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