Each month, more and more clients go online to search for a therapist. In fact, people now go to the web more than the Yellow Pages to get information. This can be either looking for a therapist in general, or it can be looking for more information about YOU if they’ve already gotten a referral to you.
So not only is it essential to have a website, but it’s also important to get your website noticed. That means that search engines (like Google, Yahoo, and Bing), list you on the search results, preferably on the first page. But this doesn’t happen by accident. Psychotherapists, counselors and psychologists must make their presence known on the web in order to get listed in search results. If you are trying to attract new clients to your practice, market your private practice, or build a new private practice, you need to understand the importance of backlinks.
First, what is a backlink? A backlink is another website that provides a link to your site. Basically that somebody else is listing your web address on their website.
Second, why is this important? The more backlinks you have, the more credibility your website has. If you have several hundred other websites all listing your website, the search engines rank you more highly. (Yes, there is greater complexity to this, but I’m keeping it simple here.)
Third, how do you get backlinks? There are two ways to get backlinks to your site. You can work out arrangements with other professionals to provide links to each other’s sites. For instance, if there is a psychiatrist that you refer to, ask to have her put a link on your website. Ditto with the attorneys, physicians, and other therapists in your network. Offer to provide a link in exchange, and you’ll both get the benefit. This is also an added benefit to your clients as they can find resources you recommend in one easy, consolidated locations. Therapists can build successful private practices by providing these types of extra values to clients.
Once you’ve already gotten those cross-links in place, it begins to get fun… To continue to market your psychotherapy private practice, you begin entering the conversation on the internet. Look for forums and blogs that allow you to post comments and include your website. At first, post on just about any blog so you can get yourself in the practice of it. Be sure that your post is interesting and relevant, or else the blog owner will probably trash it.
Use your full name, and include some keywords as part of your name. For instance, when I’m commenting on a blog I write my name as ‘Jennifer Sneeden, Boca Raton Therapist’. I do this because ‘Boca Raton Therapist’ are the keywords that I want to connect with my name.
Look for those sites that allow you to include your website address. Therapists may try including their private practice websites in the body of the post, but it’s better to look for those blogs that allow you to enter it with your name and email address.
That’s it. Make an effort to get at least 10 – 15 backlinks per week, and watch how quickly you begin to attract new clients to your private practice. Want to get started right now? Take a look at my blog, find an article you like and post a comment: www.thrivingtherapypractice.com