The way people look to find professional help has changed a lot in recent years and that includes looking for those working in mental health.

Many prospective clients begin their search by looking online for a mental health professional near to where they live or work and with a specific mental health issue they want addressed or explored, but they don’t always find a mental health professional easily.

In fact research shows more than 50 per cent of people looking online struggle to find what they need. If you think you may fall in this category here are 10 tips to strengthen the online presence of your practice.

Before proceeding, be clear what your professional guidelines are in relation to what you can and can’t do – for example, psychologists are not permitted to ask for or use testimonials in online marketing.

1. Use your website to tell people about you, your team & your practice

People who are looking for help want to feel safe and reassured that they can place themselves in the care of mental health professionals. Your website needs to instantly reflect this.

2. SEO search success

On your home page, be sure to use SEO phrases and words that people might use when they are searching online for a mental health professional, such as “dealing with depression”; “coping with anxiety”; or “relationship breakdown” to give them a much stronger chance of finding you.

3. Your opening page needs to provide clear information

Remember that people are in an exploratory mode when searching online, so they want to be able to see that they can click on links that will give them more details about who is working at your practice and what they do.

4. Easy steps to making a booking or a referral

Any prospective client will want to feel confident that if they want to make an appointment or submit a referral, it’s fast and easy to do. Each person working at your practice needs tohave a clear, friendly photo headshot and a summary of their areas of experience as well as their qualifications. There is no need to make this too long.

5. Expand on what your practice offers

Don’t feel you have to skimp on mentioning areas your practice focuses on and be sure to briefly list each and every one of them. Include links which again reinforce how people can contact your practice.

6. Frequently asked questions

An important section on your website ought to be a defined page for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) relating to fees, sessions and rebates.

7. Outline your values

Remember that people who are searching for a mental health professional may be doing this for the very first time and they want to feel reassured they will be in good hands. Use your website to outline what your practice’s values are, even if it’s only a line or two. Also outline your practice’s approach to therapy. This can really boost your online presence.

8. Added value

Offer blogs, eBooks and other resources to reinforce what your practice stands for. Make them topical, easy to read and engaging, while also clearly showing your teams’ strengths.

9. Use social media

It’s imperative you have a social media presence. On your Facebook page, for example, provide all relevant details including map location of practice, website link and how people can message, call or follow you.

10. Be interactive

People can interact with your practice on social media so be sure to prompt them. Ask a pertinent question or offer a positive mental health tip with a cute image to match and ask for comments; regardless of the number of comments you get, this is a very positive step in strengthening your online presence.

If this sounds like just what your practice needs and you’d love to be part of a new online community of mental health professionals, join Radiant today at www.myradiant.com.au