online-search

Many therapists are successful at local networking. Building local relationships with advocates and referral sources is paramount for a thriving practice. In our line of work, we must have  word-of-mouth referrals for a large portion of prospective clients to gain interest and trust we can help them.

But there’s a catch! Even though these prospective clients received a direct referral, they will almost always go online to find learn more about you and find your contact information.

This means if you aren’t easily found online you’re losing a ton of potential clients that you don’t even know are interested in you. If clients have to work hard in order to find out about you and how to contact you, it immediately leaves a poor impression.  They will often move on to the next practitioner on their list.

So, how do you ensure clients can find you easily? Follow these methods to increase your online visibility, accessibility and information.

  1. Join at least one online directory specific for therapists. Google often indexes your name in a strong niche directory high in it’s ranks. An example of this is psychologytoday.com

  2. Make sure that online directory has excellent information about you, your services, and how you’re different. Some prospective clients will never get to your website so make it count.

  3. Have a stellar website! Modern design, great layout, easily navigable. Make sure you have great content on it. Your website also needs to be fully optimized for Search Engine Optimization so you get ranked and hopefully on page one in your area for your specialties. This is a much more in depth discussion, but just know it’s very important.

  4. If your website URL isn’t your name, try and have a URL with your name that redirects to your website. You want prospective clients to be able to search for you with your name only.

  5. List yourself in the top 50 local online directories in your region. This can increase your website’s rank, as well as provide alternative listings that will appear when someone searches for you by name. www.whitespark.ca is one of the industry leader’s in local listing directory services.

  6. Have business pages, appropriate personal feeds and current activity on the major social networks relevant to marketing your practice. These can include but are not limited to: Facebook, LinkedIn, Google +, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Vimeo and Pinterest. By linking back to your website you may increase backlink stats which helps your website’s visibility on site’s like google. You also get the benefit of social network users finding you via their preferred network.

  7. Utilize google adwords. Yes, it costs money, but I know many therapists who’ve built a large portion of their practice just with google adwords. This is a way to get noticed fast.

  8. Have a google local business listing. You will know you are listed correctly if you go to google maps and you search for your business name. There is a verification process. Having a google local business listing increases the way people can find you online, as well as having a proper google map integration on your website.

If you follow these methods you will greatly increase your visibility online, making it simpler for your prospective clients to find you. There’s no reason to have unnecessary obstacles for prospective clients when they are reaching out to you for help. The easier it is to find you, the more clients you will get to serve!

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Keith Kurlander

Keith Kurlander is the founder of Higher Practice, a company dedicated to helping therapists achieve their highest potential in private practice. He has two decades of combined experience in business administration, group facilitation, teaching at the undergraduate and graduate level, yoga instruction and as a licensed professional counselor in private practice.

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