Websites

Get tips on ways to market yourself on your website.

Creating a Video for your Counseling Website

Creating a Video for your Counseling Website

Today I made a video to show you all how easy it is to get a video on your website! First I bought a tripod. Here is a picture of what I got. It is no longer available but you can find something like it at the vendor of your choice. It was $15.99. It is then super easy to create your video. Well that is a bit of exaggeration. I spent a bit of time fiddling around finding a good angle for the film and a few practice runs.

picture of tripod for iphone

Here is what you do over on YouTube

This picture is off the upper right. You can see the blue icon which shows me it is my channel and then you click the red create symbol to upload your video)

Then you move the video over to your computer for upload to YouTube. Then you upload it. Here are a few screen shots to show what that looks like. Once you have it uploaded there you can access the sharing link. That is the link you will post on your website to show the video on your website.

upload video screen for Youtube

This picture shows where you drag and drop your video to YouTube

YouTube link shown

Here is a picture of what it looks like when you put the link into the website. This will look different on every website.

That is how you easily get a video up on your website.

Connecting Your Website to Google Analytics

It is imperative for a few reasons to connect your website to Google Analytics. It is important for both Search Engine Optimization purposes and for being able to analyze the effectiveness of your website. This information will allow you to assess how people found your website and what content they viewed.

I have created a short video to walk you through this process. If you do not have a Google Analytics account you will first start by creating that account.

How to address new website privacy issues

You may have been receiving emails from Google letting you know that you need to address the new General Data Protection Regulations that were passed in Europe. You may have like me ignored them because you don’t advertise in Europe. I have read some conflicting information on whether or not you are covered. Most of what I have read has said that if someone from Europe signs up for your newsletter or purchases something on your site you are covered. I decided to address the issues covered.

There are a few things to look at doing. The first is developing a privacy policy. The second is making sure if you have a mailing list you are compliant with the rules. The third is logging in to Google Analytics and setting the time limit for how long Google keeps that data. The last is something you hopefully have already done which is getting an SSL certificate.

Privacy Policy

If you are on WordPress they have made it easy. If you have updated to the newest version of WordPress when you log in you will see information on setting up a Privacy Page and information you need to include on your privacy page. I used that along with a free online template to develop my privacy policy which is now found here. Mine is relatively simple since I collect minimal information. I needed to include information on my mailing list, Google Analytics data collection, contact form, my class information, and any WordPress gathered information. Now I will say right now I did this privacy policy on my own using the tools I have mentioned and I am not a lawyer and no lawyer reviewed this policy.

Mailing List

If you have a mailing list you should make sure it has a double opt-in. A double opt-in means that after the person gives you their email address they get an email confirming the address where they have to click again in order to subscribe. If you use a Mail Chimp service this automatically happens. Many people are also having everyone on their mailing list re-opt in also. I have heard differing information on this. I suspect it is not mandatory. I did do it and I lost about 3/4 of my mailing list by doing so.

You also need to make sure your subscribers have an easy way of unsubscribing. Again if you use a service like Mail Chimp this will be done for you.

Google Analytics

With Google Analytics you should also login to that account and set the time limit for how long Google keeps that data. The default is 26 months but you can reduce it to 14 months or increase it (not advised). It will also stop the reminder emails from Google.

SSL Certificate

If you haven’t done this already you should do this even if you take none of the other steps. It is now an SEO ranking factor also. If you use an online privacy policy creator they will ask you about this. If you want some more information on how I did this click here. 

So each of us has to decide if and how to address this. I am risk averse when it comes to my business so I implemented these steps.

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Maintaining your WordPress Site

Maintaining Your WordPress Website

This morning I came across a WPBeginner post on ways to maintain your website.While I will admit I do not do everything regularly on their list I do a bunch of things. Here are the ones I focus on. Check out their article for some more in depth maintenance tasks.

1. Keep your site updated. This means WordPress version, theme, and plugins. A site that is not updated can lead to both performance and security issues so it is very important. I use WordFence Security to notify me when anything on my site needs updating.

2. Back up regularly. I have talked about this before. I use the paid version of updraft plus because it backs up for me before I update anything. If you use the free version be sure to do this manually. You should also have it set up to back up at least weekly.

3. Check for pages that do not exist and make sure they are redirected. I use Redirection Plug In to do this. It shows me pages that are considered 404 errors and allows me to redirect people that go there to go to another page. You can also look for these pages in your webmaster tools under crawl errors.

4. Make sure everything is working on your website. Your links work. Your contact form works. Sometimes things get broken and unless you are looking for those things people may not tell you that something is broken they will just move on to the next site.

5. While you are checking everything out on your site. Write a blog post. I will admit this post came about when I went in to do some checks on my site. My goal is to write a blog post monthly so that is a good time to make sure everything is going smoothly and consider any other work I may want to do on my site. Of course, #1 is something that needs to be done as it comes up and can’t wait until a monthly check in.

 

Let me know in the comments any other things you do to keep up your WordPress site.

 

Updraft Plus is an affiliate link. Please see my affiliate disclosure here.

Photo Copyright: tuktukdesign / 123RF Stock Photo
2017-07-18T18:54:14+00:00Websites|

Installing a SSL Certificate on my Bluehost website

Installing an SSL Certificate on my Bluehost website

 

So often when there is new technology I procrastinate moving along to the next step. One of the areas I have done that is with installing an SSL certificate on my websites. It just seemed too hard and maybe not necessary. In a group I am in one of the website guru masters has been insisting that SSL certificates are a must for SEO in 2017. Well, I cannot call myself an SEO guru if I myself do not keep up with such things so this past week I have moved forward with it. And you know what it was not too hard.

I have Bluehost as my hosting company so I am speaking particularly of them. Just to disclose I have an affiliate relationship with them and links to their site may be an affiliate link which means if you buy something I get a bit of money. No other links are affiliates in this blog post.

So doing this with Bluehost was both free and relatively painless. I went to the Control Panel and found this section. See Free there! So then it was just a few clicks to get it installed on my site. Once you finish that it can take a few hours for everything to go through the system. You will know it is done if you type in https:// before your URL and your site shows up. In the meantime, I downloaded the Real Simple SSL plugin. I added the Pro Version currently $25 for one site and $59 for up to 5 sites. I am not sure that I needed the Pro Version in hindsight but when reading the directions it said I need to look at the code and check on a few things and the Pro Version did that for me. None of it was a problem so I probably could have gotten away with the free version but the cost was reasonable enough and I hate worrying.

Once you activate the Real Simple Plugin on your site (follow these instructions for Pro) it automatically will find the certificate and make it all work together. You will then get a link telling you to go to your Google Analytics and Webmaster accounts to add the new domain name to your accounts. Those easy instructions are found here.

And then you are done and will have a secure site so that people typing in your URL won’t see messages saying your site is not secure.

My website guru master was correct and it is worth doing.

The Very First Steps to Starting a WordPress Website

The Very First Steps to Starting a WordPress Website

Today I ran my Nuts and Bolts of Private Practice Workshop. When talking about websites one participant wanted to know step by step the beginning of starting a WordPress website. So here goes.

  1. Get a domain name. I recommend getting one at the same place where you host your site for simplicity sake.
  2. Get a hosting provider. The host essentially provides the internet space for your site. I use Bluehost but there are other options such as Hostgator out there.
  3. Download WordPress to your site. See the picture below (click it to get a good look). This example picture is from Bluehost. You will then click install WordPress and it will walk you through it.
  4. Pick and download a theme. I recommend a paid theme and I get mine from Theme Forest. You will have a few WordPress free themes that get automatically downloaded with your WordPress installation.
  5. Add plug-ins for back-up and security. I use WordFence and Updraft/Restore for these things. You want to get those in right away so your site is secure and you have a good back-up for when you screw your site up (because you will).

Screen Shot WordPress download

 

 

 

Full Affiliate disclosures: I only recommend companies/articles that I am currently using or have thoroughly researched. I do receive compensation if you click through affiliate links and sign up. My detailed Affiliate Statement is found here. In this post Bluehost, Updraft, and Theme Forest are affiliate links and the other links are not.

Five Things I Have Learned About Websites This Week

I Hate Technology-Five Things I Have Learned About Websites This Week

Not really but I sure hate it when it isn’t working properly. I am not sure what planet is in retrograde now but I have been struggling for the last week with website issues. Some things I have learned.

  1. Don’t rush to try and fix it. Some things just self heal. Self heal is the definition in my house of things that are broken then they are not for no know reason. Several times I was having some glitches that probably should have been left alone and they would have self healed. This morning my email through Bluehost was not working. I patiently waited for their online chat person and by the time she was testing the emails they worked again. I felt a bit stupid and like I had wasted my time. At least I didn’t mess anything up by acting quickly.
  2. Sometimes you need professional help. I was having such issues with my websites last week that I could no longer access my WordPress login page. That was the point I turned to a professional. She was able to fix things for me. Part of the problem was when I tried to fix it via my Bluehost back up that it restored a corrupted back up file. How that happens is beyond me but I have heard of others with this issues before so I know it happens.
  3. More back up is better back up. Many of you know that I sign the praises of my Updraft Back Up Plugin. I still love this plugin but when you have no login screen you can’t access that back-up so I found that Bluehost, my web host also had a back up of my files. And for $3 bucks a month (and you can’t just sign up for one month) you can restore just the files you want. If it had solved my problem that money would have been less than what I paid the professional to clean it up. Just remember if one back up fails you may have another.
  4. Back-up files can be corrupted. I certainly did not know this but what I learned is that if you restore from the back-up and it still is not working then move to an even earlier backup and see if that works. I was able to do that in one case.
  5. Clear your Internet cache when there are problems and you can also clear your modem cache. I did know to clear my browser cache when I was having some challenges with the sites loading on my computer. However, I learned from my professional that your modem also has a cache and you may need to clear that also. When I tried to do that by unplugging it and then plugging it back in at her suggestions that did not work. So I called my internet provider and they did a reset and he told me to press the reset button on my modem and hold it for 3 seconds. When this issue occurred again (refer back to some planetary retrogrades) I did this and it worked.

 

So just remember that everyone throws their hands up in regards to technology sometimes and that it may be better to take a break then act. It can never hurt to take a few deep breathes before diving back in again.
Photo Copyright: siiixth / 123RF Stock Photo

 

Full Affiliate disclosures: I only recommend companies/articles that I am currently using or have thoroughly researched. I do receive compensation if you click through an affiliate links and sign up. My detailed Affiliate Statement is found here. In this post Bluehost, and Updraft are affiliate links.

Resources for your website and SEO

Resources for your website and SEO

I am in a Facebook group that focuses on Online Marketing for therapists. It is a great group of supportive therapists who want to learn the ins and outs of marketing on the internet. One of the questions that comes up rather frequently is how to best build a strong website for your practice. So here are a few resources that I have put together to help you build your website and learn how to improve your SEO.

Most experts  recommend going with a self hosted WordPress site. That means developing a site where you obtain hosting from another company such as Bluehost. It is different from building a site on WordPress.com. If you use Bluehost you can also get your domain name there also. I have found it is better to get everything from one site since it makes for a easier set up.

Now some people want to go another route. They find that WordPress has a learning curve that they do not want to deal with. For the Drag and Drop type of website builders Squarespace is considered the best. There are other drag and drop site builders out there but they have different challenges for SEO and if you ever want to transfer your site. Thoroughly research any company before you use them.

If you decide to go with WordPress you will have to pick a theme.  Theme Forest is a great place to search for themes. I use the Avada theme which I love and got from Theme Forest. They are constantly updating it and have excellent support. I have emailed them many a question and gotten excellent help. They never act as if a question is dumb. Theme Forest allows you to research a theme and check out the reviews and how many times a theme has been downloaded.

SEO resources

I am a big proponent of do it yourself SEO. There are many free resources so that you can educate yourself about SEO. Yoast has lots of free information on their site and they also have a free plugin for WordPress that is the best way to optimize your WordPress site.

Moz Guide to SEO is another great free resource with some downloadable books where you can get lots of information about SEO for free.

Here is another article that is a bit more advance that discusses internal linking strategies.

This is a great infographic for SEO.

Other Plugins for WordPress

Updraft Plus-I love this plugin! When I first started out I  used another back up plugin and when I needed it I couldn’t get it to work. It was complicated to use. Updraft is super easy to use. I even bought the paid version which is a great resource if you are moving a site or want to set up some automated back ups. For example my site backs up before anything is updated so that if something goes wrong I can immediately restore back to the prior version.

WordFence Security is a great Plugin that I used to provide security for my WordPress site, which is essential. It also has a cache aspect to it that I use in order to improve the page speed of my site.

Photo Copyright: hristianin / 123RF Stock Photo

Full Affiliate disclosures: I only recommend companies/articles  that I am currently using or have thoroughly researched. I do receive compensation if you click through an affiliate link and sign up. My detailed Affiliate Statement is found here. In this post Bluehost, Updraft, and Theme Forest are affiliate links and the other links are not.

 

 

Get Your Website Mobile Friendly-NOW

Get Your Website Mobile Friendly-NOW

I had posted on my Facebook page the other day this article Beat Google’s Mobile Experience Algo (And Help Mobile Searchers) With These Two Tools. Then today I posted about how mobile usability is now going to be featured information in your Google Webmaster Tools. I myself didn’t have mobile friendly sites. I had my reasons-changing them caused some other issues with my templates that I guess I just didn’t want to deal with.  Then today right after reading the article about the Google Tools I got an email from Serpfox stating that my ranking for the word counseling had dropped 8 spots.  No coincidence I am sure. So I changed both sites over to the responsive versions and I am working out the glitches with tech support. A few hours later I get an email from Serpfox saying my ranking for counseling had gone up 14 spots and is now #4.  I don’t believe in coincidences. Google is taking mobile experience seriously and so should you.  Make sure your site is mobile responsive. Mine isn’t perfect, I can only adapt to what my theme will do. But obviously that was enough to make a big difference.  You can check out your site in Google’s eyes here.

 

What does your website tell potential clients about you?

So I will admit some of my counseling marketing goes against conventional wisdom. You read to tell potential clients how you can solve their problem and to not talk about you. This wisdom says copy should be 80% about their problem and only 20% about you. I focus more what I am like in the room. This is something that really resonates with my clients. Once again yesterday I had a potential client call me and say she wanted to see me specifically because of my website. They said “you seem down to earth”. That is exactly the message I want potential clients to get from my site. That may not be the approach everyone wants from their therapist but it seems to resonate really well with the people that end up coming to see me. Potential clients that want a different approach can continue looking for the therapist that will best meet their needs.

When I have gotten feedback from my website it has always been a response to how they perceive I am in the room. It has never been to a statement about how I can help their specific problem. Once they feel like they know how I am in the room they respond to the information I have about my niches. Since I write extensively about anxiety, trauma, and gender identity potential clients feel like I can work effectively with those issues.

Going to therapy is a scary experience. People want to know that you are safe for them to be open with. Take a look at your website and ask what it says to your potential clients about you.

I’d love to hear your comments about this below!

 

Copyright: anthonycz / 123RF Stock Photo

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