Welcome to the future of SEO in 2024, where networks of content on a website all related to specific content showing expertise are poised to revolutionize the digital landscape for private practice owners. In this blog post, I’ll share my perspective as the owner of Simplified SEO Consulting and a group counseling practice, Aspire Counseling, on the tremendous potential of content networks for private practice owners and why I’ve personally adopted this strategy for my own business.
The Evolving SEO Landscape
SEO has come a long way over the years. It’s come a long way just in the last 7 years I’ve been doing SEO for my therapy practice and others. Since the 1990s, SEO strategy has evolved from simple keyword optimization to a complex, multifaceted approach that encompasses various factors like user experience, mobile-friendliness, and high-quality content. As the owner of a small SEO agency that focuses almost exclusively on supporting private practices (primarily mental health professionals but also some physicians, speech-language pathologists, and even a couple of personal injury attorneys), I try to stay at the forefront of all the latest changes in the SEO landscape. More specifically, I try to figure out how these latest trends translate and impact SEO specifically for private practices.
As we move forward into 2024, the SEO landscape is continually changing. Honestly, it’s always changing. But I feel like it’s been changing even faster than usual in the last year and a half as AI has become more widespread and private practice owners as a whole are getting more marketing savvy. These days, search engines are becoming smarter with more complex algorithms, more content than ever before is out there on the web, and user expectations are higher than ever.
Why SEO Matters for Private Practice Owners
I have never and will never say that you absolutely must have great SEO to have a successful private practice. Honestly, there are a lot of effective ways to market a counseling practice. However, I believe for many private practices a great website that shows up at the top of search engines can be a very effective marketing tool because it means you’re meeting potential clients right where they are right when they’re looking for your services.
A strong online presence can make the difference between struggling to find clients and thriving in a competitive market. As the owner of Aspire Counseling, I understand firsthand the significance of being discovered by potential clients searching for services like “counseling for teens in Tennessee”, “trauma therapy in Nebraska”, “Marriage counseling in Nevada” or even the more general “therapy in Vancouver.”
The Challenge of SEO
However, mastering SEO can be a formidable challenge, especially for those new to the digital marketing world. And for most of us, we simply didn’t learn this in graduate school. The rules of the game are constantly changing, and staying ahead of the curve requires a deep understanding of search engine algorithms, keyword research, on-page and off-page optimization, and much more.
The Power of Content Networks
When I first started working on SEO for therapists and counselors in private practice, I honestly could optimize 3-4 service pages on a website, even general pages like “depression counseling” and “anxiety treatment,” and that private practice would rank on the top page or two of search results within the first couple of months of my optimization. But SEO just doesn’t work that way anymore.
This is where the concept of content networks comes into play. In 2022, I started learning about how the idea of “pillar-based marketing” applies in the world of SEO. Then, my team and I spent the entire year of 2023 developing, testing, and then tweaking/fine-tuning how this could apply specifically to private practice websites.
The content network strategy we’ve produced involves choosing a specific topic, crafting and optimizing a comprehensive service page of 3,000+ words, creating three cornerstone blog posts of 2,000+ words each, and complementing them with 12 supporting blog posts. All have the specific elements of optimization we’ve found to be most important, an extremely specific linking strategy, and a publication schedule that turns our previous recommendations on their head.
But it works.
I won’t lie, our first couple of attempts at a content network were a little disappointing. They got minimal results. Our team felt discouraged. I thought about giving up and not continuing to try to do anything new. I thought that even though our traditional 6 months of optimizing a few pages at a time seemed to be getting slower results than it used to, maybe it was still the best way to go. But I’m glad we didn’t give up. I’m glad we kept researching, tweaking, and investing in figuring this out. Because the content network program we have now is getting results, unlike anything I’ve seen since I first started Simplified SEO Consulting years ago when we implemented it the way we now understand works best.
Why Content Networks Are the Future for Private Practice SEO
I firmly believe that content networks are the future of SEO, and this is why I’ve decided to implement this strategy for my own group therapy practice’s new location, which previously had no SEO presence. But why am I so enthusiastic about this approach, and why do I predict that most of our clients will follow suit within the next six months?
Google’s Trust Factor
Google values content networks because they showcase expertise and comprehensive coverage of a specific topic. When you create a content network around a particular subject, you signal to Google that you are an authority in that area. This builds trust, and Google is more likely to rank your content higher in search results.
When Google sees that you can write a variety of blog posts about a very specific topic, it realizes that you are a true expert. And Google wants to rank true experts. It wants to trust true experts. Furthermore, when that strategy involves consistently linking back to a specific page on your website, Google understands which page it is supposed to trust as the main authority on this topic.
For example, if I have a page on my website all about treating Narcissistic Personality Disorder in a competitive area, it might not show up as consistently as I’d like. But if I also have a series of blog posts answering every question a person might have about it, tips for people who are related or who interact with someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or even people who have had someone tell them they have this disorder…now Google starts to trust that YOU are the expert on this topic.
Adapting to the Age of AI
In 2024, AI-driven content generation has flooded the internet with a vast amount of new content. It’s easier than ever to produce content of some kind, and quickly. So, more content than ever is out there on the internet. Some of it is quality, and some of it is not. But there is a LOT of this content. And a lot of content on pretty much every subject under the sun. To make your website stand out, you need more content than ever before. It’s no longer enough to just have one really good service page about a topic on your website like it was back in 2018. Content networks are the answer. By creating a network of interconnected, high-quality content, you’re not just showing Google you’re relevant—you’re proving it.
Faster SEO Results
Traditionally, SEO has been considered a long-term strategy, but in 2018 when I started doing SEO for my friends I remember that I was so proud I could get some private practice websites ranking in as little as a month or two. Why? Because only a few private practice owners were using SEO. So, we weren’t in a competitive niche.
Now, it’s taking longer and longer. And it generally takes many months to rank well. For the last few years we’ve been asking new SEO clients to commit to at least 6 months of work with us because we’ve found that when clients invest at the level we recommend (and some people optimize fewer pages per month than we recommend), it still takes 6-12 months to get enough calls that they are really happy with the results.
However, the content network strategy is a game-changer. It’s, by far, the fastest SEO strategy in 2024. While it still requires time, the results are worth it. We’re generally finding that within about a month after we publish the content (so about 2-3 months after we start working together), the website is already ranking for a range of keywords! Then, it usually takes about a month after that for the private practice to start getting phone calls for that niche. So, much faster overall!
Adaptability and Versatility
Content networks are incredibly versatile. They can be tailored to any niche or industry, making them an ideal choice for private practice owners with specific expertise. Whether you’re a therapist, a physician, or a lawyer, a well-crafted content network can position you as a thought leader in your field.
We do find it works best when we choose a specific niche to start with, especially in a more crowded or competitive marketing. And then you can move to more general content networks (ex: “Counseling in ______”) after you’ve done a couple of other content networks and solidified trust with Google. But the idea of a content network can be applied to just about any service, niche, or population that you want to work with.
Think of a type of client you’d like more of. Our team can most likely help you develop a specific content network strategy that could help you reach more of those clients.
The Aspire Counseling Case Study
Let’s look at my own private pay, group psychotherapy practice, Aspire Counseling as a real-world example. We used the content network strategy to create two networks: one focused on “Counseling for teens in Missouri” and another on “Counseling near Blue Springs, MO.” Now, you might wonder why we chose such general topics as “counseling near Blue Springs, MO.” Typically, we wouldn’t recommend this approach to a new SEO client, but here’s the key:
Google already trusts my practice immensely.
As you know, I’ve been working on SEO for my private practice for years, just in the Mid-Missouri area a couple of hours away. But because we know Google already trusts us and ranks us for hundreds of keywords related to specific niches (mostly trauma-related but also related to anxiety, OCD, and DBT) in Central Missouri, we knew that we could go a little more general when trying to attract clients for the two therapists in my new location. We’re just trying to teach Google that we’re also relevant in this other part of the state essentially and get Google to extend its trust to that location. But know that the second location started with no SEO and we didn’t rank for anything there.
We certainly weren’t getting any calls for that location. But this approach to SEO worked. And it worked very quickly. The content network approach allowed us to quickly establish our online presence in a competitive market. Within about two months we had people landing on our website and we started getting 1 call a week. We then decided to temporarily add Google Adwords to get more traffic quickly, so now I can’t tell you for sure which clients are coming from which. But I can tell that we’re getting traffic from both and now (in late January) getting several calls per week for the new location (7 last week), so we’re hoping to discontinue Google Ads soon.
Demand Jump Upgrade for Your Private Practice Content Network
When creating a content network for a private practice, we prefer to use a tool called Demand Jump. However, due to the cost, we cannot use this tool without passing the cost onto you as the consumer so we offer it to you as an “upgrade,” but we highly recommend you use it and I have chosen to use it with Aspire Counseling for both of the content networks we’ve done for my practice. We so badly want you to use it (because it does help our staff get the best ROI for you) that we offer it to you at the exact cost we pay for a DemandJump license.
Demand Jump is a powerful platform that provides insights, suggestions, and competitive intelligence that can significantly improve the effectiveness of your content based on a very large amount of data it pulls from Google. But, while Demand Jump is a fantastic tool on its own, it becomes even more potent when coupled with our specialized knowledge and experience in the field of private practice SEO.
How Our Upgrade Works
Choosing our Demand Jump upgrade signals your commitment to elevating your content network strategy. We use Demand Jump at a couple of different points in the process of creating and implementing your Content Network. First, we use it during the content network planning process. We analyze your practice’s goals, target audience, and unique value. Using Demand Jump’s insights, we craft a tailored content plan.
Our content writers and SEO experts then take the reins, creating content briefs using Demand Jump’s insights. We enhance these briefs with our private practice SEO expertise. This ensures content resonates with your audience and conveys your practice’s uniqueness. With your content plan and briefs in hand, we set out to generate 15 interconnected, relevant pieces of content. These can take the form of blog posts, articles, guides, or other formats aligned with your strategy, all meticulously optimized.
Throughout this process, we maintain a collaborative approach, working closely with you to strike the perfect balance between Demand Jump’s suggestions, our proven content network strategy, and your practice’s distinct characteristics.
Pricing and Benefits
Our pricing is transparent and fair. We charge only the cost we pay for one Demand Jump license for this upgrade. Better yet, if you choose multiple content networks within a year, you won’t incur additional Demand Jump tool expenses. It’s a seamless way to harness Demand Jump’s power for ongoing content network success.
Content Networks: The Future of SEO for Private Practices in 2024
In conclusion, the future of SEO in 2024 is undoubtedly tied to content networks or pillar-based marketing. This strategy offers private practice owners an efficient and effective way to build authority, adapt to the age of AI, achieve faster SEO results, and showcase their expertise.
I firmly believe in the power of content networks, and I’ve seen it work not only for our clients but also for my private psychotherapy practice. As an agency, we’ve refined and tested our approach to create a strategy that delivers exceptional SEO results. It’s a testament to our commitment to staying at the forefront of SEO trends and providing the best possible solutions for private practice owners.
So, if you’re ready to take your online presence to the next level and position yourself as an authority in your field, consider implementing a content network strategy. It’s not just the future of SEO—it’s the present.
Move into the Future of SEO through Content Networks with Simplified SEO Consulting Today!
If you’re ready to elevate your online presence and establish yourself as an authority in your field, now is the time to implement a content network strategy. Simplified SEO Consulting has refined and tested our approach to deliver exceptional SEO results for private practice owners. If you have any questions or want to explore how Simplified SEO Consulting can help you implement a content network for your practice, the place to start is with a free Zoom consultation with a member of our team where we’ll discuss your practice, look at your website and discuss your SEO goals so we can give you our honest opinion about if our services are a fit for your business. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to enhance your SEO strategy and stand out in a competitive online landscape. Let’s work together to take your online visibility to the next level.
- Reach out for a free consultation.
- Meet with a member of our experienced SEO team.
- Get started on the path to SEO success!
Other Services Offered by Simplified SEO Consulting
In addition to our expertise in content networks and pillar-based marketing, Simplified SEO Consulting offers a range of other services to support your digital marketing needs. Our comprehensive services are designed to enhance your online presence and drive results. Simplified SEO offers an extensive 12-week training program, small-group SEO intensives, DIY online SEO courses, and a Done-for-You SEO Program. With Simplified SEO Consulting, you can trust that your digital marketing efforts are in capable hands. Contact us today to learn more about how we can elevate your online presence and drive results for your business.
About the Author
Jessica Tappana is the founder and CEO of Simplified SEO Consulting. Additionally, she is the owner and founder of Aspire Counseling, a private pay group psychotherapy practice in Missouri with two locations. It was through learning to optimize her website and market her practice that Jessica learned SEO and began receiving requests from friends to help them and founded Simplified SEO Consulting. But what has made Simplified SEO Consulting successful is that she has since then hired people much smarter than she is when it comes to technology. Because Jessica is, in fact, not great at all with technology.
She’s much better with strategy and research, figuring out how the “puzzle” of SEO fits together and then letting the people more naturally gifted in the more technical side of things on the team do the more detail-oriented technical parts of our work. But Jessica’s role on the team continues to be one of innovation, research, and of course, constantly bringing the perspective of a group practice owner to every single discussion we have.