By Joe Borders, MFT September 23, 2018 We're extending the free period for therapist listings to April 1, 2019! Why are we doing this? Because we want SacWellness to be useful to you before we actually charge you for it.…
By Joe Borders,
Marriage and Family Therapist
March 23, 2019
Free Listings Extended till 2020
If you’re looking for a therapist in the greater Sacramento area, SacWellness is free to use! Part of our business model is to eventually charge therapists to list their practices on SacWellness. As many people reading this will know, therapists have gotten free listings on SacWellness since it launched in June, 2018. So far we’ve offered SacWellness to therapists for free for 9 months. Today I’m announcing that we’ve decided to extend the free period for therapist listings out another 9 months. Whenever you’re reading this, create a listing today and it will be free until January 2020.
Why are We Doing This?
Because we’re really trying to build something good. We’re in this for the long haul and are looking out for the long term health of the site. Although we would like to start charging now and get some revenue coming in, after thinking about it for a while, we’ve really decided that in the long term it would be better to delay charging therapists for listings.
- Slow loading
Most people who know me know that I have spent an ungodly amount of time working on SEO for this website and my private practice site. For those who don’t know, SEO, or search engine optimization, is a vast collection of stuff that you can do to better your chances of getting recognized by online search engines like Google and appear higher up in search results.
From an SEO perspective, it makes sense for us to delay charging therapists for SacWellness as long as we can. Why? Because the longer we put off charging, the more therapists we can potentially attract to listing their practices on the site. Think of it this way; Search engines essentially see our site as a local phone book. The more contacts there are in the phone book, the more valuable of a resource it will seem to search engines and the more likely they will show it to people looking for therapists in Sacramento and surrounding areas.
This brings up one of the major considerations we had in making the decision to extend the free period; Our site is still relatively new. It takes a long time to get sites ranking in search engines. There have been numerous studies that have found that the vast majority of web pages that appear on the first page of Google are at least one year old, with older sites having a higher chance of ranking well in search results. Given this fact, we are doing really well! At the time of writing this article, SacWellness was ranking within the first two pages of Google in searches for 405 out of 900 keywords we’re tracking. In addition to this, SacWellness is appearing on the first page for 223 out of those 900 keywords we’re tracking! We’re ranking on page one for almost 25% of our keywords and within the first two pages for 45% of our keywords! This is awesome for a site so young!
If you want to see more detailed info about our rankings, check out this….admittedly large image I made showing all of our page one rankings at the time of writing this. In this image, “rank” refers to the page’s position in search results. Rank 1 through 10 are on page one.
This SEO part is one of the most important things for people to understand. The site is going to take a while to get ranking in search engines. That’s why we’re giving away so much free time. We don’t want to charge people for something until it really starts delivering. The more therapists we get signing up, the better our ability to get ranking, so tell your friends!
This is the main issue that has gotten me considering extending the free period for therapist listings. We’ve done a lot of custom coding on our site to extend its functionality and fix some things. Somewhere along the line of doing this we messed something up and ever since, listing pages have been loading slowly. All other pages on the site are loading fine; usually in 3-4 seconds. But listing pages are taking anywhere between 10 and 20 seconds to load right now. We discovered this problem in the beginning of February and have been working on figuring it out since then.
It’s actually much more complicated than that. Right after finding this problem, we hired a dedicated support team to help us with coding issues on the site. Before being able to look into this problem the team needed to update and fix a bunch of coding before we could even begin to look at the problem. So in effect, we’ve been working on fixing this problem since the beginning of March. Our new support team has been awesome and is doing a great job. They’ve just been having to sort through thousands of lines of coding that we had done by some developers we had worked with previously to get us to where we are now.
Because of this, I don’t feel right about charging people for the site right now. We were planning on doing a lot of things to ramp up the site, get more people on board, and advertise, so that we were in a better place by now, but this problem has kept us from doing that.
Oddly enough, our site statistics haven’t changed much since we found this problem. People are still really using the site! Here’s the stats for 2019 so far:
We’re having a baby in May! LOLOLOL. I originally planned on starting charging people for SacWellness in April because I thought it would give me ample time to get everything squared away before baby arrived……but that’s increasingly seeming to have been a misguided assertion. Lol. We’re needing time right now to get ready for baby and we’re going to be needing some time after baby comes to get adjusted to our new life together. This is why we’re extending the free period out so far…..I’m thinking we’ll be in a good enough place to handle the transition to charging for the site by 2020.
Thank you for your patience while we figure out everything involved in running this thing and thank you for considering listing your practice on SacWellness. If you ever have any questions or concerns about the site, feel free to reach out and let me know!
About the Author
Joe Borders is a marriage and family therapist located in Roseville and Sacramento. He is primarily a sex positive gender therapist, but also specializes in working with couples, teens, addiction, and the LGBTQ community. Joe is also the owner and founder of SacWellness. You can find out more about him by visiting his sacwellness listing or by visiting his website: therapy and counseling in Roseville and Sacramento