By Guest Author Whitney Owens

While searching for a therapist, Jillian types into Google “Christian counselor”. She is hoping to find multiple clinicians within a short drive from her home. She wants someone who not only has clinical skills but also understands how her faith plays a role in her life. Sadly the only counselors that pop up are those with ads or those who do not even mention Christian on their website. She leaves her computer discouraged.

Christians often struggle to identify a new therapist who will understand their faith

Unfortunately this is an all too common occurrence for multiple reasons. In some cases there are just not enough Christian counselors in a specific radius. Other reasons are that counselors simply do not have good websites or have websites at all! Yes, someone told me that this morning. It is vital that clients are able to find counselors that meet their specific treatment needs. A good website and SEO are key to help more people find the best fit therapist.

But can I market myself as a “Christian Counselor?”

That being said, Christian counselors need to do all they can make their names known. Now, you may be wondering, what does it even mean to be a “Christian counselor” and what credential do I need to call myself that. It is simple. If you call yourself a Christian and also are a counselor, then you can put these words together and call yourself a Christian counselor. This does not mean that you are a theologian and know everything the Bible has to say on every issue. It also doesn’t mean that you only talk about faith in session or that you pray at the beginning and end of every appointment. Being a Christian counselor means you can bring faith into the session when appropriate when a client requests this approach in treatment. If you want to get a degree from a Christian program or get a special certification to help you integrate faith in counseling, that is great. But, from what I know, there is no specific requirement to call yourself a Christian counselor. If you know differently, please let me know.

Marketing helps clients who need your services find you

Therefore, Christian clients need to know where to find their ideal counselor, one who makes faith a part of the work. We know that most clients look for a therapist on Google or by word of mouth. Christian counselors, even if their work is not all Christian, need to give clients an option of finding them. The best way to do that is through a good website and SEO that will drive potential clients your way. 

A simple way to help your clients: Add a Christian Counseling page to your website

If you are a counselor who considers Christianity to be a part of your work, I am pleading with you to add a Christian Counseling page on your website. You can make this page like any of your other service pages such as your Substance Abuse page or your Child Counseling page. It does not have to be front and center on your website if you don’t want to market only as a faith-based practice. But, if you want to do that, no problem. Most clinicians I speak to do not want to only work with Christians. I get that. That is why I recommend you make Christian Counseling a page under your drop down menu for Services. This way, when people are looking for a Christian counselor, there is a chance you will be found. And as any consultant will tell you, make sure you have good internal and external links in your page so people have a greater chance of finding it. And as a bonus tip, you can also blog about Christian counselors to get better hits the next time Jillian gets on Google to find you.

 

Whitney Owens discusses the advantages of creating a "Christian Counseling" page on your website instead of a "Faith Based Counseling" pageAbout the Guest Author

Whitney Owens is a therapist, the owner of a private pay group psychotherapy practice in Savannah and a consultant with Practice of the Practice specializing in helping Christian therapists grow their private practices. You may also be interested in a blog post she wrote about “What is required to call myself a Christian counselor” and a podcast she hosted with another amazing therapist (shout out to William Hemphill!) answering the question, “Can I call myself a Christian counselor?” Whitney will also be starting another round of her popular Faith in Practice Mastermind group for Christian private practice owners starting in July. You can learn more about that mastermind group here. Several of our SEO clients have been through her previous masterminds and have found them really helpful as they build a successful practice that is in line with their Christian values.

 

 

There are many, many benefits to being in private practice as a psychiatrist. Certainly, a huge benefit is that you’ll likely make more money. And, in private practice, you have the ability to take the time to get to know your patients. Additionally, there will be fewer patients who really don’t want to be there. In private practice, there is time and space for continuing education, collaboration, and, well, everything.

But you’re also a business owner now. Therefore, you have new responsibilities you haven’t had to worry about before. Among the many new tasks you’ll have as a business owner, you have to think about marketing. Because you can’t help patients if they can’t find you.

A Website is a Powerful Marketing Tool for Private Practice Psychiatrists

It’s important to meet patients where they are. And in today’s day in age, that’s often online. Because most of your patients are probably looking for help online, you need to have a presence there.

But the truth is that as a private pay psychiatrist, your website needs to do more than just show up. It needs to have the right design to attract your clients’ attention. And then, it needs the right content to help them understand the value you offer.

SEO Helps You Reach The Patients Who Need You

In private practice, you have more choice in who you take on as patients and who you refer elsewhere. You know your skillset better than anyone else. And you know the populations you not only work best with but also find joy in serving. You got into this field to help people and to make an impact on the world of mental health. And your ability to practice most effectively is impacted by the fulfillment you find in your work.

So no, it is not unethical to target populations you’d like to work with. In fact, it is most ethical to cater to a population you feel skilled to serve. Search engine optimization (SEO) allows you to target your ideal clients online, which is why SEO should be an essential part of your marketing strategy.

SEO Tips for Psychiatrists

Do Keyword Research

Keyword research is the foundation of good SEO for most websites. But psychiatrists face a unique challenge. Most likely, you have two audiences: referral sources and potential patients. Both may be searching for different keywords. Therefore, it’s important to consider each audience when doing keyword research.

Image of a large magnifying glass against a yellow background with the word "keywords" spelled out around the magnifying glass. When building a website and thinking about SEO for psychiatrists in private practice, you must think about keywords.

A good first step is to ask referral sources what they would search on Google when looking for a referral for a patient. Another good resource for keyword research is your existing patients. Take a look at your intake paperwork. Why are your clients coming to you for services? What are the trends among your patients’ concerns? This information can give great insight as to how your patients see themselves and their needs. In turn, indicating which keywords they would most likely search for online when looking for a psychiatrist, much like your potential clients you’ll be targeting on your website. The final keyword research opportunity is to use a keyword research tool. These can be extremely helpful, as they can help you find additional keywords you may not have even thought to track, but are frequently searched for in your area.

Popular Keywords for Psychiatrists

As a starting place, I’ll share some general keyword trends in the United States. However, know that it’s important to do your own keyword research for your specific area. As of April 1st, 2021, one of our keyword research tools, KWFinder, says the following keywords are searched for this number of times each month in the United States:

  • Psychiatrist – 439,000
  • Psychiatry Services – 2,200
  • Psychiatric Medication – 2,500
  • Medication for Depression – 8,5000
  • Medication for Anxiety – 165,000

Once you’ve done your research, start to use keywords throughout your website.

Build Backlinks

Building backlinks is an essential part of a healthy SEO strategy. Backlinks refer to when someone sends a website user off of their website and onto yours using a link. When you work with other professionals in your community like therapists, primary care doctors, community nonprofits, or schools, you become a known and trusted name. Brainstorm entities and organizations that work with your ideal clients. These would be great relationships to form if they do not already exist.

Image of five hands holding a "thumbs up" against a blue sky background. This image represents the good SEO for psychiatrists that happens when they work on getting backlinks.

Many large organizations have resource pages or directories on their websites. Here, you will find lists of businesses or professionals that a credible community organization supports. Typically, you can request to be put on a resource page or directory by emailing the organization or filling out a form. When your business gets listed on one of these pages, it shows both Google and website viewers that you are a quality resource to be trusted. However, there are many ways to build backlinks.

Create Individual Service Pages

Consider writing a service page for the specific types of psychiatry you really enjoy doing. Do you have specialized training in eating disorders? Then make sure you have a page on “Psychiatry for Eating Disorders.” Enjoy treating postpartum depression, anxiety, or OCD? It would make sense to have a service page on “Psychiatry for Moms.” Are many of your patients depressed? If so, create a “Medication for Depression” service page. We recommend that each of these pages have at least 500 words (2,000 is better if you’re up for writing that much!) of original content. Make great use of subheadings, include a direct call to action (Speak to a Psychiatrist About Your Depression in ______) and make sure to link to other pages of your site!

Blogging as a Psychiatrist

Blogging is an important part of a good SEO strategy. And there are many reasons to blog! Yes, search engine optimization is a key reason to blog because Google notices and likes consistently published fresh content. However, blogging also gives potential patients a sense of who you are, how you help people, and what being your patient would be like.

You may be thinking… “what do I write about?” Our SEO specialists recommend writing blog posts that answer typical questions your patients ask. You may also want to write blog posts talking about typical diagnoses you treat, but make it clear that a blog post can’t diagnose. Blogs can provide a wealth of information to patients about if you will be the best fit for their care.

Consider a Specific Page for Local Therapists & Primary Care Doctors

As a psychiatrist, the truth is that you have two audiences: potential referral sources and potential clients. Local therapists and primary care doctors who think their patients could benefit from your specialized knowledge about psychiatric medications will be looking for your services online. However, they are a very different audience than potential patients. These potential referral partners can handle a bit more technical jargon and will be asking specific questions. Therefore, we recommend you have a page on your site dedicated to these referral sources.

On the other hand, most of your content on your website needs to be targeted at your larger audience: potential patients. When these folks are finding your site, it’s probably not while they are at peak brain performance. Rather, it is most likely when they just had a panic attack, a breakdown, or at their wit’s end with their symptoms. They are probably scrambling to find help when they don’t know where else to turn. Likely, they’re looking for a psychiatrist during a quick lunch break or late at night when they can’t deal with insomnia any longer.

With that being said, as a psychiatrist, it’s essential that you have a page speaking directly to your hopeful professional referral sources. This page can be technical and you can speak as a professional. In regards to the rest of your website content, take into account what a “3 AM trauma brain” would be able to digest. Write for that state of mind. Your patients will appreciate it and likely find you very relatable.

Answer Common New Patient Questions

Image of a large "Q & A" against a hardwood background. An FAQ or Q & A page is helpful for SEO for psychiatrists in private pay.

At Simplified SEO Consulting, we’ve found that FAQ pages are great for both your website viewers AND your SEO. Make a list of the questions new patients are likely to ask.  If you have someone who answers new patient inquiries for you, check in with them about those questions. Then, add a few more you get during that first session. Now, write a 1-2 paragraph response to each of those questions.

I encourage you not to base the questions you use off what questions someone else answered on their page or some stock FAQ page. Instead, think about what pages your ideal clients are asking. Remember, we care about SEO, but we also want your website to help your clients. We want them to see that you would be a great resource for them. That you get them, relate to them. These are the things that will bring them through your doors.

Are you a Private Pay Psychiatrist?

We strongly recommend private pay psychiatrists have content on their website directly addressing their status as private pay. Maybe write a series of blog posts on the top advantages of working with a psychiatrist who is private pay. It’s ok to get slightly personal about how much you value face-to-face time with clients. Or about how you want to work for clients instead of insurance companies.

It’s also important to have a fees page on your website. Now, it’s up to you if you publish your specific fees. We’ve seen many private pay psychiatrists who do. However, this page is also a great place to address your reasons for being private pay. And, you can do so in a way that highlights the benefits for clients.

Ready to get Serious About Your Website SEO?

At Simplified SEO Consulting, we specialize in helping private practice therapists get their websites ranking on Google. Not only that, we help them stay at the top of Google too. Our SEO Specialists are passionate about getting your site in front of the clients you enjoy working with because we know that a solid therapeutic relationship makes all the difference in the world of mental health. To learn more about Simplified SEO Consulting and how we can help you get ranking, follow the steps below.

  1. Schedule a free 30-minute consultation call with us.
  2. Meet with one of our SEO Specialists to learn more about our packages and process.
  3. Get your website in front of your ideal patients!

SEO Services at Simplified

We offer a variety of services to help you along on your SEO journey. One of our most popular services is the Done For You SEO package. With this, you get to take a backseat while a skilled SEO Specialist takes point on your website’s SEO. On the other hand, we have DIY Online SEO Courses and a Done With You package if you’d like to become an SEO wizard yourself!

About the Author

Simplified’s founder, Jessica, and one of Simplified’s Mental Health SEO Specialists, Olivia, wrote this blog together. Both team members enjoy educating our clients about search engine optimization and how it can help private practices bring in clients that professionals are excited to work with!

You probably think about tracking the number of calls, intakes, client appointments, and your gross revenue. But have you thought about what data you should be paying attention to related to your website?

Image of a laptop at a desk with sticky notes, a small clock, and a cup of writing utensils. This person is most likely going to track data for SEO on their private practice website.

I’ve found myself having more and more conversations about tracking data with clinicians and private practice owners. So, I wanted to write about why you should track data related to your website. You’ve probably heard about KPI’s (key performance indicators) before and that you need to be tracking all of them for your business as a whole. Well, I track data related to my website as well. And I encourage you to do the same. It doesn’t have to be a difficult task!

Reason #1 to Track Data: To Track ROI (Return on Investment)

The first reason to track your website data is to be able to assess your return on investment. If you are working on SEO, whether on your own or by spending money to have someone (like me) do it for you, you need to know if it’s worth it. A lot of people pay for marketing, whether it’s Facebook Ads, Google Ads, or SEO, and never really track their return on investment. Don’t you want to spend your hard-earned marketing dollars where it’s going to make the biggest impact? So, when it comes to assessing your return on investment and figuring out if SEO is really working, there are a few things we look at tracking.

What Data to Track to Determine ROI on Search Engine Optimization Efforts

  1. Where did you hear about us? Every time there’s a potential client that reaches out, whether that’s by phone or email, we mark it in our system. I use a Google spreadsheet, where my VA and I keep track of all calls that come into our practice. Without using identifying information, (I think we just use initials) we record lots of information about the calls and emails we get. We mark how they heard about us, whether the request came in via phone or email, who first spoke to them, and whether they converted to a paying client. Additionally, we typically add any other relevant notes (looking for private pay or insurance, etc.). If you are invested in anything, and by anything I mean time, energy, or money into marketing/SEO marketing, then you want to be tracking where your calls are coming from. This will help you know if your efforts are actually turning into calls. And calls mean converted clients.
  2. Website States When you’re actively working with Simplified SEO Consulting on your SEO, and hopefully afterward, you will have access to our data dashboard. This tool tracks things like how you rank for specific keywords we’re targeting, our Google Analytics data and your Google Search Console data. So, at the beginning of most of our monthly planning phone calls, we briefly go over your website’s progress. Again, this is to see if you are getting a return on investment. In other words, is SEO working? Are your rankings going up? How about your Google clicks? Are more people actually clicking on your website? You want to know that what you’re doing is worth it.

Reason #2 for Tracking: To Assess Website Conversions

The second thing I look at is how your website is converting. It’s one thing getting lots of clients to your website, but are they converting? I can see, on the backend, tons of people are going to your site now, but the question is are they actually calling you? 

Image of a woman sitting at a desk using a computer, notebook, and pen. She represents someone interested in reasons to track data related to SEO on a website.

Another thing we look at here is what pages your clients are staying on. What pages are they navigating to, and what pages are they staying on the longest? You can find that information through Google Analytics. Again, if you’re working with us and have the Brighter Insights Tool, you can just look on the Google Analytics part of that. We want to look at which pages are working and where people are staying on your site. Are they staying on the site long enough to actually view and read a page? Or, are they clicking on the contact page? Often, I will look at a page’s specific Google Analytics data as well. 

Assessing Website Conversions Based on Source

Sometimes, people who find your website through SEO, Google Adwords, Social Media, etc. act differently. We want to identify those differences. And if we’re working on your SEO, we can use that data to optimize your page even more so it not only gets more clients but converts more of the right clients.

Therefore, when people are working on SEO and still doing Google AdWords, we can both add your Adwords data to your data dashboard AND can differentiate in Google Analytics how people behave when they arrive on your website through SEO vs. Adwords. This tool allows us to sort out your paid searches versus your organic searches, which would be the SEO portion. We’ll look at how long people are staying on the website from each of those sources (organic search, Adwords, Social Media, etc.). Sometimes, we find people stay on a page for a long time, you have a low bounce rate, and there is a high page session duration for both paid and organic searches. But, if we find that one is yielding higher quality results, then that might give you some clue as to where to invest your time and money.

Lastly, the other thing to look at with assessing how your website is converting is your bounce rate. The bounce rate is how many people only look at one page on your website and then bounce off to another site. So, obviously, we would prefer fewer people bouncing off and more people staying on your website.

Reason #3 to Track Data: To Catch Any Changes in Your Search Engine Rankings Quickly

The third reason we want to track data on our website is that we want to catch any significant changes in the data. So, if you have great SEO, and then all of a sudden it drops off, we want to catch that and know what’s going on. From an SEO standpoint, it could be that Google just changed its algorithm. If this happens in a major way, sometimes there are big things that you have to go back and fix.

Sudden Changes Can Happen When Google Changes Things Up

Google changes how it ranks websites frequently. Just last year, Google changed their algorithm in a way that helped many of our clients but also hurt various websites in the health and wellness space.  Previously, there was a change to give websites with “intrusive pop ups” that cover most of the text a bit of a disadvantage. A lot of health and wellness business owners we work with had been told that they needed to have a big pop-up to join their mailing list or newsletter on their website. So they have these giant pop ups encouraging people to use a free download, learn more about their online counseling services, etc even though they themselves find these pop ups annoying. They’re then surprised to learn it might negatively impact their SEO.

(Quick Tip: We recommend having a smaller pop up either at the top of the page or in the bottom right corner that can provide a similar call to action without impacting user experience and therefore possibly your SEO.)

Image of a blue bar graph on paper with a pen sitting next to it. There are many reasons to track data related to SEO. You can read more about why you should track data for SEO here.

If we’re tracking the data, we can clearly see when that sort of thing happens. This lets us know when and where we need to make an adjustment. Right after a major algorithm change, our team usually keeps a close eye on all of our clients data for a couple of weeks to identify anyone who may have been negatively impacted.

Sometimes, a drop happens for other reasons…

Similarly, there are lots of other reasons data might drop. I have found some coding errors on certain websites that we’ve been working on. These come up when we go to index a certain page. When we find these coding errors, we let you know and give you screenshots that you can send to your website designer. We are looking at the data and therefore find these errors, which we can then fix. If you aren’t tracking the data, you won’t know that an error is having such a significant impact on your data and you won’t know to fix it.

Track Your SEO Data or Begin SEO Work Altogether

Whether you’ve been working on search engine optimization for years or you’re considering starting now, you’re in the right place! Our SEO Specialists have the knowledge to get your site ranking on Google and interpret the data. Now, the piece about interpreting data is pretty important! We know how to use the data to inform future SEO work, which is pretty cool if you ask me. If you’re interested in beginning your SEO journey, follow the steps below.

  1. Book a free 30-minute consultation call with us.
  2. Chat with one of our experienced SEO Specialists.
  3. Understand the data and make SEO moves that matter!

SEO Services at Simplified SEO Consulting

Our SEO Specialists are well-versed in a variety of subjects related to search engine optimization. In fact, we can do SEO for you with our Done For You SEO package! If you’d prefer to be more hands-on and learn all about SEO, our DIY Online SEO Courses or Done With You program may be a good fit. We hope that you reach out to an SEO Specialist with any questions you have about SEO or package options!

About the Author

Jessica Tappana and Olivia Bahr collaborated on this blog post. Jessica, Simplified’s founder, taught herself search engine optimization and is passionate about making SEO simpler for other private practice owners. Olivia is a Mental Health SEO Specialist and Content Writer who enjoys helping clients understand SEO data and its real-life implications.

When you’re building or scaling your private practice, making a financial investment in anything can feel overwhelming. Especially, when it comes to marketing and there are so many options out there. At Simplified SEO Consulting, we understand that making an investment in outsourcing or learning SEO can be anxiety-producing for some clinicians. So, I wanted to take a moment and share with you some reasons why our current clients feel this investment was worthwhile.

SEO Is a Long-Term Investment

Black man searches for something on Google representing the power of SEO for private practice. Learn more about SEO for therapists from an SEO specialist at Simplified SEO Consulting

When you invest in SEO you’re making a long-term investment in attracting your ideal client. Unlike other forms of marketing, you don’t get to the top of Google overnight when you pay for SEO. But, when you make an investment in SEO, the work that is being done does not go away when you stop paying for it like it would with AdWords or other types of search engine marketing (SEM).

Although we believe that there is a time and place for Google AdWords, we believe that SEO is the best choice to make long-term. The founder of Simplified SEO Consulting, Jessica Tappana shared with me that she learned SEO because she didn’t want to pay for AdWords indefinitely. Especially, when she would stop showing up when her AdWords account ran out of money and clients stopped being able to find them on Google. Ultimately, it was just too expensive as a long-term solution to attract new clients.

Again, we’re not saying that you shouldn’t choose to invest in AdWords. It is a good way to get in front of your ideal clients quickly. For example, it may be a good strategy to use if you’re trying to fill a new group that’s starting soon. But, it may not be the best use of your money long-term.

How Long Does SEO Take?

SEO is a long-term investment. It varies depending on several factors, but we generally tell people to think of it as taking around six months (or possibly more if you live in a very competitive area like New York or Los Angeles) to get ranking on the first page on Google for at least a handful of keywords if you haven’t worked on SEO before. However, SEO is the most cost-effective way to rank well on Google for a long time. Once we get you ranking well, you’re not likely to stay on the top of Google with just a little maintenance work.

Jessica Tappana Simplified SEO founder, therapist, and owner of Aspire Counseling in Mid-Missouri says: “It was the cheapest form of marketing that has been effective for my private practice long term.”

Your Time is Valuable. Outsource Your SEO

As a therapist and private practice owner, you’re likely very busy. And, your time is worth a lot. So, ask yourself, how much time do you want to spend on marketing? There are lots of ways to market your private practice, however, they all involve time and money on your part. This is time that you could put towards seeing paying clients.

 

But, when you work with us to get your private practice website ranking well, you’re paying for our SEO expertise. Even if you’re doing a DIY package, you will still learn a lot by watching our SEO training videos from Jessica who is an SEO guru.

Tanner Enderle of Ataraxis Counseling had this to say about paying for SEO:
“Because time is your most valuable resource & this company will do it better than your DIY efforts. It is a better use of your time and money to focus on your niche.”

Jessica Tappana said “I don’t have time to do it myself anymore. So I outsource SEO work to the Simplified team because I trust them to do it well.”

SEO Doesn’t Require Excessive Networking

As a therapist, referrals are great. But, that requires networking, and often that can become very pricy. For example, say you go out to meet other professionals for coffee or lunch. That costs money. Not to mention, it costs you time, and as we said before your time is worth money. Especially if you could have been seeing clients during that time. Of course, networking is important, but this allows you to bring in clients without having to rely solely on referrals.

One of our Baltimore-based clinicians and founder of New Connections Counseling Center had this to say about the benefits of using SEO instead of face-to-face marketing: “If you are an introvert, investing in SEO is a great way to get your business noticed without having to do lots of networking!”

Megan Negendank LMFT founder of Love Heal Grow in Sacramento said “When starting my private practice, business coach after business coach recommended networking with other therapists. My highly introverted self found the idea of cold calling other professionals very overwhelming. Instead, I invested in SEO and filled my practice in a few weeks once I started ranking. I now have a group practice with 5 other therapists and we keep very busy—all because great SEO built our name in our community.”

Laura Ripperon owner of Calm Waters Counseling in North Carolina said “I moved to a new state when I started my private practice. I didn’t know any other professionals and was trying networking. A year later COVID hit and networking became more challenging. Investing in SEO has helped my website rank higher on Google and get seen by potential clients. It has also helped me cast a wider net through the whole state because I offer telehealth.”

SEO helps you attract your ideal client

female therapist on a computer that has the letters SEO on the screen. She learns SEO from an SEO specialist at Simplified SEO Consulting

The goal of SEO is not just to get you to the top of Google, but it is also to help you attract your ideal client. If you’re new and haven’t read our other blogs, you may be wondering “what is an ideal client anyway?” Well, an ideal client may be clients looking for the counseling service you’re most interested in offering. It could be a client to fill a new therapist’s caseload. Or, it could be populations that you enjoy working with like women with anxiety, new parents, etc.

In my opinion, this is what sets SEO and our company apart from other marketing firms. We truly believe in the power of attracting your ideal client and getting you known in your community as an authority on the services you provide. We use our knowledge of mental health and our research tools to help us think about what your ideal clients are looking for. Then, we use our expertise to target market to them.

April Brown, a Miami-based therapist, and owner of The Heard Counseling said “You become known for your niche- essentially increasing your ideal client referrals. Clients aren’t the only ones googling you, professionals and colleagues are too. I have found that many colleagues and referral sources have found me through google thanks to my SEO investment. They have reached out to me and wanted to start up a referral network because of my niche.”

SEO Helps You Scale Your Practice As You Continue to Grow

Many of our clinicians begin working with us when they are single practitioners. Then, after their caseloads become full, they hire more clinicians. When this happens, we use SEO to target the niches of their new employees to help them attract their ideal clients.

The beauty of SEO is that it is flexible in times like these. Our staff will take the time to listen to your needs as a private practice owner and help you address them effectively.

Jason Drake of Katy Teen and Family Counseling shares his experience: “So I had a 3-5 year plan to open a group practice. After the 12-week intensive with Simplified SEO I was able to open a group practice in 10 months. It’s been 6 months since opening a group practice and just hired my 4th therapist. Ranking on Google is the main variable that allowed this growth. Is SEO important? Nope, it’s critical!”

Final Thoughts

So, what I want you to understand about SEO is that it is an investment, but it is an important one to make as you work towards growing your business. When you invest in working on your SEO with Simplified SEO consulting, we hope you will feel the support of our entire team as we help you get to the top of Google and attract your ideal client. We will be with you every step of the way to help you market your amazing services and reach more clients.

Begin SEO Services with Simplified SEO Consulting:

If you’re ready to learn more about SEO services or the skills to do your own SEO work, then contact our staff. We will discuss all the options during a free consultation call. To get started and get to the top of Google, follow these steps:

  1. woman sits at her laptop next to a bunch of text bubbles with photos representing the power of SEO for therapists. Learn more about the benefits of SEO from an SEO expert at Simplified SEO ConsultingMake an appointment for a free 30-minute consultation with a member of the Simplified SEO Consulting team
  2. Learn more about our packages and training opportunities
  3. Start optimizing your webpage and watch your site rank better on Google!

About the Author:

Cory Moss is a Simplified SEO specialist based in Kansas City. She specializes in working on readability for therapist websites. She really enjoys helping her clients get to the top of Google and attract their ideal clients.

As mental health professionals, one of the first things we most likely learned as graduate students was our code of ethics. You may have been taught all the ways you can be sued and how to avoid offending clients. At least that is how I felt in my professional ethics class. Everything we do as professionals require us to aspire to certain standards as well as follow state laws and regulations. Once we have our codes ingrained in us, we may move on with our lives putting them into our practice, daily life, and so on. 

Have you ever considered how your code of ethics impacts your practice, marketing, writing, and treatment methods? Whether you realize it or not our morals and values impact every aspect of our lives. Including our professional book of codes. So how do we promote optimizing for ethical SEO?

Personal holding blue digital world in hand above city. As professionals we follow codes and have ethics. Have you considered how these impact your ethical SEO strategy? Whether its seo backlinking or ethical search engine optimization, we need to be accurate in our information. Learn more about SEO for mental health here!

How does your ethics code impact your SEO?

As you may have found out as business owners, marketing is a key part of your growth. In order to reach out to your ideal people, you must understand the different ways you can increase your stream of clientele. Something you may not have been taught as a student. At times, when you’re looking into ads, SEO, copywriting, and so on, you may notice some shady practices. In fact, some of these just downright go against our practices as mental health professionals.  So how do you begin to keep in mind our codes and reach out to your people?

Reviews Reviews Reviews?

One big NO, as professionals is asking for reviews. I’m sure we are all aware of this whether you’re a coach, social worker, MFT, or counselor, we do not ask for reviews. In all of our codes, we know that confidentiality is important. Even though we see mental health as a positive some people are not ok with the negative stigma that follows it. We cannot ask someone to disclose that you’re their therapist because it violates so many boundaries. Not only that, no matter what theoretical orientation you use as a professional, the therapeutic relationship does have some sort of authority in it. You’re seen as the expert, even if we believe the client is the expert. Therefore, there is an unfair power dynamic present when asking for reviews. 

On the other hand, one thing that cannot easily be avoided is when a client willingly leaves a review on your site, Google my business, yelp, or whatever stream you may be on. This isn’t unethical. It wasn’t coerced and it happens from time to time. Take it with a grain of salt and move forward because it does help your SEO. 

Group of collegues talking and smiling while looking at picture. Collaborating with professions is good for SEO backlinking. If you're looking to build reviews for ethical seo, you will need collegues and mentors for help. Learn about this ethical search engine optimization approach.

How do you get reviews to help your SEO in an ethical way?

In order to build ethical reviews, it’s important to network and maintain connections. Receiving reviews from colleagues and mentors is a great way to build credibility. These people know you and your work. They are wonderful for references and help you seem credible from a Google standpoint. So reach out to a few people that can get a good review from and return the favor. We talk a bit more about this in another post I wrote recently about SEO & Google My Business.

Accurately Portray Your Service and Expertise 

This may be an obvious one, but it’s necessary for us as professionals to accurately portray ourselves in our field. We are not healers, we do not have a cure for your mental health, and we need to make sure we are providing services we have the skills, training, and expertise in. In the social worker’s code, this is under 4.06 C in the section of Misrepresentation. For Marriage and family therapists, this is under standards of advertising with 9.1 to 9.8. For counselors, this is listed under section C of the ACA code. This means that we need to practice within our competence and we have obligations for advertising such as not selling products to clients, recruiting them, or asking for statements(reviews). 

Where do we draw the line?

We need to draw the line as professionals and know when we are about to cross a line. We have authority in our field and we need to exercise it appropriately. Therefore advertising ourselves as experts in certain modalities, or topics, when we do not have the training, is unethical. From an SEO standpoint, when you market yourself as an EMDR therapist but you don’t have the expertise, you’re leading people into a false sense of security. The keywords you rank for drive in the people looking for specific treatments and approaches. People trust us therefore on our websites we need to make sure that we are promoting what we can do and receiving training in areas we want to work on, in the future. We are advocates for those who are struggling, so we must not create websites that inaccurately portray our skills. 

Meta Descriptions for Ethical SEO

One way we can avoid making false claims as professionals is by making sure you’re honest from the first point of contact. This may be your meta descriptions. Make sure your meta descriptions accurately reflect what’s on the page. You want people to see you as being transparent and honest. While you want to write a meta description that will encourage people to “click” on your website, it’s important that it’s accurate enough that they aren’t surprised by what they find when they get there. Make sure you’re not setting people up for failure by enticing them with false information only to have them disappointed. Not only does this affect your reputation, but it can leave a bad impression on the mental health field as a whole. We want people to have a healthy idea of what professionals do, not bad taste. 

Why do we not pay for SEO backlinking?

As mental health professionals, we want to be as ethical as possible. Even if we do not understand the behind the veil of Google’s rules, we need to make sure we are adhering to them. Our codes are not laws, but we aspire to uphold them because we believe that they keep us safe and most importantly protect our clients. With Google, buying backlinks is against their rules. It’s just part of their system. If you buy backlinks you’re essentially cheating Google’s system, and being dishonest to the algorithm. This is what is called “black hat SEO” It’s like you’re trying to get one over on Google’s. This is dishonest to Google and you will get penalized if and when you’re caught. Why does this matter?

We want to be honest as professionals in all aspects of our business. It may not seem like that big of a deal, but it’s Google’s rules and we need to honor that. If you do buy backlinks, note that when you’re caught Google will drop your rankings and potentially remove you from search results entirely. That means clients are not finding you cannot help them. 

purple graphic for link building being held up by man holding tablet. SEO backlinking is a great way to increase credibility with Google. However this must be done with ethical seo strategies. Learn more about seo for mental health professionals today!

Language matters for ethical search engine optimization

Lastly, I do want to address this because it’s in all of our codes to portray ourselves accurately. We are not to state that we can have cures and can solve other people’s problems. While we want to write copy that is relatable and real, we do not just tell people what they want to hear just to get them in the door. We need to be careful what claims we make on our website. People can be easily susceptible to false claims. Let’s not be a part of the problem. Honor your codes and consider is this a direct violation of my ethics or am I about to cross the line? 

Closing message for Ethical SEO 

SEO is very important to professionals, especially those of us who don’t want to be salesy and are unfamiliar with where to begin. However, with all marketing efforts, we have to consider if what we are doing is ethical and right. SEO can help you build your practice, but it needs to be built on truth and what you’re skilled in. Make sure as you create a copy that you’re putting your solid expertise on the page and leaving out the works in progress until you truly feel ready to add more niches, or treatment modalities. If you receive advice that makes you wonder if something is right, ask colleagues, SEO specialists, or mentors who can give you unbiased advice. Follow your better judgment and keep your ideal client in mind.

Remember the general principle we all follow which is to do no harm. Even if inserting a bit of falsehood into sites may seem to hurt no one. This could one day come back to bite us. Compare your marketing strategy to your code and see if you’re nearing any gray lines. Happy optimizing and I look forward to seeing you help your ideal clients with ethical SEO strategies soon!

Begin SEO Services at Simplified SEO Consulting 

We strive as professionals to make sure we are acting ethically and that we are giving you ethical advice. Our specialists want you to thrive and reach your people. We are advocates for the profession and know the positive impacts you make on those around you. That is why we are here to help you make ethical decisions and we advise you to consult multiple people. If you’re looking to begin SEO work, Simplified SEO Consulting offers DFY packages, courses, and training options. Our skilled team of SEO experts are here to walk you through this process and help you make ethical decisions. If you have questions we are here to help. To get started follow these three steps to begin ranking better on Google.

  • Schedule an appointment for a free 30-minute consultation with our Client Success Specialist.
  • Learn more about our skilled specialists today!
  • Start optimizing your website with ethical SEO in mind!

Other Services offered by Simplified SEO Consulting

Simplified SEO consulting offers a wide range of services that can help you begin working with your people. We offer Done for You SEO Service packages, online courses, and  SEO training opportunities. Our most popular course includes our “Top of Google” online course and we have 12 week of intensive SEO for those who want to learn with a guide. For those looking for a more specialized package, we also offer an SEO strategy package. To get started, schedule a consultation with our Client Success Specialist today!

About the Author:

Jasmine Jaquess is currently working towards her Masters of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Northwestern University. She has been doing SEO with Simplified for the last few months. Currently, she serves as the Client Success Specialist in new client consultation with Simplified SEO Consulting and is an SEO specialist. She specializes in platforms such as Squarespace and Wix but has learned to love WordPress sites as well. She really enjoys hearing the clients’ goals for their businesses and helping them achieve them.

What is Holistic SEO

Holistic SEO is a strategy that looks at all factors of optimization, and not just one aspect of it. The focus is based on user experience, content, and technical SEO. This is such a beneficial and necessary approach to SEO because it looks at the full picture rather than one aspect. Think about it this way, when you start a business, you may begin with an idea, but the idea itself doesn’t make the vision happen. You must address the marketing side, the website, clients, and creating client experience. You must also manage people and money. It takes a full picture to get your business thriving. In the same way, SEO focuses on the whole rather than a particular part. 

Keyboard and pencils with concept map of holistic SEO. If you are wondering how you can optimize for the whole picture of SEO, Google is leaning more toward a Holistic perseptive over a technical SEO perspective. Its important to address SEO and accessibility and user experience in SEO. Learn more by reading our blog

Important Factors to Consider with Holistic SEO?

As with everything, we will start from the beginning. Focus on the client. The client is the person we are looking for. They are the reason we are in the business. We want to help our clients, but how do we begin? Let’s go through and address various aspects of the holistic SEO approach. 

User Experience and SEO (UX SEO)

Here are some other important focus points for user experience. When it comes to keyword research, there are two focus points: what language is your client searching for, and what is the intent. It’s important to know your niche well and understand why people are searching for your therapy, coaching, or consultation services.

Part of writing content is making sure we are addressing the why and the reason someone would come into your practice. Content extends past service pages and blogs. Even in the Google search, we are giving people bit size pieces of what we offer. Therefore, optimizing for meta descriptions with pain points and keywords is important. A well-written meta description and title can bring people to your site. Another part of your meta description that needs to be optimized is your meta title. One way to go about doing this is to add the title, location, and zip codes, and maybe practice name if necessary. You can get great keywords into this and increase your traffic this way. An example would be:  EMDR therapy | Location and Zip | Practice Name. This varies based on what is best for your site. 

It’s also important to make sure your URL matches the page. Sometimes when creating new pages on your website, you may forget to look at what the URL states. In order to optimize for this, you must optimize the slug of your website. This may not seem important, but if your website says  (simplifiedseoconsulting/new-page) this isn’t appealing from a user experience standpoint.

In terms of on-page immediate user experience, we also want people to keep coming back to your site and see how your services can help them. One way is to create a memorable logo and make it evident that this is your brand. Then on the page, create quality content and making sure you have one H1 per page. As well as sections of text broken up into H2’s. Lastly, you will want to have a clear call to action which directs your clients to begin services. 

Keyword Research (what are they using)

User experience is all about focusing on the user. It’s kind of like how you are greeted in a restaurant or the experience your clients have in your office. First impressions are matter. This is not simply about appeasing the Google bots, but about acknowledging how your client gets from point A to point B. First, consider keyword research and searcher language. We want to know what your clients are searching for, what is most commonly searched, and the language your clients typically use.

For example, if you’re expecting clients to type in eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy, it’s highly unlikely, however, it’s still a good key term to rank for. It is more likely clients are searching for EMDR. Such as what is EMDR? Does it work online?

Likewise, someone is less likely to search for dealing with trauma, and more likely to talk about feeling stuck, or experiencing recurring memories that don’t go away. Just as in therapy, you don’t always say what is really going on directly, the same principle applies as you consider what your clients are searching for to get to you. So as you build out content. If you can answer these questions in blogs, service pages, or FAQ’s, Google is going to see that you have the answer and ranking you up higher when someone is searching for this query. So listen to your current clients and let that lead you toward potentially keyword searches.

Technical SEO (broken links, slow loading, scrolling, or cluttered content)

Technical SEO is a big part of on-page optimization. In order for Google to crawl a site and increase your Google rankings, there are both on and off-page optimization elements that need to be addressed. The Google bots, who are designed to check for any changes on your page are the functions we are trying to optimize for. These bots check out your site either naturally every few weeks or by indexing using Google Search Console

Our goal with technical SEO is to make it easier for Google to see our changes and give us credit. The better SEO factors are optimized for the more Google rankings you will see on your end. Likewise, there are some factors we need to avoid in order for Google to rank us higher because slow and cluttered websites can be penalized as well. So to all of you with old pages on your backend that are not being used or overly stuffed media galleries. This is hurting your SEO. 

Some factors of technical SEO to consider:

  • The loading speed of your page and scrollingWeb design of words with SEO conceptions in large and small print If you're struggling to best optimize your website for SEO, no worries read about our holistic approach. Just as health has many components so does holistic SEO. Learn about the difference between holistic SEO and technical SEO and how this is one part of many.
  • The structure of your site ( Builder)
  • Host for your website (Domain)
  • Avoid any duplicate content on the site
  • Sitemaps & Indexing
  • Reduce broken links (errors)
  • Avoid slow loading by running audits 
  • Load small to medium-sized photos
  • Remove content or pages no longer used

 

These are some important factors we consider when optimizing your website. If you’re experiencing slow loading speeds, consider if you have downloaded big files, or if there are some areas you can declutter your website.

Original Quality Content

Writing copy is key to reaching your ideal audience. In order to connect with your clients, content needs to speak to your ideal client. A key factor in creating quality content that will help you rank better is to make sure it is relevant. This may be intuitive, but sometimes writing content to your clients can be hard. We understand this. It can be easier to generalize your content, but be warned and steer clear of this. Listen to your clients and write about what is really going on. Most importantly, tell them what you can do to help. Put your heart into the content and this will help to reach your audience. Good content design leads your clients to understand how your approach will help them best. Which ultimately leads you to more calls and conversions.

Social Media Strategy

Working with social media isn’t something we work with specifically, however, it is a great way to round out your holistic SEO approach. Here are some key takeaways about social media and SEO. If you want to read more about adding social media to your holistic marketing approach, then read our unofficial SEO guide. 

  • If you plan to use social media for SEO, you must engage often. Whether it’s Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, these social media outlets have their own algorithm that requires you to be involved in order to consistently come up with search results and hashtags.
  • Social media on its own does not supplement SEO. These are great ways to provide external links to your website by linking your website in bios and via links. It is simply another stream of traffic to your website.
  • There is a certain culture that follows social media and SEO. So if you plan to engage, know your people well. 

Social media on its own isn’t meant to supplement SEO. However, it is a great way to add an additional stream to your website. Check out our SEO specialist, Alyssa, who wrote two blog posts on social media which plays into holistic SEO. 

Mobile Optimization

Have you ever been to a non-mobile-friendly website? These are frustrating! Typically we bounce off those websites because they are more of a hassle than helpful. Here are a few tips for making sure your website is mobile-friendly.

First, when creating your site choose a template that is consistent across platforms. Check to see how users can perform basic tasks. If you check on your site data and you notice there is low traffic to your niche service, or to once high traffic pages, check out how your mobile site is looking. Make sure your site allows for your client to do the basic tasks you intend. Such as look at service pages, access resources, any forms you have are able to be sent properly, and so on. 

 Here are a few helpful tools from Google that can help you become more mobile-friendly. 

HTTPS (security)

Website security matters. Especially now with cyber crimes and confidentiality for online therapy. As therapists who may have client portals and deal with mental health, it’s important that on contact with your services, security is clear on your site. At the top of your website, there should be a lock that indicates that you have an HTTPS domain that is secure. Often if your website SSL certificate is not on a site when clients come onto your website, then you’re likely to get a security error and this will increase the bounce rate on your site. Likewise, this helps to prevent hackers from gaining personal information from you or individuals visiting your site. Therefore it’s important to purchase an SSL certificate. 

Accessibility ( easy to access)

Making a website inclusive is not always a topic technology focuses on. SEO and accessibility go hand in hand. However, as mental health professionals, it’s crucial we set examples. Here are some ways to do this:

  • Provide multiple ways to contact your services. By not offering multiple avenues, you may cause someone to have to disclose information they may not be ready to disclose. Such as a disability. 
  • Look at source code, screen readers can only do certain things on a website such as H1, H2, and alt text.
  • Make sure widgets and plugins make sense for screen readers
  • Break up and organize text for people with learning disabilities and ADHD
  • Include summaries of texts on newsletters for neurodiverse individuals

What not to do

There are some things that don’t help holistic SEO just as traditional technical SEO. First, do not keyword stuff in the meta description, alt text, or within the copy. Some ways this is seen is by adding alt text or keywords to copy and then adding in white text that hides it. Likewise, make sure you are adding relevant keywords to your pages. Next, don’t buy backlinks. Google will penalize you and you will see negative effects in your SEO, making it more difficult to rebuild. Lastly do not page swap. This is when you get a page ranking very well, then switch out content for a page not ranking as well. This is considered unethical on Google. 

Benefits and Close Thoughts

Concept map with SEO at the center, components of SEO connecting to thought. If you're lost wondering where to begin with your website and marketing strategy, then no worries, we understand that there is a lot to absorb. This blog post focuses on holistic seo, UX SEO, and technical SEO. Optimzing and providing SEO help for therapists takes the whole picture. Learn more about this process today!

To sum up Holistic SEO, by looking at the whole picture and figuring out what to do to make sure your website is accessible, mobile-friendly, has great content, and has all the components for Google’s bots, you should have a reduced bounce rate, and receive more views. Traditional technical SEO is still necessary for the process because it helps Google find your website, helps other search engines find you and allows Google to index your content. Plus it is how online apps, web crawlers, and search bots find you.

 

Both holistic and traditional SEO has their benefits, but these are great places to start for a whole picture on your website that calls on both methods for a better user experience. Likewise, as SEO specialists we strive to address the whole picture rather than parts in order to make sure your SEO is sustainable and up to par.

 

Begin SEO Services at Simplified SEO Consulting

Holistic SEO has many components, but once well optimized, your website and clients will appreciate the effort. This is meant to help you sustain rankings and make sure your clients are taken care of from the moment they land on your page.  Simplified SEO Consulting in Columbia, MO offers DFY packages, courses, and training options. Our skilled team of SEO experts is excited to work with you and answer any questions you have. To get started follow these three steps to begin ranking better on Google.

  1. Schedule an appointment for a free 30-minute consultation with a member of the Simplified SEO Consulting
    staff
  2. Learn more about our SEO packages and training opportunities
  3. Start optimizing your website holistically for a better user experience and SEO!

Other Services offered by Simplified SEO Consulting

Simplified SEO Consulting is passionate about providing SEO services for mental health professionals and therapists. Our comprehensive SEO services are included in our Done for You SEO Service packages, and our online DIY courses. If you have questions about any of our other services please feel free to reach out or if you want to get in touch with Simplified SEO to learn more, book a free SEO Consultation with our Client Success Specialist or one of our SEO specialists to decide which option is best for your business. We look forward to working with you to build your technical SEO and Holistic SEO together!

About the Author:

Jasmine Jaquess is currently working towards her Masters of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Northwestern University. She has been doing SEO with Simplified for the last few months. Currently, she serves as the Client Success Specialist in new client consultation with Simplified SEO Consulting and is an SEO specialist. She specializes in platforms such as Squarespace and Wix but has learned to love WordPress sites as well. She really enjoys hearing the clients’ goals for their businesses and helping them achieve them.

 

 

Whether or not online practices can have a Google My Business listing is quite a controversial subject right now. Many of our clients have attempted it, only to have their listing removed when Google realizes they don’t actually have a physical location. We know Google’s guidelines on the matter are ambiguous, and we realize online-only […]

You got plenty of referrals when you were just a solo therapy practice. But, you grew and decided to hire additional clinicians. Now, you want to help fill their caseloads, but not enough people are calling right now to give them the number of clients they’d like. Or, perhaps, people are calling, but everyone still wants to meet with you because you’re the group owner and better known. Ultimately, you would like to direct clients to the clinician that will be the best fit for their unique needs. But, you’re not sure how to do that.

You’ve landed on our blog because you’ve heard about SEO and you’re curious if it could help you grow your group practice and fill your clinicians’ caseloads. Today, I would like to take some time to explain our strategy around how our SEO specialists can help you. Then, I will give you some SEO tips that are specific to group practice owners.

The Benefits of SEO for Group Practice Owners

group practice owner chats with her clinicians over zoom to discuss filling their caseloads. Learn more about SEO for group practices and therapists with Simplified SEO consulting.The benefit of SEO is that it’s an investment that can grow with your practice. Regardless of how many clinicians you employ and the specialties they have, we can help you reach the ideal clients for your practice on Google.

This will help you keep your therapists employed because you can fill their caseload by attracting their ideal clients. The clients that they really enjoy working with. For example, a client recently hired a clinician who specializes in helping members of the LGBTQIA community. Although their practice made it clear that they were LGBTQIA affirming, it wasn’t a service that they had actively targeted in their SEO work prior. By using our SEO strategy for group practices, they were able to quickly move to the top of Google. Ultimately, they had success attracting that clinician’s ideal client to their practice. So the therapist was happy and the group practice as a whole benefited.

4 SEO Tips Specifically for Group Practice Owners

Create a service page for each counseling specialty your clinician has.

First, ask your therapists what type of clients they want more of.  Make sure you have service pages for those types of clients. For example, if a therapist specializes in providing anxiety treatment, depression treatment, EMDR, and does trauma-informed counseling, then you should have a page for each of those if you don’t already.

Target their ideal client by speaking to them.

This is super important when you’re writing your pages or blog posts. Do keyword research to see exactly what they would be searching for and use those terms throughout your page. For more advice on this, check out our blog on keywords and where to put them on your counseling website.

Consider incorporating their ideal client’s pain points and concerns onto your page. Look at your intake paperwork to see exactly what they need help with and the language they use to talk about their concerns.

Lastly, keep your language simple and easy for your client to understand, especially when they’re in crisis.

Check out more tips to attract your ideal client here and learn more about readability by reading this blog.

Involve your clinicians in writing blog posts for your counseling website.

female therapist in a mask talks to therapists during a staff meeting. Learn more about SEO for group practice owners and optimize your private practice website with simplified SEO consultingThis is perhaps one of our most important tips. Blogging is extremely important for SEO and getting in front of your ideal clients. So, encourage your new clinicians to blog about topics that would appeal directly to their ideal clients.

To be honest, grad school and advanced degrees do not really prepare us for writing blogs. The styles are totally different. So, we suggest offering some clear, but kind, guidelines for blogging. Let them know what keywords you want to target and how many words the blog needs to be. Additionally, explain how important writing a readable blog truly is. Ask them to consider writing in one of our favorite tools the Hemmingway App. This app is free and it helps make your writing clear and understandable.

We totally understand that it may be hard to get your clinicians to blog, especially if they’re independent contractors. So, consider paying them for their time. After all, their blogging does help your practice. Also, explain to them why it’s helpful. Not only will it help them get in front of their ideal client and fill their caseload, but it will build their authority with potential clients. We call this the know, like, and trust factor.

Create a Team Page for your private practice:

Creating a team page is super important for both SEO purposes and building a team-focused atmosphere at your practice.

More specifically, creating a team page is a great internal link to have. You can actively link to all your service pages from this page. And, you can actively target words like therapist, counselor, therapy, online therapy, counseling, etc here.

Ultimately, each clinician should have their own page that’s a sub-page of the team page. If you have an assistant or clinical care coordinator, they can direct potential clients to the therapist’s page that would best suit their needs. Consider listing yourself, the group practice owner, at the bottom. Especially, if you’re full. This encourages potential clients to see the therapists with the most openings first.

SEO Tips for Group Practice Owners

In summary, four SEO tips specific to group practice owners are:

  1. Make sure you have service pages for each therapeutic specialty in your practice.
  2. Speak directly to the potential clients you’re trying to attract.
  3. Motivate your clinicians to write blog posts.
  4. Create a central “our team” page that you link to frequently throughout your website

Begin Optimizing Your Group Practice Website

team of therapists on a Zoom screen during a staff meeting. They work on SEO for their group practice with an SEO specialist from Simplified SEO ConsultingReady to begin optimizing your group practice website to help you reach your therapists’ ideal clients on Google? Then, we’d love to help! Follow these steps to begin SEO services with Simplified SEO consulting: 

  1. Make an appointment for a free 15-minute consultation with a member of the Simplified SEO Consulting team
  2. Learn more about our SEO packages and training opportunities
  3. Start optimizing your webpage and watch your site rank better on Google!

Other Services offered by Simplified SEO Consulting

The Simplified SEO Consulting team is passionate about providing SEO services for helping professionals and therapists. Our comprehensive SEO services are included in our Done for You SEO Service packages. Also, we offer alumni packages and al la carte SEO services. Our SEO staff provides several SEO training opportunities. including our “Top of Google” online course and 12 weeks of online video training. We also offer an SEO Strategy package to learn more about SEO and what you can do to rank better on search engines.

Contact Simplified SEO to learn more, or book a free SEO Consultation to decide which SEO service is best for your business. Our team looks forward to hearing from you!

About the Author:

Cory Moss is a Simplified SEO specialist based in Kansas City. She specializes in working on readability for therapist websites. She really enjoys helping her clients get to the top of Google and attract their ideal clients.

Happy Halloween! Hope you are finding a way to celebrate, or rest, or both, and please remember to set your clocks back if you’re reading this right away.

Why would I title this post, “Is SEO Dead?”

While searching the internet one day recently, I came across this question a few times: “Is SEO dead?” Now, as an SEO Specialist, I would certainly hope not! Perhaps, “SEO” is a person folks are concerned about? In which case, I also hope all is well for Seo. But, if this search is actually a referendum on Search Engine Optimization (aka: SEO in our little world), then I have some thoughts.

OH, THE IRONY.

Really? People are going to SEARCH for “Is SEO dead?” as a way to find out? Not a carrier pigeon, newspaper, or telegram? Nope. I didn’t think so. They’re searching for it. Good. Thank you for proving my point for me. I appreciate it.

Who is searching for this?

Is it concerned business owners who are worried about getting scammed out of money because they are being encouraged to invest in something that is actually outdated? Is it people in the SEO industry who are concerned about their job security? Perhaps, the searchers are folks who are currently paying for SEO services but not so sure their investment is worth it? Maybe, the searchers are considering what they need to do to get their website ready for SEO and have some doubts or concerns.

Things about SEO that should be dead

Having done this work for a while now, I know that there are some things about SEO that make sense. Logically, strategically, and ethically. There are also some things about this work that should probably end now.

Keyword stuffing…yes, that should be dead.

Keyword stuffing is a tactic in which a specific keyword is used way more than is appropriate in the content. This is especially harmful when the keyword is not relevant to the content. In fact, keyword stuffing could diminish the page or post’s overall quality due to its overuse. This is why Google frowns upon the practice.

Paying for backlinks…also dead.

This practice isn’t just one that should be dead ASAP, but also against Google’s Webmaster Policy Guidelines. You do not need to pay for backlinks to get your SEO where it needs to be. Laying intentional and ethical groundwork to increase your trust and credibility with search engines takes time, but it pays off in the long-run. Quality SEO strategy is a long-game. There are things you can do in the meantime to help boost your site traffic. Meanwhile, focusing on content creation, technical site auditing, on-page optimization, improving the user experience on your website and increasing conversion is worth it. If you want to learn more about ethical backlink strategies, consider our comprehensive backlinks course.

A lit white candle on a black background. Symbol of eternal memory, mourning, minutes of silence. Is SEO dead? Learn from an SEO expert for therapist websites and other helping professionals. Rest in peace, unethical, and unsustainable SEO practices. We won’t miss you over here.

As always, with SEO we have to stay flexible.

Yes, there are some constants. Keyword research matters. Speaking to your ideal client matters. And, the reality is that things change with SEO all the time. For example, Google recently changed the algorithm again. This could sound scary, especially to someone who relies on search engines to power your marketing and client attraction strategy. But, for our clients, we currently expect this most recent set of updates to be in-line with the recommendations we have been making for years.

So, how do we stay flexible with SEO strategy for therapy websites?

Search engines, like Google and Bing, change the mysterious algorithm and no one is privy to the exact information. We know many of the factors the top search engines use to inform rankings. And, we know there are around 200 factors considered. It would not be a good SEO strategy for therapist websites to try to optimize for all of these 200 factors. We focus on about 7-10 factors that we have found work very well for therapists and helping professionals. Different SEO companies focus on different factors (backlinks, video, blog posts, on-page SEO, metadata, and a whole host of other technical components of SEO). One of the constants regarding SEO strategy for therapy and other helping websites is keyword research.

Keyword Research: Every page, every time.

We use a number of tools to inform keyword research, and we do the keyword research every time. This is key (see what I did there?) because it would be easy to get lazy or make assumptions based on previous search or keyword activity in the region. But, search behavior changes over time! For example, not many people were searching for “Online Therapy” in 2019. Globally, search volume started to increase for “online therapy,” “online counseling,” “telehealth,” and “video therapy” as 2020 started and progressed. In the United States, we’ve seen these trends change over the months. That’s why it is important to make sure we do the research for each new client in their region. Like universal screening for mental health issues, we have to keep this central to any comprehensive SEO training, service package, or strategy. This piece is the cornerstone of a comprehensive and successful SEO strategy that converts more ideal clients.

typing a message rest in peace on a vintage typewriter close-up. Is SEO dead? Nope. Not at all. Learn more from a SEO expert here.

Now you know that SEO is, in fact, NOT dead.

We can absolutely be grateful that SEO is still relevant. And, we can talk about your concerns. Every SEO company is different, with a different focus for their clients. We highly recommend consulting with a couple of SEO companies, asking the tough questions, and making a decision that will be the best fit for YOU. No matter who you choose, we know that SEO is a worthwhile investment for private practice and small business owners.

Curious About SEO for Your Therapy Website?

Hopefully, you now know that not only is SEO not dead, but that there are some pretty amazing ways to help therapists. If you’re ready to begin optimizing your website to help you reach your ideal client on Google, we are ready to help! Follow these steps to begin SEO services with Simplified SEO consulting:

  1. Make an appointment for a free 30-minute consultation with a member of the Simplified SEO Consulting team
  2. Learn more about our SEO packages and training opportunities
  3. Start optimizing your website to get in front of more of the people who are looking for you

Other SEO Services Offered by Simplified SEO Consulting

The Simplified SEO Consulting team is passionate about providing SEO services for helping professionals and therapists. Our popular, comprehensive SEO services are included in our Done for You SEO Service packages. Our SEO staff team provides several SEO training opportunities. including our “Top of Search Engines” online course and 12 weeks of online video training. We also offer an SEO strategy package to learn more about SEO and what you can do to rank better on search engines.

Contact Simplified SEO Consulting to learn more, or book a free SEO consultation to decide which option is best for your business. We hope to hear from you soon!


Director of SEO Services, Danica Wolf, looks at the camera and smiles after meeting with a therapist to talk about SEO for therapy websites.About the Author: Danica Wolf, Director of SEO Services

Danica Wolf is an MSW with years of experience in the mental health field. First providing advocacy and education, then directing, our local campus Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention Center.  She spent years managing the website for that Center, then for her own birth business.
Soon after joining Simplified SEO Consulting in 2019, Danica quickly became a favorite among our clients!  Now, Danica leads our team of SEO Specialists working on the Done For You and Alumni Care services. She loves interacting with small business owners around the world and watching their business grow as they start ranking well on websites.  One of her favorite things about this work is hearing client success stories! Danica takes a very client-centered approach to optimizing and managing. Making sure websites not only rank well on Google but truly serve the needs of clients and potential clients who visit the site.

Sometimes, it feels like the world of social media is inescapable. On many platforms, you have the option to share to all of your accounts. Which, depending on the content, could have different outcomes. In SEO land, we’ve been getting a lot of questions about the role of social media in SEO. Is active participation in social media required? Is social media involvement required to boost SEO? Does posting on social media make your website more visible to your ideal clients? Stay tuned to find out!

 Active Participation in Social Media

A thumbs up icon is shown for social media. Social media involvement can help boost SEO and web presence. Schedule a consultation to learn about our services at Simplified SEO Consulting.

You might be wondering why I specified “active” participation. Social media works in your favor when you interact with fellow users through your account. This means liking and responding to comments, direct messages, and tags. Essentially, anytime your practice is acknowledged by another user. Why is this important? Because this is how most social media algorithms operate. This is true for Instagram, for example. The more your private practice’s account interacts with its users, the more your account will be visible. Potentially, giving you the opportunity to increase your following. And, *hopefully* increase client conversion.
 
So, all of this to say that the “post and pray” approach will not work in your favor. If you’re going to use this as a form of digital marketing to grow your business, it has to be done with intention. Otherwise, it will likely be a waste of your time and energy.

Social Media “Boosting” Your SEO

This is a little tricky. Active participation in social media *if done well* can get you in front of more users.  This can, in theory, help your SEO. There are some assumptions that go along with this. 1. People able to access your website from the social media platform (for instance, through a link on your page). 2. After seeing your website on Social Media, people visit your website, stay on and explore your website. Google interprets this as the user being interested in the content on your website, and shows Google that your site has truly useful information.  Google likes to send people to websites they find engaging, trustworthy and useful.  So, when more people are going to your site from social media and exploring it, it may help your rankings.  In this way, Social Media may be helpful.

Do just having a Facebook, Instagram or Tik Tok Improve my SEO?

Now, you may be wondering if just having a presence on various platforms in and of itself will boost your SEO.  The truth is that we’ve read conflicting evidence about this in recent years.  There does seem to be a correlation where businesses with a well ranking website often have an active social media presence. However most of us remember from school that correlation does not always equal causation.  And, Google isn’t yet admitting that social media is an official ranking factor.

Our general recommendations for SEO + Social Media

 
Our general recommendation is that social mentions (your name or practice name) seem to be helpful and social shares (where someone shares a link to your page) particularly seem to be helpful. Is this only because it directs people to your site? Perhaps.  But it does seem to make sense that Google crawls all webpages and therefore knows when your page is showing up frequently on a platform like Facebook.
So, our general recommendation is that you frequently share links to your website on your social media.  You already know we highly recommend blogging for helping professionals building their SEO.  We also recommend you take the extra step of sharing each blog post you publish on your facebook, twitter or other account.  If it makes sense, consider asking friends and family to share your blog posts as well!

Website Visibility for Ideal Clients

A keyboard with social media icons is displayed. This is an important concept to consider when evaluating the role of social media in boosting SEO.

Again, also tricky. This kind of depends on your ideal client. For example, let’s say working with college students is your jam. Posting relevant content on your social media that will speak to them and/or grab their attention could definitely be helpful. A good tip is to use geographic location to your benefit. We’ll stick with the college student example. You could post a picture and tag a local coffee shop that’s a popular study hub. If your practice happens to be near the coffee shop, mention that! Post relevant content about what’s happening on campus. Do your best to get creative with it. I can speak from my experience as a current graduate student. It’s obvious when a business tries to market to college students and is disconnected from the culture. If your ideal client doesn’t feel like you “get them”, they may not reach out.
 
And this extends beyond college students and to all populations. Marketing through social media should be done tactfully. And, it should be clear that there was consideration and intention in the process. If the world of social media is foreign to you, or you’re lacking inspiration, do some research. See what works and what doesn’t with other similar businesses. Truly, there is nothing you can’t find on Google.
 

To Wrap Up Our Social Media Adventure. . .

Colored pencils are shown with faces drawn on them. This concept is related to boosting SEO.

For my friends that prefer lists, or just scrolled to the bottom for a summary, here are the important takeaways:
1. Active participation in social media is essentially required IF that is the avenue you are taking to get in front of users on social media. Simply posting is not enough. There has to be a high level of interaction between your account and the other users.
2. Social media alone will not boost your SEO. However, providing ample opportunities for the user to visit your website through your account CAN help
3. If you’re using social media to get in front of your ideal clients, do so tactfully. Make it clear that you are connected to them and are familiar with their needs.  Consider your “brand” when developing content.
 

Want To Start SEO Services?

At Simplified SEO Consulting, our goal is for your practice to be on the first page of Google. And, we can help you reach that in many different ways. We offer Done For You Services and take care of the optimization. If you would like to learn how to do it yourself, we have training available through a 12-week program or individual courses. In addition, we offer al a carte services to fill in the gaps. If you aren’t sure which service will get the best return on investment for your business, one of our SEO specialists will help during your consultation. So what’s holding you back? You do your best work when you’re not worried about where the next call will come from. So, let’s start the process to get your site in front of more of the right clients so they can start calling! Take the next step and schedule a free consultation to learn more!

About The Author

Alyssa Kohne is in the process of obtaining her Masters in Social Work with a clinical concentration from the University of Missouri- Columbia. She has been doing SEO with Simplified for the last few months. She has a passion for helping people who want to learn to dot heir own SEO and has led SEO trainings as part of her work with Simplified SEO Consulting.