Monday, August 9, 2010

So this is how the PT Phone # thing works....

Well, folks, the PT thing works.

Today, I saw someone had called and left a message. I was busy with something so I let it go to voicemail. A couple minutes later I get an email from PsychologyToday. It goes like this:

Hi Peter Hannah,

At 11:21 AM PDT you received a missed phone call. This caller found you on

Call to (206) 799-6566
Call from (206) xxx-xxxx/Seattle WA
(Note - The actual incoming number was listed here - nice for security.)
Date: August 9, 2010
Call Duration: 00:00:00 (missed call)

To view a record of this call, please log into your profile at
and click on the Contact History tab.



Psychology Today has recently introduced call tracking and call security
for your profile. People who find you on Psychology Today see a unique
local phone number for you that, when they call it, automatically
connects to your private number.


1: It's a simple way to tell who found your profile on the Therapy

2: You get a record of the people who have called you (Check 'Contact
History' when you log in).

3: Spam phone calls from telemarketers are filtered out - about 99% such
calls can be screened.

To opt out of receiving these call confirmation emails, log into your
account and click the option in 'Contact History'.

The folks at

*Don't reply to this email*

Pretty nice tracking, I have to say. I wouldn't have pegged this caller as coming from PT otherwise. Nice job, PT.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Psychology Today Directory's New Call Feature

Hi, if you're listed in the PT directory (I still am, though rather ambivalently), you have probably seen this email (here's the heart of it):

The phone number on your profile is replaced by a unique local number
that connects seamlessly to your existing line. Each time you receive a
phone call from a client who found your details in the Therapy
Directory, we'll send you an email that tells you who called and when.
The details are stored in your account member area.

This is an interesting move. I can guess some of the motivations of it. I've often brainstormed how I would run a different kind of therapist directory - one that ONLY charged per lead generated or per client who successfully comes in. This is in many ways a great idea, but the main problem is TRACKING where the lead comes from, that it comes from a certain directory.

I'd guess that 5 years ago, a majority of PT therapists did not have websites, so people would mainly be going off the PT listing, and using the PT form to contact the therapist. (You'll notice the stats they email you list searches, views of your profile, and emails to you.)

Now, I would guess that most potential clients who actually use PT go off to the therapist's website, from the link in the profile, before contacting the therapist directly. This can hide the true source of the referral.

From hearing other therapists complain that PT doesn't drive as much traffic as it used to, I think this is a way to prove their worth to the therapists in the directory. I once did some "napkin math" about the directory - $29.95/month x 10,000 members (guesstimate) = $300,000/month = $3,600,000 a year. The directory may make more $ than the magazine does! So, they have a pretty darn vested interest in keeping it up to date.

I'll be interested in hearing people's experiences with the new call feature (oh yes, you can opt out of it, too).

Best, Peter

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Will Adwords Spending Help My Organic Results?

I was just browsing Google's own Adwords blog, and came across this. Since this is a question (and a misconception) of a lot of the therapists I work with - I thought I'd post it as is.

Myth # 1: Spending money on Google AdWords will influence my website’s ranking in Google's free search results.

Fact: Google AdWords and Google’s free search results are entirely independent of one another. Spending money on AdWords won’t impact your ranking in Google's free search results. Similarly, cancelling your AdWords account won’t lead to your website being banned from Google’s search results

I usually try to explain this as the way the NY Times treats editorial (news) and advertisements - they keep a firewall between the two so they don't influence each other. While that may not be the way some local magazines and free weekly newspapers run (where the biggest advertisers mysteriously often are featured in stories, too) it is the gold standard for ethical publications. I should know, I was on my college newspaper :-)