Today it is very busy on the online market for psychologists to do online therapy, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to attract clients for your practice via the internet. There are only a handful of top positions in Google and if you are not listed there, you are no longer participating in your website. How can you, as a psychologist, ensure that you receive enough new clients every month? And can you do this yourself for a psychologist who is not also a web specialist at the same time? Check out here to know about online therapy.
How do I attract clients via the internet
If, as an independent psychologist, you already have your website, but are unable to generate enough clients from it, there are several things you can do to promote your website more and further optimize it for better conversion (this means: the conversion of a visitor into a registration or potential client).
Promoting your website
To effectively promote your website, you can choose between several paid and unpaid options. It is usually good to find a balance between paid and unpaid options to attract new clients continuously in both the short and longer-term.
Paid options, such as Google Adwords and Facebook advertising, provide results almost immediately, but can be quite pricey and depending on your location (size of the place you are in and the competition there) may be attractive or not at all attractive.
Unpaid options for promoting your website, such as generating clients from the organic listing of your website in Google, usually only yield results in the longer term. Depending on the competition present (and how well they do their best online), this requires a little more time and energy.
The most accessible unpaid activities to generate more clients for your website:
- Organic link building for both attracting new clients directly and for strengthening the position of your website
- Social media activities such as blogging, podcast, etc.
- Periodically update your website and periodically provide new and interesting content to strengthen the organic position of your website
Paid client recruitment options that may be of interest if you have your psychologist website:
- Google Adwords
- Facebook advertising
The COST-FREE ways to make your psychologist website score better are briefly explained
Organic link building
Organic link building means that you collect or generate links to the website of your practice in a natural way. In practice, this means that you do not create too many links to your website too quickly, but add a relevant link once a month, for example.
Google appreciates your link profile, and if there is an organic “reasonable number” of links to your website over time, that is very positive in the eyes of Google. This is then valued with a faster-rising position in organic results. An outgoing link to your website is therefore seen as a kind of vote for your website. And the more votes for your website and its content, the better.
In link building, make sure that you do not generate too many incoming links too quickly and that the links come from relevant websites. Good links come for example from other psychologist practices (in the neighborhood), overview websites related to psychological care or therapy, professional associations, forums that may be relevant, health websites, etc. There are plenty of options for this as an independent psychologist. to get started and to create a good link score for your webste yourself.
Blogging and social media for more clients
Blogging has now become virtually indispensable if you want to score your website and content. This is just as true for psychologist websites. It is particularly interesting even for independent psychologists with their website because many colleagues in the online market for psychologists do not yet or do not make optimal use of this.
By blogging for your website you not only add relevant and interesting content to your website, which in itself already has added value, but you can score purposefully on specific topics. When relevant blog posts are then shared on social media and liked and shared, you can use these blogs to build social value for your website. Something that many of your colleagues have little.
Keep website and online profiles up to date
Always make sure that your website and all mentions on online media are up to date. Pay particular attention to years, correct reimbursement overviews, and correct opening hours and ensure that they are the same on all profiles. For example, it is very unfortunate when you adjust the opening hours on your website, but Google then shows different opening hours when searching on your website.
PAID options for attracting more clients
Google Adwords for a short-term boost
Google Adwords makes it possible for you to be at the top of Google’s results with your psychology practice with a paid advertisement for the keywords on which you want to be found. For example, if you have a practice in Amsterdam and you want to be found for burnout therapy in Amsterdam, you can set it up exactly in Google Adwords.
Managing and optimizing a Google Adwords campaign for your practice is not necessarily very easy. Below you will find several handles that can help you on your way:
Frame the search area so that you are only found near your practice. If you do not frame the search area properly (or at all), you have the chance that people from anywhere and nowhere click on your ads. This will cost you very much and at the same time will yield relatively little.
Work with ‘close’ keywords. In Google Adwords, you have the option to select ‘close’ keywords, with which you can attract your target group in a targeted manner. When you use the ‘broad keywords’ option, anything that is slightly related to your keywords will come to you. And that is often too wide.
For a psychologist who advertises on ‘Psychologist Amsterdam’, this means, for example, that his or her advertisement could also be shown to students who are looking for a psychology degree in Amsterdam. For this reason, define your keywords as much as possible.
Measure conversions. By setting conversion goals you can measure the conversion rates of all keywords that you have set in Google Adwords. This way you know which keywords you score on and which ones don’t, and what exactly this has cost you. Based on this information, you can remove the non- or poorly scoring keywords from your campaign, leaving you with more budget for the high-scoring keywords.
Use long tail keywords. If you are located in a larger city as a psychologist, it can be very expensive (even more than 2 euros per click) to get a good advertising position. To avoid this, you can focus on more specific long tail keywords, such as: “therapy for stress in Amsterdam”, EMDR for trauma, “EMDR therapy for pts”, etc.
Longtail keyword combinations are much less competitive, so you can get a good ad position with a smaller amount per click. You are also often more assured that the goal of the person performing the search matches what you want to achieve when you aim for long tail keywords.
I have little experience with Facebook advertising for psychology practices because I believe that Facebook is more suitable for ads from a somewhat more light-hearted segment. Nevertheless, Facebook can be used in a very targeted way, because with Facebook advertising you can delineate very specifically the target group you want to approach. So it could be an interesting option, especially considering the high costs that Google Adwords can entail.
If you do not (yet) have a website for your practice
If you do not (yet) have your website, it is still possible to recruit clients for your psychology practice via the internet. There are various websites on which it is possible to create your profile (and in some cases also to promote it). Examples include psychologist guides, health care map the Netherlands, and the many start pages (which unfortunately are becoming more and more full).
Creating such a profile will not bring you several new clients, every week, but it might be a good sign-up now and then.
It is also possible to create a free profile including a website at Google my business. This ensures that you are visible in Google Maps with your website. By filling in your Google my business listing well, keeping it up to date, and by collecting reviews for it (and posting an interesting post now and then) you will experience an increase in the results list in Google maps.
If you can’t do it yourself or don’t want to start the online adventure?
If you cannot or do not want to do it yourself, several marketing agencies in the online psychologist market supply clients based on a subscription/contract, and where you pay per client or consultation. Usually, most providers charge a fixed monthly price, so you have monthly costs, but you are not sure that new customers will be faced with this.
It can be very difficult to recruit enough clients yourself for your practice. Especially in the larger cities where competition is becoming more and more ‘killing’, it is now difficult to get an online share in the market.
However, even in the big cities, there are enough options to make your practice stand out positively in the short and long term. It may take some time, energy, and often a bit of patience, but with the right attention and the right investment, it is still perfectly possible to achieve a nice online result.
When you have a budget and start working with Google Adwords, for example, you can immediately generate a visitor flow for your website. It is important to measure well and carefully try things out to attract the right visitors. It is then your website’s task to convert the attracted visitors into clients. If this does not happen or does it badly, you will generate little to no result despite the investment made.
So do your best, and keep doing your best, to get and keep your website as well as all online profiles as good as possible to maximize the chance of a nice number of new clients per month.