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It's Noah Rubinstein, from want to let you know that your information is either very very outdated or incorrect.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!