This is the second of a series of six articles written for Private Practice Hub by Phil Hulme of WebHealer the specialist provider of websites to professional therapists. The series started in July with an overview of AIDAN, WebHealer’s approach to helping their customers grow their therapy practice and this article goes deeper into step one – Attention.
Attention is more than being seen
Attention is the first step of the AIDAN system devised and used by WebHealer to help our clients achieve high performance from their websites. We won’t be talking here about design, layout or how to connect with your website visitor because none of that matters if people never see your website. In this article we will concern ourselves with gaining eyeballs or more specifically attention.
Attention is much more than being seen. Everyone is short of time these days so it’s all too easy to glaze over something that doesn’t seem relevant or meet any immediate need. If you are trying to connect with prospective clients you need to be seen by the right people, not just people surfing the web for a new pair of shoes.
Paid or Not Paid
There is now a massive online industry eager to help you gain the attention of these “right people”. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and all the other recognisable social media names would love to sell you their services. They offer not only their subscriber base of millions but their “big data” to help you select just the right people who would be interested in your kind of therapy. They have very powerful tools but that is also the big drawback as it is beyond the expertise of most therapists to use these tools and get any value for money. Social media does have its benefits for therapists and we will talk about these more in a later step of AIDAN.
The primary means of gaining attention that we recommend is through search engines such as Google and to a slightly lesser extent Bing. The simple reason for this is that people who are searching type exactly what they are looking for and if your service meets their needs Google actually wants people to be able to find your website!
Google also offers paid listings (AdWords) as well as free listings known as “organic” listings. If you do wish to spend money on online marketing you’re much more likely to get a return from a paid Google listing than a promotional Tweet, unless you have reasonable marketing experience. We have limited space in this article so we will focus here on organic (non paid) search engine listings. Download our free eBook if you would like more information about AdWords and other ways of getting attention, such as directories and editorial. “Using the Web to Attract More Clients” is available at www.WebHealer.net
Make your website Google friendly
If you already have a website and are struggling to gain visibility on Google, you may think it odd that we say “Google wants people to find your website” but put yourself in Google’s shoes for a moment. If someone is using Google to find, say, a reflexologist in Exeter but the first page of results is full of online health shops based in the US, the person looking will stop using Google and switch to Bing.
Google wants to give people the best and most suitable results from any search they do, so the first step if you want top Google places for your website is to help Google out by making sure it has no trouble working out what you offer and where you are. If you are that qualified and experienced reflexologist in Exeter make sure you say so on your website.
Remember that Google lists web pages not websites, so if you only mention Exeter on a contact page and nowhere else then none of your webpages is relevant for the term “reflexologist Exeter”. Similarly if you only talk about “reflexology” but never use the word “reflexologist” you’re likely to get overlooked for that term. The search engine language for this is “relevance” but we like to describe this process as making your website Google friendly.
You may have heard that blogging is a good way of getting top search listings. But what if you aren’t a natural journalist? Don’t worry! Google isn’t especially fond of blogging per se but it does like to prioritise “news” i.e. websites with new or fresh content. None of us like to visit websites that haven’t been updated in 5 years – you start to wonder if they are still in business. Blogging isn’t the only option though. You can avoid your website looking stale in the eyes of Google by maintaining pages on a variety of subjects: your personal recommendation of therapy or self help books, comments on news pieces about your area of therapy, or feedback from clients. If you allocate a dedicated page to this content we recommend you also update your home page with a brief summary every time you change your dedicated page.
Let’s return to the theme of Google wanting to list the “best” websites at the top of it search results and consider what Google might view a “best” website to look like. Google’s grand mission is to make the sum of human knowledge available to the planet, so the more your website can look like a contribution to human knowledge the more Google will like it. We talk about the importance of your website having “Authority”.
If your website is merely an advert for what you do and talks about your location and opening times its Google appeal is going to be limited. To gain true Authority look beyond this. The types of things you can do are actually very similar to our recommendations for freshness so let’s take the example of personal reviews of therapy books. If you were to write one of these every month or two it wouldn’t take long before you had a resource that would be valued and possibly shared by people as well as adding a lot of Google Authority to your website.
For More Information
It is hard to do justice to a topic like this in one article. So far we have only really talked about making your website content Google friendly. There is a whole other aspect to this subject related to how your website is interlinked with the rest of the web. We also haven’t talked about Google Places which are the listings of business shown on a Google map. For a fuller explanation of this key stage of Attention, we’d suggest downloading our eBook which has a whole chapter on it. Here’s the link again www.WebHealer.net.
Our next article comes out in September and will focus on Integrity. It is important that when someone does land on your website that their first impression is one of integrity otherwise they will hit the Back button in seconds and all your efforts will be wasted. We’ll explain the things you need to be considering in our next article.
WebHealer is a specialist provider of websites to private practice therapists and is preferred supplier to members of leading therapy associations.