Did you know that, in a study published by Lancet Psychiatry, it was reported that the full cost of the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders is expected to be $147 billion by 2020?
That’s a lot of money. A lot of patients. A lot of people who are looking for mental health professionals who can help them live a better life. But how are these clients going to find you?
There are so many options available to them, from private practice owners to group practices and agencies that have a whole team of therapists working for them.
Fortunately, high-quality therapist website design can help you get their attention. With the right design strategies put in place, your website will effectively draw in many visitors and get you clients.
Below are some design strategies and things to think about to make your private practice website a success.
1. Establish Your Brand
When it comes to website design for therapists, the first thing you’ll want to do is establish your brand. This means creating a logo that represents your business’s personality and choosing the right color scheme and typography.
Once you’ve made these choices, you can apply them throughout your website, your social media platforms, and anywhere else where your brand appears—for example, if you have an app you use with online patients.
When making these decisions, take a look at what competitors are doing. Which looks and styles appeal to you? Additionally, study your clients’ online habits to understand what they’re most drawn to.
What’s most important here is consistency, because consistency is what builds trust.
2. Aim for a Minimalist Look
Once you’ve established your brand, you’ll want to think about the layout of your website.
When it comes to website design for therapists, this layout needs to make your potential patients feel calm and at ease. It also needs to make you seem trustworthy and professional. The best way to do this? Go for a minimalist and clean look.
- Don’t clutter your page
- Use lots of white space
- Include only the essentials
- Be selective about the text and images you include; focus on using just a few
- Avoid using too many colors together
Your main page, especially, should be minimalist and clean. It’s the first thing your potential customers will see, so stick to one image and just a small amount of text, as a teaser inviting them in.
3. Make Navigation Easy
Navigation should also be as simple as possible. Don’t overwhelm your website visitors with way too many options and links when they visit your website.
Instead, have a navigation menu at the top of your website or on the side, so that you’re giving your potential patients the option to look at what they want to. With these options, keep it simple, too.
There should only be a few sections, including:
- About Us/ About Me Page
- Information About Your Services
- A Landing Page For Each Service
- Blog or Articles Section
- FAQ Page
- Contact Page
4. Think About Usability
Choosing what you include in your site is all about how you think your visitors will use your site. What will they want to know about you and your practice? What do they want to learn about their mental health issues? How will they go through your website looking for these answers–and where will they end up?
Predict as best you can what these steps are, with the goal of their last step being them getting in touch about your services.
Once you’ve done this, you can design your website so that each step leads to the next, guiding your site visitors along the way.
5. Include a Search Bar
Speaking of usability, including a search bar will help your site visitors find exactly what they’re looking for. For example, if they’re looking for tips on how to lessen their day-to-day anxiety, they can find it by typing in ‘anxiety’ into your search bar.
This is especially helpful as you build up a repository of helpful articles on your website on various topics that relate to your ideal client.
Giving your site visitors exactly what they need will transform you in their eyes into an authority.
They’ll know you have provided the information they need in an easily-accessible way. Trust is important to any business, but especially for a therapist because you are covering such personal matters with your patients.
6. Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly
This is one of the most important therapist website tips. After all, 52.2% of all website traffic was generated by mobile phones in 2018.
Chances are, your potential patients will come across your website on their iPhone or Android—and if your site doesn’t work on those devices, then they might not choose you as their therapist.
Some tips for making your site mobile-friendly are:
- Use mobile-responsive design when you start designing your site
- Use Google’s mobile-friendly test to assess mobile-friendliness
- Make your forms short so they’re easy to fill out
- Use a large font that’s easy to read
Many designers recommend simply starting off with a mobile design, and adapting it to desktop viewing as needed, too.
Luckily, many premium WordPress themes (such as my favorite, Divi – affiliate link) are mobile-responsive right out of the box.
7. Ensure Website Loading Speed
Did you know that 70% of consumers reported that website speed impacted their willingness to buy—and that a slow loading speed meant they were less likely to visit the site in the future?
That’s why it’s so important to ensure your website loads quickly.
Especially with web design for therapists, your potential patients are desperately looking for a solution to the mental health problems they’re struggling with. Adding to their anxiety and stress with a slow loading speed will not help them–or you.
Some ways to speed up your website loading speed are:
- Compress all images
- Get rid of unnecessary plugins
- Use a high-quality theme if using a website builder
- Lower the amount of HTTP requests
To test your website speed, use Google’s PageSpeed Insights. Once you’ve tested your site with them, they’ll provide you with solutions to help you speed it up.
8. Use Pictures of Real People
People are social creatures. Because of this, they’re drawn to pictures of other people. So when you’re setting up your website, include pictures of people including yourself and people who represent your ideal patient.
If possible, don’t use stock photos, because they may come off as inauthentic. Instead, hire a photographer to take headshots of you and hire people who look like your ideal patient after they’ve received therapy.
9. Put Social Icons in the Footer, Not the Header
Social icons in the header of your site look clunky and old-fashioned. Instead, place them at the footer of your website. That way, your potential patients can visit your social media profiles without feeling forced to.
Speaking of social media, remember to always include links to your webpage from these. Many of your patients will find you on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, and if they can’t find a link to your site, they won’t convert to clients.
10. Feature Testimonials
When you’re finding out how to start a therapist website, many articles will recommend that you feature testimonials. Why?
Nothing shows how reliable you are as a therapist than testimonials from patients whose lives you’ve changed. This is called social proof, and it’s a powerful thing. The stats show this—92% of customers read social reviews and 80% of shoppers trust them as much as personal recommendations.
Reach out to patients from the past and ask them if an anonymous testimonial can be featured on your site. If your therapy has made a difference in their lives, they’re likely to say yes.
When asking for a testimonial, ask these questions:
- What was your life like before you started therapy with me?
- Why did you decide to go with my practice?
- What have you gotten out of being my patient? What has changed for you?
- What would you tell potential clients of mine about my practice?
- Would you recommend me as a therapist to friends and family?
11. Get Feedback
Finally, you’ll want to get feedback. This is key to therapist web design because an outsider’s perspective will help you catch anything you might have missed. Have you made your minimalist design so minimalist that there isn’t clear information? Is there a typo?
When getting feedback, ask past clients if they’ll take a look. They’re your ideal customer, so they’re the best to ask for advice from.
Get Custom Therapist Website Design
Another option is to have someone else design your website for you: a website that’s specifically customized for therapists.
That’s what we do at Private Practice Elevation, as well as offering SEO services and WordPress maintenance and support for therapists who already have a website of their own.
To learn more about what services we offer, book a call with us today.