Are you a therapist or a counselor? While you may have considered key factors to include on your counselling website such as your credentials, specialty areas and a booking calendar, what about having a warm website design? Warm website design elements such as warm colors, inviting copy, and a welcoming photo of you go a long way to inviting site visitors to take the next step and explore initiating therapy services with you.
When people come to your site they are seeking a mental health professional, yes, but they are also craving connection and warmth. While there is key information you need to share on your counseling website, the Way you share that information is the key to finding new clients for your practice. Looking for counseling website design inspiration? Check out my portfolio featuring some of the counseling and therapist websites I have designed in recent years.
Choosing Warm Colors for your Warm Website Design
The color palette used in your website design is extremely important, and yet their impact on site visitors is largely unconscious. The way you combine colors on your website and use them to emphasize segments of content creates an overall vibe on your website that will either invite – or turn off – potential clients thanks to color psychology. We all have strong associations with colors, from the red of valentines today, to the surgical blue we associate with hospitals. It is important to recognize the key role that color choices play in the user experience on your website.
The color palette on your website involves every color found there – from the colors used for your body text to your headers & buttons, and even the color scheme found in your photos. Together, these shape how your counseling website feels to potential clients.
Colors that are traditionally defined as “warm” include red, orange and yellow. Warm tones convey a sense of energy, passion, inspiration, and, of course, love. They tend to invite a site visitor to pay attention. Of these, red more often can convey a sense of danger or importance and therefore is best reserved for calls to action such as booking buttons. Orange and yellow, however, bring a sense of happiness and hope – suggesting that your counseling services may help them find a new sense of wellbeing in their lives.
Remember that for every color, there are countless related hues. Warm website design colors such as red, orange and yellow don’t have to be glaring and bright. Did you know that every color out there has it’s own page with all the variations of shade & hue and complementary colors? For example below are the shades and tints of one particular shade of red, orange, and yellow. Click on any one of the colors on these color guide pages and you’ll find more gorgeous options in that color range.
You don’t have to stick with the traditional warm colors just to make your site design feel warm and connected, however. The color blue is a common choice for many therapist and counseling websites as it conveys a sense of stability and trust. As a soothing color, it can go a long way to helping a client in crisis sense that they have found a new trusted resource. Unfortunately, it can also convey emotions such as depression (i.e. feeling blue…) and detachment so you may want to not have it as a dominant color.
Earth tones are another way to convey a sense of warmth as they send a subconscious calming message that you provide grounded, connected care.
Warm Website Design Requires Inviting Copy
I talk about how to create copy that invites connection and engagement ALL THE TIME with my web design clients. The fact is, the prettiest website design in the world isn’t going to provide you with an overflowing counselling practice with wonderful clients unless your copy is inviting.
Yes, you likely have a long list of content that potential clients need to know about before they hire you, or to help them decide if you are the right therapist for them – but don’t let that take over the most important element of successful website copy: Connection. Important elements of your inviting website copy include:
- Short sections of copy – no big long rambling paragraphs.
- Text that is written in the 1st and 2nd person. They are considering a professional counselling relationship with you – it is important to start building that relationship from the moment they land on your threshold.
- Speak to where they are – validate, acknowledge, guide. Position them as the hero of their journey – not yourself. This concept comes from the Storybrand approach to website copy and marketing strategy. To learn more, check out Carrie Kenner of Storyline Marketing who works with many of my web design clients on their website copy.
Your Warm Photo
Gone are the days when a professional headshot was key to your success. Today’s clients are seeking connection above all else. Eye contact, professional but approachable clothing, a kind smile, and comfortable surroundings rather than a fake backdrop go a long way to establishing the first step in building a connection with potential counselling clients. Now I’m the first to admit that it’s not easy to get a good professional photo of yourself – many of us have some pretty significant hangups when it comes to this topic. I listened to a fantastic podcast recently by Krista Smith of “How Can This Be Easy?” on How to Get Comfortable on Camera, Even if You’re an Introvert. She shares some really helpful tips on getting comfortable with both photos & video.
A question to consider:
Any time you are planning a new web design or assessing your current counselling website for a refresh or revisions, I encourage you to ask yourself the following question:
What are 3 emotions I want potential clients to feel within the first minute of landing on my website?
I ask this question of all my web design clients with holistic service practices – counselors and therapists, chiropractors, herbalists, massage therapists, doulas, midwives & more. Why? Because your work is intimate, and connected, and requires a very different kind of website design than a plumber or a coffee shop. Let those 3 emotions be your guide in your color choices, your website copy, your photos and you will be well on your way to a warm website design that invites and encourages visitors to take the next step & become happy clients.