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

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

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


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


Additional Services

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

Packages and Options

Things for You to Consider Before

 Investing in SEO

What You Need to Watch Out for 

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

Finding the best-fit matters! 

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

Get Started with Your SEO Journey!

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

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

Other Services offered by Simplified SEO Consulting     

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

About the Author: 

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

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

When it comes to the SEO of your site, there are many ranking factors that Google takes into account when determining how it’s ranking both on and off-page. Some of these on-page factors include the things visitors may see when they visit our site. This might include the content of the page itself, the photos used, or the targeted keywords.A tablet rests on a table with the word SEO and multiple graphics. Learn about our off page seo checklist, and how to we can help with off page optimization.

Google puts a great deal of weight on these things since anyone visiting your site will see them. So, they want that content to be the highest quality possible! But, did you know that many important ranking factors hide behind the scenes? We refer to these factors as “off-page SEO.” Today, we are going to cover some of the main differences between on-page and off-page SEO.

Defining Off-Page SEO

Like how on-page SEO elements concern the pages themselves, the off-page elements are found elsewhere! Off-page SEO can be defined as the tactics you use to improve your rankings that don’t take place on your website. There are many ways to do this, some of which you might already be using right now! 

We spend a lot of time talking about On-Page SEO which is all of the changes you can make on your website. We do this, because we think it’s really important to have great On-Page SEO so Google knows exactly what your website is about. But a solid Off-Page SEO strategy can take your SEO to the next level because it builds trust in your website. It helps search engines know that your website is the real deal, that it’s a worthwhile site.

So, in summary: On-Page SEO refers to changes you make on your site to help your page rank better and Off-Page SEO is anything that happens off your website that helps improve your rankings. On-Page SEO tells Google what to rank your site for and Off-Page SEO convinces people that your site is trustworthy.

Off-Page SEO & Technical SEO

Recognizing off-page SEO can be tricky at times. Especially when talking about technical SEO. Technical SEO involves other changes made behind the scenes. This might include improving the loading speed or security of your website. These things are not exactly “on” the page, so they must count as off-page SEO elements, right? Not exactly. These are still technical parts of SEO, which make up their own category. In truth, technical SEO deserves its own blog topic. So for now, let’s return to off-page SEO and some of the best ways to improve it! 

Common Off-Page SEO Tactics

An array of pins are connected by multicolored string. This could represent the connections made through off page optimization. Learn more about on page and off page SEO, and our off page SEO checklist.

There are many strategies you can use depending on what your service offers, and your unique strengths. But, a common tactic used is guest blogging on another site or hosting/guest appearing on a podcast. By working with another site or site owner, you can help increase the traffic your site receives by showing your content to a brand new audience. This creates a chance to build quality backlinks to your site, helping improve the authority of your domain.

This is also true for social media posts! Using social media can help you cultivate an audience, potentially improve rankings (link to blog), and connect with potential clients. When used well, it can act as an extension of your site. It could serve as a place to post updates and create unique content for your target audience. Who knows, a post could even go viral on a nationwide scale and create new links! Using off-page SEO strategies such as these helps to build brand recognition, trust with Google, and high-quality backlinks.

The Importance Of Backlinks

Backlinks are often referenced in blogs, and I’m glad they are! Building a library of quality backlinks is not an easy feat. It is something that has to build over time. Due to this, finding the opportunities to link your content to other reputable sites can quickly become an important part of your long-term SEO strategy. The more links you gain from reputable sites, directories, and other listings, the more Google will recognize your practice as an authority figure. This isn’t something easily accomplished. So, we created a comprehensive guide to earning backlinks to help! Speaking of important parts, let’s also talk about Google My Business.

NAP Information & Consistent Mentions

Off-page SEO isn’t just about backlinks. Sometimes, it helps for your business to be mentioned or listed across the web even if you don’t get a backlink to your website. For example if a really credible, national newspaper interviews you and doesn’t link to your website you may feel disappointed you didn’t get a backlink.  And your disappointment makes sense, because that would’ve been a great, high quality backlink. However, it still helps your SEO. Why? Because when Google scans that article it is probably smart enough to figure out they’re talking about your business and therefore it still gives you credibility!

One part of all this that’s especially important is your “NAP” information. “NAP” just means name, address and phone number. When Google sees this information showing up consistently various place on the web, it helps Google trust that you’re a real business and that really is your name, address and phone number.  So, that information showing up with or without a backlink is helpful. Directories and other resource lists are common places for this information to appear.

Social Media as Off-Page SEO

While Google has gone back and forth in their guidance about how important Social Media is for SEO, there does appear to be a correlation between social media and great rankings. For this reason, it’s worth mentioning Social Media when we’re talking about Off-Page SEO.  Having a strong social media presence means there is more information about your business out there on the web for people (and search engines!) to take note of. It also appears to be helpful to have “social shares” where your website content is shared on Social Media.  Lastly, Social Media helps by sending people to your website and if they like what they see (measured by things like staying on your site for a while and looking at multiple pages), that can signal to search engines that your content is great even if they didn’t come directly from a search engine.

Google My Business & Bing Places for Business

Google My Business (GMB) is also an important part of Off-Page SEO if you want to rank well on Google…and you do want to rank well on Google. In fact, GMB is such a great way to support your SEO  that we’ll get more in depth about that in a minute. But it’s good to know that Bing has a similar service with Bing Places for Business and we recommend checking that out as well.

The Importance Of Google My Business to Off-Page SEO

As you can imagine from the name, Google My Business (GMB) is another very important part of off-page SEO. It allows Google to provide helpful information about your practice for potential clients. 

Some of this helpful info includes:

A screenshot of the Google My Business app for Simplified SEO Consulting. Learn about on page and off page SEO, and how we can help with off page optimization.

The only catch is you have to provide this information. A healthy, optimized profile can help you reach a wider audience, and help establish trust with Google. This free tool also provides useful analytics that can help you assess the health of your site. Some of these analytics include engagement, the number of clicks and calls you receive, and how many times you show up in the search results. 

Improving your Google My Business profile can only help improve your off-page SEO. Creating an account helps improve your search rankings, depending on how well you optimize your business listing. Ensuring the name, address, and phone number of your practice are consistent on GMB and anywhere other than your site is also worth mentioning, but covering the importance of NAP deserves its own blog. Our team has taken a deep dive into GMB if you would like to learn more!

One last note, reviews

Another great part of Google My Business is how it can be used to read the reviews customers leave. While it may not be something that is focused on a great deal, reviews still carry weight with Google. We understand that due to the nature of work done in this field, asking for reviews may not be appropriate or ethical practice. As a result, we encourage you to use your own discretion and make the best ethical choice for the long-term health of your site.

Closing Thoughts 

As you can see, there are many ways one can work to improve their SEO without even touching your website. But, the best SEO strategy will involve both online page and off-page SEO optimization, as well as aspects of technical SEO as they pertain to your site.  

Need Support for On-Page SEO?

Our trained SEO specialists are skilled at on-page SEO and would love to help provide support to improve off-page elements as well. To start SEO services with Simplified SEO Consulting, please follow these simple steps:

  1. Book a free consult 
  2. Meet with an SEO specialist 
  3. Start improving your site’s SEO!

Other Services Offered by Simplified SEO Consulting 

Simplified SEO Consulting offers multiple SEO services to help meet the unique needs of your website. Our services include DIY Online SEO Courses, Done For You SEO services, and our Done With You 12-week SEO intensive program. For more helpful info, please visit our blog!

Photo of Sterling, an SEO Specialist at Simplified SEO Consulting that specializes in all things technical SEO!About the Author

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!

It’s the middle of summer, and for many of my SEO clients, that means a sudden decrease in calls. That can be pretty frightening, especially if you weren’t expecting it. But, during the summer we typically see fewer people searching for mental health services. This could be due to a variety of reasons, but the most probable include summer activities, vacations, and an all-around relaxed pace of life for a couple of months. 

That being said, you’re still working and looking to attract your ideal client on Google, so you may be wondering; “what can I do to boost my SEO during my downtime?” Today, I wanted to take a moment and share 5 things you can do to boost your SEO this summer. 

5 Ways to Boost Your SEO During the Summer Slowdown:

man in headphones works on his laptop at a park. He learns about optimizing his private practice website from an SEO specialist with Simplified SEO Consulting who specializes in SEO for therapists

Update your Google My Business Listing

If you have a physical address I highly recommend using this time to make sure the information on your Google My Business Listing is current. Just like your website, Google ranks businesses with current listings higher. So, it’s important to check on your listening from time to time. 

There are a lot of things that go into updating your Google My Business Listings but perhaps the most important is checking that the address, hours, phone number you have listed is current. Also, add photos of your practice and If you want bonus points, post on your profile frequently. Lastly, don’t forget to respond to any review, question, or comment within 24 business hours. 

Want to learn more about Google My Business? Check out our Blog: A Deep Dive Into Google My Business

Make sure your website’s footer includes your name, address, and phone number. 

One of the first things I suggest all my clients do is take care of adding their NAP to their footer. No, they don’t actually get to sleep… bummer, right?! In the wonderful world of SEO, NAP refers to name, address, and phone number. Listing your NAP on your footer boosts your credibility in the eyes of Google. The benefit of adding it to your footer is that it will then be visible, no matter what page a client is on. 

Bonus: Make sure this information is congruent on any site Google may pull from. This includes Google My Business, directory listings, and more. 


woman in a floppy hat works on her laptop by the pool during the Summer slow down. She learns SEO for therapists with an SEO specialist at Simplified SEO Consulting

I imagine some of you have gotten to this part of my blog post and are rolling your eyes. I get it. Not everyone enjoys blogging (no matter how much I wish that weren’t true). Sorry to tell you, getting new and relevant content posted on your website is important. It keeps things current and let’s face it, Google likes it. 

But, here’s the catch. I don’t want you to blog just because Google likes it. Blogging can be very beneficial to your clients and prospective clients as well. Try to look at blogging as a way to destigmatize mental health. It gives people actionable tips for improving their wellbeing and valuable information. Furthermore, I’ve had many therapists who have shared their blog posts with their current clients between sessions so they can continue working on their therapeutic goals.

Here is our comprehensive guide to blogging. Check it out! 

Build Backlinks

We talk a lot about increasing your credibility on Google. In fact, all my earlier tips are designed to do so. One crucial way you can do this is to build backlinks. If you’re not sure what a backlink is, it’s when another website points (links to) your website’s URL. A backlink builds credibility because it essentially acts as a vote of confidence showing that the referring domain sees you as a reliable source. 

There are lots of ways you can go about getting backlinks to your websites. One thing I want you to know is paying for backlinks is against Google’s terms of service and it can be detrimental to your SEO. 

Here are some ways to build backlinks and boost your SEO:

  • Get on therapist directories
  • Get on resource lists
  • Guest blog for other therapists or helping professionals
  • Be a source for media outlets
  • Job listings
  • Public speaking announcements
  • Donation lists

Curious to learn more about backlinks? We have options! Take our Building Backlinks e-course. Or, check out our comprehensive guide to backlinks blog.

Brainstorm new SEO ideas

The last thing I recommend you do is brainstorm new SEO ideas. I want you to think about new ways to reach your ideal clients and meet the needs of your private practice. Some things I encourage you to keep in mind are:

  • Which therapists do you want to fill?
  • What services do you want to promote via SEO?
  • Are there any services you’re offering or diagnoses you’re frequently treating that you don’t have a service page for?
  • What are your ideal client’s pain points? Have you addressed these in your copy or blog posts?

Final Thoughts on SEO and the Summer Slowdown

woman sits on a bench working on private practice SEO on her laptop. She learns how to get to the top of google from an SEO specialist at Simplified SEO who specializes in SEO for therapists.

I totally understand that going through a slow time may be frustrating as a private practice owner. But, it gives you a unique opportunity to work on your SEO so you can reach your ideal clients easier. I encourage you to use this time to do any or all of the things I mentioned above to lay the foundation for SEO success during the rest of the year.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by these to-dos, please reach out to us for a free consultation. We offer a variety of SEO options designed to meet the needs of private practice therapists. When you meet with a member of our team during your consultation we can discuss your goals for success and our SEO service offerings, training, and e-courses. Don’t wait to work on SEO! The sooner you get started, the sooner you can begin to reach your ideal clients on Google. 

To begin optimizing your therapy website follow these steps:

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

About the Author:

Cory Moss is a Simplified SEO specialist & our Content Specialist based in the Kansas City metro area. 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.  Cory is great at speaking to clients about their dream practice and figuring out exactly what content on their website will help them reach those goals. She enjoys helping people learn about SEO and watching how people can improve their optimizing over time!

One of the  first questions you likely have when you’re learning to optimize your private practice website is where to search for keywords. It’s hard to know what people are actually looking for. After a quick Google search, you have probably realized that are TONS of keyword tools out there. But, you’re not ready to pay for them, so now you need to know what free options are out there. We get it! After all, that’s where we were at the beginning of our SEO journey too. So, today we will discuss some great free keyword research tools and give you some helpful hints on where to begin when searching for keywords that fit your practice.

Why do Keyword Research:

photo of an ambiguous women doing a google search on her laptop and phone. This represents the power of keyword research and working on your private practice website SEO

If you’re new to SEO keyword research may be intimidating and time-consuming. So you may be wondering, why bother? Well simply put, SEO tells you what words, phrases, and questions people are searching for on Google. So this tells you what to target on your page. We infuse keyword research into all parts of our work including meta descriptions, alt text, photo titles, the copy, page title, subheadings, and more. Basically, keyword research provides us a foundation for our work as SEO specialists.

Free Keyword Research Options:

Look at Your Intake Paperwork

If you’re just getting started, the best place to begin is your intake paperwork. Look at the issues your clients are presenting with. Note the language they’re using. What pain points are they writing down. Anxiety? Depression? Sadness? Stress? Make a list of these terms… they will come in handy later, I promise.

Use Google’s “People Also Ask:” Feature

infographic that says #keywords and the words concept, seo, web, sem, words, and content. Work with an SEO specialist at Simplified SEO ConsultingNext, do a quick Google search for the terms your clients are using. Scroll down to the bottom of the page, there you’ll notice Google has provided you with a list of other related searches, these are keywords. Write those down too!

As an example, I searched for “free keyword research tools.” At the bottom of Google, they gave me a list under the heading “people also asked” where they listed related terms that include “best keyword tool, keyword planner, and SEO keywords.”

Google Adwords Planner

If you’ve read our blogs, you likely know there’s a distinct difference between SEO or SEM (like Google AdWords). So, while we do not personally use this tool as SEO consultants, we do recognize its value when choosing keywords to optimize for. Specifically, the thing we’d suggest paying most attention to is the search volume in your area.

Click here to access the Keyword Planner

Google Trends

Google trends is a super cool tool that shows you what keywords people are searching for in your area. You can use google trends to compare keywords and see how keywords change based on major events in the area you’re searching for (like coronavirus for example).  This is especially helpful if you’re writing timely blogs about things that are currently in the news and want to see what terms people are using right now.

Click here to visit Google Trends


We love Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest free (as of June 2021) keyword tool! This tool will give you a few crucial pieces of SEO information. It provides a domain overview, other top SEO pages, keyword suggestions, content suggestions, and backlink information. It’s a wonderful place to begin your keyword research.

Click to visit Ubersuggest


Semrish’s free keyword magic tool. This tool is a simple yet detailed way to search for keywords. The free version (there’s a paid one too) gives you twelve searches per day. You can see how your intended keyword performs as well as related keywords you may want to consider tracking.

Click here for Semrush


The free version of Moz is very similar to Semrush and Ubersuggest. Here you can search for an intended keyword and get suggestions and understand the search volume and keyword difficulty. Another cool feature, they give you a “priority score ranking between 1-100 so you can see how important this term is to target.

Click for the Moz keyword tool


Wordstream offers a free search option. One cool factor that we like about this tool is it allows you to search by location so you can see how keywords are performing state by state. You can also enter websites’ URLs to compare how they perform SEO/SEM wise in a side-by-side comparison.

Click here to visit Wordstream

Answer the Public

Want to know what phrases your ideal clients are searching for? Well, look no further than answer the public. This website will also you to type in a phrase or word like search engine optimization for example and it will spit out a list of search queries relating to that term.

But beware, the free version only allows you to do two searches per day. Also, don’t try using your phone on WiFi to search, it won’t let you… we’ve tried.

Click here to use Answer the Public

YouTube Autocomplete

On YouTube, you can begin to type in a word or phrase and see what pops up as a suggestion. For example, go to YouTube and type in counseling, do you see what it suggests? Those are things you may want to consider targeting or at least blogging or vlogging on.

Want more help? We’ve got you covered!

Feeling perplexed about keyword research and don’t know where to begin? Don’t have the time to invest in this endeavor?

We get it. It can feel like a lot. But, we’re here to help. As skilled SEO specialists, we’ve done a lot of keyword research. Plus, we all have a background in mental health to draw upon. So, this translates into choosing great keywords to target on your private practice website. If you’re ready to begin optimizing your website and getting to the top of Google, we would love to speak with you.

photo of a keyword and blocks with the letters SEO on them. Work with an SEO consultant at Simplified SEO who Google search | keyword research | get to the top of google | SEO for therapists | SEO for mental health professionals | SEO specialists | Simplified SEO Consulting in SEO for therapists

To begin optimizing your therapy website 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 packages and training opportunities
  3. Start optimizing your webpage and watch your site rank better on Google!

About the Author:

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

As 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,  


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. 


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.  


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


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. 


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 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 


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 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. 

Image of a cartoon brain wearing glasses holding a coffee cup and using a laptop. This image illustrates how private practice therapists can use an SEO consulting service to boost their SEO rankings.

One of the major differences between Simplified SEO Consulting and many other SEO  companies is our understanding of psychology and therapy services. Our SEO Specialists prioritize getting “into the mind” of your potential clients and understand the importance of doing SEO in an ethical, client centered way. This helps us optimize your site in ways that will speak directly to an ideal client, incentivizing them to click on your site. We want website searchers to become website viewers. And website viewers to then become clients.

Client Psychology & SEO

The marketing field stands at a unique intersection between business and psychology. This is because psychology plays a limitless role in understanding consumer behavior. In order to best cater to searchers’ queries, we must first understand their needs. Then, we can consider the psychology that would lead them to believe your practice is the best fit for them. Lastly, we can focus on closing the deal. Or in our case, getting website viewers to convert to clients.

Psychological Connection to SEO Elements

Emotion is an essential factor in the psychology of decision-making. So, when working on website optimization, it is important to cater to the emotions of a website visitor. There are many aspects of a website that can entice viewers to stay on your site. Today, I’ll discuss four key elements of website optimization that can play to readers’ emotions.

Pain Points

Before even touching a service page, you need to identify your clients’ pain points. This will ensure that you’re not writing copy simply to create content. Instead, you are creating website copy that is useful to readers. We want searchers to land on your service page, read it, and think “oh my gosh, that’s me!” The content throughout your website should speak to the needs of your ideal client.

How do you identify pain points?

Image of a two women meeting virtually. SEO marketing for therapists can help you boost your rankings for your private practice website.

Pain points are the reason clients are coming to see you. And not just any clients, but the clients you want to work with. The clients that you feel excited to meet with because you know your skillset can make a difference in their lives. In the counseling world, pain points may be:

  • Symptoms of a particular diagnosis
  • Clients’ specific thoughts or beliefs about themselves/the world
  • Common experiences of a distinct population or demographic

Think about your current clients’ struggles. What brought them to counseling in the first place? These are the pain points you should be communicating on your service pages.

Meta Descriptions

Another element in which you can really center potential clients’ emotions is meta descriptions. This is the first tidbit of information a searcher can gather about your site. So, it’s very important that it accurately represents your business and speaks to your ideal clients’ emotions.

Incorporating pain points into your meta description will help your website stand out among a long list of search results. And the hope is that touching the emotions of a searcher can increase their incentive to click on your site, turning an impression into a click.

Photos and Videos

“A picture is worth a thousand words,” right? We know that the human brain can take in much more information from a photo or video than from text alone. This is one reason why having photos throughout your service pages is necessary for SEO. Breaking up large blocks of text with images not only helps with reading flow, but it helps communicate a fuller message to the reader.

Video plays an important role in communicating with website visitors, too. Imagine a client scrolling through your site, then finding a video of you speaking to the camera about your practice and the clients you help. This could make or break a viewer’s decision to call or check out the next practice that popped up on Google. Showing visitors who you are through video can them feel familiar and comfortable with you before even speaking.

Call to Action

If you’re a client of Simplified, you know how important a quality call to action section is. This part of a service page communicates to visitors how to convert to clients. If we could, we’d have big flashing red arrows to the call to action section! While getting lots of traffic to your site is great, getting calls for appointments is even sweeter. It’s the whole point of search engine optimization!

A direct call to action gives website visitors clear instructions on what to do when they decide to choose you. In a call to action section, you can speak to the struggles they are experiencing, then validate their emotions. This is basically a tiny snapshot of what meeting with you as a therapist could be like. (Remember those normalization and validation skills from school? That’s what I’m talking about!)

Giving clear steps of how to get started simplifies the process for new clients. And when they’re up at 3 AM from insomnia, they don’t want to weed through instructions. They want to get their needs met ASAP.

SEO is Complex

Image of a person using a laptop at a desk with the screen reading "SEO search engine optimization" in the search bar. Working on SEO for a private practice website can help therapists get ranking.There are many, many elements that go into a long-term SEO strategy. But, putting your ideal client at the center of that strategy will simplify it. At Simplified SEO Consulting, we want to know all about your ideal client. When our SEO Specialists can get into the mind of someone struggling with your specialty issues, we can help take your website to the next level.

If everything SEO sounds like mumbo-jumbo to you, you’re not alone! Search engine optimization is a vast subject, with many elements that can cause confusion. But, if you’re ready to take on the journey of boosting your website’s search engine optimization, we are happy to be your guide! To get your website ranking higher on Google, follow these steps.

  1. Book a free 30-minute consultation call with one of our staff members.
  2. Connect with one of our skilled SEO Specialists to learn about our offerings.
  3. Start getting found by your ideal clients!

SEO Services at Simplified SEO Consulting

We know that as a business owner and clinician, you are beyond busy. If SEO sounds like a good investment, but you don’t have the time, consider our Done For You SEO package. On the other hand, if you are interested in learning the ins and outs of SEO, our DIY Online SEO Courses or Done With You packages may be a good fit!

About the Author

Olivia Bahr is a Mental Health SEO Specialist and Content Writer at Simplified SEO Consulting. She holds a Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Missouri and has experience working with survivors of domestic violence. While working with private practice therapists from around the nation, Olivia has grown to enjoy blog writing, copywriting, and working with therapists specializing in trauma and LGBTQ issues.

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

SEO Is a Long-Term Investment

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

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

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

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

How Long Does SEO Take?

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

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

Your Time is Valuable. Outsource Your SEO

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


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

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

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

SEO Doesn’t Require Excessive Networking

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

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

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

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

SEO helps you attract your ideal client

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

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

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

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

SEO Helps You Scale Your Practice As You Continue to Grow

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

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

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

Final Thoughts

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

Begin SEO Services with Simplified SEO Consulting:

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

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

About the Author:

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

One of my favorite things about Simplified is that we challenge the “one size fits all” approach. Through years of working with therapists throughout the country (and internationally!), we know that every practice is starting at a different place. And, that each practice has different goals.

With that in mind, we’re also very aware of the practice’s capacity.

What does that mean? Well, each practice has different resources. This can be having a team with many clinicians that can delegate tasks. Other times, this looks like have more administrative time to knock the behind-the-scenes tasks. Again, this is different for everyone. But, you’re probably wondering how this relates to SEO. Well, let me tell ya!

A brain is pondering a question. This is related to doing your own website optimization. Simplified offers training courses to teach therapists how to build their own SEO.

Your practice’s capacity determines which SEO service makes the most sense. We offer services for practices at every stage. For some, our Done For You services are a great fit. Other times, our al a carte or online courses make sense. Furthermore, our Done With You services can be a great fit for some practices.

. . . Done With You Services?

Yep, Done With You Services! This service is our 12-week intensive training option. With this package, you’ll work one-on-one with our SEO specialists to learn how to do your own optimization. We meet every other week to teach you SEO concepts that you’ll be applying in real-time. During this time, we’ll work together on your site. We start with some basic keyword research and competitor research. From there, we work on writing stellar meta descriptions and creating SEO-worthy titles. Then, we do on-page optimization. This is when we work on incorporating headings, infusing keywords, and adding location indicators. The next step is internal links, external links, call to action, and other services sections. Don’t forget about adding photos with alt text!

A few of you reading this are PUMPED

A cartoon brain holds dumbbells. This demonstrates concepts of doing your own website optimization. Training options with Simplified can help you to boost SEO.

This sounds exciting, right? Learning how to do all of the SEO things on your own! If learning how to do your own website optimization sounds appealing to you, this blog is for you! Moving forward, I’ll cover some personal qualities that can determine your success in doing your own website optimization. From our experience, we have seen a theme of what determines success. Today, I’ll be covering a few signs that can help determine if doing your own website optimization could be a good fit for you!

So, who should do their own website optimization?

1. Website Optimization Consideration #1: Service providers that are the “hands-on” type

These are the folks that like to have their hands in every pot. Typically, these are the people that learn the best by doing- or our kinesthetic learners. And, have curiosity about the behind-the-scenes shenanigans. This often comes in handy for service providers doing their own optimization because it’s up to them to get it done! On top of that, there’s a healthy dose of curiosity that comes along with it, too. We find that providers are the most successful when they want to build their skills and understanding of SEO. At first, it will probably feel like learning a different language. But, after time, the pieces of the puzzle will start to fit.

In addition, therapists that are willing to dedicate some time to learning SEO are often more successful. While learning SEO won’t require as much time as obtaining licensure, there is still a component of time that comes along with doing their own website optimization.

2. Website Optimization Consideration #2: Clinicians that are willing to learn

A cartoon brain uses a laptop. This reflects concepts of doing your own website optimization. Learn more about how Simplified can help you to build SEO.

Correction: clinicians that are willing to learn things for their practice that grad school never taught them. Something that I, along with the other SEO Specialists, have heard time and time again is that grad school “didn’t teach (them) how to run a practice.” And that’s definitely true! What’s more, grad school didn’t teach you how to SEO either.

Learning SEO requires *some* unlearning of grad school.

What does this mean? Good SEO requires you not to write like you’re creating an essay for grad school. One of the determining factors of good SEO is readability. Typically, Google responds best to pages that have the readability of 5th grade. Essentially, Google likes when we write in a way that a 5th grader could read it and understand it. To achieve this, we recommend:

  • limiting run-on sentences (but really, aim to have NO run-on sentences)
  • adding transition words
  • having lots of headings and subheadings
  • not having sections longer than 150 words without a heading
  • straying away from academic language 
    • if it’s a sentence you would include in an essay, it likely needs to be edited

And, will to learn some techy things

In doing your own SEO, there are some techy aspects that come along with it. To be clear, we’re not expecting anyone to learn how to do their own coding. But, some of the processes require to you know a little more than the average bear. Better yet, they require you to be willing to learn more than the average bear. Doing your own SEO requires you to learn how to set up Google Search Console and Google My Business. On top of that, submitting sitemaps and requesting indexing are tasks that come along with website optimization as well.

Just to be clear: we’ll teach you how to do all of these things!

We know that doing your own SEO is the farthest thing from common knowledge. We’re aware that there’s a lot that goes into it. And, at first, it might feel pretty overwhelming. But you want to know a secret? None of our specialists were familiar with SEO when they started! But, after some training, practice, and personal research, we become experts! Just like you, we felt intimidated with learning what seems like an underground black market trade. But, after practice and guidance, we got the hang of it.

And the super cool thing? So can you!

3. Website Optimization Consideration #3: Therapists that have future projects in mind

A brain holds a lightbulb. This is related to doing your own website optimization. Simplified offers training option so therapists can learn how to do their own website optimization and boost SEO.

Especially if you have a few projects in mind that will require you to use the internet to some capacity. This looks different for everyone. But, some common themes that I’ve heard in the past include changing your URL or practice name. Sometimes, practice owners decide to expand their practice. However, the name or website URL they previously had doesn’t quite fit anymore. Other times, practice owners see a website redesign in their future. In both of these scenarios, SEO will take a drastic hit. Big changes like this will result in an initial decrease in your SEO.

A metaphor that I like to compare it to is a breakup.

Let’s pretend your website and Google are in a relationship. Things have been going steady and it seems like you’re both happy. But, out of the blue, your website breaks up with Google. From Google’s point of view, this was completely unexpected. Things were going great, then you suddenly end things with no warning? Google is very confused. And, incredibly hurt. Now, Google has trust issues with your site. Then, it sees that you’re coming back (submitting sitemaps, requesting indexing, updating your Google My Business). And Google wants to trust you. But, it’s not quite ready for it. Now, Google needs you to prove that you’re committed this time. And, the only way to show that is through time and rebuilding your SEO.

But, you’ll get back to where you were! Maybe not overnight. But, you’ll recover your SEO. And, hopefully exceed the SEO you built up previously.

Of course, there are other “projects” or “changes” that would make you a great fit for doing their own website optimization

Everyone sees a different future for their practice. If yours is full of new projects, expansions, or dabbling in podcasts, website optimization could be a great fit. Why? Because this will be one less thing you need to pay to outsource! Instead, you can take some time to learn how to do it yourself then apply it as you need to in the future.

A few details about our Done With You program

Two brains are shown. This demonstrates concepts of doing your own website optimization to boost therapist SEO.

At Simplified, we truly believe that any therapist can learn to do their own SEO and website optimization. And, we’re happy to teach those tools! Our 12-week intensive program is a great option for practitioners that are curious and excited to learn how to do their own SEO. In our training program, our approach is holistic. Our goal is to teach you everything you need to know to do your own website optimization. We start from the beginning and cover the basics. From there, we gradually incorporate skills that increasingly become more advanced. With this in mind, we walk along with you the entire time.

Our training program is a unique one-on-one opportunity that teaches you everything you need to know about website optimization. On top of that, we offer technical support and guidance throughout the entire time. You’ll meet with your SEO Specialist every other week for 12-weeks. During this time, we’ll cover the content that was included in your “homework.” On top of that, we’ll do some on-page optimization to see what it looks like in real-time. In addition, you will be offered resources that explain concepts in greater detail. Our intention is for you to incorporate these concepts each week on your site with our guidance. Along the way, we’re happy to answer any questions that come up.

So, are you ready to get the training party started?

I hope you found this interesting! As aforementioned, the training program can be a great fit for some clinicians. We’d love to have you in our training program! If you decide that you’re ready to do your own website optimization, follow these steps:

  1. Schedule a free 30-minute consultation with us. 
  2. Get to know our team of highly skilled and experienced SEO specialists.
  3. Brag to your other therapist friends that you can optimize your website optimization 🙂

For those that aren’t interested in Done With You services, we also offer Done For You services where we do the optimization. Either way, we’re happy to help!

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!

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. If you’re working on cornerstone content, you’re probably our ideal client, because we love optimizing these blog posts for SEO! In summary, 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. 

I realize there’s a lot to learn when it comes to SEO. Even if you’re working with a professional to optimize your site, you may have questions. Today, I want to give you some resources to help you answer some common questions we’re frequently asked.

This blog will answer the following questions:

What is SEO?

If you’re new around here, you may be wondering what is SEO? SEO stands for search engine optimization. The goal of SEO is to help you get to the top of the search results on Google or other search engines. Therefore, SEO refers to any changes you make on your website with the goal of getting it to show up higher organically (without paying for ads) in search engine results.That sounds pretty great, right? 

Want to learn more?

Check out my Common Questions About SEO

How do I get Google to notice my website?

SEO infographic that says strategy link building, content, traffic, keyword research, feedback, social network. Learn about seo from therapists from an seo specialist at simplified seo consulting

Getting to the top of Google requires optimizing your website. Every company has a different strategy on how to do this. But it essentially boils down to three components: technical SEO, on-page SEO, and off-page SEO. 

  • Technical SEO: This incorporates the aspects of your website’s infrastructure that impact user experience. Some examples include: how quickly your site loads, the structure of your site, having duplicate or plagiarized content, and submitting your sitemaps on Google Search Console.
  • On-page SEO: On-page SEO is the fun part. This is when we work to make your page speak directly to your ideal client. This includes things like simplifying the readability, adding subheadings, a call to action, the other services section, and adding and optimizing photos.
  • Off-page SEO: This includes things from external sources that boost your site’s credibility. This includes: adding external links, getting backlinks that point to your site, marketing efforts, and getting on therapist directories.

Want to Learn More? Check Out These Blogs:

Understanding the Three Main Components of SEO

The Importance of a Holistic SEO Approach

SEO Worksop: Website Speed and SEO

Setting Up Google Search Console

Why should therapists invest in SEO?

Close up of a black business man updating the SEO on his website.Simply put, getting to the top of Google helps you reach more clients and provide them with high-quality mental health services. 

Perhaps you’re building or scaling your private practice and need to increase your caseloads. But, you’re finding that’s tough when no one knows about the services you offer. Enter SEO. It is a powerful marketing tool that can help you build your know, like, and trust factor with clients before they even walk in your door. If Google ranks you well and you answer the queries of your ideal client then you are likely to build their trust and compel them to call you. 

Investing Time and/or Money

The truth is that if you were smart enough to finish grad school, get a professional license and open your own business you’re probably smart enough to learn at least the basics on SEO on your own.  But should you? Or is it time to outsource?  It’s really a time versus money situation.  You can invest a lot of time in learning to optimize your own website through online courses or training/coaching programs.  Or you can pay someone else to optimize your website, although even then there will be somewhat of a time investment as you provide them instruction, feedback, etc.  It’s really a matter of where you fall at this point in time on the time versus money to invest and what your personal preferences are.

Curious? Check out these SEO blogs:

Jessica’s SEO Journey

3 Reasons Helping Professionals Should Invest in Hiring an SEO Expert

SEO Services: Who We Help

Is SEO Important for Mental Health Professionals?

How can SEO help you attract the right clients?

Our goal when we optimize websites is to not only get you clicks on Google but help you attract your ideal client. We do this by thinking like your ideal client. We do our best to determine what words, phrases, and questions they may be typing into a Google search query. Then, we optimize your website for these words. This helps you not only fill your private practice with paying clients but fill it with the right clients. For example, I’m sure it’s preferable to get calls from clients who live in the states you’re licensed in, SEO can help you do just that and eliminate calls from individuals living in places where you’re not licensed. 

Check out this blog about content:

Adding Content for SEO and Your Clients

Is there anything I should do before optimizing my website?

Yes. There are definitely some things you should consider before investing the time or money in optimizing your website. 

  1. Does your website look the way you want it to? Before you invest in SEO, you should do the bulk of the design work and make sure you love the way your website looks. 
  2. Create three to five service pages.
  3. Make sure each page has 500+ words
  4. Add your location or physical address to every page of your website

Blogs about things you should do before investing in SEO:

Is Your Website Ready for SEO?

The First Three Things You Should Do For SEO

 3 Non-Techy things You can Do to Get Your Website Ranking

Not Sure Where to Start With Your New Therapy Website? 

The 4 Things Your Counseling Website Must Do

What is a keyword & how do I use keywords?

Woman on computer near notebook and coffee doing keyword research. This person has figured out what the best keywords for online counseling pages. To learn more about Simplified specialists role and keywords, continue reading our blog.As SEO specialists it’s our job to figure out what people are searching for on Google. We first start by asking you what pain points your clients are writing down on their intake paperwork. What language are they using? What service are they asking you to provide? 

Next, we use this information and our knowledge of mental health to do keyword research. There are a variety of keyword research tools we use (see the blog listed below) and we determine what words or phrases we need to optimize for. 

Then, we use this information to do on-page work like adding subheadings, working on the readability, optimizing photos, and writing meta descriptions. 

Check out these blogs about keyword research:

Why Keyword Research is the Foundation of SEO

What to Say on Your Website? Counseling or Therapy or Psychotherapy?

Keyword Placement on Your Website

4 Common Keyword Research Mistakes

Keyword Research Tools for Therapists 

What is a meta description and how does it help?

Picture of a page title and meta description for a counseling website.A meta description is what shows up after the page title on a google search. A well-optimized meta description contains the keyword(s) you’re trying to rank for and a call to action that compels the user to click on your link. It’s basically your potential client’s sneak peek into who you are and the service you provide. 

Want to learn more check out these blogs:

How Can Meta Descriptions Help My SEO?

How to Write a Meta Description

What is readability and why should I worry about it?

photo of a person writing the SEO and content representing the importance of having good readability when optimizing your website. Learn more about SEO for therapistsBefore I answer this question, I should probably warn you that my specialty is readability so I am very passionate about this topic. 

First of all, readability is the practice of making your page approachable and easy to understand. We usually explain it like this. Imagine, you’re at a backyard BBQ and your nephew with no mental health knowledge asks what it is you do? Would you summarize the latest research article you were published in? Share your dissertation or a master’s level thesis paper? Probably not. You would tell him simply, that you are a therapist and you specialize in helping people work on the issues that matter most to them.

Your clients do not want to read a bunch of technical jargon, especially when they’re in crisis. So it’s very important that you are direct and clear with your message. Save the technical words and clinical language for your professional colleagues and speak simply. 

Another aspect of readability is breaking down your text into manageable parts, just like I have done in this blog. Separate your thoughts into smaller sections and add subheadings. Some of your clients may hate reading or not have the time to read, so they just want to scan the text. Give them the opportunity to do this by adding clear well-optimized subheadings that convey the overall message of your page. 

Blogs about readability:

Let’s Talk About Readability

Readability 2.0: The Importance of Using Approachable Language

How Headings and Subheadings Can Help Your SEO

What about photos? Are they really necessary and do I actually need to optimize them? 

In terms of SEO, yes photos are necessary, and yes you need to optimize them. First of all, optimizing your photos is a great place to add keywords that will help get you ranking on Google. Their algorithm scans alt text and photo titles for keywords, so it’s important to add them. 

Secondly, adding a meta description to the photos on your website is important from an accessibility standpoint. Take a moment and think about your potential clients who are visually impaired and using screen readers or assistive technology. I would imagine they feel very frustrated when they know there’s a photo but they don’t know what the photo is of. If you add alt text that describes the photo, then their screen reader can read it to them and they will feel included. This helps build their confidence in your ability to be sensitive to their needs. 

Blogs about optimizing photos:

Alt Text as an Ethical SEO Strategy

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

I know internal links are important, but where do I put them?

Internal links are an important part of on-page SEO work. We put them in several different places. On almost every page we optimize we add them to in a call to action section and the other services section. 

A call to action section is broken down into three easy-to-follow steps to show your ideal client how easy it is to begin services at your counseling clinic. Here’s an example: 

  1. Contact our Los Angeles based counseling center (link to contact)
  2. Meet with a trained trauma therapist for a free 15-minute consultation (link to therapy team page)
  3. Begin trauma treatment and find relief from the symptoms of PTSD

The other services section is a place where we list the other counseling services you provide and link back to those pages. Not only does this help you get those coveted internal links, but it also gives your reader the opportunity to visit other pages on your website which has an added benefit and boosts your site’s credibility in the eyes of google. 

Curious about internal links? Read these blogs:

How to Use Links and Anchor Text to Boost Your SEO

Where to Fit Internal Links

Do I HAVE to blog?

person typing on computer next to a notebook that says new blog post written in block letters. This represents the benefit of blogging and SEO for therapists. Learn about optimizing your private practice website. First of all, you don’t HAVE to do anything. But, if you want to rank really well on Google, then I highly suggest you blog at least two times a month. Getting fresh content on your website shows Google that you’re still relevant. If you haven’t added content in quite a while, Google may question rather you’re still in business and operational. Without new content, they may give preference to other sites with fresh content. 

Furthermore, blogging is a great way to target specific keywords that maybe aren’t performing well from a service page alone. For example, say you’re trying to rank for online therapy in texas. Well, everyone is trying to rank for that right now, so it’s challenging to get much upward movement on that particular keyword. But, you could blog about it and talk about the benefits, how online therapy works, and ways to make the most of online therapy and mention your location. Then, Google will see that you’re serious about offering online therapy and will be likely to rank you higher. 

Lastly, blogging has so many benefits for your ideal client and your private practice. Blogging is a great way to answer commonly asked questions or address commonly discussed issues that are brought up during a counseling session. Perhaps, these are the issues that people are too embarrassed to bring up with a therapist they barely know. For example, how to address a lack of sex in a marriage or I am having scary thoughts, what do I do? These are questions people may google because it’s private and doesn’t require them to be vulnerable with another person. And while you can’t answer these questions in as much depth as you would when you meet with them for therapy, you can offer them temporary relief until they are able to visit your counseling clinic. 

Want to learn more about blogging? Check out our blogs on the subject:

Part 1 of the Blogging Webinar Series: Do I have to Blog for SEO?

Part 2 Of The Blogging Webinar Series: Why Does Content Have to be Original?

Are Blog Posts Just for SEO?

How to Write a Long Enough Blog Post

Photo of a computer with the word "backlinks" on the screen sitting on a table representing how therapist directories can help psychotherapists build backlinks and therefore build SEO.You get a backlink when an external website links to your website. Typically this occurs when two websites share some common ground. A backlink is almost like citing your resources. It shows that the information you’re providing your client is coming from a reliable source. Backlinks also tell Google that you’re information is legitimate and trustworthy. Google’s terms of service state that they give priority to ranking sites that are trustworthy and relevant. 

There are lots of different ways to obtain backlinks. My colleague Alyssa wrote a comprehensive guide to earning backlinks. You should check it out to learn more information about places you can get backlinks. We also offer a backlinks course for people who want to learn more about getting and keeping up with backlinks. 

Learn more about backlinks in these blogs:

A Comprehensive Guide to Earning Backlinks

4 of My Most Surprising Backlinks

Getting High-Quality Backlinks: SEO Tips and Tricks

Not All Backlinks Are Created Equal

Should I consider investing in hiring an SEO specialist?

I think this question really boils down to one simple question. Do you want to do it yourself or have someone do it for you? Either option is okay. There’s certainly a wealth of information online on optimizing your website. However, the benefit of working with an SEO specialist is having another set of eyes on your site. We know how to get websites ranking well on Google and draw from our mental health knowledge to help you speak to the needs of your ideal clients. We also have access to tools to do in-depth keyword research and monitor your data.

Want to learn more about SEO and what SEO specialists do? Read this blog:

What Does an SEO Specialist Do?

Does Google My Business Help SEO?

Yes. Having a well-optimized Google My Business Account boosts your SEO because it tells Google where you’re located. Furthermore, it offers your ideal clients another way to find your websites. Lastly, a Google My Business account offers you the opportunity to embed a Google map on your website which tells Google where you’re located. 

Please note that if you don’t have a physical address, you can’t have a Google My Business Listing. So, online practices are out of luck. But there are other ways you can tell Google where you’re located. Check out my blog on the subject listed below. 

Check out these blogs to learn about Google My Business and SEO:

Google My Business: Optimizing Your Profile

Google My Business for Online-Only Counseling Practices

The Importance of Letting Google Know Where You’re Located

Can social media boost SEO?

photo of a finger. smartphone, and social media icons representing the impact social media has on SEO for therapists. Learn more from an SEO specialist

Active social media can positively impact your SEO if you are interacting with your followers and sharing relevant content with direct links to your website. But here’s the catch: Google wants to see that they not only visit your site but interact with it and visit multiple pages. Basically, while social media alone cannot boost your SEO, it can help.

Learn more about SEO and Social Media here: 

How Important is Social Media for SEO?

Social Media Series: Live Feeds

How do I know if SEO is working?

If you’re investing in SEO, rather it’s time or money, you likely want to ensure you’re getting a good return on your investment. To do this, you need to track your data. Not only does tracking your data tell you if your efforts are working, but it also helps you track where your clients are coming from. For example, data can tell you if your clients are coming from an organic search (SEO), direct searches (when they type in your URL), or social media. Lastly, data can also tell you what the visitors are doing on your website. It can answer questions of how long they are staying on your site and how many pages they’re visiting while they’re on there.  

Learn more about interpreting SEO data and getting a good return on your investment:

How Do I Know If My SEO Efforts Are Working?

Quality Content and SEO Return

3 Reasons Why You Should Track Your SEO Data

Google Analytics: How to Use the Data

I am ready to begin prioritizing SEO, what should I do?

tile letters SEO under a magnifying glass representing the power of SEO for therapists. Work with an SEO specialist at Simplified SEO ConsultingIf you’re ready to begin making SEO a priority, Simplified SEO Consulting would love to help.  We offer a variety of options to support you at different points in your private practice journey.  However, we always start with a free consultation to look at your website, ask what your needs are right now, answer your questions and see which of our services would be the best fit. To get started, 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 packages and training opportunities
  3. Start optimizing your webpage and watch your site rank better on Google!

About the Author:

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