January 3, 2020
If you’re a therapist starting your own private practice, you’ve likely given some thought to marketing. Although there are countless ways to market your practice (check out our ultimate guide to marketing your private practice post), therapist directories are an appealing option.
Counseling directories and therapist directories are easy to sign up for and occasionally free, so why not, right?
Well, it depends on the therapist directory.
Here, I provide the ultimate, ranked list of national online counseling directories and the pros and cons of listing on each. I rate the directories by authority, traffic, usability, cost, and whether or not you get a link back to your website.
Before we dive in, a few things.
First, just because you have a listing does not mean that someone will find you on a therapist directory. There is a lot of competition--I mean hundreds of other therapists competing for the same clients as you.
Second, since signing clients from counseling directories isn’t a guarantee, one of the most significant benefits of a counseling directory listing is getting a backlink to your website. Backlinks are a huge part of improving your website for search, aka SEO. There are two types of backlinks: dofollow and nofollow. This can get complicated and is up for debate in the SEO community, but it is generally understood that nofollow links aren’t crawled by Google, thus making them less authoritative. When considering creating a therapy directory listing, you want a dofollow link. But, even if it’s a nofollow, it’s still worth it. Additionally, the more authoritative the website is, the better the link.
Third, be careful. Some of these directories make big “promises” (lies) that they can’t keep. Don’t take their word for fact.
TherapyDen is a highly authoritative website with thousands of backlinks. It also ranks for over 10,000 lucrative keywords.
TherapyDen’s brand is friendly and easy-to-use. 140+ filters allow users to hone in on the type of therapist that they are interested in working with, so if a client were to find you on TherapyDen, they would likely be more qualified.
Listing your practice on TherapyDen is free. Again, not sure about hidden costs.
Yes! If you have a listing, you get a backlink.
Headway is a new therapist directory, so they don’t serve too many areas yet and only rank for a handful of keywords. The keywords that Headway do rank for are branded only, meaning that those keywords are their brand name. This means that Headway is not ranking for keywords that potential clients are using to find therapists.
According to my tools, the website went live in 2018, and has since gained traffic throughout 2019.
Headway is exceptionally designed and puts users first. Instead of paging through endless profiles, users complete a quiz that helps Headway match them with a therapist.
Headway says that it’s “free to use” and that they “get paid by insurance companies, not you.” I’ll take that as it is, but there may be some hidden costs.
Not sure. Since I wasn’t able to see an actual profile, I can’t verify.
GoodTherapy is very authoritative and ranks for great keywords that could help you get clients. GoodTherapy is certainly one of the most notable counselling directories out there.
Pretty standard. GoodTherapy gets the job done, but the site isn’t particularly user-friendly or well-designed.
GoodTherapy is expensive; memberships cost anywhere from $290 to $480 per year. That being said, they do offer a lot of benefits, one of which is a website. If you’re thinking to yourself “what a deal!”, be careful. I imagine that to keep your website you need to keep your GoodTherapy subscription. That’s shady. YOU should own your website--no one else.
For more on that topic, read our article “a case against subscription-based websites.”
You get a nofollow backlink from GoodTherapy. That’s not very generous coming from a company who you pay at least $290 per/year.
Theravive is an old, authoritative site. For its age, it doesn’t rank for as many keywords as other top directories like Psychology Today and GoodTherapy.
Theravive isn’t particularly modern or attractive, and the results page is a bit cluttered.
Theravive is another pricey option (starting at $247), but they do offer a paid client guarantee, so it’s probably worth purchasing.
Yes, but the backlink is a nofollow.
Therapytribe has a high domain authority and ranks for a lot of opportune keywords.
TherapyTribe is simple enough to use and has a lot of information available for users.
TherapyTribe costs $29.95/month (same as Psychology Today) but it has far fewer results than other major directories, meaning your chances of being found on TherapyTribe are considerably higher. You also get a website, but as we’ve mentioned before, we don’t recommend creating a website on a subscription-basis.
You get a nofollow link if you have a TherapyTribe counselling directory listing.
Network Therapy is… old. So, authority is high, although not nearly as high as the other directories. Regardless, they do rank on page 1.
It looks like it hasn’t been redesigned in decades, so Network Therapy isn’t as easy to use.
A profile costs $179/year, which, given its appearance and traffic levels, seems steep.
Yes, but the backlink is a nofollow.
Health Grade’s authority is about as high as a website can get, and they rank for a staggering 4.4 million keywords. That being said, Health Grades doesn’t rank well organically for therapist keywords.
However, there are benefits to claiming your profile on Health Grades. Primarily, on your Health Grades profile, you can list your name, address, and phone number, or your NAP. Listing your NAP helps your local SEO presence, ie the likeliness of your Google My Business listing appearing on the SERP (or on the first page of the map results).
Health Grades is usable and allows users to filter search results via speciality within the counseling discipline. Listing specialties on your profile is very important for visibility.
Health Grades is free! Definitely claim your profile.
You can’t list your website on Health Grades, which is too bad. But, it’s free, and you do get to list your NAP.
We could talk about the complexities of Psychology Today all day. You can check out our ramblings on the cost of a Psychology Today profile (and if it’s worth it) if you’re curious.
If you’d rather get to the point, here’s the gist.
Psychology Today is highly authoritative and ranks on the SERP’s first page for highly lucrative keywords. That being said, the chances of someone actually finding you on Psychology Today are low. In Denver, Colorado, there were around 1,700 profiles on Psychology today distributed across 87 pages of results.
Psychology Today also makes promises they can’t keep, so I’m a little skeptical on the benefits.
But, most importantly, you get a link to your website.
It’s also worth saying that pretty much everyone is on Psychology Today. That’s not necessarily a reason for you to pay for a profile, but it makes you think.
Psychology Today uses a pretty standard directory structure. You can’t filter your results right away, but it is possible.
Psychology Today costs $29.95 per month.
Yes! A do follow link. That alone is worth $29.95 per month.
All About Counseling is an older site, so the authority is pretty high. The organic traffic is decent, but this isn’t the directory to choose if you’re hoping to rank on page 1 for therapist keywords.
You do get to list your name, address, and phone number (NAP), which is a benefit.
But, I don’t think that too many potential clients actually use this directory to find a therapist.
There’s too much text and not enough simple and clear call-to-actions.
Although when you create a profile you have the opportunity to add your website, we don’t see websites on profiles. But, that could be because no one claims their listing.
Mental Health Match is the first service to match therapists and clients based on potential for fit. Mental Health Match has spent years studying how to match people with therapists, and prioritize helping therapists stand out to potential clients that are in line with their specialty and can afford them.
For being a newer directory, their authority is fairly high and will improve with time.
Taking cues from modern dating apps, Mental Health Match has a similar ease of use.
After a 60 day free trial that does not require any credit card to try, Mental Health Match is $34.95 a month. Use my discount code THERAPIESEO and sign up here for six months free!
Yes, you do get a do follow backlink! You can link to articles as well, which is great for getting even more value from this service.
Compared to other directories, International Therapist Directory has a low authority score, doesn’t rank for many keywords, and barely gets any traffic (in the United States, anyways).
International Therapist Directory isn’t super easy to use. Their search function is a bit convoluted.
You pay $45-$49 for a listing for a whole year.
On your profile and the search results, you get a nofollow link.
Open Path Collective has a high authority score, but we don’t see it on the first few pages of the SERP for keywords like “denver therapist.” Interestingly, they do rank for keywords “affordable counseling near me” and “free online anger management classes.”
There are way fewer listings on Open Path Collective than on other listings, so the likeliness of a client finding you is more likely.
That being said, you can’t list your website. But, like other directories, you can list your NAP.
Open Path Collective is fairly easy to use, and they do have filters. The site is fairly nicely designed as well.
A listing on Open Path Collective is free!
Unfortunately, you can’t link to your website.
Being Seen has a low authority score and mostly ranks on the SERP for names of therapist and their brand name. This isn’t a great choice if you’re hoping to rank on the SERP. Like all other directories, they claim that they help with SEO. Like we said before, ignore this claim. It’s just not true.
Being Seen has fewer listings than other directories, so your chances of being seen are higher.
Being Seen is well-designed and it’s easy to use.
If you have a listing on Open Path Collective, you pay $100 one time. If not, you pay $150 one time.
Open Path Collective is free, so we highly recommend listing on both counseling directories.
Yes, you do get a backlink, but it’s a nofollow.
Therapist Locator has a high authority but doesn’t get a lot of traffic. Therapist Locator also doesn’t rank for a lot of keywords.
Therapist Locator is fairly easy to use, but it’s only for marriage and family therapists.
We’re not sure how much it costs, but we are pretty sure that it’s not free. Therapist Locator isn’t too transparent about pricing.
Yes! And it’s a dofollow.
American Psychological Association has a very high authority score, but it doesn’t get too much traffic. However, it ranks #2 for “therapist finder,” which is great. Additionally, not as many people list on the APA therapist finder, so it may be worth considering.
Pretty standard directory functionality, and it’s fairly well-designed.
It’s free if you’re a member of the American Psychological Association. Annually, a membership costs between $99 and $247. Additionally, you need your doctorate to be a member, so this isn’t for everyone.
Yes, you do get a backlink, and it’s a dofollow!
Therapeasy hopes to create better and more lasting client-therapist relationships. It's a new web-based app that matches people with three providers based on an algorithm. The app is meant to connect people with therapists based on more than just location and speciality, for example, more nuanced factors like personality.
Since it's an application by nature, usability is a priority.
For therapists, you can pay to be matched with clients on Therapeasy for $45 per month.
If you have a profile on Therapeasy, you get a dofollow backlink--a huge plus!
It’s important to get listings on other non-counseling directories as well. Although clients won’t find you there (necessarily), you still get to list your NAP and website.
Here are a few we recommend (although there are many more):
That depends on your goals.
If you want to sign clients, I recommend purchasing listings on the less popular directories.
If you want links, I recommend investing in directories with high authority scores.
Regardless of your goals, even if you don’t get a backlink, I recommend signing up for all free directories.
If you have additional questions about counseling directories or marketing your private practice, you can contact me by text, call, or online form. Even if we don’t end up working together, I'd love to chat.
Hi, I’m Kristie Plantinga, the founder of Therapieseo. After working in the digital marketing industry as a content strategist, writer, website production manager, associate, and content manager, I decided to start my own business and serve a population close to my heart: therapists.