First, A Quick Recap On Directories & NAP
As Google has grown in complexity, so have the ways people use to rank on the search engine. Some methods have evolved to be more manipulative than others, such as blackhat SEO. But, others have remained tried and true ways to help your practice climb the ranks. One of the best examples of this is the variety of helpful therapist directories listed on Google! These listings allow therapists to increase local SEO, the visibility of their practice online, and drive traffic to their site. They can even provide backlinks to help build the authority of their private practice website.
Directories such as Therapy Den can make it so much easier for people looking for specific services to get the support they are looking for. They also serve as an important factor in local SEO. This kind of user convenience is why Google takes the name, address, and phone number (NAP) listed on any given directory so seriously. Having the same info on directories throughout Google builds trust. It tells Google that your info is accurate, current and that you can help the potential client.
On the other hand, conflicting info on many directories can be confusing for both Google and anyone that might see your business info. This confusion can make things hard for those looking for mental health services. As a result, Google may penalize these sites that have conflicting info.
The Issue with Some Directories
When we take the number of existing directories into account, doing your due diligence as a therapist may sound difficult to accomplish. Why? You may be able to confirm your NAP info is consistent across every directory you’re listed on. But, being listed on the wrong directory can still do more harm to your site than good! So, we are going to dive into what to watch for when deciding if listing your info on a directory is the right choice.
When first choosing a directory, it’s vital to understand how the listing process works on that site. This can differ depending on the nature of the directory, and who they serve. Some directories are for general therapists, while others serve niche mental health services. And some lists don’t target therapists at all Similarly, many directories are free, while others may require a fee to be included in the listing.
Many directories exist to serve a variety of demographics. But, you may need to be wary around directories that claim to accept a majority (or every) link that comes their way. It may seem like an easy way to get a backlink, but directories that do this often exist for the sole purpose of creating links. Links that originate from these listings don’t hold any SEO weight. They aren’t actually made to help connect businesses to customers. Instead, seek out directories that don’t accept just anyone! Quality directories should have listings from businesses that would be of value to potential clients. Having consistent NAP info listed on these quality directories will be what ultimately helps your site grow and connect with your ideal client.
Relevance and Competition
Another important factor when choosing a directory is to consider how relevant the directory is to you and your practice. Think about it this way. You specialize in exclusively in-person therapy services. So, it probably doesn’t do you much good to have a listing on a quality directory aimed towards online-only services! Having a backlink from that directory going back to your private practice website would be great! But, anyone visiting your site would quickly realize you do not have the online-only services they are looking for, causing them to leave your site to try elsewhere.
Understanding the relevancy of directories to practice can help you better understand your niche, and hone in on which specific directories would be most beneficial for you to be listed on.
Checking the Competition
Yet, that isn’t to say more general directories like Good Therapy should be outright avoided. Being listed on both larger and more niche directories allows you to look into other businesses listed alongside yours!
Checking the other businesses that are listed on a given directory can also help provide valuable insight into the quality of a directory. Are you seeing other professional, trusted businesses listed alongside yours? Or, do the links connect back to sites that appear to be more “spammy” than you expected? Answering these types of questions can help you better recognize the quality of businesses you are ranking against. They can also inform you of the standards the directory has for business listings as well!
Last but not least, it is worth mentioning that reviewing many on-page aspects of a directory can tell you a lot of vital information!
Google takes the design of the site into account, so it is also important to ask yourself if the directory has an effective, clean, and cohesive design. The end goal of most directories should be to connect the potential client with the business. So, ask yourself how easy it is to navigate from page to page. Does it look like a person took the time and effort to carefully create the site? Or, do things appear to be automated by a program? If things appear to be laid out in a confusing way, this may be due to an increased focus on pleasing the Google algorithm rather than helping potential clients.
While you look at the overall design, check for the last time the site received an update. Directories receive new listing requests as time goes on. So, they should also be updated as time goes on to reflect site edits. If a directory hasn’t been updated in years, this may be a red flag it is less than reputable. Often, these directories only list your practice to have another link to add to their list. It is always worth taking the time to comb through a directory to learn if the site you’re on is going to be active, or has laid dormant for years.
We’ve gone over a few directories in this blog. But a top directory you may already be familiar with is actually Google My Business! Our SEO specialists are quite familiar with GMB and the benefits it offers local SEO when optimized correctly. This is a trustworthy directory. But it isn’t the only one! Other widely known examples include Yelp, Yellow Pages, and DMOZ. These well-known directories are much safer in terms of legitimacy. But, this does not mean you need listings on every major directory
It can be difficult to find the right directories to list your practice. This is why it is so important to use your judgment. Conduct your own research when making these kinds of decisions. Other therapists can also offer insight, so try and reach out to our fellow therapists for support as well! They may already be familiar with the same directory you’re looking into!
Begin Working With An SEO Specialist with Simplified SEO Consulting
Our team of SEO specialists is experienced in providing both on-page and off-page SEO support. We can help you build local SEO for therapists with our Local SEO services. Our team can ensure your NAP info is consistent across Google My Business and other quality directories. To start working with Simplified SEO Consulting, follow these simple steps:
- Schedule an appointment for a free 30-minute consultation
- Learn more about our team
- Start improving local SEO for therapists today!
Other Services Offered by Simplified SEO Consulting
Simplified SEO Consulting offers many services to improve local SEO for therapists. You can improve your SEO on your own with our DIY Online SEO services. We also offer Done for You services for clients looking for support in their SEO journey, as well as alumni support. Learn more about our training workshops, SEO strategy package, and 12-week Done with You intensive program.
About the Author
Sterling Humburg-Cage graduated from the University of Missouri with a BA in Psychology in 2020. He integrates what he learned in school into his work as an SEO Specialist with Simplified SEO Consulting. Sterling prides himself on helping current clients & alumni problems solve difficult SEO issues. He’s great at giving clients multiple options about how to approach a situation and responding quickly to client concerns. Since he started, Sterling has met frequently with our alumni and provided them extra problem-solving support. He often goes the extra mile to do outside research and make sure private practice owners have everything they need to rank well on search engines long term!