When a visitor lands on your website there’s really only one question that they are wanting to know the answer to: Am I in the right place?
The way we answer that question is by actually answering two other questions. The questions that you must answer on your therapy website homepage are:
- Do you understand my pain, the problem I am dealing with?
- Can you help me?
Within those two questions, there are a lot of additional questions that you want to work toward answering, not only on your homepage but also on your services pages and your about page.
How to answer, “Do You Understand My Pain?”
The way we answer this question is very important, and I’ve seen it time and time again where therapists, quite frankly, get this wrong.
Many therapists attempt to answer this by talking about themselves, talking about their credentials, talking about the specific training that they have- EMDR, DBT, solution-focused brief therapy, etc.
The truth is that that’s a terrible way to build rapport with your potential clients online, and that’s exactly what you want to accomplish here. Your website visitors don’t care about your credentials. They don’t care about your training or what school you graduated from.
Visitors to your therapy website assume you have the appropriate training/license/degree to provide therapy. (And they can find out pretty quickly if you don’t.)
Connecting with your potential client’s pain goes way beyond what grad school you attended.
Join the Conversation Taking Place in Their Heads
You want your website visitors to believe you understand them, that you understand what they are going through.
Achieve this by using the words of your potential clients to join the conversation in their heads. You want them to read your copy and think, “it’s like they can read my mind.”
Do a little digging and a little research. Don’t be afraid to get really specific about the types of clients you want to work with.
Where do they hang out online? What about offline? Who are their closest allies and people they trust? Who have they told, if anyone, about what they are struggling with?
Read what they have written. reddit.com is a surprisingly good resource for this.
How do they describe their experience? What words do they use to tell the story of what they are trying so desperately to overcome?
Use those words (with some variation to make them your own) in your copy.
Don’t List the Symptoms of Anxiety on your Website
Please. Please don’t do this. I’ve seen it ad nauseam, and it has become a pet peeve of mine.
No one. I repeat, no one is coming to your website to read the DSM criteria for major depressive disorder. Nor do they care that such-and-such percent of adults in the US struggle with panic attacks.
If they wanted that information, they would have searched Google for that information.
When a person types ‘anxiety therapy near me’ into Google, they already believe they need help with anxiety. They’ve likely read about anxiety, determined that it fits their experience, and now they are looking for help.
Now is not the time to provide psychoed. Providing normalization is great, but there are better ways to do it than this.
Tell a Story with Your Copy
The important thing to remember is that this is their story, not yours.
Everyone is the hero of their own story, so you want to stay away from sounding like you’re going to rescue them from some ill fate if they work with you.
You’re not the hero. You are the guide.
The journey is theirs to take. You are there to show them the way.
Start by talking about where they are now then begin to paint a picture of what life will be like for them after they work with you.
THEN introduce yourself to them and demonstrate that you know how to help.
Can You Help Me?
This is the second question you must answer on your homepage, and you do this by establishing empathy and authority.
Don’t overthink this too much. Imagine what you would say to someone who just disclosed to you that they have been having nightmares due to some unresolved trauma from their childhood.
Empathy is simple: I hear you, and that sucks.
You probably don’t want to use those words, but you get the idea.
Feel free to share a bit about yourself here too. A brief (very brief) statement that tells your potential client that you’ve been where they are can go a long way.
We’re way past the days of blank-slate therapy. Your clients want to know that you’re real.
Avoid the Temptation to Launch into Your Credentials
Authority, showing someone you know how to help them, is so much more than your credentials.
How are you going to help them? Give them a sense of what that work will be like.
Again, don’t talk in psychobabble. Saying things like, “I will help you transform your pain into opportunity” or “We will work together to help you establish healthy boundaries” are most likely meaningless to your website visitors.
I cannot stress this enough: USE THEIR WORDS.
What is it that they want? What are they hoping to achieve through therapy?
If you don’t know, it can be helpful to review some of your intake paperwork with previous clients to get a sense of how they talk about their goals.
I guarantee you won’t find someone who said “I want to develop healthy coping mechanisms so that I can learn to thrive.”*
*Any resemblance to another therapist’s copy is purely coincidental. I totally made that line up as I was typing this.
Give Your Website Visitors a Sense of Hope
Paint a picture of what their life could be like after working with you.
We touched on this a bit before, but now it’s time to add the secret sauce.
“If you want (amazing result that you provide), schedule a consultation today.”
You can even do a series of “if you wants” if you want. Make it clear what the benefits of working with you are (but no more than three) then call them to action.
Tell them to take the next step. Don’t merely suggest it.
If you create your therapy website from your homepage through your service pages to your about page with these two questions in mind, you will get more clients.
- Do you understand my pain?
- Can you help me?
It really is that simple.
If what you write doesn’t answer either of those questions, you may want to reconsider.