There are many counsellors that do not have websites. I believe this is a mistake. In a day in age where the majority of the population turns to the internet to do research, having a website is essential to providing potential clients research into your practice and if you are their ideal fit for a counsellor. The main reasons to have a website are as follows:
– It’s a formal way for you to market yourself with clients and network with other professionals
– It helps clients FIND you
– It establishes your credibility and outlines your experience as a counsellor. It’s a great idea to include your expertise and niche in your website.
– It should help clients figure out if you can help them with their problems.
How to build a website is a daunting task; however, marketing your website if one of the best ways to promote yourself. If you can afford to hire a professional to build your website, do so. Many starting out cannot afford to so make sure you find a good website provider that provides you the look your are looking for. There are both free and paid website hosts. Whichever you choose, your choice should allow you to choose from preexisting templates and make it easy for you to shape your website into your vision. Here are some other tips for you to consider:
– Make sure your contact information is visible on every page of your website.
– Make sure your website personally reflects your style.
– Avoid use of jargon as much as possible. Make sure your website is understandable to everyone
– Make sure that your website speaks to the benefits of your service.
– Use a simple, clean format and use consistency where ever possible. Choose no more than 2 fonts and colours.
– Ask others to review your website for any spelling, grammar mistakes that you may have missed and to provide you valuable feedback on the esthetics and wording of your website.
– Consider the use of social media to bring in clients to your website. You can choose various other social media as a professional forum, such as Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, to bring in more website traffic. Personally, I have a Facebook page in addition to my website.
Other things for you to research and consider in terms of your website and online presence are: having a blog on your site, including useful links for clients in your area, keeping up on SEO tactics (Search Engine Optimization) that will help increase your rank of your website for internet searches and having a mobile version of your website (I have one with webs.com) for those smart phone internet users. Best of luck in building your website. Take your time to really plot out and research what works best for you and your potential clients.
Andrea Cashman is a private practice counsellor who has founded Holistic Counselling Services for individual clients seeking therapy in Ottawa, ON. She also practices at the Ottawa Hospital as a registered nurse. Feel free to comment below or contact her at [email protected] or visit her website at www.holisticcounsellingservices.ca
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA