It can be really HARD to grow a successful private practice. A great website design will become your new best friend if it’s built to be a marketing machine that brings you clients while you sleep. What kind of wizardry is this, and how can you get a website design that attracts full-fee best-fit clients?
In this article, I will cover the 13 Website Design Changes To Get More Clients for your private practice.
What website design changes can you make to attract more best-fit full-fee clients to your private practice? Follow these simple steps:
- Pick the perfect domain name to get found
- Build brand loyalty and trust through effective branding
- Choose the best platform to showcase your practice
- Use SEO-optimized niche-friendly content to captivate and convert
- Simplify your home page to keep clients on your site
- Make it easy for clients to contact you with a click-worthy call to action
- Show you’re the expert and please Google with niched service pages
- Pick the right images to connect with website visitors
- Land the client by making your About page about them
- Blog strategically to connect AND rank
- Get ranked and CYA with two critical website pages
- Generate more clients by building an email list
- Look good on mobile with responsive web design
Let’s dive straight in to understand what changes you can make to your website design today to start growing your reach.
1. Pick the Perfect Domain Name for Your Website Design
Securing the best domain name for your private practice is a critical component of your online marketing strategy. Your domain name should be short, easy to spell, and memorable.
Read this helpful article for detailed information on how to choose the best domain for your private practice, whether you should use your name, and what to consider for best SEO.
2. Build Brand Loyalty Through Effective Branding
You might be thinking you don’t need a brand. You’re not running Nike or a Fortune 500 company, you’re simply opening or managing a private practice. If anything, you can just get a cool logo, right? Wrong.
No matter the size of your practice, your private practice is a business. Every business needs a brand. Your brand represents your promise to your clients and encompasses how your clients experience your business. Building your brand is a critical first step to a successful practice that will inform every piece of marketing content you create.
You Are Your Brand
You may have heard the saying: “You are your brand.” That means that what you offer your clients, how you help them, how they feel when they think about your business, and what they have come to expect from you all define your brand.
If you haven’t taken the time to dig deep and formulate your brand messaging (which is so much more than a logo), do it now to get the most bang for your marketing buck. Here’s an article that will help you get started with your branding.
When it comes to branding, remember that the goal of your website is to get you clients. Your website is the face of your practice. Your site needs to radiate your brand through its design, messaging, and copy so that your ideal clients can find and build trust in you. You want your ideal clients to feel connected to your site. Your words must convey who you are and how you can help. They will then feel compelled to contact you.
Are you unclear about the difference between branding and marketing? They are commonly confused, and I have a helpful article that explains the differences.
If you’d like to learn five key steps that your brand needs to have in place, download my helpful branding guide here.
3. Which Website Builder Should You Use for Your Private Practice Website Design?
There are enough website platforms available today to make your head spin. I’ll cut to the chase and say that, while there are pros and cons to each, I highly recommend WordPress for the following reasons:
- You own your site. While subscription-based platforms may seem cheaper or easier upfront, the caveat is that you don’t own your site. So if you decide to move your site or can’t swing the monthly payments, you lose your site.
- You have total control. You can achieve almost anything with WordPress. You are not limited by templates or lack of options.
- WordPress is great for SEO.
Trying to Pick Between WordPress vs Squarespace?
WordPress and Squarespace are both popular website building platforms that offer a range of tools and features for creating and managing a website for your private practice. However, there are some key differences between the two platforms that may influence your decision about which one to use.
To read more about how these two platforms compare and which to choose, check out my post “How to Pick Between Squarespace vs WordPress?”
Cheatsheet to the Most Popular Website Platforms
If you’re still unsure which website platform to use to build your private practice website, check out this handy comparison guide comparing some of the top website builders available today.
As you can see, Wix and Weebly are not recommended because they are not good for SEO. A website is only effective if people can find you when searching.
Pro tip: If you do choose WordPress, be sure to use the free version at wordpress.org and not wordpress.com.
4. Use SEO-Optimized Niche-Friendly Content
The first step in creating laser-focused content that will connect with your reader is to do some work to nail down your ideal client avatar. Read here for a step-by-step walk through on how to do it.
Next, do some keyword research to understand what your ideal clients are searching for. I like Ubersuggest. Use your keywords strategically (and naturally) to create SEO-focused content that resonates with your ideal client. Your website then changes from a static business card to the hub of your marketing strategy.
Want great storytelling that ranks well, earns links, and connects? I write copy that captivates and converts to grow your reach. Check out my website copyrighting service for private practices.
5. Simplify Your Home Page Website Design
Many private practice websites try to include too much information on their home page which overwhelms a visitor causing them to leave the site.
Keep your home page simple. Give an overview of what you do, what you offer, and who you are. Create links to the other pages in your site so your visitors are guided to more in-depth information about what pertains to their current needs.
Click here for my top home page mistakes to avoid for your private practice website.
6. Use Click-Worthy Call To Actions in Your Website Design
Your ideal client is cruising through your website and has decided they must contact you. You are the one they need to help them solve their problem. They are excited, ready, and eager to book.
Then they can’t figure out what to do next on your website or how to get ahold of you. They scroll down, they click another page, where is your number? Do you have an email listed? What should they do to become your client?? Frustrated or distracted, off they bounce. Or worse yet, they find out how to contact you but are so bored and unimpressed with your contact wording that they leave. You, my friend, just lost a dream client.
Instead of this sad story, let’s give your website a happy ending by giving your client-to-be a clear, concise, and enticing call to action to contact you on every page.
What Is a Call To Action (CTA)?
A call to action is a clickable link or button on your website that encourages your visitor to take some sort of action. Here are some common CTAs:
- Sign Up
- Click Here
Do those lift your tired eyelids and inspire you to take action? Likely not. Those are boring CTAs. The problem with most CTAs is that they have no razzle. No dazzle. Don’t lose your potential client’s attention due to an uninspiring CTA.
Now that you understand the gravitas of a CTA, what are some clever call to action examples that everyone clicks?
Let’s focus on the most important CTA on your website: Your contact call to action.
Home Page CTA
Consider what you want your website visitor to do after they decide you’re the solution to their problem.
What next step do you want them to take? Do you want them to send you an email, fill out a contact form, or complete an intake form? Maybe you offer a free initial consultation or want them to click straight into your client portal to schedule a paid appointment on your calendar?
Choose a CTA that fits with your ideal client’s emotional journey.
Move your lead closer down the path of becoming your client while also considering their emotional process. Consider a dating analogy: If you’re perusing someone’s profile on Match.com, do you first connect for an introduction over the phone or meet for coffee before ringing the wedding bell?
Similarly, I see many private practice websites make the mistake of going straight for the gusto by using a CTA such as “Book Appointment.” Whoaaa, slow down, quick draw. It is quite likely that your website visitor is still in the research stage of getting to know you. Tailor an approach that better fits their process.
Example of An Effective Home Page CTA
Let’s use an example to illustrate the importance of your home page CTA:
Naomi is an anxiety therapist in private practice. She wants her hard-earned website visitors (who come to her site through SEO mastery, paid ads, or word of mouth) to contact her for an appointment after visiting her site. This savvy therapist knows that a potential client will likely visit her website multiple times (the research phase) before deciding to schedule. Knowing her population might feel overwhelmed by picking up the phone to contact her, she wants to provide a clear CTA that appeals to her ideal client’s emotional journey. Naomi also prefers to receive new leads by email vs phone.
So instead of a CTA that says “Schedule Appointment Now” that leads to a contact page with her phone number, Naomi’s chose a CTA of “Schedule Low-Stress Consult” that leads to her contact page with a contact form to be completed.
The best call to actions are simple with a bit of sparkle. Now is not the time to use cute or confusing language.
Do not say “Let’s Connect” or “Want to Chat?” Let your potential client know exactly what’s going to happen. Be direct. Be bold. Own the close. Be creative with it. You’re the expert they need.
Try These CTAs On For Size
If you are stumped on how to create a bedazzled CTA, try speaking to the results your ideal client wants instead of the action.
- Get Confidential Help
- Start Living Joyfully Now
- Get My Free Ebook
- Start Healing
- Get Your Questions Answered
- Get Help Now
- Schedule Free Consult
- Start Here
Decide what you want your visitor to do and how that fits into their emotional journey. Make the next action clear through a concise CTA button that stands out. Place the same CTA in your menu bar (on a brightly colored button so it really stands out), in the hero section of your home and service pages (above the fold), and near the bottom of every page.
7. Show You’re the Expert With Niched Service Pages
Many private practitioners are nervous to niche. Some feel called to serve many different kinds of people and issues. Others fear limiting themselves or becoming bored. Do you have a niche? If not, what is your belief about having a niche? Do you fear that it will limit you, that people outside of your niche won’t find you, or that you will get bored? It won’t, they will, and you will still attract variety.
Niching on your website is primarily a marketing strategy.
Having a niche simply establishes you as an expert.
People want an expert. They don’t want someone who is good at everything but great at nothing. A niche builds credibility, strengthens referral sources, and attracts your ideal client. Little known fact: Most people assume an expert is also a generalist, whereas most believe a generalist is not an expert.
Your website positions you as an authority so that your ideal clients flock to you like the Golden Snitch to Harry’s hand (Harry Potter fan, anyone?).
I recommend limiting the number of services on your website to three or less. For best SEO, you should have one service page per niche. So if you are a therapist who offers grief counseling, EMDR, and couples counseling, you will have three service pages.
Optimize Your Service Pages
You will want to optimize each service page using the following on-page SEO best practices:
- Each service page should be 900-1500 words in length.
- Use a keyword in the page’s URL (like “/anxiety-counseling”).
- Place a keyword (like “Anxiety Counseling”) in your page title.
- Keep appropriate heading structure throughout the page such as making the title of your page an H1 tag using your keyword.
- Sprinkle the keyword appropriately throughout the page.
- Add optimized images.
8. Pick the Right Images to Connect for Your Website Design
Do not use scenic images on your website. There, I said it.
How many websites have you visited that have lovely vistas of babbling brooks, scenic overlooks, and impressive mountains? You may have had a moment of exhale… but did the images paint a picture for you of how that business will help you or what services they provide?
Your website images should show the dream state of your ideal client.
Pick images that show how your ideal client will feel after their primary struggle is resolved. Will feel joyous, elated, calm, reflective?
Your website has about 2 seconds to make an initial impression. You need to make those seconds count, and images are a critical piece of your site’s story.
Show people, not landscapes.
While it’s okay to have a scenic photo here and there, focus on images with people instead. While an occasional scenic image is fine, focus on images that show how people will look during or after using your services or products. (For therapists, think smiling happy adults, couples, or kids.)
Remember that the reason you have a website is to get clients. Your images are a powerful tool to help your clients feel supported, trusting, and hopeful which results in leads and your phone ringing.
Best Stock Photo Sites To Supercharge Your Website
Here are some of my favorite stock photo sites:
Tip: Be sure to check the fine print regarding image licensing. When using an image from any free or paid stock library, take a screenshot of the image download that shows the photo is licensed for free commercial use. Keep this screenshot as proof of your licensed permission to use it.
9. Make Your About Page About Them
Your About page will be one of your most-visited website pages after your home page. Your About page is a great opportunity to build connection and trust. Many private practice websites treat the About page as an afterthought. Skip the professional-speak that potential clients won’t care about or understand. The focus of this very important page should relate to how you can help your ideal client.
Do include a short bulleted bio blurb at the end of the page listing your education, experience, or professional accomplisments.
Components of a Winning About Page
- Include a short blurb in your hero section stating who you work with and the outcome client’s can expect from your services (Eg: Helping women overcome anxiety to lead a joyous life)
- Restate your ideal client’s primary struggle that leads them to your services (Eg: Do you struggle with anxiety and miss your old self?)
- Position your services as the solution to their problem
- Show empathy through this page that you get them, want to help, and have the professional chops to make a difference
- Share some bulleted resume points including your title/license, education, credentials, memberships, advanced trainings
- Add a few appropriate details about your personal life to forge connection
10. Blog Strategically to Connect AND Rank
Think blogging is so 1990’s and a waste of time? No worries, you don’t have to blog. Just know that your website might then be shunned to the darkest corners of the interweb never to be seen unless someone battling insomnia makes it to page 824 of a search at 3:00am.
Why is Blogging So Important For Your Private Practice Website?
Consider these blogging statistics:
- 34% of buyers will make an unplanned purchase after reading quality content.
- Updating blog posts can increase traffic by 106%.
- 23.84% of readers say bad content quality destroys a blog’s credibility.
- The #1 traffic source for high-income bloggers is organic traffic from Google.
- Blog posts remain the most effective form of content over email, ebooks, and white papers.
- WordPress owns 64.2% of the market share.
- While shorter articles are preferred, longer articles do better in rankings and website visits because they are more comprehensive.
- On average, long-form content generates eight times more page views, three times more social media shares, and nine times more leads than short-form content.
Blogging is looking a little more useful now, eh?
My recommendation to add blogging to your marketing strategy is not to add yet another business to-do to your list. Blogging serves two essential purposes for growing your reach:
1: Blogging helps your website rank so people find you in searches.
Blogging is the #1 source of driving organic website traffic to your website. Posting regular blog articles to your website tells Google that a living, breathing business owner is on the other side of a keyboard. Google likes fresh content and rewards the savvy souls who continually add to their site by nudging them up the ranks.
To help you rise steadily through the ranks, here are a few blogging tricks to remember:
- Find your keywords for each post. Use a keyword research tool like Ubersuggest or SpyFu‘s free trial. You want to find relevant keywords related to your site topic that are high traffic with low competition.
- Use these keywords in the title of your blog article.
- Include these keywords in the first sentence or two of your article.
- Sprinkle these keywords in the section headings and body of your article. Note: Don’t overdo it. Google will actually penalize you for “keyword stuffing.” Find ways to use the keywords naturally.
- You don’t always have to reinvent the wheel. Update your older posts. Blogs can be a great way of sharing current content, but it’s important to keep older posts from getting stale.
For more, see my article on how to find the best keywords for your practice.
2: Blogs help potentials clients know, like, and trust you.
Blogging also forms a relationship with potential clients until they are ready to seek out your services. Imagine someone randomly landing on your blog (or better yet, seeing an article you guest-posted elsewhere). Your words, your viewpoint, or your information immediately resonate with them. This once cold lead is now turning warmer. This person will now eagerly seek out other content you have created and may later seek out your services. In short, blogging allows you to grow your brand awareness.
Use the Hub and Spoke Model in Blog Optimization
If you’re game to start blogging and have committed to a consistent schedule but aren’t sure where to start… I recommend using the hub and spoke model of blogging.
Effective websites connect one page to another through links. The hub and spoke model is an effective method of creating those connections for your blog articles.
Think of a bike wheel with a large hub in the middle surrounded by many spokes.
The “hubs” will be your heavy-hitting blog articles that are drawing in traffic and keeping visitors engaged. These hubs are particularly important for SEO to help you rank higher. The “spokes” are strategically placed internal links taking visitors from the hub articles to other areas of the site. Basically, the hubs are the gateway that brings a visitor to your site and then invites them to continue visiting other parts of your site.
This article is a hub for me. Have you noticed the spokes scattered throughout this article?
Strategic blogging entails creating hubs to drive traffic to your website, then adding the spokes to keep visitors on your site to learn more about your practice and how you can help them solve their problem.
The Best Time of Day to Post a New Blog Article
Research shows that the best time to publish to attract the most traffic is Monday at 11 a.m. EST.
If you’re after dialogue, the best time to get the most comments is publishing on Saturday morning at 9 a.m. EST.
Done-For-You SEO-Optimized Monthly Blog Articles
Do you recognize the value of blogging to grow your practice but the idea of creating weekly or monthly content gives you the shakes? Outsourcing is your friend. I am happy to take over (or start) your blog from start to finish. When a new client then shares with you that your latest blog post is the reason they contacted you, all you have to do is sit back and nod wisely.
11. Get Ranked and CYA With These Two Critical Pages
To simplify the process for my clients, I have partnered with and highly recommend Termageddon. (Yup, that is an affiliate link where I will receive a tiny commission if you click on it – AND you will receive 10% off your first year payment. Win/win!) I use Termageddon’s policies on my website. For a nominal fee, Termageddon will prepare and customize the policies you need plus automatically keep them updated on your website as privacy laws change – which is frequently.
Not having to worry about the legal side of your website? Priceless.
12. Create a Steady Flow of Clients With an Effective Lead Magnet
How do you feel when the phone isn’t ringing, clients leave, or referrals slow? Many private practices operate on the feast or famine mentality when it comes to marketing. A strategic lead generation plan will set your private practice up for long-term steady growth by attracting, nurturing, and converting potential clients.
If you are struggling to fill your calendar or want to build a waitlist of potential clients eager to work with you, add an interactive lead magnet to your website. A lead magnet is a marketing super tool.
How Do You Create an Engaging Lead Magnet?
Enter the hidden gem of lead generation: the quiz lead magnet. With phenomenal conversion rates, a quiz is strategic, fun, and interactive to engage your visitors, speak directly to their concerns and goals, and establish you as an expert.
This free incentive is offered to your visitors in exchange for their email address. Just be sure that your lead magnet truly offers valuable information to your potential clients that they need to resolve their most pressing concern.
After someone has joined your email list through your website, you still have some work to do to keep their attention as you move them from a cold to hot lead who is ready to engage your services. That’s where a nurturing email marketing campaign comes in to keep you top of mind.
If creating a lead magnet or email marketing campaign sounds like gobbledygook or just something you don’t want to manage, I have you covered. I build high-converting quiz lead magnets and email marketing campaigns to bring in new clients and re-engage past clients until they’re ready to book.
13. Make Your Website Design Look Good on Mobile
A recent study showed that 57% of users won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site.
You want a beautiful and effective website, but you must also ensure that your website is responsive. Responsive web design is about creating web pages that look good on all devices and will automatically adjust for different screen sizes.
Present your practice like the pro that you are with a modern mobile presence, or risk the chance of alienating your referral sources and losing potential clients.
Is Your Current Website Mobile-Friendly?
Check your site using Google’s Mobile Friendly Test Tool.
Is your website HELPING your practice?
Growing Your Private Practice Reach
I hope today’s post showed you how a few simple steps can drastically improve the reach of your private practice website. If you want a beautiful website that converts, branding that attracts your best-fit clients, SEO-optimized website copy that connects with your ideal client, a strategic lead generation system to create a steady flow of clients, or SEO to drive more traffic to your website, contact me today. I have helped hundreds of private practices just like yours attract full-fee best-fit clients with less effort.
Now I want to turn it over to you: Which of the website strategies listed here are you going to try first? Let me know the one item on this list that you’re going to take action on first.