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|Secrets of an Effective Website - Page 4|
To get free, specific feedback on how well your site is optimized for search-engine traffic, go to www.websitegrader.com. This analysis will show you which search engines and directories your site is listed in and how much traffic you're generating, and will give you an overall site-searchability rating on a scale from 1 to 100.
Converting Visitors to Clients
Once you get visitors to your site, you need to convert them to clients. To do that, you have to grab their attention fast. Most studies show that someone finding your site from a search will spend only about 10 seconds on your home page before making a decision to go deeper into your site or go elsewhere. So you have 10 seconds to "hook" visitors enough to focus their attention, get them to read more about you, and become comfortable about the idea of contacting you.
Your success at converting visitors to clients will mostly depend on three factors: content, the "call to action," and the ease of contacting you.
The content on your home page should be mostly about potential clients and their needs, not about you and your credentials. In those first 10 seconds, people want to know whether you can help them with their specific issue; they don't care how many letters you have after your name. It's useful to show how you and your services are unique, to help you stand out from the crowd. What's special about how you work? your training? your life experiences that led you to this field?
Another helpful idea for gaining clients is to move visitors from being passive readers to people who are actively, emotionally engaged with you or your website. This can be done by offering something of value for free—a report, an article, or a brief phone consultation—that they can receive if they contact you. You might have a brief (one- to three-minute) audio or video welcoming message on your home page, so visitors get a little sense of what you're like. You can start building a relationship by inviting an e-mail describing their situation. Also, a testimonial about your work from a satisfied client will usually elicit more emotion and motivation to contact you than dry text.