Murphys Law famously states “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” 

A graphic of web statistics on a computer screen. Learn more about SEO for counselors and how we can support your private practice website with online SEO training. 65202While this (thankfully) isn’t exactly true, we may often feel like it is based on the many ways mess-ups can happen. This also rings true when it comes to SEO and creating or maintaining your own website. As your website grows in size and complexity, so do the ways that technical errors can occur. Some of these errors may be minor inconveniences. But, others may cause many negative effects on the health and architecture of your site.  

In today’s post, we are going to be discussing some of the biggest technical errors that can affect your site. Plus, we will cover how these errors affect your site, and why you should take the time to focus on resolving them. So without further ado, let’s cover one of the most critical issues you may find on a site audit.

Site Audit Issue #1: 4xx Errors

Ideally, you wouldn’t be very familiar with the effects 4xx errors can have on websites. But, the reality is you’ve likely already encountered one of these before. They can occur on any website, including your own. These errors signify when the link or URL of a page isn’t working as intended. The reason why a link stops working can vary depending on many factors. But, they always appear as an error code

Some of the most common 4xx error codes include:

  • 403 “Forbidden” – When a person doesn’t have the correct permissions to access the page in question.
  • 404 “Not Found” – When a URL isn’t available to Google, and it isn’t known if the URL will be available in the future.  
  • 410 “Gone” – When a URL has been permanently removed from Google.
  • 401 “Unauthorized” – When an individual lacks the verification or login credentials to access a specific page.

Why should you resolve 4xx errors?

Regardless of which 4xx error you may be encountering, finding the solution for the broken link is an important part of maintaining your site’s health. These errors can cause entire pages of your site to be unavailable to potential visitors. Plus, Google can’t index pages if the robots can’t crawl them! As a result, your site may not get the SEO credit it deserves, even if you put a great deal of work into the content of your site.

One of the most efficient ways to resolve these errors is by creating redirects. Setting up redirects on your site will vary based on the builder you are using, but will usually involve using 3xx redirects. While this method is convenient, doing so may also result in slower navigation for the user on the site. I’d love to mention more about redirects, but that topic deserves its own blog post entirely! So, let’s move on to the second big error.

Site Audit Issue #2: Duplicate Content Errors 

When we talk about “quality” content, we often refer to what any client can see on screen. But, this can also apply to the more technical parts of your site that may go unseen. These seen and unseen errors can have measurable effects on your site’s SEO. Duplicate content may appear as copies of:

  • Pages 
  • Paragraphs and photos
  • Titles
  • Meta descriptions 

Duplicate content itself occurs when the same content is present in more than one place on the web. Having duplicate content on your site won’t result in any specific penalties from Google. But, it can still make it hard for search engines to decide what content is the “right” content and should show up in the search results. Search engines like Google won’t rank every copy of the same content. So, it is up to you to help Google figure out which one should be included, and which should be excluded

A graphic of a person using magnifying glasses to view different stats. This represents how online SEO training can support SEO for therapists and SEO for counselors. Learn more by contacting Simplified SEO Consulting for support with your private practice website. 65202Fixing Duplicate content 

By using a site auditor, you can have a much easier time finding exactly where the errors are hiding. But, fixing duplicate content actually starts with creating the content itself. Having original content is vital from both a client-facing and technical SEO perspective. By having this high-quality content, you will ensure that Google knows your site is active, maintained, and is seen as a more credible source.

While also having original content, you can fix duplicate content by setting up a redirect. This may be a 301 or rel=canonical redirect, and by using them you can determine which pages you want Google to focus on. There are also other, more technical ways of resolving duplicate content, but that deserves its own blog post as well!

Site Audit Issue #3: Broken Links

This refers to all the internal links connecting each page throughout your site. These links are vital to the make-up of your site architecture, and website authority. So, ensuring your site is clean of broken links is a must. If your page is littered with dead-end links, it does not serve as a good sign to Google. But, these may occur for a number of reasons, such as:

  • Updating a page’s URL
  • Pages getting lost or renamed during a site migration
  • Linking to content that has been removed 
  • Typing in the wrong URL (or accidentally linking to a page that doesn’t actually exist).  

If a link is broken on your site, it may be a sign that a page is no longer available. This may be due to something like a 404 or 410 error as mentioned above or might be a sign that a broken backlink is present on another site. This can cause even more SEO issues since losing these valuable links can harm not only your authority but also your expertise in the eyes of google. By fixing these issues, you are also indirectly helping to establish and maintain EAT with Google.

Fixing Broken Links

Finding broken links can be made simple by viewing a site audit. But, fixing them is another story. This can seem like a simple fix if only a few links are affected. In some cases, you may only need to the page where a single broken link is going. If so, you can go to that page, and update or remove said link. But, if a single link is present on a vast number of your pages, finding every instance of the broken link can soon become a problem. Luckily, creating redirects for the affected links can once again help you to resolve these types of issues. By creating a redirect for a broken link, you can give it a new URL that the site will recognize. Thus, making it easier for you to make larger, more sitewide changes instead of hunting for every instance of the error

A graphic of a website statistics for Simplified SEO Consulting. Learn more about online SEO training & how we can support your private practice website. We support SEO for counselors and more. 65202Closing Thoughts

I’ve mentioned how redirects can help solve a variety of site audit errors a few times in this blog. But, they are not the end all be all. They can help you to maintain and fine-tune your site but, they are not always the best solution for every situation. When addressing site audit errors, it is important to do your own research on how you can solve the issue using your specific website builder. The methods may differ based on the platform, but the principles remain the same. By following these principles, you can rest assured that your site is free of any catastrophic errors

Begin SEO Services With Simplified SEO Consulting

We are very familiar with the many errors that can occur from a site audit. We are also happy to offer support in solving them. Our team of SEO specialists is trained in resolving these technical errors to help your site rank higher on Google. To start SEO services with Simplified SEO Consulting, please follow these simple steps:

  1. Book a free consultation
  2. Meet with an SEO specialist
  3. Start improving the health of your site!

Other Services Offered with Simplified SEO Consulting 

Our team is happy to support you in improving the health of your site. But, this isn’t the only service we offer. We also offer SEO services including our DIY Online SEO Courses, Done For You SEO services, and a Done With You 12-week Intensive SEO program. Feel free to visit our blog to learn more today!

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

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

As a busy business owner looking to scale, your time is very, very valuable. So, when I start talking about creating content to improve SEO it’s not uncommon that people start looking for ways to reuse that content.  And I’m supportive of that….as long as it doesn’t hurt your SEO.

I’ve had a few times where people told me they wrote such an amazing blog post that they published it on two different websites they own.  Or that they used it as a guest blog post for some big name website AND published the same content on their own website.  Unfortunately, neither of these are particularly great for your SEO.  Google likes to see fresh, new, relevant content.

But that doesn’t mean all is lost.  You don’t have to totally create content from Scratch!  Here are three ways content I’ve created has been re-used and it’s been helpful for SEO:

A keyboard with a person typing and a pad with the words "new blog post" representing how you can create new blog posts on similar topics to improve your SEO through backlink building1) The Guest Blog Post that Re-Uses an Old Idea

I often talk about Guest Blog Posting and people start groaning. They worry about having time to write a bunch of unique blog posts.  But there ARE some short cuts. One of my favorite things is to come up with a topic that can be applied to several different populations. Then, create an outline that can be reused and write a similar blog post for several different people.

I’ve done this a few times before and recently decided to do it again for this post.  So, I found two similar articles I wrote years ago for my own private practice blog and then asked a couple colleagues if I could write a similar blog post but with a focus on a different population for their website.  The result? Five different blog posts all talking about how to use the 6 levels of validation I learned back in my comprehensive DBT days but with five different populations. I actually wrote the three new articles in about an hour (even though they’re longer and I think actually better written than my original ones) because I already knew exactly what I was writing about.  But none of them are exactly the same, so it should help all of our SEO.  Take a look:

2) The Video that Becomes a Blog Post & Social Media Post

This is one of my favorites. As a practice owner, you can create a single video that can be uploaded to Youtube, used to write a summary as a blog post on the topic (make sure to embed the youtube video on the blog post as well) and then shared on Social Media.  You only have to come up with the topic and describe it once, but it’s shared across all of these platforms.

3) The Podcast Episode that was Used in Three Places

Photo of a microphone and headphones with the words "new podcast episode" representing how these three podcasts created a "new" episode from the same recording in a way that was good for SEO

In October, I spent an amazing few days in a retreat at Lake Lure with my Mastermind group. Four of us spent time doing everything from hiking, to networking, to quick sprints to knock out big projects and supporting each other as we presented at a virtual conference. The last day, my friend Gordon proposed we quickly record a podcast episode. We had a great time chatting about business and especially about how helpful it is to be part of a group like that while growing our businesses.

The other three members of our group each have their own podcast. So, Gordon graciously shared the recording with Whitney & Uriah.  In turn, all three turned the recording into a podcast episode. Sure, each created their own introduction, but they didn’t have to recreate the podcast. Then, they each wrote their own show notes. Now, all three have these show notes out on their respective website. And even though it’s describing the same thing and much of their episodes are the same content, this is actually helping all of their SEO because those show notes (while similar and describing the same content) are unique to that specific website.

Want to see how this worked? Check out the show notes on each of their website, and make sure to listen in on our conversation as well!

Want to Learn More About Optimizing Your Private Practice Website?

If you’re ready to get serious about your SEO, we want to help you through the process. First of all, we believe that if you survived grad school you can certainly learn the basics of SEO. So, if you’re the DIY sort of person bootstrapping it through building your own business, you may be interested in our DIY SEO Courses or our flagship 12 Week SEO Intensive Program. Or….we just started our very first Small Group SEO Mastermind, but it filled up so quickly we’re already starting a list for people who are interested in joining one this Spring or Summer!

Now…just because we believe you CAN doesn’t mean you want to optimize your own website or even should. After all,  we know your time is valuable as the business owner. So, we also offer “Done for You” SEO services. Interested in any of these options? If so, schedule a 30 minute consultation. In this meeting, we’ll chat a bit over Zoom to make sure we’re choosing the option that’s best for the next steps you are taking in your business.

Casual photo of Jessica Tappana, a mental health private practice owner as well as the founder of Simplified SEO ConsultingAbout the Author

Jessica Tappana believes in the power of psychotherapy to transform lives. She’s passionate about the field of mental health. She’s also built two successful businesses-a private practice in Columbia, MO where she still see counseling clients of her own in addition to supporting a team of 9+ clinicians and also Simplified SEO Consulting where she stays actively involved but has an incredible team supporting practice owners all over the world. She sees both of these businesses as contributing to her overall mission of spreading great mental health. Also, she believes that by helping practice owners have full, stable practices they’ll be able to do their very best work by feeling less stressed and being able to focus on working with the clients who fit them the best. She also believes that empowering her clinicians in her practice allows them to do the very best work for her clients.

In addition to running her businesses, Jessica loves to spend time with her family and also connect with other clinicians. In fact, having the opportunity to meet so many clinicians around the country has been one of the best benefits to building her businesses the last few years! The other consultants mentioned above live in Georgia, Tennessee & California. Other practice owners who have become close friends live in Florida, Nevada, Colorado, Kentucky & so many other places. But this passion for the field of mental health and belief that we can grow our impact by growing our businesses has led to the opportunity to form these incredible friendships that she values and learns from every day.

Belonging, diversity, and inclusion on blocks with silhouette of man walking. Learn about seo for therapists with us. Copywriting for therapists wanting to begin marketing strategies for african american clients matters. Its time to connection and help the community around you. So you’re looking to invest in SEO for therapists because you’re trying to seek out therapy services offered to the black community. This is easier said than done. You may be wondering what BIPOC and POC are even searching for when it comes to mental health. After all, we are notorious for not seeking out mental health, and only in the past few years have we started to undo generational traumas, seek help, and begin to normalize needing help. With the change of the African American and black communities’ mindset, now we are seeing our fellow brothers and sisters reaching their hands out. 

Now it is our job to meet them halfway. However, as a black clinician, you may be struggling to communicate your services for POC because you’re worried about using the right language and finding the right keywords. Should you be searching for “ find a black therapist near me”, or “ Therapy for African Americans”. With the change in diversity language and the need to niche down, it can be challenging to know what our people are out there searching for. Luckily SEO is here to help. Gaining the right clients is more than adding the right keywords. There is much more that needs to be done before you begin to connect with your ideal people. Learn more about SEO for therapists. 

Tip #1: Do a Google search for the terms you want to rank for and see what you find

Sometimes people feel like they need a fancy system to do appropriate keyword research. However, a quick way for black clinicians to speak to their people is to look at Google itself. Have you ever typed in “ Black therapist near me”, or African American Marriage Counselor”? What you will find when you type in certain keywords, other suggestions will pop up. These are important to pay attention to. It means people are actually looking for these services. So if you are offering therapy for people of color and you’re not checking on what Google offers you’re missing out. This demonstrates an immediate need in your immediate market. This also means that if there is a need, there should be keywords and copy on your site related to these topics. 

Tip # 2 Write About Issues That Matter to the Black and BIPOC Community

If you want to work with the black community to improve mental health, then you need to talk about the issues that affect them. That means if you’re dealing with high achieving women of color, talk about the stress, burnout, anxieties, fears, and struggles with relationships and boundaries. For black men, creating a safe space to deal with emotions and trauma alongside the stigma of needing help. Or, even addressing the touchy subject and impact of the pandemic, vaccines, and skepticism with Covid in the black community. We have a lot going on. What you can do to connect with your ideal clients is to make sure you’re not giving them fluff for how to deal with their mental health. Be real and show them real ways to overcome and move forward. That means blogging and writing quality service pages for your people. 

Tip # 3 Display Diversity on Your SiteParents holding young black girls hands outside. Needing support with seo for therapists. Ready to reach out and support your community? Learn about effective marketing strategies for Africans Americans and the black community.

This means planning out the design of your site and photos to align with your ideal people. You may think that is simple, I mean you’re putting black and BIPOC people on your site. Right?! No, it means display us in all shades of the rainbow, all sizes, styles, and stages of life. Make sure you represent and do it well so that your people feel seen and heard every step of the way. 

Tip # 4 Make Sure You’re Showing Your Niches on Your Website

We say this all the time, build out pages! However, it is so necessary to do this. You cannot just talk about anxiety, trauma, and relationships in the context of what they generally experience. That doesn’t help anyone unless you’re a group practice with many different focuses. However, if you’re looking for specific people you have to talk about the struggle of dealing with mental health in the context of the environment. 

Tip # 5 Connect with the Community and Other Clinicians 

Reach out to local schools and universities. Talk with community centers and initiatives in your area. The more you connect the better the community knows you’re available. Allowing people to know you’re a good referral source will help you in the long run. Additionally, if you’re looking to get backlinks and set up credibility with your domain, make sure you have good connections that can also give you a backlink for guest blogging. Make sure you’re making good use of your external resources, making yourself known, and seeing how you can support your community. If you need more support with this, let us help, we have worked with many clients from different niches and backgrounds and would love to help you reach your ideal people. 

Start Making an Impact Effectively with SEO for Therapists!African american woman laying on bed facing each other with legs up on wall. Its time to invest in SEO for therapists and we are here to help. Begin learning more marketing strategies for African Americans and the black community today!

Are you wondering how SEO for therapists will support your marketing strategy for African Americans? Our skilled and passionate team of SEO specialists is here to make sure your SEO journey is tailored to your brand and identity. Simplified SEO Consulting would be excited to help you on your SEO journey. To get started with our service follow these simple steps:  

  1. Schedule a consult with our Client Success Specialist or Consult Team   
  2. Learn more about our wonderful team of SEO Specialists.  
  3. Start connecting better when you learn more about SEO for therapists

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 (about 3 months) of intensive SEO for therapists who want to learn with a guide. Additionally, we are offering a limited-time SEO Mastermind group if you want a great training opportunity for a steal, this is for you. For those looking for a more specialized package, we also offer an SEO strategy package. To get started, schedule a consultation with our Client Success Specialist today!  

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

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

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

Understanding the Importance of E.A.T in SEO

 

A person points to a graphic with the text SEO and a rocket above a graph. Learn how EAT seo can improve your rankings today. We love to talk about the best ways to improve your rankings, which is why today we are going to cover a popular buzzword that can help you get your site to reach your ideal client. Better yet, understanding how to excel in each of these aspects will help you to create high-quality content regardless of what your therapeutic specialty may be! Regardless of what your site is like, this blog will have helpful info! So, without further ado, let’s learn about EAT!

What does E.A.T Stand For?

E.A.T stands for Expertise, Authority (Authoritativeness), and Trust (Trustworthiness). In the past few years, this has become a vital ranking factor in the eyes of Google. In fact, it is one of the top three ranking factors in determining the quality of a page. Google determines the quality of a page based on the level of expertise you have on the topic, how you show your credentials, and how much trust Google (and clients) have in your site. For the sake of this post, we will focus only on the mental health field. But, it should be noted that E.A.T is an invaluable ranking factor regardless of the focus of your site. In short, we as humans must eat to survive, and the same goes for your website!

As a result, it becomes vital to understand how you can communicate each of these pillars to Google, and what can be done to improve your E.A.T with Google. But, we should first cover the number one question you likely have. 

Why is E.A.T Important?

This ties to Google’s main goal of providing the best user experience that helps users find high-quality content that can answer whatever their query may be. This may come in the form of finding services that meet their needs, providing answers to commonly asked questions, or offering helpful information on a topic, just to name a few. If you can provide a great user experience while also incorporating E.A.T, you are well on your way to creating the high-quality content that Google wants to see in the search results! Since people are looking for so many different things, incorporating E.A.T across your site can manifest in a variety of ways. 

Let’s Use A Depression Therapy Page as an Example A person writes on a window with a marker. The text reads seo content. Learn about Goggle EAT guidelines to improve your rankings today! Learn how Simplified can help you with E.A.T today. 65202

For someone to reach this page, they are likely looking for depression therapy, and wish to learn more about the service. As a result, you’ll want to include your credentials, info about what to expect from therapy, and your personal approach. By doing so, you are showing that you are qualified to offer this service, thus helping establish yourself as an expert on the topic. Google will love to see this, but expertise is only one factor.

For something like a blog post, incorporating E.A.T may look a bit different. If the post is centered around a more personal account of one’s experience with depression, it may not be necessary or appropriate to shoehorn in how you’re an expert on the topic. Instead, this could be used as an opportunity to connect with readers on a more human level and help establish trust.

How Can I Improve My Site’s E.A.T?

There are a variety of ways to accomplish this, which I will cover in just a bit. But, a good starting point is this: focus on creating content for the user, not Google. We often talk about the importance of optimizing for Google, but this has to be done with nuance. If you are only creating content to try and rank better on Google, you likely aren’t taking the user experience into account. If visitors to your site aren’t finding the results they need, they will likely look elsewhere. So, all the work you’ve done to improve your E.A.T may not be seen by anyone! 

 

Google itself even outlines this in its webmaster guidelines to make pages primarily for users, not search engines. Ask yourself if the content you’re creating will actually help Google in offering high-quality answers to those searching for them. If your site does, well done! If not, don’t worry, we are going to cover each pillar of E.A.T individually, and suggest some ways you can improve them!

Expertise

As mentioned earlier, expertise involves having the experience necessary to offer the solutions or services that you offer. Many therapists already have a great amount of expertise, otherwise, they wouldn’t be allowed to offer their services! But, it is still vital to showcase what training you have that enables you to offer your services. You’ve done a lot to make it to this point, so feel free to brag about your accomplishments a bit! 

When it comes to content, you can also improve your expertise by creating content your target audience is searching for. As previously stated, offering solutions that meet (and exceed) what visitors are looking for can go a long way in helping to establish yourself as an expert on a topic. 

Authority A notebook filled with text related to creating great content for SEO. Learn how EAT SEO is an important ranking factor today! 65202

This is similar to expertise but differs in a few ways. Becoming an expert is important, but how you communicate that expertise matters as well. Authoritativeness involves how you show that you are an expert to outside sources. In short, it’s how Google ensures that other sites also see you as an expert. This can be accomplished in a number of ways including backlinks from other reputable websites, positive reviews on Yelp, and mentions from other authoritative sources. Improving your site’s authority can be done with a variety of tools as well. Things like the Moz Domain Authority can help you view the progress you’re making, and the current authority level of your site. Tools such as these can show you where there is room for improvement, and help you to do so. 

Trust

Finally, we have trustworthiness. Google wants to ensure that visitors feel safe when visiting a site. So, they prioritize sites without spammy/scammy elements and seek content that offers trustworthy accurate information. This is another reason why user experience is so vital. If a visitor can’t easily navigate your site and find the answers they are looking for, they may not feel comfortable enough to continue learning about your services. 

Improving your site’s trust can be done in a variety of ways. This can range from responding to reviews in a timely, appropriate fashion, or establishing and growing a brand. This is a great way to show how you are an expert on a topic, and what populations you are hoping to assist. Another way to improve trustworthiness is by providing testimonials from satisfied clients or mentions from other established websites, therapists, etc.

Final Thoughts

Learning to include E.A.T across your site may sound like a very big ask, but the rewards are worth the work. Taking the time to reflect on how you can come across as a trusted, recognized expert on a topic will serve you well in the long term, and help your site continue to rank well as Google continues to change. 

Begin SEO Services with Simplified SEO Consulting

You don’t have to E.A.T all by yourself! Our team of SEO specialists is trained in recognizing ranking factors such as this and keeping up with the ever-evolving nature of Google. We would be happy to offer support in helping your site climb the Google rankings. To start SEO services with Simplified SEO Consulting, please follow these simple steps:

  1. Book a free consultation
  2. Meet with an SEO specialist
  3. Start rising in the Google rankings!

Other Services Offered with Simplified SEO Consulting

Our team offers a variety of SEO services to support your unique practice. These include our DIY Online SEO Courses, Done For You SEO services, and a Done With You 12-week intensive SEO program. Please visit our blog to learn more!

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

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

With approximately 8,910 psychiatrists, 22,530 psychologists, and 41,660 mental health counselors in private practice in the U.S. as of 2015 according to Wonder, you need to do what you can to get and keep traffic on your site.

Unfortunately, many mental health providers and other helping professionals we work with have multiple 404 errors on their sites. And the truth is that this can be a pretty significant issue.  When visitors to your site are frequently finding themselves landing on a random page stating that the page they were looking for isn’t available, it can be frustrating!

It’s important to pay attention to 404 errors on your site and to redirect those urls to other, relevant pages on your site. Then, people will be able to find the information they need to book your services. And you can keep them from leaving, telling search engines that your content isn’t worth showing to others.

What Is a 404 Redirect?

A 404 redirect is what happens when a visitor types in a URL or clicks on a link that doesn’t lead to an active page. If you decide to change the URL for one of your pages, you may still have old links out there.

Unfortunately, search engines may also still show the old link to people searching. If that link leads to nowhere, you can confuse the visitors, and you may lose traffic.

But you can use 404 redirects to take the visitor to an active page. The redirect can then tell search engines about the new page and start showing the correct URL. You also don’t have to worry about the old URL circulating because the redirect will correct it.

Why Would I have 404 Errors on my Site?

The two most common 404 errors we see on private practice websites happen when someone changes the slug on a page of their website or deletes an old page of their website. Business owners are often surprised how common it is to have 404 errors on their website, but this is an issue we frequently see come up on private practice websites.

Photo of a url with the last portion of the url reading teen-counseling circled and an arrow with the word "slug" pointing to it to emphasize the importance of optimizing a slug on a website to improve SEO.404 Errors caused by changing the “slug” on a website

This is an example of the url for my “Teen Counseling” page.  If keyword research showed me that there were more searches for “Teen Therapy” and I was to change this slug to “teen-therapy” without creating a redirect, the page “aspirecounselingmo.com/teen-counseling would no longer exist.

If I made that change, Google may take awhile to catch up so it may still have the old url show up in search results but when people click on it they’d be taken to a page saying there was a 404 error and that url doesn’t exist anymore.

404 Errors caused by deleting a page

Now, I want to be clear here that I’m all for keeping your website updated! However, too often I see private practice owners or their staff delete a page on a website without creating a redirect or finding every other place that might possibly link to that page.  The problem? It looks a bit unprofessional.

For example, I had a play therapist at my private practice for a bit and created an elaborate “Counseling for Children” page on our website.  Then, as can sometimes happen, she left.  We didn’t have anyone else at the time interested in treating children. If I had simply deleted that page, then everywhere on our website we had linked to that page or outside links that went to that page (we were on some directories for parents that went straight to that page) would have landed on a 404 page. But I didn’t do that.

Instead, I took the page off our navigation menu so it wouldn’t be so easy to find.  Then, I clicked the button so Google would no longer index that page (so it wouldn’t show up in search results) and added a note to the top of that page saying at this time we weren’t seeing children. A couple years later, a new therapist started with us who does seem some children.  I updated the page to reflect her specialties, added it back to the drop down menu and again asked Google to index that page.

Why 404 Redirects Are Important

404 redirects are important for a few reasons, including search engine optimization. You may be able to get away with having one or two 404 errors, but you don’t want to have a ton.

Redirects can correct those errors when you decide to change a URL. Then, you can keep your website up, and you can make sure people will find what they need.

Consider a couple of benefits of 404 redirects in more detail.

Maintain Your SEO

If you have a ton of 404 errors and don’t redirect those pages, that can tell Google to rank your site lower in search. That can decrease the number of views you get from SEO, which can hurt your overall website traffic and business.

Redirecting 404 errors can tell search engines what URL to start showing people in search results. Then, people will be able to find the information they need right away.

You can then change URLs to include keywords and help your SEO. And you can tell the crawlers that your site is easy to use and that it deserves to show up in search results.

Keep Visitors

Not only can 404 redirects help search engines, but they can also help visitors have a good user experience on your site. If they click on an old link, the redirect will take them to the correct page.

That can keep you from confusing your potential new clients with a bunch of 404 error pages. If visitors do run into a lot of 404 errors, some may still go to the effort of continuing to navigate around your site to find what they need, but others may leave your site and go elsewhere.

The easier you can make using your site, the easier it will be to keep visitors. Then, you’ll have a chance to convert those visitors into clients.

How to Know If You Redirections

One of the worst things about 404 error pages is that you may not always know if you need one. Now, you can know that you’ll need a redirect if you change a URL to include a keyword, for example.

But if you haven’t changed anything in a while, you may still miss out on 404 redirects. You may have changed a URL a few months back, or you might have deleted an old page you don’t need anymore.

Either way, you can check a 404 redirect to see if you need to add one to help your on-page SEO. Consider the following ways to find out if you need a redirect.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a tool that you can install on your website to help track searches. The tool can tell you if there are any errors or other problems with your site, including 404 errors.

Then, you can go into your website to add in a 404 redirect code to make sure people get to the correct page. Google Search Console is free, and you can set it up easily, especially if you use WordPress.

You’ll be able to track the keywords that get clicks to your website as well as your website traffic. That way, you’ll know which pages and posts you can check to make sure they have 404 redirects if necessary.

Simplified SEO Consulting’s Data Dashboard

At Simplified SEO Consulting, we offer a data dashboard that includes a site audit tool for our paying clients. The tool lists all of the pages that have 404 errors, so you can go down the list when creating redirects.

Then, you don’t have to set up Google Search Console or another tool. You won’t need a ton of technical knowledge to learn how our site audit tool works.

Soon enough, you’ll be able to check the tool regularly for SEO issues. And you will be able to correct the issues as they appear to keep them from affecting your SEO.

Complaints

You may also learn about 404 errors from your clients, team members and visitors. Someone may try to read a blog post or book an appointment with you, only to land on a 404 page.  If you’re lucky, they let you know. Sadly, you can’t rely on this because some people may not take the time to contact you.More often I’ve heard about it from a staff member who was navigating our site and found an issue. So, now I check our data dashboard pretty regularly to make sure I catch these things BEFORE someone else finds them. That way, I can fix the error before it affects my website traffic.

Your Own Discovery

When editing your website, you may come across a 404 error yourself. For example, you might go through your most popular pages and posts and click on all of the links to make sure they work.

If a page or post leads to an old URL, you will get a 404 error. Then, you will know you need to add a redirect so that your visitors can go to the correct page if they click on that link.

If you don’t want to use a specific tool and if your site doesn’t have a ton of content, consider searching links regularly. It may take time, but you can make sure all of your links work as they should.

How to Create a Redirect to Fix 404 Errors

Each website platform has a slightly different way for you to fix 404 errors or set up redirects.

Redirects for 404 Errors WordPress

It may sound like adding 404 redirects requires a lot of coding knowledge or expertise. Fortunately, a good 404 redirect plugin can help WordPress users take control of their website.

Important note about 404 Redirect Plugins for WordPress users:

Often, this process of creating redirects can be super simple on WordPress. However, it’s important to know it typically requires a plugin that is compatible with your website and safe/secure. We’ve seen several of these that work, but most website developers have specific plugins they prefer to use. For instance, one of the popular plugins may have some security risk if used on it’s own, but when used in combination with a security plugin is both safe and easy to use. Therefore, please work with your website developer to identify the best plugin, and how to properly set up redirects for your specific website.

If you are bound and determined to move forward without a WordPress developer’s support (I see you DIYers out there!), here are a few steps you can follow to set up 404 redirects on your WordPress site.

Install a Redirection Plugin

If you use WordPress, you can download a good plugin to handle the technical part of redirects for you. Then, all you need to know is which URLs are old and which URLs you need to send those old links to. Again, I would caution you to check in directly with a website developer for recommendations. I’m going to describe using a very common plugin, but it doesn’t mean this is the best one nor the one a website developer would point you toward. “Redirection” is one of these plugins.

Redirection is a free 404 redirect plugin that you can use to handle redirects for your entire website. You can use it to set up temporary or permanent redirects.

Go to the Plugins section of your dashboard and click Add New. Then, you can search for “redirection” and add the plugin to your website.

Once you install the plugin, you can configure settings for logs and redirects. Then, you can add new redirects whenever you discover a new 404 error page.

Check for Errors

When you install the Redirection plugin, you’ll want to navigate to “Tools” and then “Redirection” to access the settings. You can then head to the tab that says “404s” to see what 404 errors your site has.

If you have any errors, you’ll see them in a list with the date, source URL, user agent, and IP. Then, you’ll know which links you need to update to make sure people find what they need.

Add Redirects

Head back to the Redirects tab and click on Add New to create a new redirect. Then, you will need to input the old URL that is leading to a 404 page, and you can select if you want to ignore parameters or not.

You can then add the target URL (the new URL) that you want the old URL to lead to. If you click on the gear icon, you’ll access more settings, which lets you choose if you want to redirect the URL or if you want to leave it as a 404 error.

The settings also let you decide if you want to redirect when just the URL matches or if you also want to track cookies, login status, or something else.

Select the Right Type

One of the most significant reasons to click on the gear icon when adding a redirect is to choose the redirect type. A 301 redirect is permanent, so it’s useful if you update the URL to include a keyword for SEO.

The redirect will tell search engines to start indexing and showing the new URL. That way, people will go straight to the page or post they need to to find the right content.

A 302 redirect is a temporary redirect, and it’s useful if you want to update one of your main pages. However, this will tell search engines to keep indexing the old URL, so it’s not suitable for changing URLs.

To be honest, I almost always end up using 301 redirections, because the redirects I make on my website are usually permanent.

How to Create a 404 Redirect on Squarespace

While WordPress is a popular website design platform, you might use Squarespace. Fortunately, the steps for adding 404 redirects to a Squarespace site aren’t too difficult and many of the practice owners we work with have been able to do this on their own.

You may need to write a bit of 404 redirect code, but Squarespace makes it easy to input the code you need. And if you miss something or add too many details, the platform will alert you.

Here’s how to create a 404 redirect when you use Squarespace.

Go to Settings

In your Squarespace account, you’ll need to go to your Home menu and click on Settings and then Advanced. You don’t need to download or install anything on your website to be able to set up the redirects.

If you find yourself creating 404 redirects often, you may want to bookmark the settings page. That way, you won’t have to navigate your Squarespace backend every time.

Gather the URLs

Before or after you find your settings page, you will need to list out the URLs that need redirects. Be sure to separate the slug from the rest of the URL.

The slug is the part after your main domain. So if the URL in question is example.com/blog, “blog” would be the slug, and you will need to use that to create your 404 redirect.

Consider what URLs you need to redirect the old ones to and add those to your list. Again, you’ll need to separate the slug from the rest of the URL to format the redirects.

Format the Redirects

Once you’re in your settings on the Advanced page, you will be able to create a URL redirect. First, you’ll input the slug for the old link, then you will leave a space and type “->” to show Squarespace it will be a redirect.

Next, you will need to add the slug for the new link to tell Squarespace where the old URL will lead. The last element you need is the type of redirect, either a 301 or 302. As stated above, I typically use a 301 but make sure you’re paying attention and choosing the right one for your site.

Leave a space after the new URL before you type the number based on the redirect you want to create. Then, you can save everything to make sure the changes apply to your site.

Create a Custom 404 Page

Screen Shot of the 404 Redirect Page for errors on Aspire Counseling's Private Practice Website

You may choose not to use 404 redirects for every 404 error. For example, if you delete a page without creating anything to replace it, it’s fine to tell users the page no longer exists.

However, you may want to create a custom 404 page. Then, you can include some text or an image explaining the error, and you can make sure the page is on brand and looks good on your website.

This is an example of the Custom 404 Error page I’ve created for my own Private Practice website. I do change it up from time to time and it’s far from perfect-a professional website developer can probably build you a much “prettier” or better branded 404 Redirect page. But it gets the job done.

On the Custom 404 Page for my own private practice website, I’ve included links to each of our primary services as well as links to the our most popular blog posts.  Since we have hundreds of blog posts, I chose the ones that are either showing up the most in search results (determined from looking at Google Search Console data) or most visited (based on Google Analytics). Of course, there was a lot of overlap between the two but they weren’t exactly the same.

How Will You Handle 404 Redirects?

If you’ve used the internet a lot, you’ve probably come across at least one or two 404 errors. 404 redirects are the easiest way to correct those problems if they crop up on your own website.

Be sure to consider the benefits and types of 404 redirects. Then, you can follow the steps to add them to your site on WordPress or Squarespace to make sure you don’t lose traffic or SEO juice.

Do you need help with SEO for your overall site? Schedule a free SEO consultation today.

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

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

Tips for Adding Diversity in Therapy Websites: 

We come in all shapes and sizes 

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

Find Keywords that Different Populations Are Seeking Out

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

Stereotyping is not going to draw in clients 

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

Mind Your Language! 

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

Add Alt Text and Subheadings 

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

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

Highlighting Therapists With Various Specialties

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

Write Timely Blog Posts

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

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

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

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

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

Other Services offered by Simplified SEO Consulting      

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

About the Author:  

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

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

The ever-evolving nature of SEO can be hard to keep up with. Not only do the methods of how SEO is done change. So to the tendencies of what people search, and what the Google algorithm views as top-notch content. Who knows, the methods to write an amazing blog today may be completely outdated in a few years’ time! 

While keeping up with the times can feel like a chore, it is a necessary one to support a competitive practice. But, even then this isn’t always enough. In order to really stay ahead of the pack, we must often plan for the future. So, today we are going to talk about what may be next for the future of SEO, and how you can make the most of these innovations within your practice.

SEO and Video

A close up of a phone with YouTube on the screen next to a cup of coffee. Contact Simplified SEO Consulting to learn more about SEO for therapists. You can learn SEO online to support your private practice today.

There’s a chance you’re already familiar with how videos are becoming a more prominent part of SEO. Our team has had many interesting conversations about what this could mean for the future of SEO. We even have an entire blog dedicated to video and SEO you can read as well! I mention this because video SEO is an entirely independent avenue of SEO. But, some of the information and techniques you’ve already learned about improving SEO for other forms of media like images and text will apply, while others will not. We won’t be going over every part of video SEO, but here is a helpful guide for you to learn more!

Yet, learning about video SEO is very much worth the work!

Embedding videos on your site is a great way to engage viewers with your content. The use of videos is something that is becoming more common as Google incentivizes the practice. This may be facilitated by the presence of their massive video hosting platform, Youtube.

Keeping Up with Video SEO

Did you know Youtube is actually the second most popular search engine after Google? Yep. It’s more than Bing, Yahoo, and AOL combined. While you don’t need to become a video SEO expert to have a competitive practice, understanding aspects of optimization for different sites such as Youtube can help supercharge your optimization abilities. When it comes to video SEO, many principles remain the same, including:

  • Major focus on finding specific keywords based on your location 
  • Optimizing content for your ideal audience
  • Maintaining a unique brand related to your practice  

However, the ways one may accomplish these goals differ from what you may already know. With this avenue, there are a variety of entirely different factors that must be considered when optimizing video content. This can range anywhere from the length of time an audience is watching your videos, to the type of schema markup included. That said, learning how to make the most of your videos isn’t necessary for a successful practice. But, video SEO is becoming much more important over time, and the stats don’t lie. In fact, blog posts that have videos usually see a 157% boost in search traffic

What Sets Video SEO Apart?

In many ways, video SEO is a close relative to the kind of “on-page” SEO our team at Simplified does on a daily basis to boost website rankings on Google. But, understanding the differences will help you tell between what will help your overall website SEO vs. your video SEO efforts.

Check your Keywords!

One of the main things to keep in mind when dealing with video SEO is that the keywords you’ve picked out for Google are not going to be the same for Youtube! The ranking factors that influence how Google decides what is “top-notch” content is not the same for the world’s largest video platform. So, learning why video rankings differ may involve different techniques or tools from what you may normally use. As a result, it is important to be familiar with other keyword research tools that can help you to recognize search trends. A few notable examples include what youtube auto-suggests in the search bar, the stats available from Youtube Studio, and VidIQ.

A hand writes on a chalkboard with many SEO related terms including keyword research, link building, site optimization, and ranking. Learn how Simplified SEO can support your web optimization today. Same Principles, Different Methods

Depending on what you are hoping to accomplish, there can be many factors that go into your video optimization. This can range anywhere from how long people watch your videos to the video schema markup you include. Or, how you choose to market your practice’s brand to potential clients.

Many of the major points of focus of optimization for your website also remain the same. This may include things like:

  • How long you are retaining visitors to your site
  • What pages they are visiting
  • Conversion rates
  • Branding

But, the methods to improve these aspects may involve learning more about video SEO, and what influences rankings. So, ask yourself: 

  • If you want to retain visitors on your videos, what can you add or edit into the video to help increase watch-time?
  • What videos are people watching the most, and how can you replicate the elements that are working in other videos?
  • Which methods work best in a video format to convince viewers to click?
  • How are you choosing to showcase your brand, and what level of engagement are you going to have with your audience (subscribers)? 

If answering these questions isn’t a possibility for you, taking that dive into how to optimize your videos may help! As mentioned before, there can be a lot to optimize for video SEO. But, learning how to make the most of this opportunity can do wonders for SEO.

Voice Search SEO

When it comes to describing voice search SEO, it’s best to point out the big players. Some of which include Alexa, Google Home, Siri, and Bixby. While we are focused on the future of SEO in this blog, voice search data already shows how widespread this technology has become. In fact, voice searches on phones are 3x more likely to be for something local than a text search. This may not be much of a surprise with the added convenience of having answers without the push of a button. But, as a result, it becomes very important that clients find the right info about your practice when using these AI companions. Plus, it shows potential to reach an even wider audience on a local level! Failing to optimize your NAP may even hurt your SEO as a result.

Keeping Up with Voice Search SEO

When dealing with voice search optimization, many of the same principles stated above still apply. The main difference that arises comes from the fact that people often use these devices to have their questions answered. As a result, focus keywords are often centered around common “who, what, when, where, why” questions. So, it’s safe to assume these will often be in demand, regardless of what your practice offers.  

Providing Responses

In addition to having keywords that are related to answering questions, creating responses that offer informative answers to these questions becomes important. The auto-generated responses provided by these AI’s may not provide the level of detail about your practice that you want. So, creating your own can offer more support for your practice. Think about your practice using these questions. How would you answer a potential client over the phone? What other questions might they ask about your practice, and what would be your response? Being able to answer questions like these will not only help improve rankings but also improve trust with Google!

A laptop sits on a work desk with a lamp shining on a screen with the word SEO. Search engine optimization for counselors is an important focus of Simplified SEO Consulting. Contact us to learn more about counselor SEO, how to build SEO for therapists, and other services.What’s Next for SEO?

We can never know what the next big innovation for SEO will be for sure. But, there are a few things to keep an eye on that may help you stay ahead of the curve. One thing that may become more important is the use of content distribution networks (CDN’s). These services help keep sites fast and responsive by optimizing load times, caching content for easier retrieval, and other services. As SEO becomes more competitive, using services like CDN’s may become a more common practice to help get that edge over competitors. 

Another thing to consider is the content that Google (or Youtube), likes to see. While we have an understanding of what effective copywriting for SEO looks like now, that may change completely over time. All we can prepare ourselves is by searching for what new happenings are occurring in the world of SEO and adapting to the changing times.

Begin Working with Simplified SEO Consulting

You don’t have to keep track of everything SEO by yourself. Our team is happy to offer the tools you need to keep track of your progress and help you be aware of what could be next for SEO. We offer a variety of services to help you climb the rankings on Google. To start SEO services with Simplified SEO Consulting, please follow these simple steps:

  1. Schedule a free 30-minute consultation
  2. Learn more about our team
  3. Start becoming more visible, and helping your ideal clients!

Other Services Offered with Simplified SEO Consulting

Simplified SEO Consulting provides several services to help private practice owners thrive. We offer Done for You SEO services and a la carte services. For those who have completed our program, we also provide alumni support. If you are curious about learning more about SEO, we offer training opportunities as well. We also offer an SEO strategy package for support with reaching your ideal clients. Contact us today to learn more about our services, and start rising the ranks of Google!

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!

Welcome back to part two of my comprehensive guide to copywriting for SEO series. I wrote this series because I know how challenging copywriting can be for busy therapists. I have had a lot of clients who tell me that copywriting is both intimidating and time-consuming. But, it doesn’t have to be so hard. My goal today is to simplify it a bit.

In part one I shared three tips to make copywriting easier: write like you’d speak to a client, speak to their pain points, and create a page for every service you offer. These tips are extremely important and it’s worth reading the blog to learn more about them. But today, I want to share three more practical tips to improve your writing experience and better your SEO.

3 Copywriting for SEO Tips:

  Include References to the Places You Want to Rank Wellpensive woman writes in a notebook next to an open laptop representing copywriting for SEP. Learn how to optimize your website in SEO training with an SEO specialist

It’s critical to include references to your location or the places where you would like to draw clients from in your website copy. This helps tell Google where you’re located, thus helping you show up better in search results for clients who are looking for services in that area.

If you have an online therapy practice, this tip is extra important. Because you cannot technically have a Google My Business listing, it often takes Google longer to realize what areas you serve. Therefore it may take longer to get you ranking in those areas. So, you must mention areas throughout your state in your website copy.

If you have multiple locations, it’s still important to make references to the places where you see clients. Although you may not be able to mention them all, look for spots to weave it in where it looks natural.

Two powerful places to really highlight where you’re located are in your footer and in a location(s) page. Let’s talk about those in-depth a bit:

  • Footer: If you have a physical address put it here. If you do not, then mention where you’re located. For example, “Our therapy office is located in Kansas City, MO however, we see clients throughout Kansas and Missouri.”
  • Location Page: I would argue that having a location page is for all practices that see clients in person. However, I feel it is especially important for practices with multiple in-person locations. On this location page, I encourage you to embed a map if possible and provide driving locations to your practice.

Look for Opportunities to Add Keywords and Internal Links

man types on his laptop computer in a cafe. He learned about copywriting for seo from an seo specialist at Simplified SEO ConsultingI know writing copy is intimidating but I encourage you to write first, then look for opportunities to target the keywords you want to rank for. The same goes for adding internal links to other pages on your site. Sometimes, simply putting your thoughts down on paper without worrying about other things makes writing easier.

Once you have written your page or post, then look for places to add in or modify the wording to add keywords and links. This can be done throughout a page or a post however, there are a few places that I find offer great opportunities to add in these SEO elements. These places are:

  • Headings and subheadings
  • A call to action section where you detail the three steps to start services at your practice (here you can link to your home, contact, about page, etc.)
  • An other services section where you share about the other offerings you provide at your practice and link to those pages.

Proofread Your Work

man with grey hair sits at his laptop and smiles at the camera representing copywriting for SEO and getting seo training with an seo specialist at simplified seo consultingI am certainly guilty of making spelling and grammatical mistakes when I write. Most people are. However, I always try to take the time to go back and proofread my work before publishing it. Even then, I am bound to make a mistake here and there. That’s when I rely on the wonders of technology and the tools that are at my disposal.

I personally love using the Hemmingway Editor and the Grammarly plugin when I write. Both tools catch common spelling and grammatical errors and they tell me if my writing is confusing or hard to read. I encourage you to use both as you work on writing copy for your private practice website.

Google likes to rank pages it considers “trustworthy.” So, if there are lots of spelling and grammatical errors it may hurt your rankings a bit. Now, I’m not saying it has to be perfect, but reading it over once or twice can really help.

SEO Services For Your Private Practice Website:

If you’re ready to optimize your website and improve your private practice website’s SEO, Then our SEO specialists can help! We would be honored to support you in your efforts to get in front of your ideal client on Google. To get started, 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:

Photo of Cory, our Content Coordinator who helps you write blogs for SEO and also offers 1:1 SEO TrainingCory 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!

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

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

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

Credibility

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

Strategy

Additional Services

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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! 

First, A Quick Recap On Directories & NAP

As Google has grown in complexity, so have the ways people use to rank on the search engine. Some methods have evolved to be more manipulative than others, such as blackhat SEO. But, others have remained tried and true ways to help your practice climb the ranks. One of the best examples of this is the variety of helpful therapist directories listed on Google! These listings allow therapists to increase local SEO, the visibility of their practice online, and drive traffic to their site. They can even provide backlinks to help build the authority of their private practice website.  A woman smiles as she types on a laptop with the text SEO on the screen. We offer support for private practice website. Contact us to learn how we support local SEO for therapists today.

Directories such as Therapy Den can make it so much easier for people looking for specific services to get the support they are looking for. They also serve as an important factor in local SEO. This kind of user convenience is why Google takes the name, address, and phone number (NAP) listed on any given directory so seriously. Having the same info on directories throughout Google builds trust. It tells Google that your info is accurate, current and that you can help the potential client.

On the other hand, conflicting info on many directories can be confusing for both Google and anyone that might see your business info. This confusion can make things hard for those looking for mental health services. As a result, Google may penalize these sites that have conflicting info. 

The Issue with Some Directories         

When we take the number of existing directories into account, doing your due diligence as a therapist may sound difficult to accomplish. Why? You may be able to confirm your NAP info is consistent across every directory you’re listed on. But, being listed on the wrong directory can still do more harm to your site than good! So, we are going to dive into what to watch for when deciding if listing your info on a directory is the right choice.

Photo of person holding a phone in front of a computer representing someone about to make a phone call to a therapist they found online.

Listing Exclusivity 

When first choosing a directory, it’s vital to understand how the listing process works on that site. This can differ depending on the nature of the directory, and who they serve. Some directories are for general therapists, while others serve niche mental health services. And some lists don’t target therapists at all Similarly, many directories are free, while others may require a fee to be included in the listing. 

Many directories exist to serve a variety of demographics. But, you may need to be wary around directories that claim to accept a majority (or every) link that comes their way. It may seem like an easy way to get a backlink, but directories that do this often exist for the sole purpose of creating links. Links that originate from these listings don’t hold any SEO weight. They aren’t actually made to help connect businesses to customers. Instead, seek out directories that don’t accept just anyone! Quality directories should have listings from businesses that would be of value to potential clients. Having consistent NAP info listed on these quality directories will be what ultimately helps your site grow and connect with your ideal client.   

Relevance and Competition An image of letter blocks that spell SEO. We can offer help with local SEO for therapists. Learn how we can help your private practice website today.

Another important factor when choosing a directory is to consider how relevant the directory is to you and your practice. Think about it this way. You specialize in exclusively in-person therapy services. So, it probably doesn’t do you much good to have a listing on a quality directory aimed towards online-only services! Having a backlink from that directory going back to your private practice website would be great! But, anyone visiting your site would quickly realize you do not have the online-only services they are looking for, causing them to leave your site to try elsewhere.  

Understanding the relevancy of directories to practice can help you better understand your niche, and hone in on which specific directories would be most beneficial for you to be listed on. 

Checking the Competition

Yet, that isn’t to say more general directories like Good Therapy should be outright avoided. Being listed on both larger and more niche directories allows you to look into other businesses listed alongside yours!  

Checking the other businesses that are listed on a given directory can also help provide valuable insight into the quality of a directory. Are you seeing other professional, trusted businesses listed alongside yours? Or, do the links connect back to sites that appear to be more “spammy” than you expected? Answering these types of questions can help you better recognize the quality of businesses you are ranking against. They can also inform you of the standards the directory has for business listings as well!

On-Page Investigation

Last but not least, it is worth mentioning that reviewing many on-page aspects of a directory can tell you a lot of vital information! 

Design

Google takes the design of the site into account, so it is also important to ask yourself if the directory has an effective, clean, and cohesive design. The end goal of most directories should be to connect the potential client with the business. So, ask yourself how easy it is to navigate from page to page. Does it look like a person took the time and effort to carefully create the site? Or, do things appear to be automated by a program? If things appear to be laid out in a confusing way, this may be due to an increased focus on pleasing the Google algorithm rather than helping potential clients. 

“Last Updated…” 

While you look at the overall design, check for the last time the site received an update. Directories receive new listing requests as time goes on. So, they should also be updated as time goes on to reflect site edits. If a directory hasn’t been updated in years, this may be a red flag it is less than reputable. Often, these directories only list your practice to have another link to add to their list. It is always worth taking the time to comb through a directory to learn if the site you’re on is going to be active, or has laid dormant for years.  

Name RecognitionA close up image of a magnifying glass looking at the text Google My Business. Contact Simplified SEO Consulting for support with local SEO for therapists and other services. We can help your private practice website thrive!

We’ve gone over a few directories in this blog. But a top directory you may already be familiar with is actually Google My Business! Our SEO specialists are quite familiar with GMB and the benefits it offers local SEO when optimized correctly. This is a trustworthy directory. But it isn’t the only one! Other widely known examples include Yelp, Yellow Pages, and DMOZ. These well-known directories are much safer in terms of legitimacy. But, this does not mean you need listings on every major directory    

Conclusion 

It can be difficult to find the right directories to list your practice. This is why it is so important to use your judgment. Conduct your own research when making these kinds of decisions. Other therapists can also offer insight, so try and reach out to our fellow therapists for support as well! They may already be familiar with the same directory you’re looking into!

Begin Working With An SEO Specialist with Simplified SEO Consulting

Our team of SEO specialists is experienced in providing both on-page and off-page SEO support. We can help you build local SEO for therapists with our Local SEO services. Our team can ensure your NAP info is consistent across Google My Business and other quality directories. To start working with Simplified SEO Consulting, follow these simple steps: 

  1. Schedule an appointment for a free 30-minute consultation
  2. Learn more about our team
  3. Start improving local SEO for therapists today!

Other Services Offered by Simplified SEO Consulting

Simplified SEO Consulting offers many services to improve local SEO for therapists. You can improve your SEO on your own with our DIY Online SEO services. We also offer Done for You services for clients looking for support in their SEO journey, as well as alumni support. Learn more about our training workshops, SEO strategy package, and 12-week Done with You intensive program.

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. He often goes the extra mile to do outside research and make sure private practice owners have everything they need to rank well on search engines long term!