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

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

What is a Video Blog?

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

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

What Do Video and SEO Look Like? 

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

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

YouTube SEO Clicks 

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

People are Engaging with Your Content. 

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

You’re Embedding You Videos into Your Website 

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

Watch Time for Videos Increases 

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

Using keywords in Your Video 

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

 

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

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

 Do appropriate Keyword research. 

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

Place keywords appropriately 

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

Use appropriate video tags.  

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

Upload consistently 

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

Engagement is huge for staying relevant. 

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

YouTube SEO FAQ’s 

Are there are downsides for SEO and Video? 

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

Video Blogging Pros and Cons 

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

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

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

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

Ready to Begin Your SEO Journey? 

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

Other Services offered by Simplified SEO Consulting  

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

About the Author: 

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

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

There are many, many benefits to being in private practice as a psychiatrist. Certainly, a huge benefit is that you’ll likely make more money. And, in private practice, you have the ability to take the time to get to know your patients. Additionally, there will be fewer patients who really don’t want to be there. In private practice, there is time and space for continuing education, collaboration, and, well, everything.

But you’re also a business owner now. Therefore, you have new responsibilities you haven’t had to worry about before. Among the many new tasks you’ll have as a business owner, you have to think about marketing. Because you can’t help patients if they can’t find you.

A Website is a Powerful Marketing Tool for Private Practice Psychiatrists

It’s important to meet patients where they are. And in today’s day in age, that’s often online. Because most of your patients are probably looking for help online, you need to have a presence there.

But the truth is that as a private pay psychiatrist, your website needs to do more than just show up. It needs to have the right design to attract your clients’ attention. And then, it needs the right content to help them understand the value you offer.

SEO Helps You Reach The Patients Who Need You

In private practice, you have more choice in who you take on as patients and who you refer elsewhere. You know your skillset better than anyone else. And you know the populations you not only work best with but also find joy in serving. You got into this field to help people and to make an impact on the world of mental health. And your ability to practice most effectively is impacted by the fulfillment you find in your work.

So no, it is not unethical to target populations you’d like to work with. In fact, it is most ethical to cater to a population you feel skilled to serve. Search engine optimization (SEO) allows you to target your ideal clients online, which is why SEO should be an essential part of your marketing strategy.

SEO Tips for Psychiatrists

Do Keyword Research

Keyword research is the foundation of good SEO for most websites. But psychiatrists face a unique challenge. Most likely, you have two audiences: referral sources and potential patients. Both may be searching for different keywords. Therefore, it’s important to consider each audience when doing keyword research.

Image of a large magnifying glass against a yellow background with the word "keywords" spelled out around the magnifying glass. When building a website and thinking about SEO for psychiatrists in private practice, you must think about keywords.

A good first step is to ask referral sources what they would search on Google when looking for a referral for a patient. Another good resource for keyword research is your existing patients. Take a look at your intake paperwork. Why are your clients coming to you for services? What are the trends among your patients’ concerns? This information can give great insight as to how your patients see themselves and their needs. In turn, indicating which keywords they would most likely search for online when looking for a psychiatrist, much like your potential clients you’ll be targeting on your website. The final keyword research opportunity is to use a keyword research tool. These can be extremely helpful, as they can help you find additional keywords you may not have even thought to track, but are frequently searched for in your area.

Popular Keywords for Psychiatrists

As a starting place, I’ll share some general keyword trends in the United States. However, know that it’s important to do your own keyword research for your specific area. As of April 1st, 2021, one of our keyword research tools, KWFinder, says the following keywords are searched for this number of times each month in the United States:

  • Psychiatrist – 439,000
  • Psychiatry Services – 2,200
  • Psychiatric Medication – 2,500
  • Medication for Depression – 8,5000
  • Medication for Anxiety – 165,000

Once you’ve done your research, start to use keywords throughout your website.

Build Backlinks

Building backlinks is an essential part of a healthy SEO strategy. Backlinks refer to when someone sends a website user off of their website and onto yours using a link. When you work with other professionals in your community like therapists, primary care doctors, community nonprofits, or schools, you become a known and trusted name. Brainstorm entities and organizations that work with your ideal clients. These would be great relationships to form if they do not already exist.

Image of five hands holding a "thumbs up" against a blue sky background. This image represents the good SEO for psychiatrists that happens when they work on getting backlinks.

Many large organizations have resource pages or directories on their websites. Here, you will find lists of businesses or professionals that a credible community organization supports. Typically, you can request to be put on a resource page or directory by emailing the organization or filling out a form. When your business gets listed on one of these pages, it shows both Google and website viewers that you are a quality resource to be trusted. However, there are many ways to build backlinks.

Create Individual Service Pages

Consider writing a service page for the specific types of psychiatry you really enjoy doing. Do you have specialized training in eating disorders? Then make sure you have a page on “Psychiatry for Eating Disorders.” Enjoy treating postpartum depression, anxiety, or OCD? It would make sense to have a service page on “Psychiatry for Moms.” Are many of your patients depressed? If so, create a “Medication for Depression” service page. We recommend that each of these pages have at least 500 words (2,000 is better if you’re up for writing that much!) of original content. Make great use of subheadings, include a direct call to action (Speak to a Psychiatrist About Your Depression in ______) and make sure to link to other pages of your site!

Blogging as a Psychiatrist

Blogging is an important part of a good SEO strategy. And there are many reasons to blog! Yes, search engine optimization is a key reason to blog because Google notices and likes consistently published fresh content. However, blogging also gives potential patients a sense of who you are, how you help people, and what being your patient would be like.

You may be thinking… “what do I write about?” Our SEO specialists recommend writing blog posts that answer typical questions your patients ask. You may also want to write blog posts talking about typical diagnoses you treat, but make it clear that a blog post can’t diagnose. Blogs can provide a wealth of information to patients about if you will be the best fit for their care.

Consider a Specific Page for Local Therapists & Primary Care Doctors

As a psychiatrist, the truth is that you have two audiences: potential referral sources and potential clients. Local therapists and primary care doctors who think their patients could benefit from your specialized knowledge about psychiatric medications will be looking for your services online. However, they are a very different audience than potential patients. These potential referral partners can handle a bit more technical jargon and will be asking specific questions. Therefore, we recommend you have a page on your site dedicated to these referral sources.

On the other hand, most of your content on your website needs to be targeted at your larger audience: potential patients. When these folks are finding your site, it’s probably not while they are at peak brain performance. Rather, it is most likely when they just had a panic attack, a breakdown, or at their wit’s end with their symptoms. They are probably scrambling to find help when they don’t know where else to turn. Likely, they’re looking for a psychiatrist during a quick lunch break or late at night when they can’t deal with insomnia any longer.

With that being said, as a psychiatrist, it’s essential that you have a page speaking directly to your hopeful professional referral sources. This page can be technical and you can speak as a professional. In regards to the rest of your website content, take into account what a “3 AM trauma brain” would be able to digest. Write for that state of mind. Your patients will appreciate it and likely find you very relatable.

Answer Common New Patient Questions

Image of a large "Q & A" against a hardwood background. An FAQ or Q & A page is helpful for SEO for psychiatrists in private pay.

At Simplified SEO Consulting, we’ve found that FAQ pages are great for both your website viewers AND your SEO. Make a list of the questions new patients are likely to ask.  If you have someone who answers new patient inquiries for you, check in with them about those questions. Then, add a few more you get during that first session. Now, write a 1-2 paragraph response to each of those questions.

I encourage you not to base the questions you use off what questions someone else answered on their page or some stock FAQ page. Instead, think about what pages your ideal clients are asking. Remember, we care about SEO, but we also want your website to help your clients. We want them to see that you would be a great resource for them. That you get them, relate to them. These are the things that will bring them through your doors.

Are you a Private Pay Psychiatrist?

We strongly recommend private pay psychiatrists have content on their website directly addressing their status as private pay. Maybe write a series of blog posts on the top advantages of working with a psychiatrist who is private pay. It’s ok to get slightly personal about how much you value face-to-face time with clients. Or about how you want to work for clients instead of insurance companies.

It’s also important to have a fees page on your website. Now, it’s up to you if you publish your specific fees. We’ve seen many private pay psychiatrists who do. However, this page is also a great place to address your reasons for being private pay. And, you can do so in a way that highlights the benefits for clients.

Ready to get Serious About Your Website SEO?

At Simplified SEO Consulting, we specialize in helping private practice therapists get their websites ranking on Google. Not only that, we help them stay at the top of Google too. Our SEO Specialists are passionate about getting your site in front of the clients you enjoy working with because we know that a solid therapeutic relationship makes all the difference in the world of mental health. To learn more about Simplified SEO Consulting and how we can help you get ranking, follow the steps below.

  1. Schedule a free 30-minute consultation call with us.
  2. Meet with one of our SEO Specialists to learn more about our packages and process.
  3. Get your website in front of your ideal patients!

SEO Services at Simplified

We offer a variety of services to help you along on your SEO journey. One of our most popular services is the Done For You SEO package. With this, you get to take a backseat while a skilled SEO Specialist takes point on your website’s SEO. On the other hand, we have DIY Online SEO Courses and a Done With You package if you’d like to become an SEO wizard yourself!

About the Author

Simplified’s founder, Jessica, and one of Simplified’s Mental Health SEO Specialists, Olivia, wrote this blog together. Both team members enjoy educating our clients about search engine optimization and how it can help private practices bring in clients that professionals are excited to work with!

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

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

 

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

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

What Cornerstone Content is Not?

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

What is a Cornerstone Blog?

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

Why Should I Write Cornerstone Content?

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

You become the expert

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

Drives in traffic

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

Helps generate more blog ideas

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

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

What Goes into Writing Cornerstone Content?

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

What Topics Should I Write About When Blogging for SEO?

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

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

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

If not, why write long cornerstone content?

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

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

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

How does blogging support SEO for my website?

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

Tips for maintaining SEO With Cornerstone Content.

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

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

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

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

Other Services offered by Simplified SEO Consulting 

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

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

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

So, you’ve discovered the magical place of SEO land. Perhaps you’ve been investigating this whole SEO thing for a while now and you’ve found Simplified. However, it makes sense that you have questions about the time, money, and energy investment that SEO requires. Today, we’ll discuss the time investment that you should prepare for in order to get your best return on investment.

First things first…

First of all, we want you to know that search engine optimization is an online marketing strategy. Now, this strategy in particular will take time.

SEO Takes Time

The simple truth is that SEO takes time. It takes time for you to figure out exactly what Google is looking for.  It takes time to work on the multitude of factors Google is considering when ranking your site. Then, it takes time for Google to recognize those changes you’ve made.  And the list goes on. The bottom line? No matter how much money you invest, SEO will take time.
Pro Tip: Some people choose to pay for Google Adwords when initially working on SEO. Now, from our side of things that makes it a bit muddier to see how well your SEO is working. BUT if you need to rank high overnight paying for Google Adwords may be the way to go.

We can’t predict exactly how long SEO will take

The specific amount of time varies from practice to practice, based on a few different factors. Therefore, beware of anyone who promises to get your website to the first page of Google in a month.
As a general rule of thumb, when clients begin working with us, we typically encourage them to have the mindset that it will take six months of intensive SEO work to get the best return on investment. Now, dependent on each individual practice, some websites need less time and some need more time. A few key factors we have noticed impact how long it takes us to get a website ranking well are how established the website is, the practice location, and specialty.

Age of Site

If all other factors are equal, an older website is likely to rank better on Google. This is for a few reasons.  First of all, a URL that has been around for a while has already shown Google that it’s steady. It’s reliable.  That URL isn’t going to change owners every other week.  So, Google will naturally trust an older URL a little more.  Additionally, an older URL is more likely to naturally have some backlinks already built up which are a HUGE help for SEO.  Lastly, if you have done previous SEO work on your site, it’s likely that you’ll get results more quickly than otherwise.

LocationImage of a laptop with a map pulled up. This image is representative of the importance of considering location in an SEO timeline.

Getting the SEO rankings that you’re hoping for will be more difficult and time-intensive if your business is located in a highly-populated area or an area where people, in general, are prioritizing digital marketing. I’m looking at you, business owners in New York City, Los Angeles, and Miami! So, you may not see your site ranking on the first or second page until about months three or four with us. But, for private practice owners in smaller areas, you may see your site getting first page results within months one or two.
If you’re in a smaller geographic area, there are fewer options for Google to rank to choose over your site. Likewise, if you’re in a major city, there are plenty of options for Google to rank above your website. Therefore, a private practice in rural Illinois may be able to get to the top of Google much faster than a private practice in London or the San Francisco Bay area even if everything else about their website is pretty similar.  Regardless, keep in mind that you’re investing intensive resources temporarily into your site to get the results you want.  Then, you can back off from SEO and monitor your data to ensure you’re still staying relevant on Google.

Specialty

Again, Google has to trust that you have expertise and authority on a topic. Now, if your private practice specializes in something very niche, it’s likely that you’ll naturally rank higher than other businesses. This is because when people search “therapy in Minneapolis,” they’ll get a ton of search results. But, if they search “eating disorder therapy in Minneapolis” only those sites that Google sees as experts will rank. And, if those are specialist sites you’ll likely have multiple pages on your site (this is where blogging comes in) that really communicate to Google that YOU are an authority on this topic.  This allows niche sites to rank higher. So, Google leaves out the same sites that may rank for a shorter keyword like “therapy in Minneapolis.”

When our SEO Specialists first start working with you, we want to know what makes your practice unique. We ask this, of course, to get to know you and the heart behind your business. Secondly, we want to make sure we use every opportunity available to show Google that your site and business have something unique to offer. In turn, getting you the results you want.

SEO Long Game

Image of a business person moving their finger along an upward moving line. This image depicts the goals of SEO in terms of what SEO timeline to prepare for.Even though search engine optimization is a time-intensive marketing strategy, know that it doesn’t take forever! You will definitely be spending resources during the first few months of SEO work. But, the time, money, and energy you spend at the beginning of your SEO-intensive period will pay off for years to come.
 
Over the past few years of working on private practices’s websites, we have consistently found that six months is the sweet spot. However, some sites are able to get ranking a little faster and occasionally we need a few extra months of that intense work.  But this period of intensive work doesn’t last forever. After enough groundwork has been laid and you’ve earned Google’s trust, you’ll be able to relax a bit.

Building Your EAT Score

Remember how I said, “Google essentially has a mind of its own?” Well, in order for Google’s “mind” to rank your site well, you need to build your expertise, authority, and trust factors. Likewise, just as if Google were a person, it takes time for it to make gains in these areas. So, by doing just two or three months of SEO work on your site, there is a high chance that Google will notice the work and rank you well for that time. However, there is a chance that Google will then discredit you if you stop. The reasoning for this is that Google wants to see your site-building credibility over time, not just stopping once it gives you the results you want.

So, while you may get that instant gratification of ranking in the first one to three months of working with us, it’s unlikely that you’ll stay at the top of Google without completing six months of optimization. Google wants to be able to crawl your site and find everything it needs to know that you are an expert that it can trust to rank well. You can read more about EAT scores in our blog post about Google’s algorithm update in December 2020.

Service Pages and Blog Posts

A concern we often hear from smaller private practice owners is that they don’t provide enough services to complete our full timeline. For example, if you are a private practice owner who has just recently added clinicians to your team, you may only have three to five specialty pages. But, where you can continue to get a huge return for SEO when you don’t have many service pages is blogging. Yes, the ever-feared writing portion of your site.

Your SEO Specialist will recommend that once you have optimized each of your service pages, you begin optimizing blog posts. Our team recommends you have at least one cornerstone blog post for each of your service pages. Now… what’s a cornerstone blog post? You can read more about blog post length here, but for now, just know that they are hefty blog posts with roughly 2,000 words each. These long blogs show Google that yes, you have a service page, but you also really care about providing quality information, too. This helps website viewers and Google really understand that you’re an expert. Essentially, it shows Google that it can trust to show your site to searchers.

How do I know when it’s time to switch to an Alumni Package?

Image of a wooden block with a red question mark on its side. This image illustrates the many questions clients have about SEO, including "how long does SEO take?"

After we have worked through service pages and have optimized blog posts accordingly, we want to know if you are getting results. The whole goal of SEO is yes, to get you ranking well on Google. But, it is more so about getting clients in your doors and continually coming to appointments. And, not just any clients, but the right clients. The clients that you and your team are excited to work with. So, how do you know if it’s time to switch to one of our alumni packages instead of doing consistent SEO-intensive work?
 

Ask yourself…

  • Do you feel confident that the number of phone calls you’re getting will help you fill and grow your practice?
  • Are you getting the right calls? More specifically, calls the convert to the clients that your clinicians are excited to work with?
  • Is your website ranking well on Google? Meaning, are there a variety of keywords that your site is showing up for on the first or second page of Google?
  • Have you had all of your key service pages and a handful of cornerstone blog posts optimized?

If the answer to all of these questions is yes, then it may be time to switch from consistently optimizing to an alumni package. You can find more information about our alumni services in this blog post written by our Alumni Services Coordinator.

Alumni Tools

The vast majority of our clients “graduate” from comprehensive SEO services after about 6 months and enroll in our smallest alumni package, the Alumni Tools package. The truth is that while you don’t have to actively work on your SEO forever, there are things you need to do to maintain your SEO.

Our Alumni Tools allows you to continue monitoring your SEO & continue to access our staff for support. While there will not be changes made to your site, it’s important to be able to monitor its metrics to ensure correct functioning. We want to see that the rankings maintain and potentially even grow a bit as an alum. Earlier, I referenced Google’s EAT score. Once you have done consistent SEO work on your site for six months and move to our alumni tools package, we anticipate that you will gradually gain rankings. This is because Google has gained trust with your site, and as it continues to recognize you as an expert on the subject, it will continue to build trust.

We don’t want you to invest your time, money, and energy in SEO forever. Our team believes that search engine optimization is a time-intensive project for about six months. But, after you’ve weathered that storm, you will reap the benefits of the work for years to come.

Begin Your SEO Journey with Simplified SEO Consulting

We understand that beginning SEO work on your website can be incredibly intimidating. So, we want to be transparent with you that yes, this will take time, money, and energy. However, the results you can see for years to come will be so worth it. Follow the steps below to start getting your site ranking on Google.

  1. Make an appointment for a free 30-minute consultation with our Client Success Specialist.
  2. Learn more about our process and our SEO Specialists.
  3. Get ranking and get the calls you’ve been waiting for!

Other Services at Simplified

Here at Simplified, we are passionate about helping therapists get connected with the clients they can make a difference with. We make that happen by working on private practice websites and helping Google see how awesome they really are! There are a variety of ways that you can begin working on your site’s SEO. If you’re the DIY type, you can teach yourself with the help of our DIY Online SEO Courses or Done With You services. Likewise, if this whole thing feels like too much, our SEO Specialists would be happy to take the lead using our Done For You services. We hope that you’ve found our blogs to be helpful. In addition, we hope that you reach out if you have any further questions about search engine optimization.

About the Author

Olivia Bahr is one of Simplified’s Mental Health SEO Specialists. Olivia’s mental health education and experience are extensive. She graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Missouri in Spring 2020. And, she has experience working as a case manager with survivors of intimate partner violence. Further, Olivia will be working toward her Master of Social Work degree later this year. She enjoys helping private practice owners optimize their websites throughout each of Simplified’s stages. And, she especially likes writing blogs and writing about blogging.

You’ve invested a lot of time and/or money into getting your website ranking well. Now, you’re getting more calls from your website and it’s finally paying off.  You don’t need to work as hard on your SEO right now, but you also want to do what it takes to STAY on the top. So today, we are going over how you can maintain that SEO for therapists when you’re already ranking well. Let’s get into it.

Illustration of people holding up the letters to the word blog. They are symbolizing the importance of bloggin in terms of SEO for therapists. Tip #1 – Blogging

When it comes to blogging some of the most important things to remember are who your ideal client is, and how often you’ll able to upload content. In the eyes of Goggle, the consistency of your content is more important than frequency. That’s why we often suggest blogging at least twice a month and uploading your posts at a regularly scheduled time.

The more you blog, the more it will benefit your SEO. Giving Google fresh quality content on a regular basis is a great way to help maintain your rankings and build a presence. However, the best way to build authority is through our second tip, backlinks.

If you still have questions about blogging, check our Alyssa’s Guide to Blogging for Therapists which has a ton of great tips! Or contact any member of our team to discuss options for boosting the SEO on blog posts you’re writing or to discuss outsourcing your blog writing.

Tip #2 – Build Backlinks

Backlinks are those links that are on another person’s site but link back to your site. It may seem easy to do this with all the options that are present. But, not all backlinks carry the same weight. The quality of these backlinks also matters. You can view our comprehensive guide on gaining backlinks here.  Growing these will help you build trust with Google. But, it is a process that can also take some time to get to a point where you see results you are happy with. This will be something you want to monitor over time, alongside your rankings.

One critical mistake we see therapists make is to invest heavily in their website SEO but not build backlinks to their site. In fact, this is so important that we recently started giving away our backlinks course to our Done for You clients once we’ve gotten a good chunk of their site optimized.  It’s that important to us that our alumni are building backlinks!  Why? Because backlinks give your SEO staying power.  They’re a critical part of your long term SEO strategy!

A graph with a magnifying glass representing how I take a close look at predictable trends in private practice data where we expect a winter and summer slow down.

Tip #3 – Monitor Rankings

Conducting a monthly data review will allow you to check in on how your rankings are doing. This will also allow you to get a closer look to ensure people are making it to your site, how long they’re staying, and other valuable data. By doing so, you’ll be able to counter any large drops you might experience as a result of Google’s ever-shifting rankings. Staying up to date with your rankings will allow you to address whatever problem is occurring before it has a chance to affect the site. Keeping up is most important for the next tip as well.

If you’re used any of Simplified’s Done-for-you SEO services or our 12 week SEO Intensive, you’ll be able to purchase one of our alumni plans when you finish.  All of these come with access to a comprehensive data dashboard.  You can monitor lots of different types of data on there, but one of the big things we encourage alumni to look at is the rankings data.  Don’t forget that you can always reach out to us if you’d like to switch out keywords to monitor or notice a big drop and want some help figuring out the cause!

Tip #4 – Keep Your Site Current

Getting clients to your website isn’t very helpful if your site isn’t up to date.

Ensuring your unique voice is coming through is one of the most important aspects we like to address here at Simplified. It’s also why updating the client-facing portions of your website is also important. This doesn’t need to happen on a regular basis as blogging or monitoring your rankings. But, looking over your site every once in a while will help you to better recognize which aspects truly speak to your brand, and which do not. Keeping these aspects up to date will help you with reaching your ideal client.

Tip #5 – Check for Technical Issues

While reviewing data, it may also be a good idea to be on the lookout for technical problems your website might be experiencing. Having issues that affect the site such as slow loading times or broken links can hurt your SEO, and lead to a drop in rankings. However, occasionally checking for these types of issues can also help you in putting a stop to issues before they arise.

If you have any of our alumni packages, you have access to your data dashboard at all times.  We run a monthly site audit for you to help you catch these errors before they become a big issue. So, make sure you’re looking at that site audit. It’s also recommended that you check your website loading speed every now and then.  A slow website can really hurt you on the SEO front!

Tip #6 – Get to Know Google & Beware of updatesThe letters S. E. O. with a magnifying glass and errors pointing to it to show how this post focuses on keyword placement for counseling websites to improve search engine optimization.

The final tip from this guide is getting to know Google (the algorithm), and what it likes. Staying aware of search trends and algorithm updates will help you to decide what may need to be changed on your site. As new updates are regularly rolled out to the Google algorithm, some things that may have worked towards helping your SEO may not have the same effect over time. The truth is that over the last few years, most of the updates have helped our clients and have reinforced our SEO practices. However, there’s always a chance that the next update might really hurt your SEO for one reason or another. So, it’s important to know when updates come out and how those might impact your clients.

Our team watches for this sort of thing.  We may not always talk about minor updates, but when we know an update may have had a significant impact on some of our clients we’ll talk about it in the closed Facebook group.  So, if you’re part of any of our Alumni plans you’ll hear about it in the Facebook group and likely in the next Alumni newsletter as well!

Are you a Simplified Alum wanting to maintain your SEO?

You’re worked hard to get to the top of Google and now you want to stay there! We want to offer our alumni everything they need to maintain great SEO for years to come.  It’s a huge source of pride for us that some of the first websites Jessica optimized when Simplified first came into existence are still ranking on the first page of Google for key terms nearly 3 years later! We’re constantly hearing from our alumni how SEO was the investment that just kept giving!

If you’re ready for support keeping your site ranking, check out our Alumni packages and then e-mail your SEO Specialist or any of our staff with your questions! We’d love to help you figure out the package that’s the best fit for you!

Still needing to optimize your site?

It’s our goal to help improve your SEO and help get you more familiar with Google in the process. If your site still has some optimizing work to do, we’d love to help! To start finding your ideal client today, follow these steps:

  1. Schedule a free 15-minute consultation with a member of our team
  2. Learn more about our services
  3. Start ranking better on Goggle

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

Sterling Humburg-Cage is a member of the 2020 graduating class from the University of Missouri. He is intent on using his B.A. in Psychology to help provide the best results as an SEO specialist.  Sterling prides himself on helping 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 alumni have everything they need to continue ranking well!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That was a quick and fun review, right?

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

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

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

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

Topic 1 of blogging for SEO: Picking a topic.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There’s also SEO benefit, too.

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

Topic 3 of blogging for SEO: Formalities.

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

Length

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

Frequency

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

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

SEO Components

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

Headings

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

Internal and external links

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

Alt text

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

Meta Description

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

Topic 4 of blogging for SEO: Client conversion

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope this was helpful!

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

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

About the Author

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

As mental health professionals, one of the first things we most likely learned as graduate students was our code of ethics. You may have been taught all the ways you can be sued and how to avoid offending clients. At least that is how I felt in my professional ethics class. Everything we do as professionals require us to aspire to certain standards as well as follow state laws and regulations. Once we have our codes ingrained in us, we may move on with our lives putting them into our practice, daily life, and so on. 

Have you ever considered how your code of ethics impacts your practice, marketing, writing, and treatment methods? Whether you realize it or not our morals and values impact every aspect of our lives. Including our professional book of codes. So how do we promote optimizing for ethical SEO?

Personal holding blue digital world in hand above city. As professionals we follow codes and have ethics. Have you considered how these impact your ethical SEO strategy? Whether its seo backlinking or ethical search engine optimization, we need to be accurate in our information. Learn more about SEO for mental health here!

How does your ethics code impact your SEO?

As you may have found out as business owners, marketing is a key part of your growth. In order to reach out to your ideal people, you must understand the different ways you can increase your stream of clientele. Something you may not have been taught as a student. At times, when you’re looking into ads, SEO, copywriting, and so on, you may notice some shady practices. In fact, some of these just downright go against our practices as mental health professionals.  So how do you begin to keep in mind our codes and reach out to your people?

Reviews Reviews Reviews?

One big NO, as professionals is asking for reviews. I’m sure we are all aware of this whether you’re a coach, social worker, MFT, or counselor, we do not ask for reviews. In all of our codes, we know that confidentiality is important. Even though we see mental health as a positive some people are not ok with the negative stigma that follows it. We cannot ask someone to disclose that you’re their therapist because it violates so many boundaries. Not only that, no matter what theoretical orientation you use as a professional, the therapeutic relationship does have some sort of authority in it. You’re seen as the expert, even if we believe the client is the expert. Therefore, there is an unfair power dynamic present when asking for reviews. 

On the other hand, one thing that cannot easily be avoided is when a client willingly leaves a review on your site, Google my business, yelp, or whatever stream you may be on. This isn’t unethical. It wasn’t coerced and it happens from time to time. Take it with a grain of salt and move forward because it does help your SEO. 

Group of collegues talking and smiling while looking at picture. Collaborating with professions is good for SEO backlinking. If you're looking to build reviews for ethical seo, you will need collegues and mentors for help. Learn about this ethical search engine optimization approach.

How do you get reviews to help your SEO in an ethical way?

In order to build ethical reviews, it’s important to network and maintain connections. Receiving reviews from colleagues and mentors is a great way to build credibility. These people know you and your work. They are wonderful for references and help you seem credible from a Google standpoint. So reach out to a few people that can get a good review from and return the favor. We talk a bit more about this in another post I wrote recently about SEO & Google My Business.

Accurately Portray Your Service and Expertise 

This may be an obvious one, but it’s necessary for us as professionals to accurately portray ourselves in our field. We are not healers, we do not have a cure for your mental health, and we need to make sure we are providing services we have the skills, training, and expertise in. In the social worker’s code, this is under 4.06 C in the section of Misrepresentation. For Marriage and family therapists, this is under standards of advertising with 9.1 to 9.8. For counselors, this is listed under section C of the ACA code. This means that we need to practice within our competence and we have obligations for advertising such as not selling products to clients, recruiting them, or asking for statements(reviews). 

Where do we draw the line?

We need to draw the line as professionals and know when we are about to cross a line. We have authority in our field and we need to exercise it appropriately. Therefore advertising ourselves as experts in certain modalities, or topics, when we do not have the training, is unethical. From an SEO standpoint, when you market yourself as an EMDR therapist but you don’t have the expertise, you’re leading people into a false sense of security. The keywords you rank for drive in the people looking for specific treatments and approaches. People trust us therefore on our websites we need to make sure that we are promoting what we can do and receiving training in areas we want to work on, in the future. We are advocates for those who are struggling, so we must not create websites that inaccurately portray our skills. 

Meta Descriptions for Ethical SEO

One way we can avoid making false claims as professionals is by making sure you’re honest from the first point of contact. This may be your meta descriptions. Make sure your meta descriptions accurately reflect what’s on the page. You want people to see you as being transparent and honest. While you want to write a meta description that will encourage people to “click” on your website, it’s important that it’s accurate enough that they aren’t surprised by what they find when they get there. Make sure you’re not setting people up for failure by enticing them with false information only to have them disappointed. Not only does this affect your reputation, but it can leave a bad impression on the mental health field as a whole. We want people to have a healthy idea of what professionals do, not bad taste. 

Why do we not pay for SEO backlinking?

As mental health professionals, we want to be as ethical as possible. Even if we do not understand the behind the veil of Google’s rules, we need to make sure we are adhering to them. Our codes are not laws, but we aspire to uphold them because we believe that they keep us safe and most importantly protect our clients. With Google, buying backlinks is against their rules. It’s just part of their system. If you buy backlinks you’re essentially cheating Google’s system, and being dishonest to the algorithm. This is what is called “black hat SEO” It’s like you’re trying to get one over on Google’s. This is dishonest to Google and you will get penalized if and when you’re caught. Why does this matter?

We want to be honest as professionals in all aspects of our business. It may not seem like that big of a deal, but it’s Google’s rules and we need to honor that. If you do buy backlinks, note that when you’re caught Google will drop your rankings and potentially remove you from search results entirely. That means clients are not finding you cannot help them. 

purple graphic for link building being held up by man holding tablet. SEO backlinking is a great way to increase credibility with Google. However this must be done with ethical seo strategies. Learn more about seo for mental health professionals today!

Language matters for ethical search engine optimization

Lastly, I do want to address this because it’s in all of our codes to portray ourselves accurately. We are not to state that we can have cures and can solve other people’s problems. While we want to write copy that is relatable and real, we do not just tell people what they want to hear just to get them in the door. We need to be careful what claims we make on our website. People can be easily susceptible to false claims. Let’s not be a part of the problem. Honor your codes and consider is this a direct violation of my ethics or am I about to cross the line? 

Closing message for Ethical SEO 

SEO is very important to professionals, especially those of us who don’t want to be salesy and are unfamiliar with where to begin. However, with all marketing efforts, we have to consider if what we are doing is ethical and right. SEO can help you build your practice, but it needs to be built on truth and what you’re skilled in. Make sure as you create a copy that you’re putting your solid expertise on the page and leaving out the works in progress until you truly feel ready to add more niches, or treatment modalities. If you receive advice that makes you wonder if something is right, ask colleagues, SEO specialists, or mentors who can give you unbiased advice. Follow your better judgment and keep your ideal client in mind.

Remember the general principle we all follow which is to do no harm. Even if inserting a bit of falsehood into sites may seem to hurt no one. This could one day come back to bite us. Compare your marketing strategy to your code and see if you’re nearing any gray lines. Happy optimizing and I look forward to seeing you help your ideal clients with ethical SEO strategies soon!

Begin SEO Services at Simplified SEO Consulting 

We strive as professionals to make sure we are acting ethically and that we are giving you ethical advice. Our specialists want you to thrive and reach your people. We are advocates for the profession and know the positive impacts you make on those around you. That is why we are here to help you make ethical decisions and we advise you to consult multiple people. If you’re looking to begin SEO work, Simplified SEO Consulting offers DFY packages, courses, and training options. Our skilled team of SEO experts are here to walk you through this process and help you make ethical decisions. If you have questions we are here to help. To get started follow these three steps to begin ranking better on Google.

  • Schedule an appointment for a free 30-minute consultation with our Client Success Specialist.
  • Learn more about our skilled specialists today!
  • Start optimizing your website with ethical SEO in mind!

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

In the past, we’ve covered researching keywords for therapists is so important. But for our topic today, we are going over some of the most common mistakes people make when doing keyword research. Now we all make mistakes, it’s only human to do so. But, those mistakes can have ripple effects that affect the overall ranking of your site. So, it can be invaluable to know how to avoid them. Let’s talk about it!

Woman on computer near notebook and coffee doing keyword research. This person has figured out what the best keywords for therapists in her area. To learn more about Simplified specialists, keyword research tools for therapists, and more, continue reading our blog.

Common Mistake #1: Assuming You Know What Your Audience is Searching

You may think you’re familiar with the terms that your ideal clients are searching for. Or, you may have expertly crafted the terminology you use throughout your site. While this is all wonderful to have, this doesn’t necessarily translate to knowing what your ideal clients are searching for. Even though different clients might describe their experiences in similar ways, you still shouldn’t assume that they correlate with Google. It’s certainly important to be familiar with how your clients describe what they are going through. But, it is also important to understand that some of the terms you’re familiar with might be unknown to your ideal client. For example, even though you may have a page titled “adolescent psychotherapy”, most people probably won’t be typing all of that out in the search bar. Instead, people may be searching for the term “teen counseling”, or something similar to it.

Honestly, keyword research can be a bit of an art. We’ve had many therapists come to us wanting to be very inclusive and only optimizing for “couples therapy.”  Yes, this is a great term that encompasses all of the work that you do. But in most areas of the country (there are exceptions which is why we must ALWAYS do keyword research for your unique area) “marriage counseling” is actually searched for significantly (think x4) more frequently. Similarly, you might describe your service as “psychotherapy for anxiety,” but more people are searching for “anxiety treatment” or even “anxiety counseling.”

But, There is An Exception

It should be noted that the intake materials that new clients fill out can provide you with valuable info. These can provide you with insight as to their reasons for coming into therapy. And, also give you ideas on future service pages or blog posts to address the issues your clients are bringing up. While this is effective, you’ll have much more luck using one of the many keyword research tools for therapists out there. In order to find what out your ideal client may be searching for. Which, actually leads me to my next point.

Common Mistake #2: Not Focusing On a Specific Location

There are many tools to research keywords for therapists. Some popular options include Google Trends, KWFinder, and Keywords Everywhere. However, knowing where to focus is just as important as the keyword itself. Having at least one specific location for where you’d like your site to rank is becoming increasingly important as the Google algorithm changes. Our team of SEO specialists has found that including location indicators on keywords for therapists helps focus the search to the area you want to rank for. Doing so will help Google understand where your practice is located. And, will help get your site in front of potential clients in your area.

Computer with the words "SEO Keyword Tool." This computer is being used to find the best keywords for mental health professionals in the area. Contact Simplified SEO Consulting for support keyword research tools for therapists and more.

It also helps narrow down terms that may be searched for to only focus on what is being searched for in a specific area. Even for online-only practices, referencing that your practice is based in a certain town or city may help to build your online presence with Google. Additionally, it is important to note that search trends differ based on where you are searching from. For example, “depression counseling” might be the most searched keyword in your state. But, “depression treatment” could be searched for most in the state that borders yours. It’s important to understand what keywords you are wanting to rank for, and where they are being most searched for.

Common Mistake #3: Not Understanding the Difficulty and Search Volume of Keywords

Admittedly, some keywords are harder to rank for than others. Tools such as KWFinder allow you to see the difficulty. But, this can become confusing when taking search volume into account. While it’s normally best to track the keyword that has the highest search volume, this isn’t always the best option when it comes to competing with others.

The difficulty of a keyword is based on how likely it is you’ll be able to climb up the search results. The harder the keyword, the harder the climb will be. If it’s a service many people offer support for, like “depression counseling”, you can expect a lot of competition and a tough climb. On the other hand, you can expect niche services to be easier to rank for since there isn’t as much competition.

Where this understanding becomes important is when dealing with keywords that might have a similar search volume, but different difficulties. Just because a keyword has a higher search volume does not mean you should necessarily focus on it. In fact, sometimes keywords with a smaller search can better because of the fact they’re easier to rank for. Not going for the most searched keyword can sometimes be the best call. Our SEO specialists can also help you weigh these kinds of decisions.

Common Mistake #4: Not Being Thorough with Selecting the Keywords Themselves

When it comes to SEO, even the plural and singular forms of a keyword can produce different results. When conducting keyword research, it’s very important to double-check that you have the correct form of the keyword you want. And, that you think about the search intent behind the keyword you want to rank for. Even the difference between “therapy for depression” and “depression therapy” might result in different search volumes.

Green search button with white hand curser hovering over it for Simplified SEO Consulting. Contact us for support in finding the best keywords for therapists, best keywords for mental health, and more.

So, What is Search Intent?

This is the reason why someone is searching for a term in the first place. When thinking of what keywords to target, think of why they would be searching for it. Are they seeking information from your site? Are they looking for a particular service? Maybe they want to buy something. Or, are simply researching more information on a topic. Understanding what your ideal client is hoping to gain from finding your site can help you tailor your keyword research. This way, when they do find your site, you will have the answers they are looking for.

In Conclusion

There are multiple pitfalls that people might fall into when conducting keyword research. It can certainly take a while to get used to all of the quirks and caveats that come with properly researching keywords for therapists, but the outcome of doing it correctly is worth any hassle.

Begin SEO Services with Simplified SEO Consulting

Our SEO specialists are trained in conducting properly researching keywords for therapists. We would love to help improve your SEO and get you higher up on Google. Follow these steps to start finding your ideal client today:

  1. Schedule a free 15-minute consultation with a member of our team
  2. Learn more about our services
  3. Start optimizing your site, and ranking better on Google

SEO Services Offered at Simplified SEO Consulting

Simplified SEO Consulting provides SEO services for helping professionals and private practice owners. Our comprehensive SEO services are included in our Done for You SEO Service packages.  People typically participate in those for an average of 6 months while we set a really firm foundation and get your website ranking well. Then, we offer continued support through our alumni packages. Our team also provides learning opportunities with our SEO training packages. This includes our “Top of Google” online course, 12 week Intensive Training Program and SEO Strategy package if you’re interested in learning how to optimize your website on your own.

Take the next step and book a free SEO Consultation to determine which option is best for your business. We look forward to talking with you!

About The Author

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

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

What Google Says About Location Indicators:

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

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

Add Your Physical Address To Your Footer

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

Add Location Indicators Throughout Your Pages

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

Blog and Reference Specific Locations

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

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

Create a Google My Business Listing and Optimize Your Profile

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

Embed A Google Map On Your Website

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

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

Create A Location Page for Your Private Practice

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

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

Get Local Backlinks

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other Services offered by Simplified SEO Consulting

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

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

About the Author:

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

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

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

What’s the point of blogging?

Simple answer: connection.

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

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

Not Blogging

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

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

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

Blogging for SEO

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

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

Overthinking Blog Posts

Keep blog content helpful, relatable, and relevant.

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

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

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

Blogging Content Ideas

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

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

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

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

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

Prioritize Quality over Quantity

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

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

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

Content Promotion

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

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

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

Keywords in the Titles

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

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

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

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

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

Videos in Blogs

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

Are You Ready to Get Your Site Ranking?

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

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

Other Services at Simplified SEO Consulting

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