Something that comes up a lot is therapists wondering why their websites are not bringing in clients.

From Shamans to Psychologists, I see the same thing: ‘I’ve spent a fortune on a website and it’s doing nothing for me’, ‘Why doesn’t it deliver any clients?’, ‘What do I need to do get it working?’

It’s heart-breaking. We want to help people, we’ve trained for it, we have skills that make a difference, but we only get to use them when a client finds us and chooses our help.

The money keeps going out but it’s all wasted until we’re making a difference with people suffering.

As someone who needed help for decades without finding it, I know how much this hurts the person in need as well as the therapist.

So, what goes wrong? Here are the most common problems:

1. Having a website is like having a shop front. Unless people see it, it does nothing for us.

Having a website usually has us thinking – ‘people can find me now’. That’s mostly not the case. Just like having a physical shop we need to bring people to it in order for them to be able to take action.

2. We’ve focused more on how the site looks than what it needs to do.

This is a killer and it happens all the time. Does it look ‘clean’, ‘nice’, ‘professional’, ‘beautiful’, etc. Does it have all the latest functionality? And so on.

This is far less important than can people immediately see what you’re about? Can they spot if they could do with your help? Does it connect with their needs?

Normally we expect our web designer to make the site ‘work’ for us. Generally web designers are experts at function and beauty on a site. Rarely are they at all experienced in getting your clients to resonate with your message.

They’ll tell you ‘this is best practice’, or this will have great ‘SEO’. That’s great but we have to drive the process. You know more about your client’s needs than they do. Stick to your guns on your message. Don’t let best practice or beauty become more important than helping the person in need.

We’ve tested this extensively – a one page ugly website that takes people through what they need to know to realise they could benefit from your help, will outperform 90% of the beautiful and complex sites.

Ideally create one that does both. Make it connect with your client’s needs and make it look nice, but remember which of those matters most!

3. Getting the SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) right.

How often do people tell us ‘You have to get the SEO right to be found on Google’.

Generally this amounts to someone, be it the web designer or a specialist in SEO, trying to convince us of what we must do to get Google and the other search engines to notice our site.

The normal approach is to see what the current algorithm rules are and how to fool them into rating our website most highly.

In worst case scenarios, we end up paying thousands to get on the 1st page of a search, and it’s great – for a while. Then Google changes their algorithm and we disappear and have to pay again for the new ‘fixes’.

Here’s the good news: If you write about what you do, how it helps people, and make a few videos of the same content and put it on your blog that you update regularly, you can get there with no tricks.

I’ve never paid a cent for SEO, never bothered with the tricks that are supposed to be so important, and I’m on the 1st page for what I do where I do it!

How? Simple, google is trying to make it so that when someone searches for something, they find sites that are high quality about that issue. They don’t want to show sites that have ‘great SEO’ they want genuine content.

That’s what wins. Yes it can take a bit of time, but you know what? Every time they change the algorithm it makes no difference to you when you’re about genuine content.

So, what do we need to do if we want our website to be a tool that allows us to help more people?

1. Make sure that as soon as someone lands on it, it’s obvious if their problem is what you help. Most people only look at the 1st screen that loads and don’t scroll down. If that first glance doesn’t say what you do (in real terms, not your job title, type of therapy, or a catchphrase), then you’ve lost most of them.

2. Put your web address out into the world. Add it to posts on Facebook, Tweets, LinkedIn updates, whatever it is that you use to communicate to the world.

3. Post an article once a week to your blog on your own website. A blog on a blogging site doesn’t bring anyone to your website and doesn’t contribute to Google and the others noticing you.

Being about the help, writing about what you help, and getting that onto your site is the surest way to long term success with your website.

I hope this helps. If you need a site created, sorry, I don’t build websites. Just make sure you’re the one making the decisions about connecting with your clients and stick to doing what works – then any web designer who will listen to you as the person paying them, should be able to do that part for you.

Hope this helps.

Have a great week,

John

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