Elements of a Professional Website

by Office of Technology Policy & Projects Staff

As an ever-increasing number of people rely on the Internet to locate resources and information, having an online presence is crucial for psychologists as professionals who provide a service to the public.

According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, over 70 million American adults log onto the Internet every day to use email, obtain health and medical information, and engage in countless other activities. Additionally, 80 percent of all adult Internet users have searched for health information online. With that in mind, having a professional website is a major opportunity for practicing psychologists to market their services to a growing marketplace of healthcare consumers.

When building a professional website, consider including the following elements:

Biographical Information

On your home page, include a biography with personal and professional information geared toward potential clients. Posting a brief personal history about where you grew up and where you currently work and live helps personalize your site while creating a connection with visitors. Briefly summarize your professional background, but leave the more detailed information for a page dedicated to your practice.

Information about Your Practice

Dedicate a full page to your practice and areas of specialty. Outline your educational background, degrees and certifications earned, as well as any professional organization of which you are a member. Provide information about the types of treatments and populations for which you have provided service.

Contact Information

A full page should be dedicated to how clients can contact your practice and make appointments, while offering directions to your office location.

Clear, Concise Content

When writing for the web, less is more. Studies have shown that people rarely read entire web pages word by word; instead, they scan the page. Break up the information into short, digestible paragraphs. Summarize information as succinctly as possible without sacrificing important points.

Double-check all the information on your pages for grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. Be sure to spell-check your content before you post it.

Professional Photograph

Posting a photograph taken by a professional photographer portrays a polished, professional image and also personalizes your site to visitors.

Content Focused on Your Target Audience

When writing your biography and the summary of your practice, remember that the information should be geared toward potential clients. Avoid clichés and jargon that the general public may not understand or may find confusing.

Regularly Updated Content

A successful website should always included pieces of content that are regularly updated. If the site content never changes, the site may seem stale or dated to site visitors.

 

Date created: 2005
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