Your practice is growing, and so are your responsibilities

An image of many pins in a board being connected by twine. Google My Business in counseling can feel difficult with multiple locations, but Simplified SEO Consulting can help. Learn more about improving SEO for therapists and more. Expanding the reach of your practice can be hard to accomplish, but very rewarding. Along the way, you may learn that managing more than one listing for your practice can be a difficult experience. Having more than one office location Google My Business listing can feel like a nightmare depending on the number of locations and listings you have. Managing multiple listings in an effective way often requires strategies for success that are different from managing a singular location. 

Many of the same principles that apply to managing a single Google My Business listing still apply, but there are a number of other things that should be taken into account. Addressing and organizing your Google My Business listings can help you better manage each of your practice locations. So, today we are going over some of the most strategic decisions you can make to help make Google My Business easier to manage with multiple locations. 

Verifying More than One Location

The verification process for a single location often involves Google sending a postcard via mail with a code to verify they have the right address. While this would technically work for multiple locations, it is by far the most convenient option. If you have more than 10 locations, you will need to use bulk verification to manage them. This will allow you to manage them in a more centralized, convenient way. In fact, these location groups even allow you to create bulk posts to go out to every Google My Business listing rather than having to post to each location one by one.

Google My Business also comes with the ability to use bulk edits as well. If info about your practice changes, you can use Google’s bulk edit tool to update all the listings in a location group at once instead of going through them one at a time. But, you must be careful when doing so. Since any changes you make go out to each location, any mistakes or inconsistencies will also spread to each and may harm your site’s creditability in the process. 

This is why it’s important to keep your NAP information updated and consistent. Focusing on having the right information will help improve the credibility of your practice, and ensure people can get in contact with you if need be. In addition, you can also personalize each post with location indicators for the area the practice is located. By doing so, you can help improve your local SEO presence, helping you connect with those around you who may be more likely to benefit from your services.

Can you Schedule Posts in Advance?

It is also possible to schedule posts to your Google My Business listing to be uploaded at a given date. However, this isn’t an option that is native to Google My Business. This may involve outside support from a third party to do so. But, this extra support can help you save hours in preparing posts to go out on a regular basis.

A close up of the app for Google My Business. Simplified SEO Consulting can offer support with Google My Business in counseling and other SEO services. Learn how we can offer support with local SEO for therapists and more. Details, Details, Details

Even though some of the smaller details present on Google My Business can be easy to overlook, taking the time to fill them out can have big benefits in making your listing more competitive. Doing so will give Google more important information about your practice, and may include adding important labels, services, and photos to represent your practice. This is also why adding categories is such a vital part of your Google My Business profile. So, take the time to let Google know about these details by personalizing them for each of your office locations. This may include different services specific therapists offer at a given location, different hours of operation, or any other important information pertaining to your practice. 

Should I Have More Than Google My Business Account?

For the purposes of managing multiple locations, you will likely only ever need one account to manage each of your locations in an effective way. Having more than one account may be beneficial if you manage more than one type of business. But, for therapists that only offer therapy services, one account is all you should ever need!  

Transfering Location Groups

With all the moving parts that go into Google My Business, it can be easy to make mistakes early on that can make things more difficult down the road. One such scenario is when Google My Business listings are created under the wrong account. You may have encountered this, and feel stressed about deleting an already established listing, but you don’t actually have to! Google My Business also provides the ability to transfer your listings from one account to another. Having only one account will make it easier to also keep track of vital info like your name, address, and phone number. Plus, other important practice info. And, you can also grant additional account managers access to the listing, making it even easier to collaborate and synchronize each of your office locations.

Expanding your Practice

Last but not least, it is also important to note that you can add new office locations to your existing location group. It helps to take a moment to review your NAP info when adding a new location as well. Google is always looking to have the most up-to-date and accurate data. So, suggestions for edits may be taken into account through third-party data. This means that there is a chance your business information has changed without you knowing, and may take a double or triple check to ensure everything is correct.

A person types on a laptop with the letters SEO on the screen. This could represent the search for improving SEO for counselors. Simplified SEO Consulting can offer support with local SEO for therapists and other services. Improve Local SEO for Therapists with Simplified SEO Consulting

The team of SEO specialists at Simplified SEO Consulting has the training and experience to provide support with a variety of services. We would be honored to help improve your SEO and grow your online presence. To start your SEO journey, please follow these simple steps:

  1. Book a free 30-minute consultation call.
  2. Meet with an SEO specialist.
  3. Start better managing multiple practices

Other Services Offered with Simplified SEO Consulting

Simplified SEO Consulting offers a variety of services to help improve your Google search rankings. Our team can offer support in optimizing your site with our Done For You SEO Services. We also offer DIY Online SEO Courses, and a 12-week Done With You Intensive SEO Program. Feel free to read other posts from our blog for more helpful information!

About the Author

Photo of Sterling, an SEO Specialist at Simplified SEO Consulting that specializes in all things technical SEO!Sterling Humburg-Cage graduated from the University of Missouri with a BA in Psychology in 2020. He integrates what he learned in school into his work as an SEO Specialist with Simplified SEO Consulting. Sterling prides himself on helping current clients & alumni problems solve difficult SEO issues.  He’s great at giving clients multiple options about how to approach a situation and responding quickly to client concerns.  Since he started, Sterling has met frequently with our alumni and provided them extra problem-solving support. He often goes the extra mile to do outside research and make sure private practice owners have everything they need to rank well on search engines long term for the keywords their ideal clients are using!

If you’re a mental health professional who has a Google My Business page, then you know that you can get reviews from your clients. And if you’ve ever gotten one of those reviews, you know that it can be stressful to figure out how to respond. Our code of ethics limit how we can respond to such reviews, and even within the mental health community, some of us have more restrictive codes of ethics or interpret them differently than others when it comes to this topic. In this blog post, we’re going to give you ideas for very specific ways you can respond to those Google Reviews in a way that is very ethical.

Try to Respond to All Reviews QuicklyBigstock photo with GMB icon and the words "Google My Business - Connect with your Customers" representing how this article gives examples of responding to Google Reviews - both negative and positive - for Counselors, therapists, social workers & psychologists

Google wants to see that you are responsive to feedback, so responding to reviews quickly may be helpful for SEO. You can set it up so you get an email to notify you whenever you get a new review, so you can respond in a timely manner. We are often limited in what we can say in response to these reviews as mental health professionals, but acknowledging that you saw the review and thanking the reviewer for their feedback is generally considered good customer service.

Responding to Positive Google My Business Reviews

It’s exciting to get a positive review. However, even positive reviews can be a bit stressful for therapists and counselors when they come from a client. Why? Because if it comes from a client they have essentially chosen to give up a bit of their right to confidentiality by suggesting they came to see you. And I’ve found some mental health professionals respond differently than others. Some are really ok with it at that point and others are still worried about the power differential. We’ll try to give you some options for responding regardless of which camp you fall into.

The bottom line is that you want to respond thanking them for their review. If the reviewer mentions something specific that you did that they appreciated, you could acknowledge that as well if it feels appropriate to do so.

5 stars and a thumbs up representing a counseling client who has given their therapist a 5 star review on GMB and now the practice owner is responding to that review.

Examples of Therapist/Counselor Responses to Reviews:

  • “Thank you so much for your kind words!” (Doesn’t acknowledge one way or another if they were a client)
  • “Thank you for your review. I’m honored to have been able to help you in your journey.” (This is if you’re ok with kind of acknowledging they were a client if they’ve acknowledged it first-some therapists still may not feel comfortable with this response)
  • “Thank you! We try to make the counseling experience as positive and easy as possible!”
  • Thank you for sharing! We really strive to provide the absolute best (insert name of service they referenced such as counseling for anxiety or couples therapy or whatnot)!
  • “Thank you for taking the time to share! We agree that insert name of therapist mentioned is great! She’s so knowledgeable about name specialty if applicable and cares about really helping her clients!” (This is great if they write a review like, “My husband and I saw Shaina for couples counseling and she saved our marriage” you could respond with, “Thank you for sharing! We agree that Shaina is amazing and truly an expert marriage counselor! She has a ton of training using the Gottman Method and is really passionate about helping couples improve their relationship!”

Responding to Negative Google My Business Reviews

If you get a negative review, it’s important to still acknowledge the review. You want to come across as fairly humble but not defensive. When applicable, you want to also assure the reviewer and anyone else reading that you will work to improve in that area. And of course, still prioritize the client’s confidentiality. It’s often appropriate to encourage them to reach out to you directly….particularly since you often can’t express their specific concerns (or defend yourself very much) in this public setting.

One star ranking representing a counseling client who gave your private practice a bad review on Google that you are trying to respond to. Looking for help responding to Google Reviews as a mental health professional? We'd love to answer your questions.

Tips for responding to negative reviews:

  • Be humble
  • Acknowledge the reviewer’s concerns
  • Try to improve in the areas where you received negative feedback
  • And always prioritize confidentiality!

Examples of Therapist/Counselor Responses to Negative Reviews

  • “We’re sorry to hear that you had a negative experience. We would love the opportunity to chat with you more about what happened and how we can improve. Could you please email us at insert email address?”
  • “Thank you for sharing your feedback. I will share your feedback with our Clinical Director (or relevant person)”
  • We’re so sorry to hear this. If you’d like to discuss the situation with our team, please feel free to reach out to insert name or role at insert phone number”
  • We care deeply about providing the best possible counseling services to insert relevant specialty/niche but know that every situation is unique. We always welcome conversations around concerns and can be reached at insert phone number.
  • “Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. We understand that private pay counseling services are a significant financial investment that simply aren’t feasible for everyone. While our clinicians are experts at the work they do and we believe these services are well worth the investment, we always try to provide referrals to another therapist when our services don’t make the most sense. If you’d like other referrals please feel free to email us at insert email address.”

Last Thoughts About Responding to Client Reviews on

It’s so important that we as therapists respond to client reviews in an ethical way. We want to make sure that we’re respecting our clients’ confidentiality while also not coming across as defensive or unprofessional.

In general, try to keep your responses short, professional, and polite. Google also has a few guidelines for responding to reviews that you can check out here. And if you’re ever unsure about how to respond to a review, err on the side of caution and consult with another mental health professional before hitting “submit.”

I hope these examples and tips were helpful! If you have any other tips or ideas for responding to client reviews, please share them below in the comments!

Improve Your SEO With Help from Simplified SEO Consulting

Responding to reviews on Google My Business does help SEO but Google My Business alone won’t get your website to the top of search engine results. If you’re interested in learning more about how to improve your website’s SEO, check out our many other blog posts, sign up for our free 7 day email series with basic SEO tips or set up a free consultationBook a FREE 30 Minute SEO Consultation!

SEO Services We Offer Therapists, Counselors, Psychiatrists & Others:

 

Photo of Jessica Tappana, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a group practice owner and the founder of Simplified SEO ConsultingAbout the Author

Jessica Tappana is the founder of Simplified SEO Consulting. She owns a private practice in Missouri with 10+ clinicians and still actively sees a small caseload of clients herself. In addition, she started Simplified SEO Consulting after learning how to optimize her website and discovering that great SEO was the key to building her own practice. Now, she has a team of SEO specialists who do much of the day to day work, but she still loves hopping in to help problem solve SEO mysteries, chatting about SEO strategy, keeping up with all the latest SEO news and supporting our incredible team!

As SEO specialists, we often make use of the services Google provides to better understand SEO for therapists, and how client sites are performing. 

Two of the tools we use the most are Google My Business (GMB) and Google Analytics (GA). The first allows you to optimize your business profile on Google and improve local SEO, while the latter allows you to track website analytics for your private practice website. Both have their uses in improving SEO for therapists. But, each can also experience many issues that can be difficult to address without understanding what they mean. So, today we are going to cover a few of the most common problems for each, and how to resolve them!

A woman holds her head in disappointment as she struggles to resolve a Google My Business issue. We offer support with Google My Business in Counseling. Contact us for advice in how to build SEO for therapists and local SEO for therapists with Simplified SEO Consulting. 65202 Google My Business: Suspended Listings

To start, I should first mention that while suspended listings can be scary to deal with, they are manageable. There are many reasons as to why your listing might have been suspended. But, Google will not tell you as to why your listing is suspended. It is up to you to investigate your listing to better understand what Google might be taking issue with. When it comes to Google My Business in counseling and any other profession, it is important you have accurate info on your listing. It should also be noted that if a user’s Google Account is suspended, all listings owned by the user will also be suspended. 

Reasons for Suspending your Listing

Google wants to ensure that the GMB profiles on their service adhere to their guidelines. As a result, it is important that your listing be accurate and trustworthy. Some of the most common reasons listings get suspended include: 

  • Another business has the same address as your practice
  • The address on your listing is different from the listing on your website
  • The information on directory listings doesn’t match your website
  • Any recent changes made to your primary address, name, or phone number 
  • Multiple listings for the same business or location

Luckily, suspensions are just that, suspensions

They can negatively affect SEO for counselors but are not permanent. Depending on your situation, your listing should be straightforward to fix, given you have identified the issue at hand. Yet, in the event that you can’t, contacting Google Support can help you better understand what the issue might be, and give you a chance to then correct the problem. 

A woman points at her computer while on the phone. This could represent issues related to Google My Business in counseling. Learn more about how to build SEO for therapists today with Simplified SEO Consulting! 65202 Fixing your Suspended GMB Listing 

In order to fix your GMB profile, you must ask Google to reinstate your listing. This can be done by completing their support form and providing evidence to resolve the issue at hand. This will be different for each case, but often require images of important documents to prove the validity of your claim. 

For example, you may have changed your business address recently. As a result, Google suspended your listing in order to avoid spreading inaccurate info about your practice. In this case, you may be required to send them proof of your address. This may include submitting your business license or providing an image of your building along with signage. Other instances may instead require you to verify the address by sending a postcard. 

This postcard often arrives within 5 days of it being requested and will have a code for you to use on your GMB listing. By doing so, you can easily reinstate your listing without having to contact any support.

Google My Business: Account Suspensions 

 As mentioned earlier in this blog, if a user’s Google account has been suspended, all their listings will also be suspended as a result. Issues like these may occur when a person makes a number of changes to their business information over a shorter period of time. Practice owners may also find their reviews have disappeared, along with all their profile listings on the Google search engine.  

This result may occur when more serious violations are at hand, or if issues occur within GMB itself. As a result, practice owners should take care to understand what they are putting on their profiles matters. If Google believes something on your account is violating their guidelines for representing your business on GMB, they will have to ensure you will adhere to them before you can request to reinstate your account.

Practice owners should also be careful of creating too many accounts on GMB. If you switch between many accounts over a short period of time, Google may grow suspicious of your actions. It is a similar process to reinstating a suspending listing. But, you may have to provide documentation of some kind to prove you are the owner of the practice for security reasons. 

This may verification by providing: 

  • A utility bill with the same billing address as the Google My Business profile
  • Legal documentation. A business license or tax form, either of which must list the same address listed in your Google My Business profile
  • Proof of physical address. A storefront image showing both signage and address, including a suite number if your business has a Suite # attached to it.
  • Proof you are not sharing office space with another business
  • Your GMB listing’s dashboard URL to confirm the business profile

Two people point at their laptop, representing how to improve Google My Business in counseling. Learn more about improving local SEO for therapists today. Our team can help you in learning how to build SEO for therapists at Simplified SEO Consulting. 65202 If this happens, Do Not Make Another Listing

It is vital to also understand that if you experience this, you should not try to create a new listing. Google can still recover your removed listing if it is lost. But, they can’t do so if you overwrite it with a new, fresh listing of your practice. If this happens, your only option is to ask Google to reinstate it.

Closing Thoughts

Dealing with these issues may be annoying at times. But, it is a good effort of Google to protect the security of their many users. Understanding how to deal with these issues can help you better manage your Google My Business Account. Plus, doing so helps support SEO for therapists. Google My Business in counseling can be a very beneficial tool for any practice owner, regardless of the size of the practice!

Begin SEO Services with Simplified SEO Consulting

Our team of SEO specialists can offer support in managing and solving Google My Business issues. We are happy to also help improve SEO for therapists nationwide, and internationally! To start improving your SEO with Simplified SEO Consulting, please follow these simple steps:

  1. Book a free 30-minute consultation call.
  2. Meet with an SEO specialist.
  3. Start improving Google’s rankings and meet your practice’s goals!

Other Services Offered with Simplified SEO Consulting

Our team at Simplified SEO Consulting is happy to offer support in a number of ways. We can offer support in improving local SEO for therapists as well as DIY Online SEO Courses. In addition, we also offer Done For You SEO services, and a Done With You 12-week Intensive SEO program. Feel free to visit our blog to learn more today!

About the Author

Photo of Sterling, an SEO Specialist at Simplified SEO Consulting that specializes in all things technical SEO!Sterling Humburg-Cage graduated from the University of Missouri with a BA in Psychology in 2020. He integrates what he learned in school into his work as an SEO Specialist with Simplified SEO Consulting. Sterling prides himself on helping current clients & alumni problems solve difficult SEO issues.  He’s great at giving clients multiple options about how to approach a situation and responding quickly to client concerns.  Since he started, Sterling has met frequently with our alumni and provided them extra problem-solving support, often going the extra mile to do outside research and make sure private practice owners have everything they need to rank well on search engines long term for the keywords their ideal clients are using!

As many of you know, Google My Business is an essential aspect of local SEO components. Often when we can be found locally, we are more likely to show off for keywords such as therapy near me, online therapist near me, or couples therapy Northlake. Here is a quick recap of my previous blog post on Google my business optimization. For more in-depth information Check out Google My Business for Online Practices or Optimizing Your Google My Business Profile 

Recap of Optimizing Your Google My Business Profile

Google my business download app screen. When you're doing SEO and Google my business, its important to help well optimized information that draws in clients. Get your questions answered such as "does google my business increase ranking" and more. Read now!

Set up your GMB profile. 

First set up your profile and claim it on Google. This is essential to be found and will give you access to the backend which will allow us to address more in-depth SEO factors. 

Basic information 

The basic setup of the profile will be to put normal information that indicates who you are. This includes your name, address, phone number, website, description, category, attributes (services).  

Profile Tips Google My Business

  • Build ethical reviews and respond with 24 hours to all comments. 
  • Add relevant blog posts that have been keyword optimized. 
  • Upload high-quality photos that reflect your brand. 
  • Make sure your business description appropriately reflects who you are. 
  • Keep key information up to date. 
  • Check-in on your monthly data to see how well your profile is performing. 

Now that we have done a brief recap, let us talk more in-depth about what needs to show up on your Google My Business profile.  

Creating the Business Description: 

The description of your business is important for people to know what they can expect. However, the business description can also be very intimidating. You only have 750 characters to explain your services in a concise yet descriptive manner.  

Some things to keep in mind. Are to make the description clear, highlight key factors that make you unique, address any relevant history, add in target keywords. Make sure you do not make the description ‘salesy’, add in misleading info, or add links or URLs. 

Here is an example of a format you can follow with GMB: 

[Business Name] provides [service, search term]. We have been serving the [city, state] for more than [time in business]. [Statement about your values or purpose] 

Example: [ Business Name] provides EMDR therapy. Our Christian Based Counseling Center in Rockford, Illinois has been helping clients move past trauma, anxiety, and depression in their lives for over 10 years. We strive to help people move forward from their past and find a way to become the best version of themselves. 

Tips on Optimizing Each Component of Google My Business Attributes:

Magnifying glass zooming in on Google my business. If you're looking for SEO help for therapist, you have come to the right place. Our SEO specialists can give you insightful tips for GMB optimization. Learn more about Google my business in counseling, social work, psychology, and more!

Business Name: 

Make sure your business name reflects what your website says,  

Region/Country: 

Select what area you are in. Make sure it is where you plan to offer services. If you offer multiple states, you may need to put the location of most of your referrals and indicate in the description that you offer therapy in additional states. 

Address: 

If you do not have an address, that is ok, place an address on the listing, and then later down in the options, you can request not to display your address.  

Phone:  

Add a phone number that is going to be easy to access and is consistent across all media that you have. 

Categories: 

Make sure you add the category that is most relevant to your services. When you are adding in categories, you cannot really overdo this, just make sure as you add this to your profile that it is relevant to your services. 

Website: 

Link to your website. A well-optimized website that has been added to your GMB profile can draw in more visitors to your website. This helps with trust flow. If people see the care you have put into your profile and your website, people are more likely to investigate your services.  

Photos  

Photos help to add a more individualized touch to your profile. The more that people see your team, products, logo, and services, the more likely they are to investigate your services and your site. 

On the GMB photo tab, you should include photos that include your: 

  • Office area (if applicable)
  • Building or location indicators for people to understand your location. 
  • Pictures of your team at work 
  • Professional photos of team members 
  • Any branding photos that familiarize people with your identity 

Hours 

Add your office hours and that you offer hours by appointment. Make sure to keep these updated, especially if you are going on vacation or out for a holiday. The more consistent and up-to-date you keep these hours the better. 

Posts 

Posts can be helpful to share any new blogs or cornerstones that display your view as a practice or clinician. Additionally, you can add posts for: 

  • Events 
  • Announcements 
  • Special Offers 

Make sure you add a high-quality photo, a description of the post between 100-300 words. Additionally, you can add dates, times, and sign-ups, and reservations.  

Manage Google My Business Reviews and Respond to Questions: 

The better engagement on your profile, the more likely you are to attract people to your site and services. If you do not have any reviews or ratings for your profile, people are not likely to be interested in your services. Therefore, having credible people who can vouch for you as a clinician in an ethical manner can help you come up higher in the search results. 

Takeaways for Optimizing Your Google My Business

Google my business set up screen on phone. Learning seo and google my business can be complicated. Get specialized help with our SEO specialists who provide insight and tips. Read our blog on google my business in counseling today!

Overall, a well-optimized Google profile is helpful for clients to get a quick glimpse into who you are as a private practice. When clients see the care, you have taken to keep your information updated that is more likely to bring in potential clients. Therefore, making sure you set up your free account and have it well optimized is key. Wherever you can add in relevant keywords. Such as in descriptions, titles, and so on.  

Begin Working with Our Talented Team! 

If you are looking to see how Google my business can help your website, then talk with one of our specialists. We do not do direct SEO optimization on GMB, but we are happy to help you as you set up your own profile. We can track your information on our data dashboard and give you some insights as you navigate through the SEO process. Or if you are looking to set up your own website to link to GMB, talk with our client success specialist.

We can get you set up with our services and begin optimizing your website in a way that highlights your skills to potential clients soon. Our wonderful team of SEO specialists at Simplified SEO Consulting would be excited to help you on your SEO journey. To get started with our service follow these simple steps: 

  1. Schedule a consult with our Client Success Specialist 
  2. Learn more about our talented team of SEO Specialists. 
  3. Begin working with your ideal clients and making an impact on the mental health world! 

Other Services offered by Simplified SEO Consulting   

Simplified SEO consulting offers a wide range of services that can help you begin working with your people. We offer. Done for You SEO Service packagesonline courses, and SEO training opportunities. Our most popular course includes our “Top of Google” Online course, and we have 12 weeks (about 3 months) of intensive SEO for those who want to learn with a guide. For those looking for a more specialized package, we also offer an SEO strategy package. To get started, schedule a consultation with our Client Success Specialist today 

About the Author:  An SEO Specialist at Simplified. SEO can be complex. If you're looking for SEO help for therapists, we can help. Get in touch with our client success specialist and begin to understand how SEO and google my business work or how to optimize your website.

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

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

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

Woman sitting on chair with animated tools floating around her. If you're wondering if google my business can help you, you've come to the right place for answers. SEO and google my business can help direct clients your way. Learn more and get started today!

We all like to get the hands-on tools that are going to better help us in life. A hidden gem that some business owners do not take advantage of is Google my business. It is more than just a simple verification tool for your business to have a spot on Google. It actually has many cool features that are just waiting to be discovered. Of course, in order to get started, we must start with the basics.

Claim your listing on Google my business

First things first, claim your business it’s free. Let Google know you’re here and you’re proud. In order to get started, go onto GMB and set up your account, and give them your information. Google will then send you a postcard via mail. The next step is to enter your verification code from the card. And there you go, it’s quick and easy. 

Once you’re set up with Google my Business…

When you’re creating information for you google my business in counseling, its key to make sure your information is comprehensive and up to date. For example, when you’re inputting your website on google my business, it needs to be the same on your website and on GMB, even if there is a slight variation, google may penalize you or not recognize your business.

Google My Business Basics

Here is what GMB absolutely needs:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Website
  • Description
  • Category
  • Attributes

Not only is it important to add this information, but it’s crucial to the success of your business, especially if you’re looking to find better ways on how to rank on google for therapists. The information needs to be detailed and most importantly accurate. For example, in your description use as many of the 750 words as possible adding in keywords and information about your niche. As we’ve said previously when we discuss content for service pages and blogs, remember that Google loves content. The more the better. Essentially, the same principle applies to your GMB. 

*Pro-tip: The more information you have on GMB the cheaper google my ads will be. So if you’re going the SEO/ Google ads route, Google my business is key for you.

The relationship between Google my Business and SEO for Mental Health Professionals

The strategy of SEO is great for websites. You do the work and clients stream your way after a few months of intensive work. However, while SEO is great for websites, there are more ways to incorporate SEO from your website into Google to come up better. Think of it this way. If I type in therapy near me and your website pops up, I am going to click on this and see what you have to offer me. However, if your website pops up, but someone else does as well with a GMB box, I am more likely to choose their therapy website over yours. So the bottom line is to make a Google my business and make sure you’re ranking for therapy/counseling near me. This will help your local SEO and allow you to begin better engaging with your audience and potential clients.

How to build a solid profile for Google My Business

Build Credibility Through Google Reviews?

This is kind of a controversial topic for the mental health professionals out there reading this. A great way to build credibility with Google is to get some reviews. The more reviews you have the better. However, as mental health professionals, how does one do this? Ethically, most mental health professionals cannot ask our clients for reviews due to their own codes of ethics. So if you can’t get reviews from your clients, then who? Well, the controversial answer and solution are to ask people who know you. Find people who are familiar with your body of work, and who are also trusted mental health professionals, such as colleagues or a mentor who will give you honest reviews. The key is to find someone you trust and knows you well. Likewise, if someone is always referring clients to you, they are a good choice, because they trust you.

The reason we see this as ethical is that when someone knows you and your professional image and can speak highly of you so clients know you’re credible, that is the best review you can receive ethically.

What to do when you receive reviews?

Once you are able to get some reviews. Reply within 24 hours. More responses equal to more potential customers. Google will also see you as trustworthy and rank your business higher. If you have good reviews, respond and thank them. If you have neutral reviews, you may create a happier raving fan by responding.

Unfortunately, there is the possibility of receiving bad reviews as well.  If you have bad reviews, it is crucial that you respond. This is an opportunity, not a punishment. You can try to offer an opportunity for feedback or a follow up for this individual. Sometimes, though you may receive bad reviews from clients who cannot be changed. It happens. While you may not be able to change their mind, you can respond, extend a hand to resolve the issue, and then move on. Focus on your raving fans knowing you’ve done all you can.  

And, of course, when responding to reviews from a client be careful not to confirm or deny they were seen at your practice. For example saying something like, “Thank you so much for the feedback” acknowledges their response without confirming they were a client.

Additionally, know there will be times when clients feel inclined to leave a review on your GMB and that’s also ok, as long as it was done ethically. No one made them and it only builds your professional image.

Add Key Blog Posts 

Here it is again. Blog, blog, blog. It is so good for your SEO. Not only does it lift your website, but it can also lift it through the use of Google my business. Did you know that you could add your blog posts to your GMB page? It is just another way to funnel more SEO traffic into your website. It also presents a good opportunity for potential clients to see your expertise. All you need to do is every time you publish your blog posts, go to GMB, and add new posts. Insert a picture and a description of the blog post, along with the URL of your blog. That’s it! 

Build a Beautiful Photo Gallery

If content is king, consistency is queen - blogging and social media tip - handwriting on a napkin with a cup of coffee. If you're interested in Google my business in counseling, you're on the right track. Adding this to your practice is SEO gold. It is just another way to add more traffic, keywords, and blogs to Google. Begin today by learning more from this SEO blog post. If you want to learn more schedule a meeting with one of our specialists today!

Adding photos is another great way to add value to your GMB. Not only are you providing a visual representation of your services, the people, and your business, but you’re also improving your SEO.  Two things to consider, to begin with, is to first add photos to your business regularly. This could be one a week or once every few weeks, but keep it consistent. Second, make sure the quality of the photos is on point. Most people don’t want to see blurry unfocused photos, so if this is not your specialty, like a coworker or hire someone.

Best practices for photos on GMB

However, it is not as simple as adding any photo you feel like adding. First, make sure it is relevant to your business. If you’re a physical therapist and you’re showing information about a fast food restaurant google will see your content as non-relevant. It is also important to make sure you’re reviewing the pictures that customers post as well. Ultimately, the pro in this is that Google will see you engaging with your customers. Which is huge for SEO and relevance. However, note that there are times customers may upload unflattering pictures to your Google my business page. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about this because Google does not allow you to take them down. The only way to get around this would be to reach out to the individual to take it down. Otherwise, checking in regularly will be the best way to safeguard this from repeatedly happening.

Lastly, the best way to use photos to help your SEO is to geotag them. This just means adding in your location so Google can find you. Likewise, before you add in any photos, rename them with keywords to help google coordinate the correct clients to you. For example, if you have a photo about EMDR and you’re demonstrating the technique, make sure you’re optimizing the title for EMDR therapy, EMDR therapy near me, EMDR therapist, EMDR therapy in (insert location), and so on. 

Talk about who you are and what you do

Adding in quality and a detailed description of your business can also help you rank. Add information such as your niche and your services. Likewise, add in keywords. Yes, you can add keywords into GMB that helps you rank even higher on Google and will boost your SEO. See what keywords are best searched for in your area by using keywords associated with your niche. If you’re unsure where to start, there are a few free resources such as Uber suggest and Google trends. 

Keep Google my business up to date

Especially now in midst of a pandemic, it is very important to add information on how people can access your services. If you have a physical location but are providing online services. Make sure this is evident on your website and on your GMB page. Likewise, this is a great time to add such keywords as online therapy, counseling, therapist, counselor, psychologist, and so on to the list of information on your website. 

Additionally, if you add or remove services, make sure you’re updating your profile accordingly. 

GMB has data updates

Kind of like google analytics, you can see insights on your customers via a section on Google my business. If you want to see how often people are visiting your website or page each month, and what they are viewing. You can also view a performance report that allows you to see insights about your information.

Publish your Google My Business page!Close up of google my business on phone app. Have you considered adding a google my business? If you're wondering does Google my business help me increase my rankings continue reading this Simplified SEO consulting blog to learn more.

You’ve finally made it! It’s time to get in front of your potential clients and begin doing what you do best. Helping those overcome the barriers that prevent them from living life to the fullest. If you have any additional questions about Google my business, let us know. If you’re an online counseling practice, no worries. We’ve got a great blog by Cory Moss coming up to talk about Google my business and policies surrounding this topic. Until then check out her blog post on common SEO questions. 

Begin SEO Services at Simplified SEO Consulting

Are you looking to see how our services blend well with Google My Business? Simplified SEO Consulting in Columbia, MO offers DFY packages, courses, training options, and alumni services. If you have any questions or your question was not answered, please reach out. Our passionate team of SEO experts would be happy to answer your questions, just reach out today! We can also discuss potential services that may work for you, especially if you’re a busy practice owner. To get started follow these three steps to begin ranking better on Google.

  1. Schedule an appointment for a free 30-minute consultation with a member of the Simplified SEO Consulting staff
  2. Learn more about our SEO packages and training opportunities
  3. Start doing better keyword research and get your ideal clients

Other Services offered by Simplified SEO Consulting

Simplified SEO Consulting is passionate about providing SEO services for mental health professionals and therapists. Our comprehensive SEO services are included in our Done for You SEO Service packages. 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.

Get in touch with Simplified SEO to learn more, or book a free SEO Consultation with our Client Success Specialist or one of our SEO specialists to decide which option is best for your business. We look forward to working with you and your business!

About the Author:

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