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Hypnosis, Etc. Podcast #54, Should Smart Hypnosis Professionals Call Themselves a “Hypnotist” or “Hypnotherapist”? 

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Should Smart Hypnosis Professionals Call Themselves a “Hypnotist” or “Hypnotherapist”? 

Welcome back to our free hypnosis training videos. This Internet hypnosis “TV” program is published one a week.

And now, the controversy continues, what should hypnosis professionals call themselves, a hypnotist or hypnotherapist? Well it all depends on the message you want to send to your clients. And, surprise! There may be a negative effect when you suggest to your clients need therapy. Be aware of that.

Listen in and find the hidden marketing advantage to not using hypnotherapist as your title.

Links to resources mentioned in the program:

Here are some more alternatives to using the title as hypnotherapist:

  • Consulting Hypnotist

  • Hypnotist Practitioner

  • Hypnotist

  • Hypnosis Professional

More links:

Search numbers from for hypnosis related terms:

  • 95,937 searches for “hypnosis” and only 25,000 searches for “hypnotherapy”

  • 24,560 searches for “hypnotist” and only 2,799 searches for “hypnotherapist”

  • 120 searches for “certified hypnotherapists”

  • 81 searches for “clinical hypnotherapist”

  • 60 searches for “certified clinical hypnotherapist”

Please leave a comment and let us know what you think. And, we hope you will keep checking back, we produce a new program each week. You can also find us on iTunes!

3 Reader Comments to Hypnosis, Etc. Podcast #54, Should Smart Hypnosis Professionals Call Themselves a “Hypnotist” or “Hypnotherapist”? 

  1. Scott November 17, 2007 at 1:45 PM

    Good update, Cal.

    You should know that Overture is no longer functional. Yahoo stopped updating it back in January, so it’s not returning the “last month” results that it used to return, it’s just returning data from the fixed set gathered in January. As you know, search terms vary in popularity from day to day, often based on current events. The January data may not be valid for any time other than last January, if there was something that caused the data to be skewed at that time. Or maybe it’s completely valid. That’s why I use WordTracker in my internet marketing ventures. It’s not a free service like Overture was, but it’s updated constantly and it tracks Google trends more accurately.

    As an internet marketer my focus has always been to narrow down niches so that I can ensure good ranking in the search engines. The number of searches is only half the equation, if that. The competition in the search engines for a particular term is even more important.

    If I’m selling computer programming services I could go to Overture and search on the general term “computer” and get over 1.5 million searches back from the January Overture database. But if I go to Google and search for “computer” I get 723 million pages as my competition! It’s going to be impossible for me to beat Dell, Apple, Gateway, CompUSA, and the other sites on the first page to get a decent ranking for my site and get traffic from Google. I’d be lucky if I could make it onto the 100th page of results for “computer.”

    On the other hand, if I search Overture for “computer programming services” I see only 11048 searches in January 2007. That’s less than 10% of the searches that “computer” got but ***they were searches for what I’m selling*** which makes the traffic I’d get much more likely to be interested in my web site and services. Then I went to Google and searched for “computer programming services” and got 471,000 results. That’s a LOT less competition than “computer” had. It’s still not going to be a picnic to get to the first page, but I have a much better shot at it than I have for “computer.”

    Trust me on this, I’ve fought my way onto the second Google page for “gas mileage” (and occasionally onto the first page) against over 1.7 million competitors. It’s not easy, and that’s why savvy internet marketers narrow their niches as much as possible. I was actually going for “gas mileage tips,” which has far fewer searches than “gas mileage” but it also has less competition in Google with only 26,600 sites competing for that phrase. I’m #3 in Google for that one, behind that pesky site 😉

    The bottom line is that you should narrow your focus as much as practical to rank well in the search engines. Whether you call yourself a “hypnotist” (~1.9 million competing pages) or a “hypnotherapist” (~1.2 million competing pages) you should shoot for more specific terms. Either one of those is too general for you to be able to rank highly in Google.

    If I search for “hypnotist” I see that the first few pages are mostly entertainment hypnotists, with a sprinkling of session hypnotists, a Wikipedia page, the NGH site, etc. But if I search on “dallas hypnotist” I see Celeste’s web site on the first page of results. If I narrow the search even more to “dallas family hypnotist” her site jumps to the #1 result. She’s also #2 for “family hypnotist.” I didn’t dig far enough through the ~1.9 million results for “hypnotist” to find her site. I gave up after several pages of results.

    So you can see that narrowing your focus by including geographic references (London, Florida, Los Angeles, New England, etc.) and references to specializations in hypnosis give you a better chance of getting onto the first page in Google and getting more visitors, even though there may be fewer searches for that particular term. You know that someone searching for “Wisconsin stress relief hypnotist” is going to be looking for what you’re offering (provided you’re a Wisconsin stress relief hypnotist, of course) and you have a very good chance of getting the top of the search results for that term.

  2. Cal Banyan, MA, BCH, CI, FNGH November 18, 2007 at 8:46 PM

    Hello Scott

    Thanks for taking the time to post your comment to the website.

    I’ll have to check into the functionality of Overture, but if it is no longer in use as you say, it really doesn’t make much difference, because I am measuring something that just would not have changed much over the last few months, that is how people search for hypnosis services on the Internet. But thanks for pointing that out. As I say, I will look into it.

    Also, the suggestion that tracks Google more accurately is a matter of opinion, and with the difference being as large as what was observed, slight variations in measurement are obviously meaningless. I have used both in the past and so I am familiar with both of them, but perhaps not as familiar as the SEO experts. When I produce a podcast (free video program) on my blog, I always keep in mind who my audience is, hypnotists. So, in mentioning a source for my stats I wanted to provide a service in that others could use at no cost if they wanted to check the stats themselves. Few of them would have like to subscribe to to check the latest stats.

    If I may, allow me to press on a bit farther, and say that the comparison that you made with searches done by those interested in computers, and those made by our would-be clients were similar, it’s an inaccurate assumption,and here is why.

    In particular, I think that you are making an assumption, that is valid when talking about people who are looking for “computer programming services”, that is not valid when people are looking for a “hypnotist”. People who are looking for “computer programming services” are people who are educated in the field of computers (albeit self-educated in many cases). Whereas people who are looking for a hypnotist, is the average person looking to stop smoking, or lose weight, and they are not educated in the terminology of our profession, and probably never heard of the title “Certified Hypnotherapist” or “Clinical Hypnotherapist.”

    One of the first things we learn in marketing is to know our target market. And, most of the people who come to us for services know very little about the titles that we use in the profession. They know two terms, “hypnosis” and “hypnotist” and that is why they are the most powerful terms that we can use when we market ourselves on the Internet (or anywhere). Most people are then smart enough to combine either of those two terms with their region, state, county or city. This has not changed over the last 2 months, 6 months or couple of years, and is not likely to change in the next year or so, probably more. In my view, the bottom line is that one must know his or her customer base, and measure what they are most likely to search for.

    We have actually studied this in our office. We ask everyone who comes to us, “how did you hear about us.” We ask that of everyone that calls our office, while we still have them on the telephone, and most of the time they have their computer on right in front of them, and we have asked them questions like:

    1. How did you hear about us? If they say, “Your website.”

    2. We then ask, “How did you hear about our website?” If they say “Google” (or another search engine) then we will ask “What did you type into the Google search field?”

    3. From that point, we have learned that these are the most frequent answers, “Hypnosis [and the area]” or “Hypnotist [and the area]”. The area is generally the county, or city in which they live and/or work. If they are located in a very small state, they may just narrow the search down to that state and either, “hypnosis” or “hypnotist”.

    Also, you have to remember that this hypnosis video program was not about “how to get the top of the first page on Google,” rather I was using the number of searches for different titles used by different hypnosis professionals to reveal which titles are searched for more often. This is a totally different way of looking at things, and much more relevant to the point of the program.

    So what is the point, the bottom line? Well, for example, if potential clients search for “hypnosis” 8 times more often than they do “hypnotherapy” that indicates that saying that you do “hypnosis” is going to get you farther than saying that you do “hypnotherapy” The same goes for the use of the term, “hypnotist”. If it is searched for by potential clients 4 times more often that “hypnotherapist” then saying that you are a “hypnotist” is going to give you more mileage than saying that you are a “hypnotherapist.”

    Also, when people are looking for hypnosis sessions, in a particular area or location, and they type in “hypnotist” in the search field of Google, or any other search engine, or directory, and the first four on the page are state hypnotists, and you are the fifth one (a hypnotist who offers sessions for smoking cessation or weight or whatever they are looking for), then essentially, you are #1 on the page. In my book, that is a good thing.

    Thanks again Scott for taking the time to write to the blog. Best wishes in getting your hypnosis practice up and running.


  3. Scott Babb November 19, 2007 at 8:55 AM

    Hi Cal,

    I think you and I are in agreement here. I wasn’t advocating “hypnotherapist” over “hypnotist” or vice-versa, I was just making a case for people narrowing their niches a bit so they’ll have a better chance of ranking well. I guess I was dragging the thread off topic, though.

    I really like your suggestion of “hypnotist practitioner” as a descriptive title because it clearly differentiates what we do from a “hypnotist entertainer.” Even though it’s not a title that the NGH puts on certificates (yet?), I think that’s what’s going on my business cards.

    I found a lovely full-service office (I pay for a single-room office and they provide a reception area, receptionist, phone answering, restrooms, etc.) last week, but as soon as I walked in the door the first office I saw was another hypnotist who’s been there awhile. That’s the second time I’ve run into an existing hypnosis practice in a location where I’d like to set up business. I’m looking at another place this week. It’s been an interesting search, but I know I’ll eventually find a place to set up a practice.


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