients

    From the book "Click"

    For those tech-heads out there, the new book Click - What Millions of People Are Doing Online and Why It Matters is an interesting read.

    The author, Bill Tancer, has been writing about how people use the Internet, and especially search engines, for years.

    Overall, a complex and fascinating read, I think there is one nugget I can definitely give out as advice - if you do anything regarding diets, stopping smoking, or other habit changes, you should absolutely binge on pay-per-click advertising from December 30th-January 4th. The bulk of New Year's resolution searching is made at that time. By the time the 5th has rolled around, search volume on New Year's resolution items drops down to pre-holiday levels.

    This should stand out especially for hypnotherapists and coaches.

    Best, Peter
    Your Google Guy

    Thursday, October 2, 2008

    Welcome to the Google for Therapists Blog!

    Hi folks,

    Many therapists around the US know me as "Your Google Guy", because of my site I'm a busy guy, having helped well over 100 therapists, counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists and coaches around the country with their web marketing.

    I'm launching this blog to help you understand a bit more about this whole web marketing business. It gets more and more complex each day (really, and I was a computer guy before I was a therapist).

    To launch this, I wanted to link to a video from the man at Google named Matt Cutts. He's Google's chief "Spam fighter". You might think of Spam as that annoying bunch of unwanted email you get. It is, but it also now means tricks people try to do to get their website listed higher on search engines.

    I know there are do-it-yourselfers out there. If you're not one of them, give me a call - 206-799-6566.

    Best, Peter Hannah
    Your Google Guy
    Get Clicks, Get Clients