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.

 

 

For some people, writing blogs is the last thing they want to do. You have already graduated from a master’s or Ph.D. program and you’re doing additional training to specialize. Blogging couldn’t be further from your mind as you build out your website. However, it is a significant next step in our process to get you ranking well with Google. Blogging gives voice to your therapy approach, your ideal clients, and how you can help.  

Sometimes people wonder whether video blogging has the same effect on SEO as writing blogs. At times, it can be more helpful to speak what you mean to say than write. So, let’s explore where video blogging can be helpful and how to go about doing it if you want to add it as an additional SEO strategy. 

What is a Video Blog?

Asian women doing tutorial on youtube. These individuals understand video and SEO which is how this person found their video. Youtube SEO can be a big boost for therapists looking to write blogs and vlog. Learn more about video seo from our seo specialists today!

Video blogging is essentially the same as writing a blog on Google. You’re trying to convey information and get a point across. Rather than writing the blog in 750-2000 words, you’re speaking for an allotted amount of time on a topic.

What Do Video and SEO Look Like? 

With Google’s search engine and blogging, we optimize for meta descriptions, alt text, readability, internal and external links, keywords, and subheadings. Google is the number one search engine, with YouTube being the second biggest search engine. YouTube and Google are connected. Therefore, if you want to optimize videos, you’re going to have better luck with video SEO using YouTube than you would with Vimeo or another hosting site.

Components for YouTube SEO that the Youtube Search Engine is Looking for. 

YouTube SEO Clicks 

YouTube cares to know that people are clicking on your video. It is not enough to post relevant information; Google wants to know that people care about what is enough to click.  

People are Engaging with Your Content. 

YouTube takes note that people are not only clicking and watching your content, but it cares to know that people are commenting, asking questions, liking, subscribing, and sharing your content. Additionally, this means that not only are people engaged, but you continue to put out content that provides continuous value. For example, if you’re doing a self-care series, you may allude to catching parts two and three for more information. This strategy further draws people to your site and increases video and SEO.

You’re Embedding You Videos into Your Website 

This is where choosing a YouTube platform over Vimeo is better for your video SEO. Being able to provide another platform to host your video, affects your rankings. This is another stream of people coming to your website and, you can then index your video on your website, and show up more often for those looking for similar content on the Google search engine side.

Watch Time for Videos Increases 

 YouTube checks to see how much time people spend watching your content. Therefore, if you don’t go into your videos with a clear plan and outline for your message, it is likely to reduce your watch time. Therefore, you may want to mix up how you do videos because static videos are not interesting to viewers.  

Using keywords in Your Video 

For you to show up in the right searches, YouTube, will take note of video tags, focus keywords, video descriptions, and titles.  Therefore, just with blog posts and service pages, keyword research is a must.

 

Youtube analytics close up. Keeping track of your data in the Youtube study to help you find SEO keywords. Video and SEO works similar to blogging. In order to rank well on youtube, you need to lear youtube seo. Learn more about video seo today!

Here is how you can get ranking for Video and SEO today!

 Do appropriate Keyword research. 

Always do keyword research first and make sure to rank for some harder tags and easier tags. If you’re ranking only with the most popular video tags, you’re less likely to show up because your views and clicks will be much lower. You can use Tube Buddy to figure out what tags and keywords make sense to rank your video for. Also, use your YouTube studio to look up tags and keywords that people are finding you for. You may show up for a keyword you are not aware of. By optimizing for it, you can gain more traffic. This will guide your planning and help your message to be clearer.  Additionally,  focusing on your niche helps Google see you as an expert, more likely to show up for keywords. 

Place keywords appropriately 

Make sure you have keywords in your tags, titles, video descriptions, and throughout your video. We recommend saying some of the keywords in your video. Just like Google reads every part of your website, it too watches and listens to every part of your video. Optimize your video description (make a description at least 100 words, include the target keyword in the first 2 to 3 sentences, promote the video on social media).

Use appropriate video tags.  

Rank in suggested videos ( in order to rank focus on recent video you watch and current video). Plus make sure to use a few tags in popular videos.

Upload consistently 

The more often you upload to YouTube, the more often you will rank on YouTube SEO. However, if you’re looking to develop consistency make sure you’re specific in your focus. If you plan to focus on depression, anxiety, mental health, trauma, or something like this, don’t then add videos also on food or lifestyle content. You will essentially be watering down your tags making it difficult for Youtube to know what to do.

Engagement is huge for staying relevant. 

This is like how we focus on your service pages for website optimization and then encourage you to write up cornerstones on your focus niches. 

YouTube SEO FAQ’s 

Are there are downsides for SEO and Video? 

Simplifies SEO Consulting Advice on how to use blogs and vlogs for SEO. 

Video Blogging Pros and Cons 

Pros 
  • User friendly for beginners 
  •  YouTube picks up content faster than Google. 
Cons 

What if I’d Rather Vlog than Blog for SEO?

Woman in pink on laptop smiling. If you're wondering how video can improve your SEO strategy, you've come to the right place. Video and Seo can give you an additonal stream of people to your website with the right therapy keywords. Learn more about Youtube SEO today!

If you take nothing else from this blog, take this, while video blogging is a great visual aspect to add to your site and can enhance your SEO strategy, it Is not a substitute for writing high-quality blogs and having them optimized. With the way, Google’s search engine is built, writing quality content continues to be a higher priority for Google than video blogging. Videos can add a better visual component to your site and better accessibility for sound and closed captioning, but from the standpoint of how we optimize your site, it is not a complete substitute for blogging. So, if you have considered writing and video blogging together, this could be a great approach to boost your SEO even more. People are more likely to link to you and as mentioned above there are several ways we can add in keywords and optimize for your focus. Don’t let this deter you from using a high-quality video with your blog, but at the end of the day, Google prefers written content over videos.  So we would recommend a hybrid of the two.

Ready to Begin Your SEO Journey? 

What other questions come up for you when you consider whether blogging makes sense for your SEO strategy?  Reach out to the Simplified Team if you have further questions on how we can help you. Blogging is a big component of our strategy, but to those who want to add a video strategy, we are happy to guide you with more information. If you’re looking for someone to guide you in that process, get in touch with Simplified SEO Consulting. You will work with skilled mental health SEO specialists who are passionate about the field. To get started follow these simple steps:  

Other Services offered by Simplified SEO Consulting  

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

About the Author: 

 Jasmine, an SEO Specialist, and Client Success Specialists at Simplified SEO Consulting. You may be wondering where to start with your SEO journey. You’ve come to the right place. Learn how cornerstone content can help.  

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

Here is what you can look forward to with this blog:Woman typing on computer typing her cornerstone blog post. We get you're busy, but part of being a business owner is providing value to clients. Learn about how blogging for SEO with cornerstone content can help you make a good first impression.

Table of Contents:
What cornerstone content is not?
What is a Cornerstone Blog?
Why should I write cornerstone content?
What goes into writing cornerstone content?
What topics should I write about?
Will the client read a 2000 word blog post?
What If I Can’t Write 2000 Word Blog Posts?
Brief tips for long term maintenance

 

SOOO…You’ve probably had a planning call or are about to where your specialist has said, “Well since we are done with service pages, it’s time to move onto blogs”. Which may be exciting or evoke a feeling of dread. We know you’re busy people taking care of your business and your clients. The thought of writing three two thousand word cornerstone blogs can be stressful. Ok, pause, take a deep breath. I know this seems like a lot, and many of you may be wondering, how do I write it, what should I write it on, how can I write two thousand words, will clients read this, what is the point? And so on.  All the questions surface. I am here to help you make sense of this and to guide you in what cornerstone content can look like. So, let’s dive in.  

First things first, at Simplified we have specific plans for you. We know that writing blogs are very helpful in supporting SEO. We wouldn’t ask you to spend your time writing if it wasn’t going to help. This isn’t grad school, it’s your business. We value your time and efforts. So, know that we expect the freak out when we tell you to write this much, and we are happy to provide guidance.  

What Cornerstone Content is Not?

First things first. You have written beautiful service pages that speak to your brand, business, and your services. These are meant to be around 500 words minimum. A cornerstone is not space for you to rewrite a longer version of your service page. Now you can do this, but a blog is more of a passion piece to write why you love therapy, how you’re specializing, common issues people encounter, helpful coping strategies, and so much more. It’s a taste of what people can get in therapy and a resource for potential and current clients.  

What is a Cornerstone Blog?

A corner is a glimpse into who you’re in your practice. You will write pieces that are meant to resonate with the core of your client’s struggles. It is not mean to be reiterating service pages. Neither are you trying to write a very technical piece about your services. No, you are speaking as who you’re as a clinician, or about what your practice represents. Remember those bits of wisdom that your clients give you. We can all learn from them. Perhaps, you can write an open letter to people dealing with anxiety. Empathize with their experience and give them hope. May even write a less technical explanation on how EMDR can help. There is a world of possibilities.  Find your passion, a common thread, or write something new. Just listen and go deep.

Why Should I Write Cornerstone Content?

First, writing a cornerstone blog helps you build traffic and awareness of who you are as a clinician. You can only write so much on a service page, but you can expand when it comes to a blog. If there is a certain clientele you work with such as individuals dealing with trauma that shows up as anxiety, write a blog. There is no way you can truly encapsulate that you work with this population on a service page.  

You become the expert

Another reason is that it establishes you as an expert. Google knows that you’re an authority when you write a service page with 500 words of content. However, when you write a blog post and link it to the page, Google begins to set you up as an expert because you have even more content.  

Drives in traffic

It’s a great way to drive in traffic. What a well-written blog will do is help clients see a bit more into your therapeutic approach, your experience, and common issues people are dealing with that you can help with. By having 3 cornerstones front and center on the site, you’ll bring in more leads, which is the goal. Plus, by linking blogs to each other and service pages, you’re making your content more accessible. This reduces bounce rate and ensures that potentials are getting all the information that they need upfront before deciding to continue further or bounce off. Service pages are great, but they only provide a small picture of what you can do.  

Helps generate more blog ideas

Lastly, when struggling to write your posts, once you get started you may realize you have a lot more to say than you think. You could get to 2000 words and think I still have so much more to say, so this further allows you to generate ideas for shorter blogs, or it could be the beginning of a blog series 

Person writing down keywords for an SEO search. A good foundation matters when writing quality cornerstone content. Take some time to gather information and the begin writing you cornerstones blogs.

What Goes into Writing Cornerstone Content?

First, you will want to identify keywords you want to boost. Now you can do this on your own by looking at your data dashboard with Simplified or from any free tool like Google trends. Perhaps, you can even do a basic Google search on keywords you want to rank for and see where you land on the Google search engine. Then look at what people are searching for. Talk to friends, family, listen to what new clients are saying, and create a list. Per blog, you’ll have the main keyword like EMDR therapy. Then you may have tapping EMDR, anxiety, EMDR, and dealing with trauma. These can be subheadings, placed into alt text, or put throughout the copy. This can either be done by you or our specialists. The goal is to understand what your topic is and to make sure that the keywords make sense. Based on this choose the topic and begin writing. Break it down into subheadings, answer common questions, and so on. Here is an example of what cornerstone content can look like. After you’ve written the content it’s important to make sure it is well optimized and kept up to date, which I will get into.  

What Topics Should I Write About When Blogging for SEO?

Here is the thing, I can’t answer that definitively unless I’ve personally worked on your site. However, I can tell you some great examples. It’s always a good idea to write one on online therapy because you can boost harder to rank keywords such as therapy, therapist, online counseling, and so on. Plus, it helps with local SEO. You can write how-to guides, open letters, comprehensive guides to therapy, tips on how to cope with various issues, a client-friendly understanding of therapy approaches. You can write about timely pieces, or even make it more personal if it’s in line with your code of ethics. There is a world of possibilities, so don’t box yourself in.  

Honestly, Will Client’s Read a 2000 Word Blog Post?

No and Yes. Honestly, most clients will not spend 10 minutes reading a 2000-word blog post, but that is where SEO comes in. Some of you may not like subheadings, but they are so useful. Clients will scan your page and look for a section that speaks to them before deciding what to do next or bouncing off. Subheadings help from an accessibility standpoint to organize your message and help clients find what they need faster. Now there may be special clients who will take the time to read your blogs, but most will scan.  

If not, why write long cornerstone content?

That is where the SEO continues to be useful. Google reads everything because it is trying to understand your writing and looking for key phrases. When Google understands your message, it can help to align you with the correct traffic that may be looking for your page. So, Google will look for keywords, readability, internal and external links, alt text, and so on. That is what Google is for, to pair the reader with the right experience. So having these long in-depth blogs that have been well optimized helps Google bring you’re the right traffic, more accurately, and more consistently Words "you've got this" written on a side walk. Your time is valuable, we get this. However, blogging for SEO is such a powerful component to SEO. Learn about why cornerstone content is so crucial today!

What If I Can’t Write 2000 Word Blog Posts?

The two thousand words are ideal and a suggestion. Ultimately, you have the autonomy to do what you choose, but it will help. We recommend it, but for those really struggling consider writing a shorter 2- or 3-part blog series on the same topic. To be honest, sometimes when you just give it a chance, you’ll find you have more to say than you think. Plus, once you’ve written them, that’s one big task out of the way. Take a breath and see what you’ve accomplished. Additionally, while it’s easier said than done if you have a group practice, have your clinician’s written blogs, especially if they specialize in a particular service. Or look at old blog posts you can revamp.  

How does blogging support SEO for my website?

Well-written content that has been well optimized, helps Google draw in the right people. Cornerstones are often another first impression for the client to understand who you are. Remember that part of the client experience is first impressions. According to a study done by the Missouri University of Science and Technology, when viewing a website, it takes users less than two-tenths of a second for someone to formulate a first impression. So, we must be mindful of how quickly some can be interested versus disinterested in how we can help. So, by being clear in our message, taking time to show you understand what the client is dealing with and can help, having additional resources and a clear way to get started matters. Check out our blog on how holistic SEO is a great way to engage clients.  

Tips for maintaining SEO With Cornerstone Content.

Lastly, I want to make mention that it’s not enough to just write cornerstone content, but you need to make sure it stays relevant. So, if you write content and something changes in the therapy world, make sure you’re going back to this content and updating it occasionally. We want to ensure not only Google but clients that we are staying on top of new advances and we intend to assist clients in the best way possible.  

Ready to Begin Your SEO Journey to Writing Quality Cornerstone Content?

What other questions come up for you when you consider cornerstone content? Reach out to the Simplified Team if you have further questions on how we can help you. Cornerstones are the next step in our process to make sure your SEO maintains, and you continue to draw in your people. How you put yourself out on the internet professionally impacts your direct traffic. Write meaningful and useful blogs that provoke action, thought, and give resources to your current and potential clients. If you’re looking for someone to guide you in that process, get in touch with Simplified SEO Consulting. You will work with skilled mental health SEO specialists who are passionate about the field. To get started follow these simple steps: 

  1. Schedule a consultation with our Client Success Specialist 
  2. Learn about the Simplified Team! 
  3. Start working with the clients that you serve best. 

Other Services offered by Simplified SEO Consulting 

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

About the Author: Jasmine, an SEO Specialist and Client Success Specialists at Simplified SEO Consulting. You may be wondering where to start with your SEO journey. You've come to the right place. Learn how cornerstone content can help.

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

If you’ve seen any of our Facebook posts, read any of our blogs, or talked to any of our SEO specialists, you know that blogging is a thing. A very important thing. In SEO land, blogging is one of the most crucial things you can do to improve your SEO. In case you’re new around here, we’ll go over a few reasons why blogging is vital for building SEO for therapists.

1st reason why blogging is important for therapists: it’s helps us to stay relevant to Google.

Google has always valued content that is fresh and relevant. What’s more, Google has confirmed in the core update recently that it values fresh and relevant content. In Google’s eyes, this means that you’re staying “hip” with the times and know what you’re clients want to see more of. On top of that, Google associated this with your site prioritizing the user’s experience. Again, another one of Google’s priorities.  A way to satisfy this criterion is to blog consistently and regularly.  This shows Google, and your ideal client, that you know what’s up. And, that you’re dedicated to staying relevant.

2nd reason why blogging is important for therapists: it promotes longevity of SEO results

An individual uses their phone while on a laptop. They are working on blogging for SEO to boost SEO for therapists

When we optimize a site, we initially focus on building the services pages. Why? Because having solid and SEO-savvy service pages builds the foundation of your SEO. Having these service pages tells Google that you know a heck of a lot about depression, trauma therapy, EMDR, eating disorders, and CBT, for instance. Having at least 500 words on each page dedicated to that service tells Google that we’re an expert in that topic. Expertise= higher ranking on Google = more folks seeing your site! 

3rd reason why blogging is important for therapists: it establishes authority

This reason builds off the second reason. If our specialty is trauma treatment, we want to make it clear that we’re an expert in all things related to trauma treatment. So, we can write blogs about all of the topics related to the world of trauma. A few examples include a blog about:

  • different symptoms/experiences following a traumatic event,
  • different types of traumatic events,
  • the pros and cons of treatment modalities
  • navigating the anniversary of the trauma(s)
  • how to handle triggering situations

As we can see, these blogs all cover topics related to trauma that our clients are experiencing. And, as a result, our clients are likely searching for things related to these topics. SO we want to make sure that we’re providing those resources so we show up in their searches!

That was a quick and fun review, right?

A picture shows 5 thumbs up. They are feeling better after blogging for SEO to boost their SEO.

For those of you that know enough about SEO to be dangerous, that was likely a quick refresher for concepts that you were already familiar with. For those of you that are new around here, congratulations! You survived your first SEO crash course! And now, on to the purpose of the blog: blogging to improve your SEO. Moving forward, we’ll cover some important concepts to include when blogging to improve your SEO. This includes:

  1. Picking topics.
  2. Cornerstone blogs vs. normal blogs.
  3. Formalities, including length, frequency, and SEO components.
  4. Client conversion.

This blog is designed to cover the first few topics to implement when you begin to blog for SEO. I hope this is helpful, and I can’t wait to see how you implement this!

Topic 1 of blogging for SEO: Picking a topic.

A finger is shown. This demonstrates concepts of boosting SEO for therapists.

Often, this is where our clients struggle. For many clinicians, it can be difficult to know what to blog about. There’s already so much information out there. Won’t I just be adding to the noise that exists on the internet already? Sure, but we want to be contributing helpful noise. Perspective is everything. Think about what your ideal clients are currently navigating. And, what they would find helpful in a blog post. Is your ideal client struggling to sleep at night because anxiety is keeping them up? Or, is your ideal client really struggling with seasonal depression even during the times of the year “they’re not supposed to be”?

Consider the pain points that they are coming to you with.

Whether that’s navigating relationships and setting boundaries, or working through a traumatic past. Refer to your intake documentation. What reason did your client provide for seeking services? Notice any patterns or overarching themes that exist. Then, create blogs that aim to provide helpful information for those experiences. In addition to the intake documentation, think about what they’re saying to you in session. Or, what they’re asking you in session. Then, remember Jessica’s golden rule: if at least two clients ask the same question in the same week, it’s time to write a blog post about it.

Or, you can just your clients want they want to read more about.

Seriously, just ask them! There’s no harm in asking them what they would like to read about. Or, what they think would be helpful. A unique way I’ve heard this question asked is, “if you had to send your best friend a blog, what would you want that blog to be about?” Or, “if you could go back in time and give yourself a blog post to help you navigate what you were dealing with at the time, what would that blog post be about?” Of course, operating under the assumption that this topic is related to mental health services. There are a million different ways you can ask this question. The semantics aren’t as important as getting a helpful response!

Topic 2 of blogging for SEO: Cornerstone blogs vs. regular blogs.

Two fingers are shown. This reflects concepts of boosting SEO for therapists.

In SEO land, there are two types of blogs: cornerstone blogs and regular blogs. Regular blogs are blogs that you come across regularly. They’re typically between 200-1,500 words. Usually about one specific topic. If a site blogs regularly, they’ll likely have a lot of normal blogs. Think of these as the “standard” blog post. Cornerstone blogs are typically much longer usually around 2,000 words. Cornerstone blogs are blogs that cover the services that you want your practice to be known for. For example: a practice wants to be known for its approach to depression treatment. They create a cornerstone blog titled ‘A comprehensive guide to navigating depression.’ They write a 2,000-word blog including topics about common symptoms, triggers, the impact depression has on sleep, appetite, and energy levels, different treatment options, and coping skills, and common outcomes of depression treatment.

As we can see with this cornerstone blog post, many topics are covered. It’s designed to give the reader as much information about all things depression.

There’s also SEO benefit, too.

Is every person going to read the 2,000 words? No. But Google will. The more words on a page, the more Google thinks you’re an expert about a topic. On top of that, you can take this opportunity to cover other topics that are related to this topic and get ‘SEO credit’ for it. Let’s consider the previous example. If someone is experiencing depression and looking for a therapist, they could be searching a variety of topics. This includes the symptoms of depression, depression treatments, and ‘why am I tired all the time.’ Including these topics in our cornerstone blog post make it more likely that we show up for them as it pertains to depression.

Topic 3 of blogging for SEO: Formalities.

Three fingers are shown. This relates to concepts of blogging for SEO.

Length

Google wants to see at least 500 words of content on pages. However, that is the minimum. It’s a good practice to include more than 500 words on a blog post. As an SEO specialist, I aim for at least 750 words on any page that I’m optimizing. Again, because the more words the better. It’s great to have variety in length. For some blogs, it might make sense for them to be shorter or longer based on the topic. However, 500 is the minimum. I know it sounds like a lot. But, I’m sure some emails that we send are about that long. Challenge yourself. Try to get creative. You can do this!

Frequency

A great place to start is to blog twice a month. Preferably having the blogs post on the same days of the week (the second and fourth Wednesday of the month, for example). However, this isn’t a one-size-fits-all recommendation. There are many different factors that go into how frequently you should blog. One factor to consider is the competitiveness of your area and specialty. The more competitive your area or specialty, the more frequently you should blog. Another factor to consider is your goals for your practice. Are you brand new and trying to get your name out there? Are you a practice that’s trying to expand or fill a new clinician? Or, are you a practice that’s established but in “maintenance” mode? Depending on your goal determines if you should be blogging more or less than our typical recommendation.

We know that this can be confusing to determine, so our SEO specialists are happy to help you determine this. 

SEO Components

Yes, we’re writing blogs for our ideal clients. And, we’re writing blogs for Google. Like DBT tells us, two things can be true at the same time. It’s important to incorporate SEO components in our blog. This includes headings, internal and external links, alt text, and meta descriptions.

Headings

Headings are important for ADA compliance because they help the user to navigate the screen- this includes folks using or not using a screen reader. Google sees the words in headings as “more important” than the other words on your page. So, take advantage of it! Throw in some keywords and location indicators to show Google that these words are more important.

Internal and external links

Internal links help the user to navigate your site by taking them to other pages on your site. This promotes the likelihood that they will stay on your site longer and visit more pages (these are two things that Google LOVES). It’s also important to consider the words you use in the link, known as anchor text. External links are links that take the users away from your site. Typically, we provide external links to other credible sources. This shows Google that we can recognize reputable sites. As backward as it sounds, external links are important to SEO.

Alt text

Like headings, alt text is an ADA accommodation. Alt text is essentially an invisible caption that describes a photo. This is important for a screen reader, as it provides a description of the picture to the person using the screen reader. When using alt text, you can include keywords you want to rank for. Of course, it’s important to find a balance between describing the photo without keyword stuffing the alt text (this is a big no-no for Google).

Meta Description

A meta description can be very helpful for client conversion. This is the short paragraph that pops up on Google when someone searches your blog. A meta description provides a brief summary of that page. It’s important to use keywords and location indicators to get some SEO credit. And, to make it interesting so that you’re ideal client clicks on the page!

Topic 4 of blogging for SEO: Client conversion

Four fingers are shown. The demonstrates concepts of blogging for SEO.

Yes, blogging can help with client conversion. Your ideal clients have the opportunity get to know you as a helping professional by seeing the words that you put out there. This gives them a chance to get to know a little bit about your style, sense of humor, personality, framework, and mindset. And, hopefully, it’s a great match!

Aside from the content of the blog, we recommend that you add a Call to Action (CTA) section towards the bottom of the page.

We recommend prompting the client to start a service that’s relevant to the topic of the blog post. Take a blog about conflict resolution in a relationship, for example. The heading of our CTA section would be “Begin Marriage Counseling in (City, State).” We then would have a brief paragraph underneath with a summary of what was covered in the blog. And, prompting them to begin working with you.  We recommend having a numbered list of steps. Here’s what that would look like:

  1. Set a consultation with us to see if we’re a good fit (link to your appointment request page)
  2. Get to know our team of marriage counselors (link to team page)
  3. Start to navigate the conflicts that arise in your relationship with more intention.

This list can follow whatever your practice’s process looks like. However, all of these components are vital for client conversion.

I hope this was helpful!

Thanks for checking out this blog! At Simplified, we’re here to help with all of your SEO needs! We offer many different services to help you reach your SEO goals. We offer Done For You Services where do the optimization for your site. If you’re the hands-on type, we can teach you how to do the optimization in our 12-Week Intensive Program.  When you’re ready to begin services with us, follow these steps:

  1. Schedule a free 30-minute consultation with us. 
  2. Get to know our team of highly skilled SEO specialists.
  3. Blog, blog, blog!

About the Author

Alyssa has been a member of the Simplified family for the past few months. And, is now stepping into a role providing training and additional support for folks learning SEO. As a current graduate student in the Advanced Placement MSW Program at Mizzou, Alyssa loves the world of mental health and technology. In addition, Alyssa has a growing interest in using social media to grow a practicethe importance of live feed, and building backlinks. She wrote a two-part blog post series about the importance of blogging for SEO. This series addressed the importance of blogging and original content. In addition, she is co-hosting a blogging masterclass that will soon be available for purchase. Stick around for some more hands-on opportunities!

If you’ve read some of our other SEO blogs or followed us on Facebook you’ve probably heard us mention how important it is that you tell Google where you’re located. Google prioritizes ranking websites that provide accurate information. So, if your potential client is looking for a “therapist near me” then Google needs to know which therapists provide services where the client is located. Today, I want to explain some easy ways you can best optimize your website to tell Google exactly where you’re located. 

What Google Says About Location Indicators:

According to Google’s terms of service “Providing useful, meaningful experiences is at the core of what Google does, and location information plays an important role in doing just that. From driving directions to making sure your search results include things near you, to showing you when a restaurant is typically busy, location can make your experiences across Google more relevant and helpful. Location information also helps with some core product functionality, like providing a website in the right language or helping to keep Google’s services secure.” You can read Google’s full terms of service here. 

How To Tell Google Where You’re Located and Boost Your SEO

Add Your Physical Address To Your Footer

Black man works on his laptop at home optimizing his website and works with an SEO specialist for SEO training at Simplified SEO consultingThe first, and easiest way, you can tell Google where you’re located is by adding your address to the footer of your website. That way it’s visible on every page. The goal of doing this is to let Google know exactly where you’re located and what services you provide. Furthermore, it makes it easy for your ideal client to get in touch with you. It’s common for contact information to be at the footer so people are likely to scroll all the way down and see it. 

Add Location Indicators Throughout Your Pages

The next easy tip is, add location indicators throughout your pages. For example, say your practice is located in Kansas City, MO. You might say something along the lines of “come see us at our counseling office which is conveniently located near the plaza.” Or perhaps you’re in a college town like Lawrence, KS, you might say something along the lines “perhaps, you’re a student at The University of Kansas and you’re dealing with anxiety. Our counseling clinic sees many KU students and helps them cope with the symptoms of anxiety so they can get back to college life. Our office is conveniently located 10 minutes away from campus.” These are subtle ways to tell Google where you’re located and give them as much information as possible. 

Blog and Reference Specific Locations

If you’re really trying to drum up business from a certain area near your practice, or a suburb that’s close by, then consider writing a blog that directly mentions certain areas or places your ideal client would go. So if you’re a couples therapist, you might consider writing a blog that talks about unique date night ideas in your area. 

For a great example of blogging and referencing specific places or businesses in your area, check out this blog from Aspire Counseling located in Columbia, MO. It’s written by Jessica Tappana, Simplified SEO Consulting’s founder, so you know it will be chalked full of great SEO.  She references several local businesses and locations including internal links to really tell search engines her practice is relevant throughout the Mid Missouri area.

Create a Google My Business Listing and Optimize Your Profile

Next tip, create a Google My Business and optimize your profile. If you have a physical location you really need to take the time and create Google My Business listing. This will help your SEO by telling Google more about your business and where you’re located. Furthermore, creating and optimizing a Google My Business listing will help you get noticed on Google Maps and it will give you the option to later imbed a Google Map onto your website. 

Embed A Google Map On Your Website

Google Maps on a cell phone next to a cup of coffee at a cafe. Representing the importance of letting Google know where you're located when working on your SEO. Learn SEO from a seo specialist at Simplified SEO consultingGoogle Maps is a web mapping service that provides detailed geographical location information to consumers. Take a moment, open a browser on your phone or computer, and search for “ice cream near me.” See the listings. Those are Google Map Listings. 

Embed a Google Map onto your site, ideally on your location page. I will talk more about the importance of a location page in a minute. But, embedding a Google Map boosts your SEO because Google prioritizes ranking credible websites that provide the most information to their consumers. So they are likely to rank you higher for adding a map to your site. To get a Google Map, you’ll first need to create a Google My Business listing. 

Create A Location Page for Your Private Practice

Another really great way to tell Google where you’re located is to create a location or our office page. On this page, I recommend you do a few things. Provide driving directions including local landmarks and street names in your area. Consider adding photos of your office and include location indicators in your alt text and photo titles. Lastly, embed a Google map. 

Here’s a great example of a location page from Jessica Tappana’s private practice; Aspire Counseling. Take note of the location indicators she uses there as well as the Google Map that’s embedded. 

Get Local Backlinks

Who are natural referrals sources for you in your local community? Do any of those have a resources type page on their website? Or perhaps a blog that you could write a guest blog post? Getting a backlink from local businesses in related sectors could help indicate to Google that you are relevant in similar ways those businesses are relevant.  And backlinks are a great SEO strategy overall.  One of Jessica’s personal favorite backlinks is from a local paleo meal prep business. Back to Basic (the meal prep business) clients are often interested in their overall health and can be a great fit for referrals to mental health services. It’s also a pricier service that she’s offering which is a good fit since Jessica’s practice is private pay.  Best of all, she’s local. In fact, they were just across the street from one another when she first added me to her list of references.  So, think outside the box about how you can partner with local businesses to feature one another. 🙂

How You Can Boost Your SEO and Rank Well Without a Physical Address

For those of you who are reading this and feeling anxious because you don’t have a physical location, I want to reassure you that ranking well on Google is absolutely doable. You just have to aggressively target locations and make it clear to Google where you offer online therapy. Here are a few of our older blogs that discuss this in detail.

Work With Simplified SEO Consulting and Get To The Top of Google

Asian woman works on her SEO and adds location indicators to her private practice website. She gets SEO help from an SEO consultant at Simplified SEO ConsultingOur goal is to help clients get to the top of google and attract their ideal clients in their area. If you’re interested in optimizing your private practice website, we would love to speak with you and tell you more about your services. To begin SEO services, follow these steps:

  1. Make an appointment for a free 30-minute consultation with a member of the Simplified SEO Consulting team
  2. Learn more about our SEO packages and training opportunities
  3. Start optimizing your webpage and watch your site rank better on Google!

Other Services offered by Simplified SEO Consulting

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

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

About the Author:

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

I want you to think about your favorite artist. Maybe this is an actor, a comedian, or someone you follow on a social media platform. Essentially, think of someone whose media you consume. Today, these artists are often referred to as “influencers.” We naturally gravitate toward media content we personally connect with. This connection can be founded on a shared lifestyle, a common struggle, or simply humor. Further, peoples’ connection to media and the “influencers” who produce it can become a part of their daily lives.

You probably are asking yourself what all this has to do with blogging. So, I want you to take a second to think of yourself, a mental health professional, as an influencer. While you may not naturally identify with this term, the truth is, you are an expert in your field! You have extensive education and training. That means you have a ton of amazing thoughts and ideas to share with the world. And, how do we connect with the world today? The internet.

What’s the point of blogging?

Simple answer: connection.

Blogging allows you connect with your clients outside of counseling sessions. Furthermore, you can connect with people from all over the globe! You have the opportunity to share your education, your experience, and your ideas with people who are searching. All you’ve got to do is put pen to paper! (Well, more like fingers to keypad… but you get it.)

With all this being said, it’s important to know how to effectively use blogging to connect with your website viewers. At Simplified, we see private practice owners make a lot of the same mistakes when it comes to blogging. Today, I’ll walk you through what those mistakes are and how to ensure you don’t make them.

Not Blogging

Now, imagine that your favorite content creator never put out new media. No new movies, no new comedy specials on Netflix, and no more cute dog photos. What?! Most likely, you’d feel disconnected from your favorite influencer and a little disappointed. On the other hand, imagine that they put out new content twice a month. Or, even more frequently than that. Whoa! I assume you’d check their website or social media platforms pretty regularly. And, most importantly, you’d feel pretty connected to that creator.

Image of a woman sitting on her bed with a book, tablet, and laptop out. She is reading her therapists blog. Her therapist worked on their private practice SEO using blogging techniques.

Similarly, when you do not blog, your clients miss out on additional connection with you. As mental health professionals, we understand the importance of connection. Maybe they’re having a hard day and don’t have a session scheduled for awhile. They could be comforted by reading something from their therapist in the meantime. When you don’t blog, your clients don’t even have the opportunity to learn from you. Yes, clients should not be relying on blogs for mental health support instead of their scheduled sessions. But, wouldn’t it be something if your words connected with them on a day when they really needed it?

Blogging for SEO

On a different note, blogging is an essential part of a quality long-term SEO strategy. Creating and publishing fresh, original content tells Google that you are active on your website. Being active on your site makes Google happy! It wants to show searchers the most relevant information out there. Further, when you publish blogs on a particular topic, Google takes that as a sign that you are an expert on it. (Which we know that you are!) Consistently blogging helps you interact with Google in positive ways, thus improving your SEO. Furthermore, regularly blogging helps you connect with your current clients. And, it shows potential clients that you care about creating connection.

There are many reasons to blog. Here at Simplified SEO Consulting, we believe it to be an essential part of private practice owners’ SEO strategy. Now that we’ve covered the importance of blogging, let’s dive into blog content and mistakes to avoid.

Overthinking Blog Posts

Keep blog content helpful, relatable, and relevant.

Let’s go back to the “therapist as an influencer” idea. Typically, the media we choose to consume is helpful, relatable, and relevant. So, why shouldn’t blogs be this way, too? Whether someone is specifically searching for your blog, or they stumble upon it, they don’t want to read a graduate school essay. Even though your master’s program instructors programmed high quality, technical writing into your DNA during grad school, your clients don’t want it. And, neither does Google. In fact, Google likes simple writing, around the level of a fifth grader’s.

I commonly hear from private practice owners “what am I supposed to write about?” My answer to that is: anything! Obviously, it is important that your content is relevant to mental health, counseling, etc. Bottom line, your clients want to connect with you.

So, since Google wants simple writing and you want to connect with your clients, make it easy on yourself by writing for fun. Did she just say, “writing for fun”?! Yes, yes, I did. I encourage private practice owners to think of blogging as a time for reflection.

Blogging Content Ideas

Image of a team of private practice therapists meeting to discuss SEO for online therapy. Working on SEO for a private practice website can increase rankings.

What is going on in the world right now that connects to the population you serve? Listen to the common themes your clients are sharing. How are current events impacting their mental health right now? Or, how could something happening in the world impact their mental health in the short-term or long-term?

Did you read a new book that could be helpful to your clients? Here’s an idea: write a review of the book and call it a “blog.”

Our founder, Jessica Tappana, always brings up “if you had a conversation about the same issue with three different clients in the same week, it’s time to blog about it!” Sometimes, as mental health professionals, we notice trends among our clients’ experiences. If you’re picking up on a trend, it’s worth blogging about and connecting with your clients. And, once you’ve written an excellent blog, you can send it to your future clients who are struggling with the same issues you are writing about today.

Your clients want to hear from you. So does Google. Consistently blogging can help you positively impact your long-term SEO by proving to Google’s bots that you care about regularly providing your site visitors with high-quality content.

Prioritize Quality over Quantity

In terms of blogging strategy, it must be emphasized that best practice is quality over quantity. Unfortunately, we see many private practice owners do the opposite, and prioritize quantity over quality.

Think about if you went to another private practice owner’s site. You scroll to the blog tab. Once you get there, you see twenty blogs posted over the past six months. You see one you’re interested in, but when you click on it, there are only two paragraphs of text. Hmm… as a site visitor, you probably lose trust in the website. And, maybe even the practice owner who posted the blog. This content wasn’t helpful, relatable, or relevant. Maybe it was actually frustrating to view. You got excited to read something interesting, and felt let down when there wasn’t much information there. (Gen Z refers to this as “click bait.” Try using that term with your teen clients and see what they think!) It’s pretty clear that the blog was posted for SEO purposes only.

Let’s not give your website visitors the same experience. Give them content that is impactful and applicable to their lives. Likewise, blogging for quantity of blogs versus quality negatively impacts Google’s view of your site, too. Google’s bots are pretty dang smart. They know that blogging is intended for creating robust, informative material, not bits and pieces to feign expertise. It’s important to build that trust and connection not only with your clients, but also with Google.

Content Promotion

The next mistake we often see is practice owners not promoting their blog content. Wouldn’t you want to know if Netflix put out a show with your favorite comedian? Of course! So, your clients should know when there is fresh content on your site. There are a few ways to promote your blogs:

  • Create an email list so all of your clients are notified when a blog has been published
  • Post a link on your practice’s Facebook for each new blog
  • Share your blog on your personal Facebook account so friends and family can read and share

There are so many people out there who want to read your content. You just have to give them the chance! And, promoting your blogs can get more hits to your site. This helps new visitors view your blog, then maybe they’ll move over to your services tab. At this point, blogging, in a sense, is a form of marketing.

Keywords in the Titles

If you’ve been with Simplified for a while now, or even if you just started with us, you know that we are all about the keywords. Tracking keywords for your website is one of the most important pieces of SEO strategy. Especially important is ensuring you implement those keywords throughout your website to increase SEO rankings.

Image of two hands typing a blog on a keyboard. We see common blogging mistakes among private practice owners. We help boost SEO for mental health professionals.

Keep in mind that when blogging, the priority is to create helpful, relatable, and relevant content. However, it is important that you use keywords in the headings and copy of your blogs. Google places more weight on words in the headings and subheadings of copy. So, make sure you strategically place keywords in the headings. Not only will this help you get more SEO juice for the blog post, but it will help your readers.

Remember, we are writing content that is easy to read and informative. A huge piece of easy reading is skimming. Yes, some people will read your blog in its entirety. But, most likely readers will skim using the headings and subheadings. This helps them identify the parts of the copy that are applicable to them and worth reading.

The reward for using keywords in headings is twofold. Your site gets an SEO boost by ranking well on Google, and your readers have a more pleasant experience. In an earlier blog, Jessica discusses more about keywords and their strategic placement.

Videos in Blogs

We have seen many private practice owners use videos as a part of their blogs. This is great SEO strategy! A great thing about using videos as part of blogging is the increased accessibility for site visitors. On the other hand, when using videos as part of blogging, it is imperative that there be a video transcript or closed captioning available. Likewise, if you are including video in your blog, you must include a body of text. Your blog needs to have copy supporting the information in the video. Google loves videos, specifically YouTube videos. But, a video does not have the functionality of indicating keywords or phrases your site should be ranking for. So, you must pair videos on blogs with text.

Are You Ready to Get Your Site Ranking?

If you are looking to increase calls at your private practice, then it’s time to consider working with an SEO Specialist. Yes, we geek out over blogging. But, you haven’t even heard the rest of the geeky stuff we love! Follow the steps below to connect with an SEO Specialist at Simplified SEO Consulting and start ranking on Google:

  1. Schedule a 15-minute consultation call with to discuss your practice’s goals.
  2. Meet with an SEO Specialist and discuss package options.
  3. Begin optimizing your website and meeting with the clients you want!

Other Services at Simplified SEO Consulting

At Simplified, we are passionate about meeting your business’s needs in whatever way fits you best. If you’re looking to outsource SEO work while you run your practice, our Done For You services may be a nice fit. If you want to become an SEO master yourself, we suggest you check out our DIY Online SEO Courses. Or, the 12 Week SEO Intensive program, called the Done With You package, may fit you best. However you decide to take on Search Engine Optimization, our team of SEO Specialists is looking forward to geeking out with you.

middle age man at his computer looks frustrated writing content for SEO. He gets tips on readability and writing content for his private practice from SEO specialist at Simplified SEO Consulting

I hear it all the time, “I hate writing content for my webpage.” I get it, as therapists you talk all day long for a living. You’re great at helping your clients. You’re well educated. And to put it simply, you know your stuff. Sometimes, having academic and clinical knowledge of the topic you’re trying to write about for your webpage, be it in the form of a service page or a blog post is hard and this may make you feel frustrated. Therefore, you may divert back to using the same language, words, and phrases you used while writing papers in grad school or perhaps while writing your doctoral dissertation. 

That language was great and very appropriate in the world of academia, but let’s face it, it’s hard for anyone outside of the mental health world to understand. When you write like this, you may run the risk of losing your prospective client’s interest and ultimately their business. 

An Important Part of Readability is Using Approachable Language

I don’t want writing content to feel even more intimidating. Just think about writing in the same way you would talk to a client. Using a less academic tone and replacing it with one that’s more conversational allows your client to really feel heard and create a sense of safety and trust long before they even step foot in your private practice.

Say It With Me: Readability Matters!

I’ve talked to you before about readability, and how important it is. But, just for grins, let me hop back on my soapbox for a moment. Readability is crucial in getting client conversions and maximizing the return on investment you’re making in your SEO. After all, we want your potential clients to understand what they’re reading with, what we like to call a “2 am trauma brain.” This simply means, would your reader understand what you’re saying when they’re in crisis and looking for mental health support. Likely if they’re searching for “anxiety treatment” or “help for depression,” it means something is wrong and they’re struggling. At that moment, they don’t want to decode (and likely Google search) complicated clinical terms. Yes, this rule applies, even if they’re well-educated.

Another really important part of appealing to your prospective client is to use language and phrasing that speaks directly to them. We want them to see themselves on your page. This allows them to not only see that you understand and can empathize with their struggles, but that you also have helped people who are dealing with similar concerns. So often when a person struggles with a mental illness, they feel as if they’re being swept under the rug or are just another diagnosis. Although I am confident you don’t treat them that way, it’s important that you convey that to them through the writing on your webpage.  

SEO Readability Tips for Appealing to Your Ideal Client:

1. Speak simply and avoid unnecessary clinical terms 

mature woman writes in her notebook planning content for her service page and working on her SEO for private practice. She gets help from an SEO expert at Simplified SEO consultingThis is pretty important. Google prefers and ranks web pages better if they’re easy to read. So simple uncomplicated language is always better. My favorite example that I share with almost every single client I work with is: use the word ‘use’ instead of ‘utilize.’ The word utilize is a common example of a word that’s unnecessary and frequently used by almost every clinician. 

Another example is psychotherapy, it’s unlikely that your client would type that into Google when they’re having a full-on panic attack. They’re probably just going to use the word therapy or counseling.

2. Say “you, your family, or your child/teen” when talking about an issue.

Using words like “the client” or “an individual with ____ makes your page less personal. We want your ideal client to see themselves in your content.

Here’s an example: “When an individual struggles with anxiety they feel a variety of psychosomatic symptoms like racing heart, profuse sweating, nausea, trembling, etc.” This sentence could easily be simplified as personalized to read, “if you struggle with anxiety you may feel sometimes sweat for no reason, feel like your heart is beating out of your stomach, get nauseous, or tremble.”

Also, avoid over-usage of the word ‘we.’ For example, “when we experience trauma, it changes the way we view ourselves and our world.”  Instead, speak directly to your client and say something like “when you experience trauma it may change the way you see yourself and your world.”

3. Address your clients’ pain points.

If you’ve worked with any member of our Simplified SEO consulting staff you’ve heard us ask “what your ideal clients’ pain points?” During a planning meeting or an SEO training session. We ask this because it’s another way to address them directly and show your understanding of what they’re going through. 

Likewise, address their fears or uncertainty surrounding calling a mental health professional and asking for help. You know going to therapy for the first time is scary and makes them feel vulnerable, so empathize and reassure them that there’s nothing to fear.

Ready to Begin Optimizing Your Private Practice Website?

stylish woman in glasses holds a coffee and works on optimizing her private practice webpage. She gets SEO tips on readability from an SEO specialist at Simplified SEO ConsultingIf you’re ready to work with us and learn all our secrets, then please reach out and contact us, we’d love to talk your ear off and tell you all about the magical power of SEO. 

Follow these simple steps to begin optimizing your website, getting to the top of Google, and reaching your ideal client:

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

Other Services offered by Simplified SEO Consulting

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

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

About the Author:

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

 

Blogging. Round 2.

An animated picture reads, "blog." This relates to an upcoming blogging masterclass hosted by Simplified SEO Consulting.

Welcome back! This week, we’ll be discussing the second factor that is important for blogging. If you read the previous blog in this series, you know that blogging is important for SEO. In addition, you know that how often you blog depends on your goals. Understanding both of these components is imperative to ensure the best ROI. So, now that our bases are covered, on to the next piece of our blogging puzzle: content. In part 2 of this blog series, we’ll be looking a little bit closer at the role content plays in blogging for SEO. When focusing on content, there are two components to consider: how helpful and original the content is.

Helpful Content

The content in your blog is incredibly important. Thinking about what your ideal clients will read can help gauge what you incorporate in your blog. The more interesting your content is, the more likely readers will stick around. And, come back for more. In addition to a blog being interesting, your blog should be helpful for your ideal clients. Helpful as in offering some kind of resource to navigate issues or situations that many of your clients are currently navigating. For example, “8 tips to navigate anxiety to get through the rest of the semester” if you work with college students. If college students are your ideal clients, it’s easy to see that dealing with anxiety might be a common experience among your clients. So, this would likely be a blog that is helpful for them.

Why does this matter? Because reaching your ideal clients in as many different ways as possible is the best way to make sure that they “see” you. In addition, this is a good way to show your ideal client how valuable you are as a resource.  If they can see that you know your stuff and can help them out, they’re more likely to reach out to you for your services.

A picture shows an animated girl. This reflects concepts discussed in an upcoming blogging masterclass hosted by Simplified SEO Consulting.

Original Content

Content that is original is imperative for SEO. What does “original” content mean? In SEO land, “original” content is content that is not duplicate.  This means that this content is not on another site or even another page of your own site. So, this means that you can’t copy a great blog you read on Pinterest and post on our site. Essentially, this is like “cheating.” Except you’re probably going to get caught. Google will notice two pages with the same content and won’t know which is better to rank. So, it will likely hurt the rankings of both pages. Therefore, having duplicate content on your site will likely drop your rankings.

This is an important factor to keep in mind when someone outside of your practice is creating your blog content, because you want to make sure they aren’t giving you a blog post that’s been posted on another website somewhere else.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you can’t post multiple blogs about a similar topic. This also doesn’t mean that you can’t create a blog post series. However, this means that the content needs to be different from the other content on your site. .  . and other sites. Most of the time, Google catches this and essentially “flags” your website. Overall, this often means that your rankings can drop.  And, unfortunately, fewer people will see you.

Wrapping up Part 2 for Blogging

So, there you have it! A short and sweet explanation about the role that content plays in blogging. Overall, the content that’s included in your blog is extremely important for SEO. And, it’s extremely important to your ideal clients. Content that is relevant and helpful to your ideal clients is paramount when creating these blogs. In addition to helpful content, the content needs to be original. Having duplicate content can lead to a significant drop in rankings. So, this means that fewer people will see your site.

Because this was a quick overview, you probably have more questions. How do you know what topics are helpful to your clients? What can you do to make sure that your content isn’t duplicated? Is there some way to check what would make sense to write about? Is there an SEO company that’s hosting a masterclass about all things related to blogging?? Yes!

These Questions Can Be Answered In Our Upcoming Masterclass!

An animated photo shows a computer screen. This relates to concepts discussed in an upcoming blogging masterclass with Simplified SEO Consulting.

We’re excited to announce that we’re hosting a two-part masterclass on December 4th and December 11th! In this two-part masterclass series, we’ll discuss all things blogging and SEO. In addition, we’ll give you some practical tips to kickstart your blog. I will be the cohost, along with Jessica Tappana. Click here to register for our webinar. We look forward to seeing you there!

Other Services With Simplified SEO Consulting

At Simplified SEO Consulting, we’re pretty resourceful people. And,we can help you with all things SEO! We offer Done For You Services where do the optimization. Or, we can teach you how to do the optimization in our 12-Week Intensive Program. In addition, we offer a variety of helpful courses and ala carte services. When you’re ready to begin services with us, follow these steps:

  1. Schedule a free 30-minute consultation with us. 
  2. Get to know our team of highly skilled SEO specialists.
  3. Reach your SEO goals with blogging!

About the Author

seo consultant | simplified seo consulting

Alyssa has been a member of the Simplified family for the past few months and is now stepping into a role providing training and additional support for folks learning SEO. As a current graduate student in the Advanced Placement MSW Program at Mizzou, Alyssa loves the intersection of mental health and technology. In addition, Alyssa has a growing interest in using social media to grow a practice, the importance of live feed, and building backlinks. She wrote part 1 for this blogging series that covers more SEO blogging basics. Alyssa will be cohosting the blogging webinar and would love to see you there!

Which word should I use, and does it even matter?

This is a question that runs through my head on an almost daily basis. Searching for the best keywords for mental health practices can be challenging at first. When it comes to these three terms, I often find myself using them interchangeably. However, I know practitioners can have a preference over one or the other, and have a good reason behind it.

The super-short answer is, yes, it does indeed matter. However, understanding WHY choosing the right keyword matters is another important part of the process. Today, I’m going to be covering how to tell which specific word will give you the most bang for your SEO buck. So, let’s get into it!

SEO - Search Engine Optimization mind map, technology concept with marker representing how SEO can help mental health therapists

What Are People Searching For?

When it comes to what specific terms people search for on Google, we’ve found that it’s kind of all over the place. You could rank really well for a simple phrase like “couples counseling” in your city, but the same search for “couples therapy” could be getting zero results. This is because people of different regions, cities, or even counties will be searching for one of these words, but probably not both. While there can be some similarities in what people search based on geographic location, it can be hard to guess which word to go with.

Soda vs. Pop: Why one-word matters

I like to compare the difference in search patterns to the age-old question of “Do you call it soda, or pop?” While the two different terms generally refer to the same thing, some people in one part of the country might be more likely to use the word “soda” instead of “pop.” This also rings true for what I call The Big Three.

The three words that private practice owners use most often, and what the title of this blog happens to be, are “counseling”, “therapy” “, and “psychotherapy”. While it’s great to know that these are the three words people like to choose between, it’s also super important to know how to tell which word is being searched the most in your area.

Photo of a masculine hand touching a keyboard on a laptop and the word "Keywords." Represents how this article discusses how small business owners can optimize a website with a focus on keyword placement.

Should I center around counseling keywords, therapy keywords, or psychotherapy?

Since search trends are different for just about every city in the US, it can be worth it to use a keyword search tool. These allow you to type in the keyword of your choice and will give you the stats on how many people are searching for it. They can also show you how difficult it is to rank for the word, current trends, and other really helpful features! Some free ones are Google Trends, Ubersuggest, and Goole Search Console. However, if you’d like a paid service, I recommend something like KWFinder.com or SEMRush. There are numerous alternatives that have their own set of features, so it may take some time to find the one you like best.

But, no matter what tool you use, the most important thing is having the ability to hone in on the specific locations you’re wanting to rank for. By seeing how much search traffic the term is generating, you’ll be able to know which term is most popular in your area. With this info in mind, you can make better-informed decisions on what the best keywords are to focus on for your site.

So, keyword research tools will give me the best keywords for mental health

successful therapist and business owner with cup of coffee and computer writing notes at workplace with SEO icons

The super-short answer to this question is no, you are! While knowing which keywords are most searched for in your area is important, going with language that stays true to your desired brand is always a top priority. While something may look good when looking solely at the numbers, it may not go well with your brand, and we here at Simplified SEO Consulting get that. That’s why our team of SEO specialists always tries to keep clients informed on the decisions we make on websites.

Closing Thoughts

While understanding the best keywords for mental health services is important, knowing where these terms are most popular is the other half the battle. I could go on about the ways we like to do keyword research at Simplified, but that is another topic for another time. For this topic, know that choosing which keyword to use does matter in terms of SEO. However, it is up to you to decide what you think is best for you and your brand! Optimization can be tricky at times, but having a site you love is most important!

Begin Working With an SEO Specialist

I hope this was informative enough to get you started on some of your keyword research. But, if you don’t have the time or interest, our SEO specialists would love to take this off your plate. At Simplified SEO Consulting, we offer a variety of services to help boost your SEO. We offer Done For You services as well as a 12-week training option. If you’d like to learn more, schedule a free 30-minute consultation with us. 

Other Services offered by Simplified SEO Consulting

Simplified SEO Consulting is passionate about providing SEO services for helping professionals and private practice owners. Our comprehensive SEO services are included in our Done for You SEO Service packages.  We also offer alumni packages and al la carte SEO services. Our team provides several learning opportunities with our SEO training packages including our “Top of Google” online course and 12 weeks of online video training and SEO Strategy package if you’re interested in learning how to optimize your website on your own.

Contact Simplified SEO to ask further questions, or book a free SEO Consultation to decide which option is best for your business. We look forward to talking with you.

About The Author

Photo of man looking at camera | Mental Health SEO Specialist | Columbia, MO

Sterling Humburg-Cage is a member of the 2020 graduating class from the University of Missouri. He is intent on using his B.A. in Psychology to help provide the best results as an SEO specialist.

 

 

 

The Balance Between Quality Content and SEO Return

Picture of bubble charts with SEO in the center and hand writing. If you're wondering if Seo is the route for you, then check out simplified seo consulting blog post about seo and quality content. If you're looking for an SEO service we can work with you soon!

So you want to do SEO? Wonderful, but you’ve heard that it can take a while to see results. This may cause some uncertainty or confusion as you decide how to begin marketing your practice to build your business or gain more clients. If you’re looking to create a balance between SEO and quality content, you’ve come to the right place!

Whenever considering SEO, you have to find the balance between quality content and optimization. There are a few factors to consider as you begin your SEO journey. For example, the time commitment between optimizing and seeing the return of your content. Consider this if you’re just beginning a website or a practice. It may take longer to get you ranking for keywords than someone starting SEO from a preexisting established practice.

Another consideration is not everyone who begins SEO will have the same amount of return from Google. Some practices have to wait longer, whereas others rank better faster. This doesn’t mean you don’t provide value, it just means that it may take a month or two longer to see your own increase. No journey will be the same, but one thing is for certain, it is worth the investment once your site begins ranking well. So let’s take a look at some factors that can help you see a better return. And, what can cause your site to decrease in rankings. 

Quality Content Creation

animated content lettering with mega phone and people developing ideas. If your're out of ideas for marketing your business, no worries, at Simplified SEO Consulting we offer seo consulting services. We have help you write quality content or we do copywriting for therapists as an al la carte options or in the done for your services. Contact us today!

Creating quality content is the cornerstone of your website. You want beautiful informative content that speaks to your ideal client. But, you must also balance this with SEO as you begin to build out your pages and blog. A key factor in creating quality content that will help you rank better, is to make sure it is relevant. You may be thinking well that’s obvious?!

Well, it is and it isn’t. Let’s consider an example. People may want to add sections that have a bit of relevance to the material on the page, but it doesn’t entirely encompass the theme of the page. Some material that you may add to a page would serve better as its own service or blog post. For example, consider the example of anxiety vs. postpartum anxiety. Both of these include topics of anxiety, but they don’t look the same for treatment. If I were searching for postpartum anxiety, clicked on a page for “anxiety” because it had postpartum as a keyword, and then realized it was a generalized anxiety page, I would most likely skim the part I needed and then bounce off the page because I would assume your expertise was too general. Google would take note of this and potentially penalize you or deem you an irrelevant source. In order for quality content to be key, you must match the theme of the page.

If you want more of your SEO questions answered, Cory Moss, an SEO specialist wrote an awesome blog post about common SEO questions that can satiate your curiosity. 

Do the SEO keywords match the content?

Another factor that you will need to address is keywords. One thing we don’t do as SEO specialists is keyword stuff your photos or other elements of your site to get rankings. We consider this unethical. What we do want to do is add accessible and relevant keywords to your pages, so Google knows you are a credible expert. Just as the example above mentioned content, we would not add postpartum anxiety as a keyword on its own to an anxiety page. The only caveat would be if you added a small section in the content about postpartum anxiety and then linked to your actual service page which expanded on this topic. 

How much SEO value is too much for quality content?

hand drawn photo of seo optimization. If you want to increase your rankings with SEO optimzation, consider creating quality content. We offer copywriting for therapists. If you're wanting to begin search engine optimization for counselors. Contact Simplified SEO Consulting

Another key factor to consider is to add quality content that is at least 500-700 words, but no more than 3000 words. We want Google to register us as a relevant source so we will rank higher. The more you can add, the better. And the more you can optimize without overdoing it. But realize this is possible. A few suggestions to consider are adding credible links, the right keywords, not overstuffing, and be aware of how you optimize headings with size and keywords. Google will read these headings and decide these are relevant to a search or not. Remember to use only one H1 and try to use more H2’s for headings. 

More importantly, make sure you don’t over optimize your site, because it is possible. While we want to add all of the keywords, internal, external links, and alt text, but don’t go overboard. Google will penalize you and tank your rankings potentially. If you want to learn more about finding balance between optimization and quality content, check out this great article by Neil Patel.

Quality Content Growth Over Time

Ultimately, we want to make sure we are adding relevant and helpful material that can be optimized well. Know that this will boost your pages and get you ranking faster, but be patient. Some months will be higher than others. There are always ways to grow with your website. You can make slight tweaks to quality content and add new pages (which is what we always preach) to continue to help your pages thrive. Just know that as with any investment, growth takes time. Don’t worry if during the first month or two you’re unsure if you’re really getting your money’s worth. SEO is such a great way to be noticed and gain more clientele, but patience is key and eventually with time, you will reach your SEO goals. If after the 6 month time period is up with our services and you don’t want to focus on optimization, know we offer great alumni packages for lower prices that will help you with SEO maintenance. 

Final notes

SEO is an investment, but quality content that matches up with SEO rules can give you so much value and make you a contender for your services. Don’t be worried if some months have less growth than

Begin SEO Services at Simplified SEO Consulting

Whether you’re trying SEO on your own or using our Done for You services, we also offer packages for SEO alumni as you want to do maintenance for your site. If you have any questions or your question was not answered, reach out. Our passionate team of SEO experts would be happy to answer your question and talk about what services might work well for your business. Follow these three steps to begin ranking better on Google.

 

Other Services offered by Simplified SEO Consulting

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

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

About the Author:

Jasmine Jaquess is a Simplified SEO specialist based in Columbia, MO. She specializes in platforms such as Squarespace and Wix but has learned to love word press sites as well. She really enjoys hearing the client’s goals for their business and helping them achieve them.