4 Common Mistakes with Keyword Research
In the past, we’ve covered researching keywords for therapists is so important. But for our topic today, we are going over some of the most common mistakes people make when doing keyword research. Now we all make mistakes, it’s only human to do so. But, those mistakes can have ripple effects that affect the overall ranking of your site. So, it can be invaluable to know how to avoid them. Let’s talk about it!
Common Mistake #1: Assuming You Know What Your Audience is Searching
You may think you’re familiar with the terms that your ideal clients are searching for. Or, you may have expertly crafted the terminology you use throughout your site. While this is all wonderful to have, this doesn’t necessarily translate to knowing what your ideal clients are searching for. Even though different clients might describe their experiences in similar ways, you still shouldn’t assume that they correlate with Google. It’s certainly important to be familiar with how your clients describe what they are going through. But, it is also important to understand that some of the terms you’re familiar with might be unknown to your ideal client. For example, even though you may have a page titled “adolescent psychotherapy”, most people probably won’t be typing all of that out in the search bar. Instead, people may be searching for the term “teen counseling”, or something similar to it.
Honestly, keyword research can be a bit of an art. We’ve had many therapists come to us wanting to be very inclusive and only optimizing for “couples therapy.” Yes, this is a great term that encompasses all of the work that you do. But in most areas of the country (there are exceptions which is why we must ALWAYS do keyword research for your unique area) “marriage counseling” is actually searched for significantly (think x4) more frequently. Similarly, you might describe your service as “psychotherapy for anxiety,” but more people are searching for “anxiety treatment” or even “anxiety counseling.”
But, There is An Exception
It should be noted that the intake materials that new clients fill out can provide you with valuable info. These can provide you with insight as to their reasons for coming into therapy. And, also give you ideas on future service pages or blog posts to address the issues your clients are bringing up. While this is effective, you’ll have much more luck using one of the many keyword research tools for therapists out there. In order to find what out your ideal client may be searching for. Which, actually leads me to my next point.
Common Mistake #2: Not Focusing On a Specific Location
There are many tools to research keywords for therapists. Some popular options include Google Trends, KWFinder, and Keywords Everywhere. However, knowing where to focus is just as important as the keyword itself. Having at least one specific location for where you’d like your site to rank is becoming increasingly important as the Google algorithm changes. Our team of SEO specialists has found that including location indicators on keywords for therapists helps focus the search to the area you want to rank for. Doing so will help Google understand where your practice is located. And, will help get your site in front of potential clients in your area.
It also helps narrow down terms that may be searched for to only focus on what is being searched for in a specific area. Even for online-only practices, referencing that your practice is based in a certain town or city may help to build your online presence with Google. Additionally, it is important to note that search trends differ based on where you are searching from. For example, “depression counseling” might be the most searched keyword in your state. But, “depression treatment” could be searched for most in the state that borders yours. It’s important to understand what keywords you are wanting to rank for, and where they are being most searched for.
Common Mistake #3: Not Understanding the Difficulty and Search Volume of Keywords
Admittedly, some keywords are harder to rank for than others. Tools such as KWFinder allow you to see the difficulty. But, this can become confusing when taking search volume into account. While it’s normally best to track the keyword that has the highest search volume, this isn’t always the best option when it comes to competing with others.
The difficulty of a keyword is based on how likely it is you’ll be able to climb up the search results. The harder the keyword, the harder the climb will be. If it’s a service many people offer support for, like “depression counseling”, you can expect a lot of competition and a tough climb. On the other hand, you can expect niche services to be easier to rank for since there isn’t as much competition.
Where this understanding becomes important is when dealing with keywords that might have a similar search volume, but different difficulties. Just because a keyword has a higher search volume does not mean you should necessarily focus on it. In fact, sometimes keywords with a smaller search can better because of the fact they’re easier to rank for. Not going for the most searched keyword can sometimes be the best call. Our SEO specialists can also help you weigh these kinds of decisions.
Common Mistake #4: Not Being Thorough with Selecting the Keywords Themselves
When it comes to SEO, even the plural and singular forms of a keyword can produce different results. When conducting keyword research, it’s very important to double-check that you have the correct form of the keyword you want. And, that you think about the search intent behind the keyword you want to rank for. Even the difference between “therapy for depression” and “depression therapy” might result in different search volumes.
So, What is Search Intent?
This is the reason why someone is searching for a term in the first place. When thinking of what keywords to target, think of why they would be searching for it. Are they seeking information from your site? Are they looking for a particular service? Maybe they want to buy something. Or, are simply researching more information on a topic. Understanding what your ideal client is hoping to gain from finding your site can help you tailor your keyword research. This way, when they do find your site, you will have the answers they are looking for.
There are multiple pitfalls that people might fall into when conducting keyword research. It can certainly take a while to get used to all of the quirks and caveats that come with properly researching keywords for therapists, but the outcome of doing it correctly is worth any hassle.
Begin SEO Services with Simplified SEO Consulting
Our SEO specialists are trained in conducting properly researching keywords for therapists. We would love to help improve your SEO and get you higher up on Google. Follow these steps to start finding your ideal client today:
- Schedule a free 15-minute consultation with a member of our team
- Learn more about our services
- Start optimizing your site, and ranking better on Google
SEO Services Offered at Simplified SEO Consulting
Simplified SEO Consulting provides SEO services for helping professionals and private practice owners. Our comprehensive SEO services are included in our Done for You SEO Service packages. People typically participate in those for an average of 6 months while we set a really firm foundation and get your website ranking well. Then, we offer continued support through our alumni packages. Our team also provides learning opportunities with our SEO training packages. This includes our “Top of Google” online course, 12 week Intensive Training Program and SEO Strategy package if you’re interested in learning how to optimize your website on your own.
Take the next step and book a free SEO Consultation to determine which option is best for your business. We look forward to talking with you!
About The Author
Sterling Humburg-Cage is a member of the 2020 graduating class from the University of Missouri. He is intent on using his B.A. in Psychology to help provide the best results as an SEO specialist.
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