As mental health professionals, our main priority is for our clients to feel better, mentally, physically, etc. That’s the reason we got into this field, right? To provide mental health services to those who may be struggling. But how do we get more clients in the door? How do we prioritize our ethical duties while also marketing for our best, most ideal client? How do we get more reviews?

The line between ethics and marketing can be difficult to manage.

We hear that. We acknowledge that.

And although the counseling, the therapy, is what truly matters, we also need to get clients in the door to counsel. Sometimes, we have to do the work to market our practice.

And sure, we have tons of clients who have come seeking services based on word-of-mouth referrals. There is nothing better than a word-of-mouth referral. Those word-of-mouth referrals are important, because there is no consent involved, no ethical dilemmas. Just one happy client who wants to share the greatness that is you!

But those referrals are not what I’m talking about here…

So what about other ways to get clients in the door? Other marketing strategies?

One way to begin marketing, with ethics in mind of course, is to begin work on the SEO of your therapy website. That’s what we’re here for! SEO is search engine optimization, and it has helped plenty of mental health professionals find their ideal clients through their therapy website. We’d love to make you a part of that list! You can schedule a consultation with a member of the Simplified SEO Consulting team here. (It’s free!)

But, yet again, that’s not what we’re talking about.

A significant way clients get in the door is through positive online reviews.

Person sitting in wheelchair on their computer. If you’re needing ethically sourced reviews as a mental health therapist in Missouri, check this page out. (65201, 65211, 65202).

And, boy, do I mean positive. According to an annual study done by Bright Local, 94% of consumers are more likely to use a business after seeing positive online reviews. And during the past year, Bright Local says that most consumers check online to find business information everyday, with only 7% of people strolling right into a business without checking out any online information. Alternatively, 92% of consumers said that negative reviews would make them less like to use a business. (Yikes!)

 

Okay, so we’ve gathered that there’s a huge benefit to your therapy practice having positive online reviews. (And, truly, a huge disadvantage to having negative reviews.)

While this sounds like all rainbows and butterflies, it’s not.

As mental health professionals, we have to consider the ethics of these reviews.

Here are a few things that our different Codes of Ethics have to say about reviews, solicitations, whatever you want to call them.

Social Workers

According to the National Association of Social Workers, social workers cannot solicit testimonials or reviews from clients, meaning social workers cannot directly ask for reviews. Here’s the exact wording from the NASW Code of Ethics:

NAWS Code Of Ethics 4.07 Solicitations: (b) Social workers should not engage in solicitation of testimonial endorsements (including solicitation of consent to use a client’s prior statement as a testimonial endorsement) from current clients or from other people who, because of their particular circumstances, are vulnerable to undue influence.

Counselors

Counselors certified under the American Counseling Association cannot solicit testimonials from current or former clients, either. Here’s the exact information from the ACA Code of Ethics:

ACA Code of Ethics C.3.b. Testimonials. Counselors who use testimonials do not solicit them from current clients, former clients, or any other persons who may be vulnerable to undue influence. Counselors discuss with clients the implications of and obtain permission for the use of any testimonial.

Additionally, counselors certified under the National Board for Certified Counselors cannot solicit testimonials from former or current clients, until two years post-termination. Underneath is the exact wording from the NBCC Code of Ethics:

NBCC Code of Ethics 62. NCCs shall not solicit testimonials from current clients or their families and close friends. Recognizing the possibility of future requests for services, NCCs shall not solicit testimonials from former clients within two years from the date of service termination.

Marriage and Family Therapists

Marriage and Family Therapists are not allowed to exploit clients, but the Code of Ethics do not specifically discuss reviews, solicitations, or testimonials. Here’s the portion discussed:

AAMFT Code of Ethics 3.8 Exploitation. Marriage and family therapists do not engage in the exploitation of clients, students, trainees, supervisees, employees, colleagues, or research subjects.

In conclusion, the different certifying boards do not allow for direct solicitation for reviews of any kind.

There’s a huge reason for this, our boards want to make sure that the clients are getting the proper care, without any pitfalls. Utilizing reviews with clients’ names can risk the therapeutic relationship. It can also affect the client’s confidentiality, if they are not wanting to share that they even go to therapy, if they don’t want to share it with certain people, etc. Clients have their reasons to maintain confidentiality and we want to respect that. Always.

As ethical mental health professionals, it’s important that we do not risk client confidentiality, nor do we make any clients vulnerable to undue influence that ultimately affects the therapeutic relationship.

So, now that we are on the same page about understanding the legalities, let’s talk about ways to ethically source reviews.

Ethically Sourcing Reviews

Feedback from Group Workshops

If you are someone who coaches therapeutic workshops, feedback from those groups can be great. Receiving feedback anonymously from the whole group at a group workshop does not put any names to the review.

There is no client information shared, and it does not affect the therapeutic relationship. Try this method the next time you have a group workshop, or begin building a group workshop!

Person on computer with search engine icon. (65201, 65211, 65202). If you’re a counselor in Missouri, we can help you with SEO for mental health professionals.

Attach Your Social Media Business Accounts to Your Website for Professional Connections to Leave Reviews

We’ve discussed how mental health professionals cannot directly solicit reviews from clients, but this does not include colleagues and/or professional networking relationships in which you do not have a therapeutic relationship to preserve. Many mental health providers we work with instead ask colleagues, friends, referral sources and others to write them reviews. These sources can talk directly about your professional and clinical skills.

So, if you haven’t already, attach your social media sites to your website. Have links to click on with the social media icons (Facebook and Instagram are the most searched for.) This makes it really easy for anyone who visits your website and would like (friends, coworkers, etc) to leave a review on social media to do so.

Click either of these links to start creating a business profile on Facebook or Instagram.

Google My Business Reviews from Colleagues

As we’ve discussed, soliciting reviews from clients is not ethical. But that doesn’t include colleagues, professional relationships, etc. in which you do not have a therapeutic relationship to preserve. By asking a colleague to write a review, you’re able to get an honest review which helps your credibility both with potential clients and Google, but without any ethical concerns.

If you’ve worked with the Simplified team, you know how much we value Google My Business. Similarly to Facebook, Google has its own review process via Google My Business. This can be a great place for those colleagues, networking relationships, other professionals we’ve discussed, to leave a professional review while building SEO credit with Google.

What to do if a Client does Leave a Review…

Image of computer with image of heart likes. If you’re a therapist in Missouri needing help with SEO for mental health professionals, we can help. (65201, 65211, 65202)Clients can still leave reviews even without our solicitation, and that’s okay! Firstly, it’s a good idea to quickly respond to all reviews… but you want to make sure you are still protective of confidentiality.

So, when responding to reviews from a client: be careful not to confirm or deny they were seen at your practice. There’s usually something general and positive you can say in response. For example saying something like, “Thank you so much for the feedback” acknowledges their response but doesn’t reference if they were your client or not.

 

Now, remember what I said about the effects of bad reviews? Well, ethically, we have to leave those on the sites that they were posted on. It may seem best to delete a negative review when you have access to do so, but this is considered unethical. Leave that review, respond in a general and positive manner, and let it help you make your practice even better.

If you’ve done these things and can confidently say your reviews are ethical, congrats! You’ve got some ethically sourced reviews!

Okay, let’s summarize.

Firstly, our ethics say that we cannot directly solicit reviews from clients. This is the most important thing to remember when discussing online reviews.

Secondly, if you want to gain positive reviews, ask your group workshops anonymously and within a group. Also, ask your colleagues and professional networking via social media sites and Google My Business!

Lastly, if a client does leave a review, good or bad, do respond. But do not expose client confidentiality. Respond in a positive manner, and let all those reviews help you reflect to make your practice better.

Now, get to getting those reviews!

 

About The Author

This image is off a Simplified SEO Consulting Mental Health SEO Specialist, Jewel. She can help with SEO tools for private practice websites. Jewel is currently part of our team as a Mental Health Specialist at Simplified SEO Consulting. She helps private practice owners find their ideal client by optimizing their websites and providing direct support to clients. Jewel loves the gratification when she sees a therapist’s data increasing and their phones buzzing. As a person who values mental health amongst other things, she loves knowing that Simplified’s services help therapists and patients find each other to improve mental health in the world.

Jewel is currently in her Master’s in Social Work program at the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare. She also interns every week at a Kansas City psychiatric hospital. When she has the time, she loves to read, volunteer, spend time with friends, and travel.

In honor of American Indian Heritage Month, the topic of diversity with websites is something that is becoming more necessary in the SEO world and branding for therapists. As many of you know, cultural competency, or better yet cultural humility is something that is drilled into us in graduate school. However, when you are in school, the discussion of how to incorporate that into your practice and your branding is not discussed, especially if you do not identify as a POC, a person with a disability (visible or invisible), someone in the LGBTQIA+ community, or practice spirituality or religion. Diversity in therapy is necessary for people to feel welcome. 

To connect with your ideal clients and encourage more individuals to take the leap into a mental health journey. We must brand our therapy practice and more importantly our websites to reflect that all people are welcome in your space, whether in-person or online. Learn some helpful tips for diversity in therapy today!

Tips for Adding Diversity in Therapy Websites: 

We come in all shapes and sizes 

Make sure your website represents people of all orientations, colors, ethnicities, and religions, and genders. Whether that means hiring different clinicians or adding photos to your website to recognize we all need mental health support. Additionally, people come in various shapes. In an effort to reduce fatphobia and ignore the fact standards of Instagram, it is necessary to show real people in all stages of life. Additionally, that means adding people of all kinds of ages. Ageism is just as rampant as fatphobia. We all need support. Therapy is not just for the young, couples, thin individuals. It is for everyone. If your website only represents rich upper-class white people, we are doing something wrong. 

Find Keywords that Different Populations Are Seeking Out

Add keywords that relate to various populations or add in statements throughout your website (not as a tag-on) that you serve people from all walks of life. Find keywords such as a black therapist, therapy for people of color, LGBTQIA+ therapy, Faith-Based Counseling for Muslim Individuals, and so on.  

Stereotyping is not going to draw in clients 

When adding photos, do not add stereotypical photos such as just a one-race family on a family therapy page, or a person in a wheelchair on a trauma page. Recognize that people show up in many ways. Though your intentions put into the photos may seem like it will not pay off, but someone will see your intentionality and recognize that you see their experience.  

Mind Your Language! 

Be intentional with your language. Make sure if you are trying to offer services for people, you are writing language that connects to them. If there are updates in the LGBTQIA communities’ language, make sure you are aware. If you are unsure whether something is now considered offensive, do your research. And make sure you are not beginning to work with various diverse populations before you are ready. Competency matters! Make sure as you consider adding services that you have the proper training or hire someone who does.  

Add Alt Text and Subheadings 

Woman in wheelchair on laptop. Looking for therapy and branding advice? Learn more about diversity in therapy today. Our seo specialists can help support you as you discover how to market and create an SEO strategy for you clients!

People who use screen readers can have a similar experience to anyone on the website. Screen readers are great tools that provide space for clients who are seeking therapy to meet their needs. Often, we forget about making our space and our website accessible for clients with disabilities, but we must make space for everyone and think outside our normal means of awareness when it comes to the experiences of those we are seeking to help.  

Highlighting Therapists With Various Specialties

Although we want to show diversity and inclusion on our websites, sometimes there are better people to support our clients’ needs. That is why if you have Spanish-speaking clinicians, Christian counselors, counselors of color, counselors who identify openly in the LGBTQIA community, letting clients know that this specific support is available in your practice is key! 

Write Timely Blog Posts

It is so important to make sure that we are up to date with issues that affect our clientele. As you have probably noticed, many social justice issues have shown up in the past two years. Writing blogs that show awareness, perspective, and support is necessary for your current and future clients. Even if you don’t understand everything, taking time to write a blog in solidarity with them will help you connect and let them know that you see them.

Get Started with Your SEO Journey and Learn More About Diversity in Therapy! 

Diversity and inclusion graphic. Creating space for everyone is matters. Learn more about diversity in therapy and branding for your website today!

Are you wondering how you can create more diversity in therapy and inclusion on your website? Our skilled and passionate team of SEO specialists is here to make sure your SEO journey is tailored to your brand and identity. Simplified SEO Consulting would be excited to help you on your SEO journey. To get started with our service follow these simple steps:  

  1. Schedule a consult with our Client Success Specialist or Consult Team   
  2. Learn more about our wonderful team of SEO Specialists 
  3. Start creating a more inclusive site and brand for your ideal clients! 

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 packagesonline courses, and SEO training opportunities. Our most popular course includes our “Top of Google” Online course, and we have 12 weeks (about 3 months) of intensive SEO for those who want to learn with a guide. Additionally, we are offering a limited-time SEO Mastermind group if you want a great training opportunity for a steal, this is for you. 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:  

As an SEO specialist at Simplified, Jasmine is an SEO services consultant and helps new clients become oriented to our services. If you are ready to begin SEO services, then get in touch and schedule your free consultation today!   

Jasmine Jaquess is currently working towards her Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Northwestern University. Currently, she is seeing clients in practice as part of her practicum. She serves as the Client Success Specialist in new client consultations with Simplified SEO Consulting. Plus she is one of our Mental Health SEO Specialists. She specializes in platforms such as Squarespace and Wix. If you’re ready to see how Simplified can serve you, schedule your next consultation. As our Client Success Specialist, see how Jasmine can support your business needs! 

So, you have heard as a private practice owner, you should invest in SEO. It’s the newer wave of marketing for therapists and seems like the perfect solution to getting consistent traffic. The only problem is, you don’t have time to learn and you don’t know what you should be looking for. I mean, did we even cover this in graduate school? What questions should I ask an SEO specialist before hiring them anyway?

Oftentimes, private practice owners want to do what is the best marketing-wise for their practice, but don’t know where to begin. This can add stress to your life and create a financial burden if it ends up being the wrong service for you. As mental health SEO specialists, we strive to make choosing an SEO company easy for you. Therefore, we have compiled a list of helpful questions to ask the potential SEO companies that will help give you the best results. You don’t need to know everything about SEO to ask the right questions about your needs. If you find yourself asking “what questions should I ask an SEO specialist before hiring them to optimize my site”? this blog is for you!

What Questions Should I Ask an SEO Specialist Before HiringThem to Optimize My Site?

Credibility

Animated woman with red hair against teal and yellow background. SEO help for therapists matters to your brand, but can be stressful. How do you know " what questions should i ask an seo specialist before hiring them to optimize my site?", we are here to help you if you're looking for monthly SEO here!

Strategy

Additional Services

Blocks with question marks stacked up. If you're in search of therapist SEO, we can help you understand what questions should i ask an seo specialist before hiring them to optimize my site? See what is the best for your journey. We specialize in marketing for therapists and are here for you!

Packages and Options

Things for You to Consider Before

 Investing in SEO

What You Need to Watch Out for 

  • People guaranteeing results 
  • Dazzling presentations with no substance 
  • Assuming the company knows best, without doing your own research 
  • Beware If your data and traffic are fluctuating and it’s not due to googles algorithm 
  • Sudden growth can be a sign of black hat SEO and this can harm your results. 

Finding the best-fit matters! 

As mental health professionals and mental health SEO specialists, we know that investing in a website and SEO is a huge time and money investment. You’re here to get your ideal clients and we want to make sure that you’re getting the best support possible. If you’re interested in finding support for you and your practice, we would be happy to help you understand more about what questions should I ask an SEO specialist before hiring them to optimize my site? Begin your journey today!

Get Started with Your SEO Journey!

If you’re wondering how our services fit you, let’s have a consultation and see. Our skilled and passionate team of SEO specialists is here to make sure your SEO journey is tailored to your brand and identity. Simplified SEO Consulting would be excited to help you on your SEO journey. To get started with our service follow these simple steps: 

  1. Schedule a consult with our Client Success Specialist or Consult Team  
  2. Learn more about our wonderful team of SEO Specialists. 
  3. Begin finding the best SEO company for you and find your people 

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 packagesonline courses, and SEO training opportunities. Our most popular course includes our “Top of Google” Online course, and we have 12 weeks (about 3 months) 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: 

As an SEO specialist at Simplified, Jasmine is an SEO services consultant and helps new clients become oriented to our services. If you are ready to begin SEO services then get in touch and schedule your free consultation today 

Jasmine Jaquess is currently working towards her Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Northwestern University and is actively seeing clients in practice as part of her practicum. Currently, she serves as the Client Success Specialist in new client consultations with Simplified SEO Consulting and is a Mental Health SEO Specialist. She specializes in platforms such as Squarespace and Wix. If you’re ready to see how Simplified can serve you, schedule your next consultation with Jasmine and see how she can support your business needs! 

Do online coaches and consultants need SEO?

Yes, you do! The field of online coaching is very broad. It is not enough to create a website and say that you’re a health and wellness coach, a life coach, or a coaching therapist. This may seem specific to you, but to your ideal client, this is very vague. It’s important that when you do SEO for life coaches, therapists, health coaches, and so on, that you’re getting specific with your niche. Not in a way that makes it too difficult to get clients, but by specifying and speaking to your ideal client or “avatar”.

Benefits of SEO for Coaches

  • First, you’re able to get in front of your ideal clients- The most visible you’re, the more likely people Mind map with SEO strategy. You deserve an SEO strategy that works! If you're offer coaching services, seo for coaches can help you. Learn how to find the best keywords for coaches or keywords for life coaching today. Read our blog to learn more!are to come in contact with your services. 
  • Builds credibility- SEO is all about building client relationships and connecting with your ideal clients through Google. Therefore, the better optimized your site, the more likely clients and prospects will see your programs and content. 
  • Raises your authority- When you’re a leader in your field, people follow suit, therefore, if you’re able to get backlinks and have reputable sites mention you on their site. The better you will rank. 

Tips on SEO for Coaches to Get Ranking Better!

Content is King! Or Queen!

Something that I see on coaching websites very often is clear, concise, and straightforward reasons to begin coaching with them. They outline what your goals are and how they can help you. Plus they outline the packages and how to get started. So what is wrong with this strategy when it comes to SEO? Google likes content and sometimes the way coaches build out pages can be more vague than you realize.

We know as SEO specialists and you know as coaches that nobody is going to ready a built-out service page, but Google will. Google loves content and if you can lay out your client’s pain points, why they may need support, how you can help, and where to get started in 500 words, Google is going to see you as a more credible source, than someone with 100 words on their page. Google needs built-out content, but what does the client need as well. A straightforward message that says “ I can help you”. That means in our SEO strategy with content, we need to make sure our keywords are niched down, headings make it clear that you can help, and that you understand who you’re trying to reach. It’s a balancing game. 

A great way to enhance your content is by creating pages on what is life coach, how can a health and wellness coach help you. Why do I need a business coach or consultant, and so on? Then creating resource guides, tips, and talking directly to your client’s needs, will help connect with your people, potential clients, and of course Google.

A Smart Keyword Strategy Will Get you on the map

What is considered a “smart” keyword strategy? Well if I told you what a health coach was, would you know what I do? Probably not, we often want to be ranking for the most highly searched for keywords, but forget that we also need to reach our ideal clients in the process. That doesn’t mean health coach, life coach, online coach, business consultant, and so on isn’t going to help you. It is just those search terms are being used by everyone and that makes them watered down. We need to be specific in who we are targeting. Online coaching for busy moms, coaching for side hustles, fitness coaching for busy women. Who are you targeting? Are they dealing with weight loss, time or stress management, building a business?

We must create a strategy that entails both a long tail ( online coaching for women in Texas) and a short tail ( online coaching) so you’re getting on the map for what you need and eventually moving up with the more challenging keywords. 

Content written on notebook near coffee cup and pen. Coaching is such a broad field and niching down is complex. Why not get support with seo for coaches. Whether you need seo for life coaches, health coaches, business coaches and more. We can help. Learn more today!

So how do I know if my keywords are right?

My response to this is how long have you been working on your strategy, do you know your ideal clients, and are you adding in the right content that connects. If you’re doing all these things and still see no results, then consider restructuring your approach. Chances are something in your copy is connecting or you’re haven’t found the sweet spot in your niche. Likewise, know that for an effective SEO strategy, you need to give it 6 months minimum to work. So how can you support your business in the meantime? Get connected!

Begin Connecting with Like-minded and different professionals

Building connections matter to get the referrals you need to your practice. Many individuals network or create podcasts to get their names out there with other professionals in their field. As well as with individuals they can partner with and refer to in the future. Two ways we suggest building on this strategy is to one create cornerstone blogs that talk about coaching, what you do, and how you help. Talk about the individual issues you see clients facing and how you can help to empower them to create the reality they are seeking. Additionally, an ethically built-out backlinks strategy will help skyrocket your credibility with Google. The more often people link to you the more Google recognizes your influence in your industry. Therefore, if you can do guest blogging, an interview, Facebook lives, or be on a podcast episode, always ask for a backlink to your site. 

Make sure your website design and appearance is professional and trustworthy

When it comes to your design and appearance, make sure you’re correctly reporting your qualifications and what you can help with. If you are not experienced in certain areas, get training so you can best support your clients. Make sure that your content and programs are original and are providing the results you expect for your clients. Additionally, make sure you have people you can refer out to such as counselors, dieticians, personal trainers, designers, life coaches, and more. Make sure when building your website that content is original and that you have a security tag on your website so it indicates that people who come to your site won’t be at risk of having their information exposed. The better care you take of your brand and content, the more trustworthy you will be to your clients and prospects. 

Make sure your coaching identity is clear

Often when I see coaching websites, they are lacking in content and don’t explain their purpose. Take time to explain your expertise, who you’re, help people recognize you’re human and capable of helping. Write blog content that connects

Is SEO for Coaches for You?

Yellow coaching words. SEO for coaches, includes seo for life coaches, health coaches, body image coaches, and more. If you need help with an SEO strategy, learn how we can help you find the best seo keywords for coaching today!

Whether you’re a body image coach, health coach, business consultant, coaching therapist, life coach, or anything in between, we can help you. Coaching is a necessary and complex business to get ranking, but our strategy can help. We strive to create individualized plans for each client so you’re bringing in the right people for you. If you’re ready for a strategy and support, see how we can help you!

Ready to Begin Working with Us?

Let’s work together to get you on the map for your niche. SEO is a great way to help you gain organic traffic as a coach. If you’re ready for support and an SEO strategy tailored to your needs, let us help you!. Our skilled and passionate team of SEO specialists is here to make sure your SEO journey is tailored to your brand and identity. Simplified SEO Consulting would be excited to help you on your SEO journey. To get started with our service follow these simple steps:

  1. Schedule a consult with our Client Success Specialist or Consult Team 
  2. Learn more about our wonderful team of SEO Specialists.
  3. Begin your ethical and holistic SEO Journey!

Other Services offered by Simplified SEO Consulting    Jasmine, an SEO specialists at Simplified SEO consulting. If you're looking for SEO help, then contact us today. You can learn about holistic SEO, an ethica coaching strategy and more. Schedule your free 30-minute consultation today with our consult team and learn how we support seo for coaches today!

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 packagesonline courses, and SEO training opportunities. Our most popular course includes our “Top of Google” Online course, and we have 12 weeks (about 3 months) 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:

As an SEO specialist at Simplified, Jasmine is an SEO services consultant and helps new clients become oriented to our services. If you are ready to begin SEO services then get in touch and schedule your free consultation today!

Jasmine, an SEO Specialist, and Client Success Specialists at Simplified SEO Consulting. You may be wondering where to start with your SEO for private practice or group practices. You have come to the right place.

Jasmine Jaquess is currently working towards her Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Northwestern University and is actively seeing clients in practice as part of her practicum. Currently, she serves as the Client Success Specialist in new client consultations with Simplified SEO Consulting and is a Mental Health SEO Specialist. She specializes in platforms such as Squarespace and Wix but has learned to love WordPress sites as well. Her favorite part of the job is writing copy for clients and helping them find their voice to communicate with clients how they can best serve them.

Imagine this, you’re going into an ice cream shop. You’re told on Google that this is the best ice cream in the world. In fact, you notice a ton of comments on their Google my business page, Good ratings, and a ton of options. So you and your family choose to go into this ice cream shop because of the recommendations you received. You checked the web pages, skimmed it briefly, and have decided this is for you. So you and your family roll up to this shop.

Upon getting to the address you notice a run-down warehouse, no cars in the parking lot. There is a lone stand with an individual handing out, what appears to be ice cream. You notice that what is actually there isn’t ice cream, but t-shirt sales and nothing else. You realize very quickly that what you thought you were getting was in fact false advertising, the t-shirts are not even good quality and now you’re confused. All you wanted was ice cream?! Why are there t-shirts?

What is the point?

Now, this is a silly analogy, but you get the picture. Essentially when people invest in black hat SEO, this is what they are doing. They make their website seem like the optimal choice, develop false credibility, and ignore user experience. You don’t want to buy your “ice cream
From a sketchy warehouse selling mediocre t-shirts.

It’s false advertising and leaves the user disappointed. Even though the false individual gives the impression of success based on false comments, faked reviews, they are essentially lying to the user. Here is the thing, when we forgo user experience to appease the search engine for traffic and affiliate payments, we are forgetting the whole purpose of why we are mental health professionals. USER EXPERIENCE, and helping our ideal clients. This matters and trust is the number one key to establishing any type of therapeutic relationship with a client. So why would we use shady marketing tactics to draw people in?

What is Black Hat SEO?

Two black magician hats with red ribbon. If you have an ethical SEO strategy, you're going to see better results. Black hat SEO tactics are not healthy for your side or for user experience. Learn how our mental health seo specialists can support you today!

In short, Black Hat SEO is a great way to get banned from Google’s search engine. This can heavily damage your SEO and deplete all the efforts you have made to get to the top. Essentially, as Google and the internet have started becoming more popular, people have used certain black hat SEO techniques to make sure they are at the top of the search engine in order to increase their rankings, traffic, and affiliate income. Now there used to be fewer restrictions on the internet, and people were able to work around this to achieve the marketing goals they were looking for. 

Now…

Whether it’s Bing, Google, Yahoo, or anything in between. These search engines have established clear-cut guidelines on how to use and market their search engine ethically. If you violate these guidelines, your SEO rankings will be damaged. The recovery process will be tedious and time-consuming. So it’s best not to engage in the first place.

Differences in White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO

You may have heard the term white hat SEO and thought, is this a less risky version of the black hat SEO? Actually, white hat SEO is the right way to communicate with the Google search engine. White hat or holistic SEO takes longer but is worth it in the end. This includes creating high-quality content, such as blog posts about your therapy specialties, services, and issues your ideal clients struggle with. These include at least 500-2000 words of well-written content geared toward user experience.

You can also use manual backlinking. This means that someone is ethically helping you build backlinks. This involves guest posting. This means other therapists blog on your blog and you on theirs. Additionally, you can either hire or on your own create mini-blogs for your site. These need to be high-quality blogs but can help support your keywords and services. For example, if you’re a grief therapist. Create a blog series on anticipatory grief, disinhibited grief, and grief and loss. This will help to maintain credibility on your end.  

What is Google’s Guidelines to Ethically Use Their Search Engine

If we take a look at the community guidelines put forth by Google, you will see the following. 

Google also outlines what is considered to be “unethical” according to their guidelines:

Google outlines that if you violate their guidelines using black hat SEO tactics, that the company will take manual action against your site. Once the issue is resolved, then you can follow up with Google to have your site reconsidered and no longer banned. However, know that your SEO will still take a while to recover.

Black Hat SEO Techniques That Will Get

Snap back grey, white, and black hats. Are you looking to approach SEO from an ethical search engine optimization perspective? Learn how black hat SEO can damage your site and the differences between white hat SEO and black hat SEO.

You Banned from Google

  • Buying an expired well-ranking domain name, and then switching the content
  • Writing the same content over and over again ( reduces traffic)
  • Update content, make sure it’s not obsolete, revamp it, re-upload will increase traffic and rankings ( don’t recycle content)
  • Keyword Stuffing ( Placing too many keywords or irrelevant content to page)
  • Automatically Generated/Duplicate Content
  • Hidden Text (Adding hidden content in order to rank)
  • Doorway/Gateway Pages
  • Cloaking (showing google one page and then serving another)
  • Paid/Manipulative Links
  • Misused Structured Data and Rich Snippets
  • Misleading Redirects ( linking a page to a ranking page and then redirecting to an alternative page)
  • Trading products for links ( offering a product or money for links)
  • Negative SEO ( Building low-quality links to competitors websites)
  • Article spinning ( adding thin content just to get ranking)
  • Comment Spam ( Having comments generated on your site.)
  • Stealing content from the web
  • Auto-Generated Content
  • Social media scam ( buying shares and likes)
  • Rich snippet markup scam ( enhances listing on google with irrelevant content)
  • Automated queries ( false traffic to the website)
  • URL injection spam ( hacking a site like WP and injecting links into pages
  • Domain Squatting ( holding onto a trademark domain)

What is a link scheme?

Basically, with linking, there are ethical ways to build them and very sketchy ways. We want to encourage you to avoid the following:

  • Buying links
  • Exchanging links
  • Low-Quality Articles and Guest Posts ( needs to be high quality and relevant)
  • Automation ( building a bunch of links to others links) 
  • Profile Links ( social media profiles that include links) 
  • Link Network ( paying for links to other websites)

Essentially, if at any time when gaining a link or creating a link it isn’t done to enhance user experience, but to gain quick attention, that would be considered a link scheme and should be avoided immediately. Remember we are trying to build trust and that can take some time. Don’t shortcut this to gain attention, traffic, followers, or affiliate income. 

Why You Should Avoid Black Hat SEO Tactics?

  1. First It will affect your SEO once your Google finds out.
  2. Results are always temporary, and the long-term payout is more harmful.
  3. If you’re optimizing for the search engine, you’re ignoring the purpose which is user experience.

If you want to understand more about user experience. Then check out our blogs on writing content for clients and holistic SEO

What Should I do if I have engaged in some of these Black Hat

Colored pencils, colored airplanes and SEO thought bubble. Black hat SEO tactics have damaged many therapy websites and our mental health SEO specialists want to help you avoid this. Learn the difference between white hat SEO and black hat SEO today!

Tactics?

This process will take time and can be done. For example, link scheming needs to be disavowed through the Google search console. Takedown and cancel automated programs and sponsors. Have your website be looked over by Google to be seen as credible again. If you have traded products for links, clean it up, undo keyword stuffing. If you have malicious content take it down. Remove pages you have done a bait and switch on. If your domain was hacked you will have to follow up with Google. This is a small portion of what you will need to do. It can be undone, but the process is tedious and will affect your SEO.

How do I report Black Hat SEO Techniques and Tactics?

File a scam report to Google. Even though reporting will not automatically result in action from Google, you’re improving algorithmic spam detection. 

Need Support with Advanced and Technical SEO on Your Website? 

If you have been subject to Black hat SEO tactics, our specialists can help you. An ethical SEO strategy is important to our SEO specialists. While the process can be tedious, our specialists can strategize with you long-term to gain credibility. Our skilled and passionate team of SEO specialists is here to make sure your SEO journey is tailored to your brand and identity. Simplified SEO Consulting would be excited to help you on your SEO journey. To get started with our service follow these simple steps:   

  1. Schedule a consult with our Client Success Specialist or Consult Team  
  2. Learn more about our wonderful team of SEO Specialists.   
  3. Begin your ethical and holistic SEO Journey!

Other Services offered by Simplified SEO Consulting     Jasmine, an SEO specialists at Simplified SEO consulting. If you're looking for SEO help, then contact us today. You can learn about holistic SEO, avoiding black hat seo tactics, and more. Schedule your free 30-minute consultation today with our consult team!

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 weeks (about 3 months) 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:   

As an SEO specialist at Simplified, Jasmine is an SEO services consultant and helps new clients become oriented to our services. If you are ready to begin Seo service for therapists or Seo for trauma therapists, then get in touch and schedule your free consultation today!  

Jasmine, an SEO Specialist, and Client Success Specialists at Simplified SEO Consulting. You may be wondering where to start with your SEO for private practice or group practices. You have come to the right place.   

Jasmine Jaquess is currently working towards her Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Northwestern University and is currently beginning per practicum work soon. Currently, she serves as the Client Success Specialist in new client consultations with Simplified SEO Consulting and is a Mental Health SEO Specialist. She specializes in platforms such as Squarespace and Wix but has learned to love WordPress sites as well. Her favorite part of the job is writing copy for clients and helping them find their voice to communicate with clients how they can best serve them. 

We are very excited to be providing some information for trauma therapists on SEO and service pages. As some of you know many of our SEO specialists focus on SEO for trauma therapists because we have had a career or have previous experience working with abuse, trauma, and survivors of DV. Therefore, as many of you have a focus on trauma, we hope that our holistic SEO perspective when marketing to individuals dealing with trauma will provide you with insight and encourage you to not be afraid of how your content and voice come off as you speak to this clientele. 

What pages should you build-out?

Person typing on laptop in office on desk. Learning what content to build out helps seo for therapists. Learn how to find keywords to rank on a trauma page and what SEO for trauma therapists is all about here!

 

When building out your service pages, we typically recommend having a PTSD Treatment and Trauma Therapy page. This is because these are the most highly searched for key terms. If you niche down with survivors of abuse, homicide, first responders, or DV survivors, then we would suggest making this the focus keyword, but still including PTSD treatment and trauma therapy on the page to draw in the people looking for this service. Additionally, as therapists, we know that trauma doesn’t usually show up alone, in fact, many people dealing with trauma also deal with anxiety and depression. Therefore, creating service pages based on this focus will not only enhance your SEO because we can link back to these pages but if your clients are not entirely sure if trauma is the issue. They can at least get a brief overview of how co-occurring disorders show up. 

Use of Language on a PTSD and Trauma Page?

Sometimes when we are building out trauma pages for clients, we find that they struggle with using PTSD treatment on the page for the uncertainty that they will drive in a stream of more clinical diagnoses than they are ready to work with. However, in the SEO world, people are both searching for trauma therapy and PTSD treatment. If you’re worried about driving in the wrong clients, then realize that the keywords are what drive people to your website. The written content is what speaks to them as a person. If you don’t work with intense trauma clients, mention that in your copy. Or if your focus is on co-occurring disorders, say that too. Simply adding a subheading saying “ Who Do I work Within Trauma Therapy” will help people to know whether or not you’re the right trauma therapist for them. 

Additional Tips on Trauma Language and SEO for Trauma Therapists.

If the client uses a certain language in a session, then it is ok to add it to your copy. You’re directly speaking to the client. Listen to what you’re hearing in session, and make sure to include these pain points in your copy. Also, don’t be afraid to use trauma language, it can be frightening to know what is appropriate versus what is not, but know that it is in your best interest to just be real. For example, when it comes to people dealing with trauma, it can take many times for them to decide that abuse or an assault is not their fault. Therefore, reiterating this in your copy and in sessions is just adding to one of the many times it will take before they believe it if they ever will.

Lastly, remember that while we want to be real and authentic when talking about trauma, remember to use a person’s first language. They are a person dealing with trauma, a survivor of abuse. Acknowledge the person, not the problem first.

Keywords for a Trauma Therapy Page

Here is a list of common SEO Keywords that individuals try to rank for when working with PTSD treatment and Trauma therapy:

  • PTSD treatment
  • Trauma Therapy
  • EMDR Therapy
  • TF-CBT
  • Brainspotting
  • Somatic Experiencing
  • Complex Trauma
  • Trauma and Anxiety
  • Trauma and Depression
  • Feeling stuck
  • Trauma Therapist
  • PTSD therapy near me
  • Trauma therapy near me 
  • EMDR therapist

These are just a few examples of keywords you could rank for, but the list goes on. That is why we have specialists who can help with SEO for trauma therapists, who are here to help you break down what makes sense to rank for and what doesn’t. 

If you specialize in trauma and you have a certain modality you approach from most often, it would be helpful for your rankings to create a modalities page, breaking down in client language what they can expect being in that setting with you. Additionally, creating blog posts where you answer commonly asked questions or give a resource guide will help to better connect with the client. 

Resources to link to?

Web of connecting multicolored string showing internal links connection. Internal and external linking matters. If you're wondering what is the difference between an internal link versus an external link? And how this helps SEO for trauma therapists read more!

As many of you know, linking is a big piece of the puzzle to rank for SEO for trauma therapists. We add internal links, so for example, if you have a PTSD treatment page, then we may link to your anxiety, depression, or modality page to provide more movement in your site, but also to show Google there is a connection between the topics. This also shows to your clients that there is a connection. So if you connect to your anxiety page from a trauma page and have a subheading in each discussing the connection, your client and Google will begin to recognize the connection of the topics.

Additionally, we also suggest having at least one external link on your site. This is meant to help build up your trust flow with Google. When you connect to an already well-ranked site, this will build your site credibility. Therefore, for trauma therapists, we suggest linking to:

Make sure if you’re using these as external links, know that while they are good to link sources, don’t copy content from their site. Google recognizes duplicate content and will know who published it first, and ethically, that is just bad practice. Use the general idea and then place it in your own words. 

Blogging Helps SEO for Trauma Therapists Because You’re Able to Communicate Your Voice!

Blogging. The infamous and necessary next steps in your journey ranking for SEO for trauma therapists. Blogging is a powerful tool to connect to your ideal audience. Even if you’re a group practice that offers everything, blogging can help your particular mission and perspective be seen better. 

We encourage you to write intentional and carefully crafted blog posts to answer common questions you hear in your practice. For example, you could write an open letter to moms recovering from birth trauma. What do I say to my daughter who was raped? Or Simple things first responders can say to calm a person down in a crisis situation. Resource guides and tips are useful for your client and it gives them a glimpse into the kind of care they can expect from you as a therapist. Remember, blogging is your passion piece, so don’t be afraid to be real and talk about the tough issues. 

Picture of animated content. The connection between SEO and quality content is huge for conversion. So the more honest you're with your audience the better SEO for trauma therapists you will get. Learning what the best keywords for a trauma therapy page and writing good cornerstone content matter to rank and convert.

Write blogs for their loved ones too.

Blogs are also a great resource for the family and loved ones of people dealing with trauma. They may struggle to know how to help their child, partner, friend, or family member. By giving them some helpful tips, you can help them to process what is going on in their loved ones’ lives. They may not fully understand, but when people don’t understand a loved one’s pain, they often want answers and guidance, but by providing blogs for the whole unit, they will feel better supported and even feel like they can help their loved ones better. 

Get in Touch With Our Talented Team to Learn More About SEO for Trauma Therapists!

As trauma therapists or any mental health professional, we can make a huge impact on how people live. We can help people find freedom and feel heard maybe for the first time in their lives. If you’re uncertain how to begin communicating to people dealing with trauma that you get it, SEO is a great option. People are looking for help and they don’t know where to begin. That is where your marketing strategy of person-centered service pages and blogs will be a fantastic first step for them. Just as with SEO, asking for help takes times when you’re stuck in trauma. Many times, clients make visit your site a few times before deciding to reach out for help, so be patient with the process and know that it is working and you’re making an impact.

If you could use some support, then reach out to us for help. Our skilled and passionate team of SEO specialists who are mental health nerd sat Simplified SEO Consulting would be excited to help you on your SEO journey. To get started with our service follow these simple steps: 

  1. Schedule a consult with our Client Success Specialist 
  2. Learn more about our talented team of SEO Specialists. 
  3. Begin putting your unique voice out there and continue making the impact you desire on those around you.

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 packagesonline courses, and SEO training opportunities. Our most popular course includes our “Top of Google” Online course, and we have 12 weeks (about 3 months) 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: As SEO specialist at Simplified, Jasmine is a seo services consultant and helps new clients become oriented to our services. If you ready to begin seo service for therapists or seo for trauma therapists, then get in touch and schedule your free consultation today!

Jasmine, an SEO Specialist, and Client Success Specialists at Simplified SEO Consulting. You may be wondering where to start with your SEO for private practice or group practices. You have come to the right place. 

Jasmine Jaquess is currently working towards her Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Northwestern University and is currently beginning per practicum work soon. Currently, she serves as the Client Success Specialist in new client consults with Simplified SEO Consulting and is a Mental Health SEO Specialist. She specializes in platforms such as Squarespace and Wix but has learned to love WordPress sites as well. Her favorite part of the job is writing copy for clients and helping them find their voice to communicate with clients how they can best serve them. 

The future of our world looks queerer than ever folks! It is estimated that roughly 1 in 6 individuals in Gen Z identify as LGBTQ+ and roughly 9% of Millennials identify as a part of the community. And we know Gen Z and Millennials are the most tech-savvy generations. So it makes sense that as these generations begin to seek healing through therapy, they will search for clinicians who not only respect their identities but celebrate them.

With that being said, this Pride month let’s consider how we can create more inclusive spaces for LGBTQ+ folks. And not just physical spaces, but online spaces, too! Here at Simplified SEO Consulting, we work with private practice therapists and other helpers across the nation. More specifically, our SEO Specialists help them strategize their marketing through the use of search engine optimization on websites.

Inclusivity and SEO

Image of the LGBTQ+ pride flag. This flag represents how an SEO specialist for therapists can help get a website to be more inclusive.One of our focuses in SEO work is getting more organic search traffic to websites. For today’s purposes, we won’t dive into how we do our SEO magic of getting web surfers to a specific website or page. Instead, we’ll talk about how to make websites more inclusive to the LGBTQ+ community.

Making this a part of your SEO strategy will better the user experience of your site overall and encourage users to spend more time on your site. This is true for LGBTQ+ website users as well as people who do not identify as LGBTQ+. Prioritizing inclusivity communicates to family and friends of LGBTQ+ people and allies that you accept them as well. Plus, it’s likely that many of your website users are questioning aspects of their identities. This could even be one of their current struggles causing them to be interested in therapy. So, we want to make those folks feel welcome too. And making your website inclusive to LGBTQ+ folks addressed all of these potential website users.

Why is LGBTQ+ inclusive website content important?

Making your website more inclusive to the LGBTQ+ community will set you apart from your competition. You will not only be seen as an ally to the community, but also as a quality therapist who considers and celebrates different identities and their intersections. Another thing to consider is potential employees. These folks will look at your site before applying, and if they don’t see themselves or their ideal clients reflected on your site, it’s likely they will rule you out as an employer.

The reasons for making your private practice website more LGBTQ+ inclusive are endless. In this blog, we’ll dive into tangible ways to make this a reality.

Language

A huge way to make your site more inclusive to LGBTQ+ folks is to start with your copy. Avoid using gendered language and pronouns. Wherever possible, use terms like “partner,” “spouse,” and they/them pronouns.

Contact Forms

A commonly overlooked space where we can increase inclusivity is contact forms. On some websites, a website user is asked their gender on a form for an initial appointment or consultation. Is this really important information to know? Perhaps. But if you are committed to providing LGBTQ+ inclusive services, removing a gender or sex question on a contact form can make all the difference for your clients.

If your practice requires knowing a potential client’s gender before speaking with them, do not simply give “male” and “female” as answers. Change the option to be a text box! This allows clients to self-identify. And this can be incredibly empowering for a client exploring their gender identity.

Pain Points

On each service page, we recommend including “pain points.” These are examples of what is bringing your ideal client to therapy. And this is a great place to include inclusive language! Dependent on the topic of a service page, you can almost always tie in the experience of LGBTQ+ folks. Below are some examples.

  • Anxiety treatment page – “Perhaps you feel your anxiety peak when you think about your sexual orientation or gender identity. These feelings make sense, as exploring parts of yourself can evoke feelings of uncertainty and change.”
  • Depression treatment page – “Going through times of change can create feelings of loss and sadness. Maybe you’ve recently discovered a new aspect of yourself, such as a change in sexual orientation or gender identity. While these life changes can be exciting and new, they can also be scary and be cause for grief.”
  • Trauma therapy page – “Trauma includes wide and varied troubling experiences. For some, this may look like being discriminated against due to race or body size. For those in the LGBTQ+ community, experiencing homophobia or being cut off from loved ones can be an immense source of pain and can, in fact, be traumatic.”

Photos

An image of a couple with one person kissing another on the cheek. This image represents how an SEO services consultant can help a private practice therapist make their website more inclusive.When choosing photos for your site, consider mixing them up! Think about your ideal clients. What would they look like in images?

If you’re choosing an image of a person by themselves, look for photos with diversity. This includes race, body size, age, and ability. Additionally, you can opt for images of folks whose gender is uncertain to be inclusive of non-binary, gender fluid, or agender folks.

If you are selecting images of couples or groups of people, try to make sure that there is some diversity between images on one page. Maybe you have one or two photos of opposite-sex couples and one or two with same-sex couples. And within these images, try to look for models that are diverse. We don’t want to see multiple photos of gay, skinny, white couples, but of more realistic couples. Maybe one partner is a person of color, and one is white. Or maybe one partner has a larger body than the other. Or maybe both partners are not white skinny people. Even better!

Considering different identities when selecting images shows website viewers that you really care. It looks to them like you put in the effort to think of and include them on your website. And that’s because you did! This is an area in which if you put in the effort, it will be clear for website users to pick up on. They’ll see you as a more inclusive therapist and therefore, a more appealing therapist for their needs.

Looking for a Training Opportunity?

Image of a person holding up a sign reading "protect trans lives." This image illustrates how trans letter writing can help therapists provide inclusive services to trans people. An SEO services consultant can share more!One way you can support the LGBTQ+ community this Pride month is to get certified in trans+ letter writing for clients seeking gender-affirming services. This training provided by Van Levy will give you the education and tools to work with trans, non-binary, and gender-nonconforming folks in a trauma-informed way. Additionally, by receiving this training, you will be able to write letters for clients seeking surgery, hormones, a name change, or gender marker change. If you are looking for an opportunity to grow as a clinician and provide a much-needed service to LGBTQ+ folks, I highly recommend checking this out!

Need Some Website Help?

While our SEO consulting company focuses on helping private practice therapists get to the top of Google, we also want to help make your user experience optimal. If you’d like to get ranking on Google and get some tips about making your website more inclusive, connect with us!

  1. Schedule a free 30-minute consultation call.
  2. Talk with one of our skilled SEO specialists about our programs and services.
  3. Create a website you’re proud of and get ranking on Google!

Services at Simplified SEO Consulting

Our SEO specialists have extensive knowledge about how to better your website. While we do not focus on website design, we do focus on helping you get to the top of Google. Many of our private practice therapists opt for our Done For You services in which a specialist takes care of most of the work for you. But if you are interested in learning SEO yourself, you should check out our DIY Online Courses and Done With You training.

About the Author

Olivia Bahr is an SEO specialist and content writer here at Simplified SEO Consulting. Olivia identifies as a part of the LGBTQ+ community herself and prides herself on helping therapists consider website users’ intersectional identities regarding website content.

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.