The gist of this North Vancouver web development project:
This North Vancouver-based client needed an effective website, complete with copywriting services and SEO considerations, to launch her new private practice. Working with her designer, I created a website layout, site structure and content strategy (which would also factor in SEO). After this, the designer created the aesthetic components, and my team got to work with the WordPress site development. The site was made responsive, retina screen friendly and adaptable to changing content needs, should they ever be required. I also performed extensive content copywriting services for this website.
The nitty gritty details of this counselling website project:
This website project was a challenge because the way it would communicate to its audience was going to be critical. During the marketing discovery and copywriting interview stages, a major question kept popping up: “what is play therapy? What happens in play therapy? How does it happen? How does it work?”
Believe it or not, very few counselling websites that we researched did an effective job of explaining this. And even fewer could describe the benefits of this type of therapy to their reader.
What I wanted to avoid was a site that spoke to existing counsellors, who knew all the industry terms already. Instead, the goal was to focus on the needs or problems the potential customer was trying to solve, or find answers to. This was achieved with a focus on writing about benefits and not just features. It was also achieved with examples and explanations, which I felt would be necessary for a newcomer to the field. It would help them understand why they should buy into the concept of therapy. As we know, therapy comes with stigma, and that had to be overcome on this site too. Presenting a warm, welcoming, and ‘no-shame’ feeling on the site was important.
So, coming back to benefits versus features, when a website says, “I provide synergetic play therapy,” that can be vague to a person who doesn’t know about the science or latest happenings in the field. In other words, that type of sentence is a feature, not a benefit.
But if the website reads, “using this advanced new technique, I can help your child heal faster,” then THAT can catch the attention of the reader.
Of course, I’m giving simplified examples here, and none of my quotations on this page are meant to be absolute truths, nor do they come directly from the client.
The other thing I wanted to come through on this site was the belief system of the counsellor. It was one of the most impressive things about her. She believes in what she does. She has confidence in it. And she is passionate about it. This stemmed from her own personal story, which I got to know as I was interviewing her. I spent the time to get into those details for this counselling services website. I asked deeper questions about her. I was able to write better copy, and make it sound like it was truly coming from her heart. That copy would then translate into the structure of the website, and how it would be designed.
All the writing on the site was written by me, but with great effort to make the message sound like it was coming from her – because it was, really. She proof-read all the wording, and we went through multiple iterations of the copy. This was to ensure she was comfortable with what would be published.
The discovery questionnaire also helped the designer, who had to translate the character of this counsellor’s brand, into aesthetic form. The designer was very collaborative, which made the process of setting up the site much smoother – and even more fun! She was willing to learn about some ‘techy’ stuff behind web design, so she’d be able to produce a better design. For example, she researched a cool, animated hover state that we could use, and it turned out wonderfully.
Development features implemented for this therapy website:
- WordPress, Genesis framework child theme development with customized design and front-end coding.
- Widget-controlled home page with easy-to-edit areas available from the site dashboard.
- Responsive design, with several proofing checks to ensure the site would display its design properly on multiple screen and device sizes.
- SVG and icon font usage to ensure the site’s imagery would display clearly and professionally on high-density resolution screens (i.e. retina displays)
- Full copywriting services with site structure planning.
- Performance and site speed optimizations
- SEO foundations built into the site, and considered from design conception, to coding, and in all copywriting.
Accolades from the client:
Joyce is one of a kind! I thoroughly enjoyed working with her as the copywriter and site developer for my new website. She is creative, thorough, and prompt in all of our communications. She knows about SEO and eMarketing like the back of her hand. She was relentless in making me dig deep about what I wanted for my website and my niche in the counselling field. And she never forgot to make things lighter with a sense of humour.
-Mary Yan, Owner of Mary Yan Counselling Services
Other work done for this client:
This client hires me for ongoing updates and maintenance on her site.
I did nearly all the copywriting on this website.