So far, you have defined your niche, practiced your elevator speech, printed out your forms and signed a lease. Now, it’s time to put yourself out there electronically. Armed with a photo, 60 minutes and a computer, you can successfully complete an electronic profile that will capture Google’s attention and expand your reach. Let’s talk about websites that work and profiles that promote. Psychology Today has  developed a registry of psychotherapists from every discipline in every state. It’s easy and intuitive and definitely an important part of your marketing strategy.  A client can search by price, gender, zip code, speciality, insurance, issue, age—these  become an easy guide to fill out your profile. A quick search in three zip codes in three cities reveals hundreds of therapists. However, in a parallel search in complementary zipcodes, there are often the same featured therapists at the top of the page….What sets them apart? It’s this–a few key strategies to optimize your profile and get Google’s attention. Incorporate these four successful search tips and your profile will be showing up more frequently at the top of the page.

Customize your Page Listing:

Be sure to take advantage of the Title Tags (usually found on “Page Info”) by stating the following: What you do, Who you are, Where you live. So, instead of John Smith, Ph.D. in the space provided for your Title–how about your niche? Anxiety Disorders, PTSD John Smith, PhD, Iowa City, Iowa

And–a special bonus, this will help Google find you because you have created keywords for search right there in your title.

 Write Warm, Engaging Copy:

Think of the way you chat up a potential client on the phone. Use your finely honed elevator speech to start off your descriptive copy. Say a little about your training, years of experience and what you believe in.

Instead of:

Dr. John Smith practices in Iowa City seeing couples, adults and adolescents using an eclectic style to treat anxiety disorders.  He has  flexible hours and takes insurance. In addition, he believes everyone should have an opportunity to explore their issues at their own pace.”

Try–”I specialize in treating clients with anxiety, including phobias and fears that interfere with your everyday life using a range of styles and techniques; my goal is to tailor the treatment to your need. Let me help you identify some specific strategies so that you can make meaningful and lasting change. My work hours are flexible and I accept insurance. Please give me a call and let’s see if it’s a good fit for you.”

 Use a Professional Photo:

This doesn’t necessarily mean you need a professional photographer to take it. Follow these simple steps to get a quality photo that you can use wherever you are putting yourself out there electronically. Make sure it’s a headshot, with a non-competing background; there’s no need to have the back of your chair or your bookcase in sharp focus. Wear a dark colored shirt–white often washes out your face. Smile warmly–the same empathetic smile a client sees when they step into your office, and keep it simple–just you, looking into the camera. Have a consistent picture in all your profiles so there’s no confusion as to who you are!

Put it Everywhere and Update your Content Frequently:

Now, that you have finished one profile–cut and paste to all the other sites out there–try these: therapysites.com, goodtherapy.org, therapytribe.com.

TIP: Updating your profile information on these sites on a regular basis, makes your name come to the top more frequently.

Now, Create a profile  with LinkedIn,  Twitter, A separate Facebook page for your business, Google plus, Yelp and any local directories. You have all the information you need from your initial profile on Psychology Today. And, last but not least? Mark your calendar and once a month, check where you end up on a Google search and the position on your registries. Then, tweak your copy–update regularly and let Google and your clients know that you are relevant, current and open for business!