Kelsey Hoff is a Canadian therapist who has developed a name for herself in religious trauma therapy. For a number of years she lived in the Middle East where she served as a personal therapist for Canadians living abroad. Returning to Canada a few years ago, she wanted to establish her practice in Canada, expand the range of services she was offering, and transition to meeting with clients exclusively online.

For about 3 months, we worked together to design content and a website that would become the primary sales funnel for growing her client base.

Content Strategy

Before spending any time on design ideas, we talked at length about the services she wanted to offer, and about the kind of people she was seeking to attract as clients. A website's content (and, eventually, its design) will always be more effective if it is created with a specific audience in mind.

In these conversations, we outlined a number of objections or hesitations people might have when seeking a therapist. Since people are often in a vulnerable state when seeking the help of a therapist, we set "kindness" and "openness" as key guiding characteristics for the content we prepared.

For a couple of weeks we worked together from her notes to derive an intuitive structure for the website as a whole, and a method for prioritizing her messaging on her various pages so that potential clients could find answers to their questions very quickly.

Use of video

Personal therapy is of course very "personal". Kelsey is the face of her own practice, and essentially she is marketing herself to her potential clients. Given the personal nature of her work, we settled on simple "talking-head" videos as a primary way for people to experience who Kelsey is.

Kelsey did a wonderful job of producing a number of videos that are both warm and instructive. She is a delightful person to talk to, so this kind of personal, straightforward video is a great way for potential clients to encounter her.

Objection handling

A customer in any sector will have a barrage of questions and concerns as they complete an online purchase. "What if I don't like this?" "Is the service secure?" "How complicated is this going to be for me?"

Certainly, a therapy client will have a great many concerns or objections, especially if a client has never experienced online therapy before. With this in mind, we prepared a list of "objections", and turned them into a positive list of expectations and frequently asked questions.

Potential clients are much more likely to take action when they can tell you have spent the time to understand their concerns.


Requesting the initial appointment with a therapist can feel like a big step to take. Kelsey didn't want to lose connection with potential clients simply because they needed more time before leaping into a therapy session.

With this in mind, we set up a newsletter subscription as a secondary call-to-action to enable potential clients to connect with Kelsey without having to become clients immediately.

A good subscription invitation will contain 3 important components:

  1. The purpose of the newsletter, answering the question, "What kind of stuff will you be sending me?"
  2. The frequency of emails so that the recipient can be assured that you won't be flooding their inbox. (E.g., "an email every 2 weeks")
  3. A statement about privacy to answer the question, "What will you do with my information?" It is best to use a phrase like, "I will never share your email address, and you can unsubscribe with one click." This leaves the recipient in control and keeps the perceived "cost" to a minimum. ("If I don't like what you send to me, I can get out of it easily.")

Kelsey wanted the newsletter to feature prominently throughout the website, so we stacked the subscription form on top of the website's footer where it can be found on nearly every page.

SEO Research

The last piece of the puzzle was to make sure the website's content was well suited to the searches that would lead new clients to Kelsey.

We worked on the websites's search engine optimization in three stages:

  1. We brainstormed a number of phrases that are common in Kelsey's industry, and performed some research to find more phrases that are commonly used when looking for therapy services. We took those phrases and, in addition to setting them as "meta" keywords, we worked them directly into the content of the website's pages.
  2. A few weeks after the launch of the website, I took some initial "readings" to establish a baseline we could use in the future to measure how well the website is performing with search engines.
  3. About two months after that, I took one more set of readings to chart the website's progress since the launch. At that time, we were happy to discover a sizeable increase in website traffic from search engines.

Kelsey has since heard from new clients that when they have searched "religious trauma therapy", Kelsey's pages are often within the first results after the ads.

The Result: Significant Growth

I have been so pleased to learn from Kelsey that the website has been fulfilling its purpose. She has experienced significant growth to the point that she now has a waiting list, and is considering taking on additional therapists to serve a growing number of people coming through her practice.

Kelsey told me, "My clients used to be all word of mouth. But now people reach out to me from all over Canada and internationally, and they are people I have no previous connection to."

Her increased visibility on search engines and her carefully crafted website content have turned her website into a valuable conduit of connection with new clients. 

I am thrilled to see Kelsey thriving!

It's been almost a year since I initially worked with Luke on my website and my business has taken off far more than I would have expected a year ago! I often get comments by other professionals and potential clients that my website is clear, easy to navigate, and that they feel like they know exactly what I offer before booking a free consultation. Given the demographic of clients who reach out to me, this is really important and I believe that Luke really set me up to have this be the case.

I have also had people from all over Canada and internationally reach out to me and they say that they found me through using only a search engine. This shows that the SEO work that Luke did on my site has really worked and is a very important part of attracting referrals. I am expanding my business now and will continue to work with Luke to adapt my website to serve my business's changing needs. I highly recommend his services!

— Kelsey Hoff (Kelsey Hoff Counselling)

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