Website and Your Customer’s Experience | Branding Series with Sam Carvalho 2 of 5 | PoP 418

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Website and customer experience on your website

What are some website best practices? How can you enhance your customer’s experience on your website? Are pop-ups a good idea?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Samantha Carvalho all about best practices for your website and your customer’s experience on your website.

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Meet Sam

Samantha Carvalho Design

Sam Carvalho is a graphic designer with over five years of experience in both design and marketing.

She has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016 and has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs take their practices to the next level by enhancing their visual branding. She loves working with a variety of clients on design-intensive tasks and is always up for a challenge!

Follow Sam on Instagram to see some of her work.

In This Podcast


In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Samantha Carvalho all about best practices for your website and your customer’s experience on your website.

What are some website best practices?

A lot of people don’t consider white space and many don’t have enough white space on their website. Also, don’t overcrowd your site with images and colors. Make sure everything you’re doing is consistent and clean. That means having a consistent color scheme, with fonts and style.

Avoid cheesy stock images as much as possible and opt for more authentic looking images.

How can you enhance your customer’s experience on your website?

Think about your navigation and how you can make it simple and organized. Make sure your user journey is simple and you are directing them in a simple way. Have your logo linking back to your home page. Make sure there is a minimal amount of ‘clicking’ to get to where you want your customer to click or fill in. Have a visible call to action “button” that’s simple.

Get a family friend to go through your website and watch how they view it.

Are pop-ups a good idea?

Pop-ups don’t go well for mobile. Consider that about 60% of your audience could be using their mobile. You could rather have it as a static option.


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Meet Joe Sanok

private practice consultant

Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.

Thanks For Listening!

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Podcast Transcription

[JOE SANOK]: Private practices across the country love running payroll with Gusto. Why? Because Gusto automatically files and pays your taxes. It’s super easy to use, plus you can add benefits and management tools to help take care of your team. But here’s the thing. It’s almost 2020 and switching to a new payroll provider can be tricky. Fortunately, Gusto can help as long as you get in touch. Now try a demo and test it out at You’ll even get three months free when you run your first payroll. I use Gusto. Remember that’s
This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok, session number 418. Well, welcome back to the Practice of the Practice podcast. Today we have Sam, our chief marketing officer. Yesterday we talked all about logos, first impression, brand style guides, and today we’re diving into, talking about websites and the user journey. How are you doing today, Sam?

[SAM CARVALHO]: Doing well, thanks Joe. And you?

[JOE]: Yes, it’s going awesome. I love talking branding because I think it represents so much to people. People investigate our brands and our websites just so much before they even pick up the phone or send us a message. And so, it’s so important because, let me just tell a brief story. I was at the new media summit recently which was out in San Diego and all of these people that wanted to be podcast guests, they came out there and they would do a one- or two-minute pitch to 40 of us podcasters. And the other podcasters were amazed/joking and mocking me because every single person that was pitching, I would pull up their website. I would Google their name, try to find their website, and if their pitch was great and their website was terrible, I’m like, “I can’t have you on my show because we talk about what makes a good business and if I send my whole audience to your website and it’s ugly, like, what am I saying about people?” And so even just that to say like, how seriously is this person taking their speaking business of wanting to be on podcasts? Like they have a website that looks like it still needs an AOL disc to run it. It’s just really is that important for people?

[SAM]: Yes, absolutely. I agree. I think more and more people are basing whether or not they’ll kind of engage with you from a business perspective on how your branding looks.

[JOE]: Yes, and I feel like it’s never been easier to have an awesome looking website and branding, you know, the tools at our disposal now for us even with Practice of the Practice as a smaller company to be able to compete with really big companies. It’s pretty insane, the world we live in right now.

[SAM]: Yes, definitely.

[JOE]: So, let’s talk websites. So, what are things, let’s start with common mistakes. So, you see a ton of websites, you do website evaluations, you work with a lot of the Next Level Practice people. What do you see on their websites that they’re just screwing up, that they really should change? That low-hanging fruit, that if they changed that it would probably make a really big impact on their conversion?

[SAM]: So, think logos. From just carrying on from our previous episode, but over and above that, I think not enough white space. So, something that kind of attracts me to websites and that I think makes a big impact too. Just being able to understand what is on the page is enough white space. So, kind of people have a tendency to overcrowd with images or even just background cutters and things like that whereas I would suggest that you’re just having like the most important information. Also, above the font. Like that’s another thing. So, planning on a website —

[JOE]: You mean you don’t have to scroll down at all. Like what do you first see?

[SAM]: Yes, so landing on a website and, like the logo maybe takes up half the page and then you kind of see half of the first slider of information but not the full thing. So, kind of just making sure that what you’d like to communicate from the ad set is all clear and all included in that first initial page.

[JOE]: So, you’re saying that’s bad when the logo is that big and you have to scroll?

[SAM]: Yes, and I’d say that, also there is consistency. So, if you’re going to have a color scheme, making sure it’s consistent [inaudible 00:04:44] sides, like not having a random color here and there. Consistency with fonts, consistency with style of images. So, if you’re going to use images, also not using like the run of the many stock images that you kind of see everywhere where it’s like fake smile posted on somebody. And then also just simplicity of navigation. So, I think a lot of people will put way too much in the top bar or it won’t be clear of like where to go if you actually want to book a consultation. So, making sure that that’s all super visible.

[JOE]: I just recently was doing a pre-consulting call with someone and I think they had 12 menu items at the top. They had one for, and people just don’t know but they were one for individual counseling, one for couples counseling, one for family counseling. And it’s just like, just have a services tab and put it all under that because you really only want four or five options at the top.

[SAM]: Yes. So definitely just organize your information. And as you say, you can have drop downs but, and also like, just like general kind of use a journey of tactics. For example, people usually know that if you click on the logo, it will take you back to the home page whereas I’ve found that with some websites, it then just opens it up as an image. So, making sure that that links back to your home page, and yes —

[JOE]: I’m also seeing people have their phone number in that image and then now most phones can identify a phone number if it’s just typed in as text. But if it’s an image, they don’t. And so, if someone clicks on it to try to call you and it’s like it doesn’t work, it’s just super annoying.

[SAM]: Yes. And also, just, like, people don’t want to have to click a lot to get to where they want to go. So, whatever your kind of sales strategy is to get people to book an appointment, making sure that it’s the least amount of clicks as possible so that they don’t have to click like millions of times to get to a form to fill out to make an appointment with you. Like just making it super easy and super simple because yes, when people are browsing websites, they don’t have a lot of time, they are just kind of popping on and seeing what it’s about and then they want to book. So not making it difficult for them to do that.

[JOE]: How do you feel about having a pop up to join an email list on a website specifically for a private practice?

[SAM]: Yes, so the pop-up conversation has its pros and cons. I would say no simply from the point of mobile. So, a lot of people are using mobile and like if you had to look at your stats, probably 60% of your audience is using mobile. Well that is something just to look at, but that’s generally the case and then to have a pop up on mobile is not a great user experience because it’s often difficult to find the cancel button or things like that. So, I would say rather have it as a static option on your page. Like at the bottom of your page. Well, even at the top of your page, like these days, you can have your developers kind of design it in just a bar where it says, ‘Sign up for our newsletter using your email, address, and your name.’ So, I would say that’s a lot better than having a pop up.

[JOE]: You can also make it that when someone hovers over the X to close out your whole website, then the pop up comes up at that moment. Or if it’s like a minute after they’ve been on the page to say, ‘Hey, do you want some extra resources? We have some that are kind of typical for this type of blog posts.’ I’m with you that the immediate pop up right away, I think that there’s very few situations when that makes sense anymore.

[SAM]: Yes.

[JOE]: Awesome [crosstalk] Oh yes, definitely. So, what else on a website regarding user experience and design, branding, should people consider that are some other best practices to make sure that they have on their website?

[SAM]: I think again, just the call to action. So, I know you’ve often recommended like having a button to schedule an appointment visible at all times on the top right corner. We’re even just having it on the side some way where it’s always visible so that no matter where you are on the website or if you’re scrolling, that that kind of stays there. Something that I know we’ve been experimenting with recently is live chats and I think that’s been really rewarding. So, you know, that’s something that you could look into as well. And it’s not something that you have to be active on all the time, but it’s something that like the messages can feed through to your email and you can get hold of them.
I think just kind of looking at your website through your client’s eyes and kind of seeing, there’s also, you know, I would say get a friend or family member to go into website and kind of watch how they navigate through your website. Like watch what buttons they push because sometimes you’ll plan to use a journey, but then when you actually see someone do it, they go into completely different areas or they push completely different buttons. So, kind of just, you know, testing where people are going and then optimizing those pages. Yes, it would definitely help.

[JOE]: Yes. I think also viewing it as a web, not maybe a path in that if someone lands on a blog post, there should be a way either in that blog post or in the heading to get to the ‘Contact us.’ And so, I hate seeing when someone kind of goes down a path and then they read this blog post, they click on something else and then they get to a page where, “Oh, I want to work with you, but there’s nothing there.” And so not that you have to have the ‘Contact us’ embedded on every single blog post, but at least having a link to it so that if someone says, “Okay, now I’m ready to sign up to work with them,” that they can do that right away without having to hunt around.
[SAM]: Yes. And also testing what your website looks on mobile. Like a lot of people forget that. As I said, a lot of people are browsing on mobile and they’re viewing your website on mobile. So, while it may look beautiful on desktop, it looks horrible on mobile. That’s a problem but most, I mean, if you’re getting your website designed by web developers met these days, they’ll make sure that it’s responsive, which means that we’ll adjust to whatever screen size it’s being viewed on. It just really makes sure. And again, with the above the font, make sure that on mobile, like it may be above the font on desktop, but on mobile obviously everything needs to be made smaller so that the most important information is visible.

[JOE]: Awesome. Well in the next episode we’re going to be talking all about social media design and branding. There, again, if you want to work with Sam, if you want to talk with Sam, if you need some help around branding, head on over to Sam will jump on a call with you and talk through kind of where you’re at and determine what the best use is of your time and what you maybe could outsource to her or to the team. Thanks so much, Sam, for being on the Practice of the Practice podcast today.

[SAM]: Thanks Joe.

[JOE]: This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regards to the subject matter covered. It is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher, or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one. And special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy. We like your intro music.