Your website is the first impression potential clients have of you and your practice. With just a few seconds to grab a site visitor’s attention, it’s important to know what the most important elements are as you create your practice website.

All practice websites should, at a minimum, include the following:

Professional and clean design.

Clear and concise copy to offer a sense of your identity, answer important questions, attract specific clients, and illustrate how you will help them.

Copy, design, and branding that authentically reflects you and your practice.

This article will review the top ten elements for a successful website – one that will capture the attention of future clients and impress your colleagues!

Professional and Attractive Logo. Your website represents your brand and business, so including a well-designed logo on your homepage is important. Logos are usually located in the upper left corner or the top center of a website. While it can appear smaller on other pages, make sure your logo is prominent on the homepage.

Appealing Headline. You want a clear and simple headline that captures the attention of visitors, letting them know they’re in the right place. Let them know who you serve and the outcomes you help clients achieve.

Organized Navigation. It’s frustrating to land on a website and find it confusing to navigate. Poor user experience leads to visitors quickly moving on. One way to avoid this problem is to ensure information is clear and concise in your navigation menus. Put only the essential pages in the main navigation and nest secondary pages underneath. Menu placement should be consistent throughout your site. Remember to minimize the links within site content to lessen visitors’ confusion.

Choose a Great Template. Use a website template or theme that is current and flows, with a primary photo that pulls visitors in and compels them to explore further. Use one attractive and compelling primary photo or graphic – giving weight to your content while communicating what your website and practice is about.

TIP: People typically read left to right, top to bottom, so when you use multiple photos of varying sizes and shapes, they might compete with one another and lead to a “cluttered” look and feel – confusing your visitors. It’s fine to use smaller images below your larger, anchor image – just be sure everything flows.

Focus on the Problems You Help Your Clients Solve. Imagine potential clients and how they feel as they search for a therapist they can trust. Create your content from that space. You might include a headline on your homepage that explains who you help and what you help them achieve, or you can include questions or bullet points to connect with your visitors. Let them know you relate to their pain or challenges. Here are some examples:

Is it hard to enjoy the present because you’re focused on past pain or worries about the future?

Are you ready to live with more joy and intention?

I help people reach their full potential.

You can thrive, and I can help.

Is there any hope of turning your relationship around?

Introduce Yourself and Your Practice. Clearly convey the benefits of working with you to connect with potential clients. On your home page, write a brief introductory paragraph about yourself, your practice, and some of the results a potential client can expect from working with you. This can be a lead-in to your more detailed About Me page, where you include a friendly, professional, high-quality photo and a lengthier bio. Be sure to include your specialties and all services or packages you offer.  Research has confirmed that adding photos to websites significantly increases the likelihood that visitors will become clients. “Real” images – not stock photos – have the strongest positive effect.

Call to Action. Include a clear and strong message with a button. Make it easy for site visitors to get in touch, sign up for a free eBook, or schedule an appointment. Maybe you offer a free 15-minute phone consultation? Whatever you offer, consider what a visitor needs to do in order to become a client – and make the next steps simple.

Contact Form. Potential clients want to contact you, so make it easy by including an easy-to-locate contact form. Just providing your email address is inconvenient, because visitors need to open a separate email program in order to contact you. In addition, publishing your email address so anyone can see it makes it easy for spammers to harvest your email address. Include your contact page in your navigation, and label it something obvious like “Contact” or “Book a Session.”

Mobile-Friendly Design. Did you know that in 2014, mobile internet usage exceeded PC internet usage? In other words, it’s likely that more than half of your potential clients will visit your website on their tablets or mobile phones! Make sure your website has a responsive design, which ensures your site pages will automatically resize themselves to fit smaller screens. Test your site using Google’s mobile-friendly tool and on your own mobile phone.

SEO Strategy. SEO stands for “search engine optimization,” and it is essential to your practice website because search engines are one of the best sources of visitors (potential clients!). You can learn SEO basics and hire a professional to offer feedback, provide oversight, and fill in any gaps in your knowledge. There are also free SEO auditing tools you can use.

Now you know what it takes to have a successful practice website! In a previous post, we discussed the importance of including a blog on your website. You can read the post by clicking here {add a link to blog post}.