Of the many things that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) brings, confusion is definitely one of them while how backlinks work… is not. 

Photo of Laptop and Glasses. Representing a mental health professional looking to research about backlinks and learn seo online If you are looking for help, click here!

What are Backlinks? Understanding How Backlinks Work. 

Whether you’re linking to another website or your own site is being linked to, linking is a critical part of search engine optimization (SEO). Backlinks result from a website linking to your website. In most cases, if you’re mentioned in a blog post or a web article, your website will link back to it. This is usually because the two websites are somehow connected. For example, they may be related based on the content they provide.

More Information About How Backlinks Work. 

An authoritative, trustworthy source provides information regarding a topic through a backlink. Consequently, the website becomes more reliable and a ‘backlink’ is created. It’s important to know how backlinks work to determine a website’s credibility and trustworthiness. 

As a mental health professional, it is important to portray the quality of care provided to clients through your website. That may be their first impression of your business, and the deciding factor as to whether they would like to backlink to your site. Consequently, your site will receive a lot more traffic as well as improved ranking in search engine results because Google knows it is trustworthy.

Photo of a laptop with SEO requirements. Are you overwhelmed by trying to understand how backlinks work? Learn SEO for online therapist websites here!

What type of backlinks does a site need?  

Getting effective backlinks becomes more challenging as backlinks come in different quality levels. While it is true, you want more backlinks. However, Google is more likely to trust a quality backlink from a news site or a university website than a link from a new site. 

It is easy to get confused when it comes to the difference between follow and Nofollow links. How a website treats those links is also crucial since it can determine how search engines will treat those links. The focus here is on the relationship between Follow and Nofollow links and your site.

What are Follow links? How are they impacting your SEO?

The use of follow links is one of the best ways to improve a website’s domain authority or domain rating which in turn, enhances keyword ranking. This is accomplished by passing the authority of the origin site to the destination site.

Fun Fact: In the web world, this passing of authority is known as “link juice.”

What are NoFollow links? Do they do anything to your SEO?

Nofollow links do not help rankings and don’t pass authority on to the website they are linking to. These links do not benefit SEO. Examples of these links are ones that are posted on Facebook posts. 

However! It’s normal for a site to have a healthy mix of both types of backlinks and that’s what Search Engines look for, the useful, normal sites that people are more likely to search for. Having NoFollow links is still a great way to connect with potential clients. 

What is the purpose of a NoFollow link in How Backlinks Work?

Getting NoFollow links isn’t a bad thing! Despite not giving you SEO benefits like Follow links, you can get traffic to your website and diversify your backlink portfolio with NoFollow links. 

Hyperlinks with the rel=”NoFollow” attribute are not indexed in Google results if they have this attribute. But, this isn’t a negative vote for the site. Instead, it is a way to prevent other people from attempting to raise their own search engine rankings by commenting on related blogs.

Fun Fact: Google implemented this as a response to website owners’ complaints about comment spam and unfair SEO tactics in September 2005.  


How can you tell if a link is either Follow or NoFollow?  

Short Answer? You can’t unless you’re looking at the HTML coding itself. 

The easiest way to determine if a link is follow or nofollow is to inspect the link in the browser and check the HTML code within the link.

Infographic of Follow and NoFollow Links. Confused about how backlinks work? Read more here to get your SEO training for your mental health private practice!

A Follow link looks like this:

<a href=”https://simplifiedSEOconsulting.com”>Simplified SEO Consulting</a>

A NoFollow link looks like this:

<a href=”https://simplifiedSEOconsulting.com” rel=”nofollow”>Simplified SEO Consulting</a>

How do I find the HTML coding?

You can perform this task by right-clicking on the link anchor text of that link and selecting “Inspect element” or “Inspect” (depending on your browser). 

If you’re using Chrome, you can press Ctrl+Shift+I when you are at the URL you are investigating. 

Lastly, there are options for applications that you can add to your web browser to reveal what links are Follow or NoFollow. 

What types of content are generally NoFollow?

Any type of content can be NoFollow if the HTML coding is adjusted to make it do so.
However, these inbound links below tend to be NoFollow: 

  • Social Media Posts and Comments
  • Forum Post Links (User Generated Content etc) 
  • Press Releases 
  • Widget links 

And, these outbound links usually are NoFollow too: 

  • Wikipedia
  • Youtube
  • Reddit

Fun Fact: Any paid backlinks should be NoFollow according to Google’s Search Central Guidelines.

The Summary of How Backlinks Work

As far as SEO is concerned and how backlinks work, Follow links provide authority to a website, whereas NoFollow links do not. Having both types of links within the content is expected for a site to be considered genuine. Search engines will look at sites that lack that healthy balance and perhaps take them offline if they find their backlink tactics suspicious. Finding other mental health sites that relate to your content is an important tactic for Search Engine Optimization.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed reading this, we can help! We will lead you through navigating the world of the internet as you build a private practice therapy office. Our team of highly skilled mental health SEO specialists can take care of all the things you need to do for SEO.

SEO Marketing for Therapists & Counselors Made Simple!

To begin working with Simplified, follow these three simple steps:

  1. Book a Session with Simplified SEO Consulting
  2. Learn about SEO Consulting for Therapists
  3. Take a breath and relax, knowing your SEO is handled!

Other Services at Simplified SEO Consulting:

We can also help if you need other types of support! We offer a variety of training options to meet your needs, including a 12-week training programsmall group intensives, and courses. If you are ready to start using SEO, or you are planning to move your site or redesign your site, then the strategy session may be a great option for you. We can also assist you with our Done for You Program if you are looking to work with a dedicated and skilled team of professionals.


About the Author

Amber has a BA in Psychology and is currently working towards her MA in Psychology while working with the best team in the world, Simplified SEO Consulting. She is a mother, animal enthusiast, public relations volunteer at a fine arts nonprofit who enjoys helping others succeed.

In the world of Search Engine Optimization, there are so many terms that are thrown around. 

There is a lot of lingo surrounding search engine optimization. In fact, there is so much that it can sound like a different language without having prior knowledge. So today, we are going to discuss common SEO terms and their place in the grand scheme of things.

The word keywords is surrounded by the terms concept, web, sem, content, words, and seo. Learn how we can offer SEO help for therapists at Simplified SEO Consulting. We offer support for counselor SEO and more.

What Are Long-Tail and Short-Tail Keywords?

Keywords are the terms that we chose to focus on and include in content to better show up for those terms. When it comes to short-tail keywords, these are phrases such as “anxiety treatment” that only have one to two words that make up the keyword. Long-tail keywords however can have four or more. 

Short-tail keywords often overlook long-tail when it comes to search volume. Since these keywords are shorter and more general, they are often searched for by a larger number of people. On the other hand, long-tail keywords are usually more specific due to the longer nature of the phrase. Thus, making them easier to rank for while helping focus in on a specific niche or topic. There are pros and cons of using each, which is why it’s important to use each when optimizing for specific search terms you’d like to rank for.

What Does HTML Mean?

HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. This is a basic markup language for documents used by web pages across the internet. HTML is used to tell web browsers what elements are present on a given page and make up the backbone of what you will see on a webpage. Every element is represented somewhere in the HTML of the page. While you may not be able to see it without a bit of technical knowledge, it still serves an invaluable purpose in SEO and web design as a whole.

What Does SERP Stand For?

This stands for search engine result page. When you search for something on Google, this is the page you see with all the possible search results related to your inquiry. The factors that determine where pages fall in a SERP can be difficult to understand, especially with the ever-evolving nature of Google’s search algorithm. But, understanding the major updates that may occur can help improve your SEO efforts in a variety of ways. 

What Is a Meta Description?

A meta description is a short paragraph that appears on SERPs and summarizes what the page is about. Normally Google will automatically create these based on the content of the page. But, these are rarely as effective as if you were to manually create your own. Writing your own meta descriptions for each of your web pages will allow you to also work in crucial keywords you are hoping to improve rankings for, thus helping google better understand the focus of the page and what you are hoping to rank for. 

A hand writes on a chalkboard with the word SEO circled. We offer support for therapist SEO and more.What Is the Difference Between Crawling, Indexing, Rendering, and Ranking?

Crawling refers to when robots (crawlers) for a search engine discover new pages on your site, and the links they have to other existing pages, which is why internal links are so important. After a robot crawls a site, it can index the crawled pages. Indexing is when these pages are recorded by the search engine, analyzed, and sorted based on the content of the page.

Rendering occurs when search engines take the HTML of your page, and use it to understand the structure of the page. It is the process of compiling the code of your site in order to better understand what an actual person will see when they visit the page. Finally, ranking is what private practice owners work to improve through SEO! Your ranking is where your site falls in the SERP, and this constantly changes due to other competitors working to climb to the top of the search results.

What Is a Sitemap?

A sitemap acts as, well, a map of your site! This helps search engines organize the pages on your site to crawl and index the content of your website. Without submitting your sitemap to something like Google My Business, SERPs may have a harder time understanding the type of content on your site, whether that be a video, image, or article. Plus, sitemaps also provide crawlers with another way to discover each page of your site. As a result, you don’t have to worry as much about isolated pages being looked over due to a lack of links. Your sitemap will take notice of them even if they’re not linked to any other page. 

What Are Alt Text and Alt Titles?

These are unseen additions to photos and other graphic elements on a page that help improves accessibility and provide content for search engines. The text and titles added to photos help search engines index pages correctly. These often include descriptions that explain the content of the photo and can provide a great chance to also rank for your focus keywords. These alt attributes can be added to the HTML of your site in different ways. Including them also helps toward improving how well you rank on Google. 

What Are Internal Links, External Links, and Backlinks?

Internal links are the embedded links on your website that connect each page to one another. External links are similar, but they link to external sites independent of your site. Backlinks is a type of external link in which another site creates a link that returns back to your site. Internal linking is an essential part of your site structure. External and backlinks are invaluable as well. They can help to improve the authoritativeness of your site. But, be careful, not all sites may be as reputable as others, meaning the wrong link can actually hurt the credibility of your site. 

What Is Black Hat & White Hat SEO

These are the methods in which you try to rank better on SERPs like Google. Black hat SEO tactics are those that can help you improve your rankings, but are often unethical and go against SERP guidelines in the process. In short, you want to avoid black hat SEO practices. Instead, white hat SEO practices are ethical methods to help improve your search engine rankings. 

A hand holds a magnifying glass looking at the letters SEO. We offer support for counselor SEO and more.

What Is a Featured Snippet?

These are becoming more important as Google continues to make finding the right answers more convenient for those searching for them. These are the small bits of text that often appear at the top of Google’s search results that are meant to offer quick answers to an inquiry. These make it easier for searchers to find answers without having to sift through an entire page. They also help capture attention and can improve the chances people will visit your site for more useful answers to their questions.

Begin Improving Counselor SEO With Simplified SEO Consulting

Our team of SEO specialists is experienced in offering support to improve the SEO of therapists nationwide. We offer a number of services that can help you improve your practice, and find your ideal client. If you are ready to start your SEO journey with Simplified SEO Consulting, please follow these simple steps: 

  1. Apply to start improving your SEO
  2. Meet with a member of our team of SEO Specialists
  3. Start ranking higher on Google and meeting with your ideal client

Other Services Offered With Simplified SEO Consulting

Our team of mental health SEO specialists is happy to offer a number of services to support your SEO efforts. We offer Done For You SEO packages as well as online courses, SEO training, Done With You 12-week intensive, and strategy sessions. We would be happy to start working with you by scheduling a free 30-minute consultation. Learn more by visiting our blog or visit our services page today.

About the Author

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

Image of multiple hands fist bumping representing the teamwork needed to boost your backlinks for therapists on your website. Learn more about backlinks for therapists at Simplified SEO Consulting today!You know you need to get backlinks to improve your SEO, however. . . you simply don’t have time for all that! It sounds overwhelming. There are so many different tactics and methods and a quick Google search leaves your head spinning. You’re a busy private practice owner, and managing a website and blogging is more than enough. Getting other sites to link to you as well. Ugh. It’s all just too much.

I totally get it. Being busy building a private practice therapy office is difficult enough. Add in trying to optimize for SEO and blog and wow, it’s simply overwhelming. You didn’t get into psychology to write and strategize, you got into therapy to help people! Now you feel like all your time is being eaten up by trying to find clients instead of helping the clients you have! Now you have to try and get backlinks for therapists? Oh goodness. Luckily for you, I have a few tips up my sleeve to help you improve your backlink game, with minimal effort on your part. At Simplified SEO Consulting, we get that you’re a busy private practice owner. We want to take SEO for psychologists off your plate!

To begin, we’re going to talk a little about what backlinks are in the first place! Then we’ll talk about why they are important and finally we’ll rock out some tips on how to get backlinks with minimal effort!

What are backlinks for therapists?

To put it super simply, backlinks for therapists are links on other websites which go to your site. Therefore, if you are mentioned in a blog post or a web article, a link is often included back to your website, which not only helps drive traffic, it also improves your SEO because Google knows that your page is more legit. There are different levels of quality of backlinks which adds another layer to building a solid backlink game. You want to get more backlinks, yes. However, quality backlinks for therapists from established news sites and .edu websites carry more weight with Google than another early stage website.

How to get good backlinks for therapists, (relatively) easily:

Backlinks are important because they are a vote in your favor in Google’s eyes. They see you as more reputable if you are linked to by an already established website. Here are my 5 favorite ways to get backlinks with minimal effort!

Guest post

happy man is writing a guest post to get backlinks for therapists to improve SEO for psychologists. Learn more about SEO from a SEO specialist at Simplified SEO Consulting.The most common way to get backlinks as a therapist is to do some outreach and guest post on others sites. Yes, you do have to spend some time writing and potentially even come up with a pitch. But the research and time spent has a great return. Writing a quality guest post for another website is good for your SEO and gets your name out into the world! I recommend coming up with a few ideas for blog posts and researching websites in your field who might benefit from your voice. Then it’s just a simple email and you’re (hopefully) on your way to getting a solid backlink!


Have I mentioned I love HARO? I LOVE HARO! HARO stands for Help a Reporter Out” and is a site which allows you to be considered as a source for major publications. It’s as easy as reading an email once to three times a day and replying with a pitch, or your take on what they are asking about. I personally check HARO for my business and see requests for mental health professionals almost daily. Take 10-30 minutes a day and reply to appropriate requests and you just might find yourself being linked to in a high flying publication!

Request to be on a College’s Resource list

If you are in a university town, consider reaching out to the schools LGBTQ Center or Women’s Center (or appropriate center for your niche) and ask to be included on a resource page. This not only gives you a high quality backlink, but can add clients through the college having you listed as a resource!

Podcast guest

My last and personal favorite way to get backlinks for therapists is to guest on podcasts. This can be as easy as asking around in your network who has a podcast and asking to be on it. On a more complicated level, consider which podcasts you enjoy listening to in your niche and make the ask! Pitching can be scary, but the payoff can be tremendous! Podcast guesting is great! Because once you land the gig, it is literally at most an hour and a half of your time. It also gets you great promo and publicity by the owner of the podcast.

Happy man at his computer smiles as he meets with a group of therapists for a 12-week SEO mastermind with Simplified SEO ConsultingConsider Done for You SEO with Simplified SEO Consulting

If you still find yourself overwhelmed with the prospect of doing ALL the things for SEO, consider hiring us to do your on page SEO for you! Our team of highly skilled mental health SEO specialists are here to help you navigate the wild world of the internet as you build your private practice therapy office.

How to begin improving your SEO in 3 easy steps:

You might be thinking “oh em gee. . . how am I supposed to do ALL the things for SEO?!” Well, the honest answer is that SEO is a lot. It takes know how and time. The good news is that here at Simplified SEO Consulting we have a team of rockstar SEO specialists who are here to help you rank at the top of Google as a therapist! 

To begin working with Simplified, follow these three simple steps:

  1. Book a Consult Call with our Consult Specialist
  2. Learn about SEO Consulting for therapists
  3. Step back and relax, knowing your SEO is handled!

Other Services at Simplified SEO Consulting

If Done for You SEO isn’t striking your fancy at this time, consider signing up for a DIY SEO Course or joining an SEO training! There are many ways Simplified can help support you as you go on the journey of improving your SEO.

About the Author

Photo of Mason, SEO Content Writer for Simplified SEO Consulting, holding a butterfly on his arm.Mason Aid (They/He) is a Mental Health SEO Copywriter at Simplified SEO Consulting. They love solving the puzzle of fitting the right keywords into your copy so you attract your dream clients. They have their Bachelors Degree in Sociology and a continued interest in advocating for marginalized people and mental health.

Okay, if you haven’t heard from Simplified and our Mental Health SEO Specialists, external links are greaaaat for SEO. Have we told you yet? Maybe a couple times?

The beauty behind valuable external links is that their presence makes Google trust you more. Providing references from your site to other credible sites boosts your site’s credibility, letting Google know that you know your stuff. 

First off, what is an external link?

An external link has a multitude of names. We know, how confusing. External links can sometimes be referenced as outbound links, backlinks, or hyperlinks. You may also hear “internal link”, we’ll get to that.

Let’s clarify. 

An external link is a hyperlink that forwards the user to a different page.

So, if you have an external link to Webster Dictionary for a definition of some sort, once a user clicks that external link, they will be redirected to the Webster Dictionary page. 

A couple things about external links:

  1. Internal links are also valuable for SEO. An internal link is when you are referencing another page on your own site. Whenever you use an internal link, you’re telling Google that you are competent in multiple things!
  2. External links can be placed in text, or within images! Most likely, you will want to stick an external link into the standard text.
  3. Simplified recommends that you have an external link pop up in a new tab. We recommend this because it leaves more time for the potential client to stay on your site.

Like I said before, external links are good for SEO. BUT, we want to make sure these links are credible. If they’re not credible, Google’s trust in your site will go down. It’s like a research paper, but for your site! How exciting.

When you’re considering credibility, consider these things:

1. Check the sources!

Does the site you’re linking to have it’s own research process? Does it reference a different research process? Are there any articles or studies or authors listed?

2. Double check the domain of the website

Domains say a lot about a site. In summary, .com, .net, .org, .gov, .edu are primarily credible domains. Secondly, io, .biz, .cn, .surf, are primarily not credible domains. Double check any information coming from these sites.

3. Screening Process for Submissions

Sometimes, websites have submissions available for tweaking information on the site. This is not inherently bad, but keep a look out on who is able to create submissions, and how many times. What does the screening process look like for them? Wikipedia is one of these tricky sites, allowing multiple submissions with a lack of screening. Sometimes, well-meaning users introduce inaccuracies. Double check any information coming from a site like this.

4. Search for information to back up what you’ve found

Verify a site’s legitimacy by comparing it to other sites. If you find a source that contradicts your original source, you may want to further investigate!


Great! If you’ve vetted your external link through this process, get that external link on your page for some SEO juice!

About the Author

Jewel is currently part of the Simplified team as a Mental Health Specialist at Simplified SEO Consulting. She helps private practice owners find their ideal client by optimizing their websites and providing direct support to clients. Jewel loves the gratification when she sees a therapist’s data increasing and their phones buzzing. As a person who values mental health amongst other things, she loves knowing that Simplified’s services help therapists and patients find each other to improve mental health in the world.

Jewel is currently in her Master’s in Social Work program at the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare. She also interns every week at a Kansas City psychiatric hospital. When she has the time, she loves to read, volunteer, spend time with friends, and travel.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3) The Podcast Episode that was Used in Three Places

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

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

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

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

Want to Learn More About Optimizing Your Private Practice Website?

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

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

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

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

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

First, A Quick Recap On Directories & NAP

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

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

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

The Issue with Some Directories         

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

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

Listing Exclusivity 

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

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

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

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

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

Checking the Competition

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

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

On-Page Investigation

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


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

“Last Updated…” 

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

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

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


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

Begin Working With An SEO Specialist with Simplified SEO Consulting

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

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

Other Services Offered by Simplified SEO Consulting

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

About the Author

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

Do online coaches and consultants need SEO?

Yes, you do! The field of online coaching is very broad. It is not enough to create a website and say that you’re a health and wellness coach, a life coach, or a coaching therapist. This may seem specific to you, but to your ideal client, this is very vague. It’s important that when you do SEO for life coaches, therapists, health coaches, and so on, that you’re getting specific with your niche. Not in a way that makes it too difficult to get clients, but by specifying and speaking to your ideal client or “avatar”.

Benefits of SEO for Coaches

  • First, you’re able to get in front of your ideal clients- The most visible you’re, the more likely people Mind map with SEO strategy. You deserve an SEO strategy that works! If you're offer coaching services, seo for coaches can help you. Learn how to find the best keywords for coaches or keywords for life coaching today. Read our blog to learn more!are to come in contact with your services. 
  • Builds credibility- SEO is all about building client relationships and connecting with your ideal clients through Google. Therefore, the better optimized your site, the more likely clients and prospects will see your programs and content. 
  • Raises your authority- When you’re a leader in your field, people follow suit, therefore, if you’re able to get backlinks and have reputable sites mention you on their site. The better you will rank. 

Tips on SEO for Coaches to Get Ranking Better!

Content is King! Or Queen!

Something that I see on coaching websites very often is clear, concise, and straightforward reasons to begin coaching with them. They outline what your goals are and how they can help you. Plus they outline the packages and how to get started. So what is wrong with this strategy when it comes to SEO? Google likes content and sometimes the way coaches build out pages can be more vague than you realize.

We know as SEO specialists and you know as coaches that nobody is going to ready a built-out service page, but Google will. Google loves content and if you can lay out your client’s pain points, why they may need support, how you can help, and where to get started in 500 words, Google is going to see you as a more credible source, than someone with 100 words on their page. Google needs built-out content, but what does the client need as well. A straightforward message that says “ I can help you”. That means in our SEO strategy with content, we need to make sure our keywords are niched down, headings make it clear that you can help, and that you understand who you’re trying to reach. It’s a balancing game. 

A great way to enhance your content is by creating pages on what is life coach, how can a health and wellness coach help you. Why do I need a business coach or consultant, and so on? Then creating resource guides, tips, and talking directly to your client’s needs, will help connect with your people, potential clients, and of course Google.

A Smart Keyword Strategy Will Get you on the map

What is considered a “smart” keyword strategy? Well if I told you what a health coach was, would you know what I do? Probably not, we often want to be ranking for the most highly searched for keywords, but forget that we also need to reach our ideal clients in the process. That doesn’t mean health coach, life coach, online coach, business consultant, and so on isn’t going to help you. It is just those search terms are being used by everyone and that makes them watered down. We need to be specific in who we are targeting. Online coaching for busy moms, coaching for side hustles, fitness coaching for busy women. Who are you targeting? Are they dealing with weight loss, time or stress management, building a business?

We must create a strategy that entails both a long tail ( online coaching for women in Texas) and a short tail ( online coaching) so you’re getting on the map for what you need and eventually moving up with the more challenging keywords. 

Content written on notebook near coffee cup and pen. Coaching is such a broad field and niching down is complex. Why not get support with seo for coaches. Whether you need seo for life coaches, health coaches, business coaches and more. We can help. Learn more today!

So how do I know if my keywords are right?

My response to this is how long have you been working on your strategy, do you know your ideal clients, and are you adding in the right content that connects. If you’re doing all these things and still see no results, then consider restructuring your approach. Chances are something in your copy is connecting or you’re haven’t found the sweet spot in your niche. Likewise, know that for an effective SEO strategy, you need to give it 6 months minimum to work. So how can you support your business in the meantime? Get connected!

Begin Connecting with Like-minded and different professionals

Building connections matter to get the referrals you need to your practice. Many individuals network or create podcasts to get their names out there with other professionals in their field. As well as with individuals they can partner with and refer to in the future. Two ways we suggest building on this strategy is to one create cornerstone blogs that talk about coaching, what you do, and how you help. Talk about the individual issues you see clients facing and how you can help to empower them to create the reality they are seeking. Additionally, an ethically built-out backlinks strategy will help skyrocket your credibility with Google. The more often people link to you the more Google recognizes your influence in your industry. Therefore, if you can do guest blogging, an interview, Facebook lives, or be on a podcast episode, always ask for a backlink to your site. 

Make sure your website design and appearance is professional and trustworthy

When it comes to your design and appearance, make sure you’re correctly reporting your qualifications and what you can help with. If you are not experienced in certain areas, get training so you can best support your clients. Make sure that your content and programs are original and are providing the results you expect for your clients. Additionally, make sure you have people you can refer out to such as counselors, dieticians, personal trainers, designers, life coaches, and more. Make sure when building your website that content is original and that you have a security tag on your website so it indicates that people who come to your site won’t be at risk of having their information exposed. The better care you take of your brand and content, the more trustworthy you will be to your clients and prospects. 

Make sure your coaching identity is clear

Often when I see coaching websites, they are lacking in content and don’t explain their purpose. Take time to explain your expertise, who you’re, help people recognize you’re human and capable of helping. Write blog content that connects

Is SEO for Coaches for You?

Yellow coaching words. SEO for coaches, includes seo for life coaches, health coaches, body image coaches, and more. If you need help with an SEO strategy, learn how we can help you find the best seo keywords for coaching today!

Whether you’re a body image coach, health coach, business consultant, coaching therapist, life coach, or anything in between, we can help you. Coaching is a necessary and complex business to get ranking, but our strategy can help. We strive to create individualized plans for each client so you’re bringing in the right people for you. If you’re ready for a strategy and support, see how we can help you!

Ready to Begin Working with Us?

Let’s work together to get you on the map for your niche. SEO is a great way to help you gain organic traffic as a coach. If you’re ready for support and an SEO strategy tailored to your needs, let us help you!. Our skilled and passionate team of SEO specialists is here to make sure your SEO journey is tailored to your brand and identity. Simplified SEO Consulting would be excited to help you on your SEO journey. To get started with our service follow these simple steps:

  1. Schedule a consult with our Client Success Specialist or Consult Team 
  2. Learn more about our wonderful team of SEO Specialists.
  3. Begin your ethical and holistic SEO Journey!

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

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

About the Author:

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

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

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

Imagine this, you’re going into an ice cream shop. You’re told on Google that this is the best ice cream in the world. In fact, you notice a ton of comments on their Google my business page, Good ratings, and a ton of options. So you and your family choose to go into this ice cream shop because of the recommendations you received. You checked the web pages, skimmed it briefly, and have decided this is for you. So you and your family roll up to this shop.

Upon getting to the address you notice a run-down warehouse, no cars in the parking lot. There is a lone stand with an individual handing out, what appears to be ice cream. You notice that what is actually there isn’t ice cream, but t-shirt sales and nothing else. You realize very quickly that what you thought you were getting was in fact false advertising, the t-shirts are not even good quality and now you’re confused. All you wanted was ice cream?! Why are there t-shirts?

What is the point?

Now, this is a silly analogy, but you get the picture. Essentially when people invest in black hat SEO, this is what they are doing. They make their website seem like the optimal choice, develop false credibility, and ignore user experience. You don’t want to buy your “ice cream
From a sketchy warehouse selling mediocre t-shirts.

It’s false advertising and leaves the user disappointed. Even though the false individual gives the impression of success based on false comments, faked reviews, they are essentially lying to the user. Here is the thing, when we forgo user experience to appease the search engine for traffic and affiliate payments, we are forgetting the whole purpose of why we are mental health professionals. USER EXPERIENCE, and helping our ideal clients. This matters and trust is the number one key to establishing any type of therapeutic relationship with a client. So why would we use shady marketing tactics to draw people in?

What is Black Hat SEO?

Two black magician hats with red ribbon. If you have an ethical SEO strategy, you're going to see better results. Black hat SEO tactics are not healthy for your side or for user experience. Learn how our mental health seo specialists can support you today!

In short, Black Hat SEO is a great way to get banned from Google’s search engine. This can heavily damage your SEO and deplete all the efforts you have made to get to the top. Essentially, as Google and the internet have started becoming more popular, people have used certain black hat SEO techniques to make sure they are at the top of the search engine in order to increase their rankings, traffic, and affiliate income. Now there used to be fewer restrictions on the internet, and people were able to work around this to achieve the marketing goals they were looking for. 


Whether it’s Bing, Google, Yahoo, or anything in between. These search engines have established clear-cut guidelines on how to use and market their search engine ethically. If you violate these guidelines, your SEO rankings will be damaged. The recovery process will be tedious and time-consuming. So it’s best not to engage in the first place.

Differences in White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO

You may have heard the term white hat SEO and thought, is this a less risky version of the black hat SEO? Actually, white hat SEO is the right way to communicate with the Google search engine. White hat or holistic SEO takes longer but is worth it in the end. This includes creating high-quality content, such as blog posts about your therapy specialties, services, and issues your ideal clients struggle with. These include at least 500-2000 words of well-written content geared toward user experience.

You can also use manual backlinking. This means that someone is ethically helping you build backlinks. This involves guest posting. This means other therapists blog on your blog and you on theirs. Additionally, you can either hire or on your own create mini-blogs for your site. These need to be high-quality blogs but can help support your keywords and services. For example, if you’re a grief therapist. Create a blog series on anticipatory grief, disinhibited grief, and grief and loss. This will help to maintain credibility on your end.  

What is Google’s Guidelines to Ethically Use Their Search Engine

If we take a look at the community guidelines put forth by Google, you will see the following. 

Google also outlines what is considered to be “unethical” according to their guidelines:

Google outlines that if you violate their guidelines using black hat SEO tactics, that the company will take manual action against your site. Once the issue is resolved, then you can follow up with Google to have your site reconsidered and no longer banned. However, know that your SEO will still take a while to recover.

Black Hat SEO Techniques That Will Get

Snap back grey, white, and black hats. Are you looking to approach SEO from an ethical search engine optimization perspective? Learn how black hat SEO can damage your site and the differences between white hat SEO and black hat SEO.

You Banned from Google

  • Buying an expired well-ranking domain name, and then switching the content
  • Writing the same content over and over again ( reduces traffic)
  • Update content, make sure it’s not obsolete, revamp it, re-upload will increase traffic and rankings ( don’t recycle content)
  • Keyword Stuffing ( Placing too many keywords or irrelevant content to page)
  • Automatically Generated/Duplicate Content
  • Hidden Text (Adding hidden content in order to rank)
  • Doorway/Gateway Pages
  • Cloaking (showing google one page and then serving another)
  • Paid/Manipulative Links
  • Misused Structured Data and Rich Snippets
  • Misleading Redirects ( linking a page to a ranking page and then redirecting to an alternative page)
  • Trading products for links ( offering a product or money for links)
  • Negative SEO ( Building low-quality links to competitors websites)
  • Article spinning ( adding thin content just to get ranking)
  • Comment Spam ( Having comments generated on your site.)
  • Stealing content from the web
  • Auto-Generated Content
  • Social media scam ( buying shares and likes)
  • Rich snippet markup scam ( enhances listing on google with irrelevant content)
  • Automated queries ( false traffic to the website)
  • URL injection spam ( hacking a site like WP and injecting links into pages
  • Domain Squatting ( holding onto a trademark domain)

What is a link scheme?

Basically, with linking, there are ethical ways to build them and very sketchy ways. We want to encourage you to avoid the following:

  • Buying links
  • Exchanging links
  • Low-Quality Articles and Guest Posts ( needs to be high quality and relevant)
  • Automation ( building a bunch of links to others links) 
  • Profile Links ( social media profiles that include links) 
  • Link Network ( paying for links to other websites)

Essentially, if at any time when gaining a link or creating a link it isn’t done to enhance user experience, but to gain quick attention, that would be considered a link scheme and should be avoided immediately. Remember we are trying to build trust and that can take some time. Don’t shortcut this to gain attention, traffic, followers, or affiliate income. 

Why You Should Avoid Black Hat SEO Tactics?

  1. First It will affect your SEO once your Google finds out.
  2. Results are always temporary, and the long-term payout is more harmful.
  3. If you’re optimizing for the search engine, you’re ignoring the purpose which is user experience.

If you want to understand more about user experience. Then check out our blogs on writing content for clients and holistic SEO

What Should I do if I have engaged in some of these Black Hat

Colored pencils, colored airplanes and SEO thought bubble. Black hat SEO tactics have damaged many therapy websites and our mental health SEO specialists want to help you avoid this. Learn the difference between white hat SEO and black hat SEO today!


This process will take time and can be done. For example, link scheming needs to be disavowed through the Google search console. Takedown and cancel automated programs and sponsors. Have your website be looked over by Google to be seen as credible again. If you have traded products for links, clean it up, undo keyword stuffing. If you have malicious content take it down. Remove pages you have done a bait and switch on. If your domain was hacked you will have to follow up with Google. This is a small portion of what you will need to do. It can be undone, but the process is tedious and will affect your SEO.

How do I report Black Hat SEO Techniques and Tactics?

File a scam report to Google. Even though reporting will not automatically result in action from Google, you’re improving algorithmic spam detection. 

Need Support with Advanced and Technical SEO on Your Website? 

If you have been subject to Black hat SEO tactics, our specialists can help you. An ethical SEO strategy is important to our SEO specialists. While the process can be tedious, our specialists can strategize with you long-term to gain credibility. Our skilled and passionate team of SEO specialists is here to make sure your SEO journey is tailored to your brand and identity. Simplified SEO Consulting would be excited to help you on your SEO journey. To get started with our service follow these simple steps:   

  1. Schedule a consult with our Client Success Specialist or Consult Team  
  2. Learn more about our wonderful team of SEO Specialists.   
  3. Begin your ethical and holistic SEO Journey!

Other Services offered by Simplified SEO Consulting     Jasmine, an SEO specialists at Simplified SEO consulting. If you're looking for SEO help, then contact us today. You can learn about holistic SEO, avoiding black hat seo tactics, and more. Schedule your free 30-minute consultation today with our consult team!

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

About the Author:   

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

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

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

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

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

Defining Off-Page SEO

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

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

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

Off-Page SEO & Technical SEO

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

Common Off-Page SEO Tactics

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

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

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

The Importance Of Backlinks

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

NAP Information & Consistent Mentions

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

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

Social Media as Off-Page SEO

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

Google My Business & Bing Places for Business

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

The Importance Of Google My Business to Off-Page SEO

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

Some of this helpful info includes:

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

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

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

One last note, reviews

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

Closing Thoughts 

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

Need Support for On-Page SEO?

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

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

Other Services Offered by Simplified SEO Consulting 

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

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

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

In SEO land, the hot topic has been backlinks. They have been discussed so frequently that we hosted a webinar. This webinar went in-depth into all things backlinks. It is a two-part series that offers a lot of valuable information about all areas of backlinks. Jessica, Tappana Simplified’s founder, does a wonderful job explaining the role of backlinks. Further, she discusses the impact they have on SEO. In addition, she explains how many you should aim for, how to build backlinks, and how to determine the quality of backlinks.
You’re probably thinking, “yikes, I missed it.” Have no fear! In this blog, I’ll provide the Reader’s Digest of important takeaways and how you can apply them to your work.  Prepare yourself. This is your invitation to the SEO journey of a lifetime. “This is the (SEO journey and educational opportunity) for those who seek to find…a way to leave their (previous low SEO rankings) behind.”

What is a backlink?

A woman sits with her head on a desk holding a sign that reads, "help!' She is regretting not setting up SEO services with Simplified SEO Consulting.

First, let’s all make sure we have a solid understanding of the basics. We talk about backlinks in SEO land and don’t often explain what it is. For our friends that aren’t familiar with the term, Google tells us that a backlink is created when a website links to a different website. Typically, this is between two websites that are related in some way. They could be related based on the content provided, intended population, or purpose, to name a few reasons. Further, if you’ve ever used the internet for anything, you’ve likely come across one. The purpose of a backlink is to provide information about a topic from a trusted, reliable source. In return, this increases the reliability of the website and a ‘backlink’ is created. Essentially, the backlink is proof that a website is trustworthy. Altogether, this ‘proof’ is seen in the form of a link. In case this sounds completely foreign to you, I’ll provide an example that many of us can relate to.

Shopping for a Car Online

We’re on a local car dealership’s website and find a car that we like: Subaru Forester (I’m in the market, so this is a real-life example).  We click on the image to check out the specs and price. Considering the condition, the price listed doesn’t seem appropriate. On the page of the beloved Forester is a link to Kelly Blue Book (if you’re unfamiliar, it’s a reliable online source for pricing vehicles). So, we click the link. KBB’s website pops up, bringing us to a separate tab. KBB confirms that the listed price is accurate given the condition of the car.  As KBB has a reputation of being a reliable source of information for cars, we accept the price. Additionally, we trust that the information we got from the car dealership is correct. Now, we don’t second guess the dealer and feel like we can trust them.
So, KBB takes notice of this. KBB sees that the cars listed on the local dealership’s website are fair and appropriate. KBB is so pleased that they make a blog post talking about how much they trust this car dealership. Further, they encourage everyone to shop there. At the end of the post, they provide a link to the car dealership’s website so people can easily access this dealership. Because of this post and link provided, the local car dealership gets a flood of new shoppers and their business booms. Overall, the dealership’s reputation is favorable “and they all live happily ever after.”
In this example, KBB linking back to the local car dealership’s website is the backlink. Backlink is the prize.  Again, this is because KBB is considered a trusted source and is widely known. Make sense?

Why are backlinks important?

Backlinks = trustworthiness = higher ranking on Google. Backlinks are important for SEO because it shows Google that the information on your website is reliable and trustworthy. Google really likes when both of these qualities are part of your website. In return, Google will rank your website higher if your website has those qualities. I often think of Google as a moral compass. If you are into Freud, think of the superego. Google likes to be helpful to its users by giving them accurate and trusted information. One way Google measures that is by how many backlinks your website has. Google sees these backlinks and thinks, “wow, lots of other websites are linking to this person’s website. That must mean they’re a great source of information. I’m going to put this website on the first page.”

The More Backlinks, The Higher You’ll be on Google

Overall, this is why we’re all here. In the end, isn’t it the goal to have a high ranking on Google? Being on the first page of Google means that you’re visible and accessible to future clients. This can lead to more clients and becoming well-known in your professional community.
So, we should all be on the same page with our understanding of backlinks. At the very least, you should be able to identify the correct definition if prompted on a multiple-choice test. We can all agree that backlinks are helpful for SEO because it shows Google that our website is trustworthy and reliable.  Level one: complete.

How Many Backlinks Should I Have as a Health Care Professional?

keyboard, coffee, mouse, and a notebook. Learn SEO tips for private practice owners from Simplified SEO consulting

Ok, so backlinks are important. But how many do I need?
When building backlinks, it’s important to consider how many you should aim for. The truth is that the number of backlinks you need is different depending on your unique niche and market.  For some businesses, they need to literally build thousands of backlinks!
Luckily, for many of our clients they don’t need nearly that many. Why? Because the mental health field (this encompasses most of our clients) is still less competitive with SEO but truly becoming more competitive every day.

How do I know how many I need?

The only way to really know how many backlinks you need is to look at how many backlinks your competitors have.  There are various tools out there you can use to assess their backlinks.  We’ve used our own data dashboard, Linkody & SEMrush all regularly in the past.  But it’s also important to know that none of these tools are perfect. So, just because one of these tools says someone has 104 backlinks doesn’t mean they have exactly 104. There are probably others out there that this tool is missing, because it just doesn’t have as many “bots” as Google does.
However…these tools do give you a good idea of how competitive your area is. Therefore, when we’re onboarding new clients we generally use our data dashboard tool to get at least some idea how many backlinks are going to a person’s competitors.  The more the backlinks their competitors have, the more challenging we can assume it will be to really get them ranking.

Where do I even start building backlinks?

At Simplified SEO Consulting, we recommend aiming for at least 100 backlinks to start with.
You can pick up your jaw off the floor. Initially, that sounds intimating and might seem unattainable, right? 100 is a lot of backlinks. And the truth is, many of you reading this will actually need significantly more than 100. However, 100 backlinks is actually very attainable for most websites and a great place to start!

Come Up With A Plan To Build Backlinks

While we encourage you to reach 100 backlinks, we also recognize how overwhelming that sounds. To be transparent, there is time commitment that goes into getting backlinks. We recommend creating a plan that works for you and your practice. A helpful tip is to start by setting SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-specific). Look at your schedule and see where you can dedicate time to building backlinks. Next, set a backlink goal for your website. For example, you can set a goal to build 1 backlink every week for a month.  Then, put your feet to the pavement and hit the ground running with backlink building!
Now, we all know what a backlink is and how many backlinks we should aim for. 100 may seem far reaching right now, but it’s possible one you come up with a strategic plan. Level two: complete. 

How Do I know If I Have Backlinks?

There are a few different sources you can use.  In SEO land, we recommend using Google Search Console. It’s the most reliable tool we have come across. However, it’s important to note that Google Search Console doesn’t always show your backlink quantity in real time.  There can be a delay with backlinks accounted for on Google Search Console. This doesn’t mean that the backlink doesn’t exist, just that it takes Google a bit to take notice. If the delay feels excessive, it’s a good idea to double check the backlink. This includes making sure the link provided to your website is active and accessible for the content you provided. If you notice that it isn’t, don’t hesitate to reach out to the source and bring it to their attention. It’s typically an easy fix for the person using your content.  
Are you still with me? Feel free to get up and stretch. We’ve covered a lot of content so far. As a refresher, we know:
  • that a backlink is a link created when one website links to a different website.
  • to aim for 100 backlinks, and that it’s helpful to come up with a strategic plan that is realistic for you.
  • we can check our current backlinks through Google Search Console.
Level three: complete.

How Do I Get Backlinks?

I’m glad you asked! This is probably the burning question on everyone’s mind, aside from ‘what is a backlink.’ There are many ways you can build backlinks. A good place to start is writing blog posts that are valuable and relevant. Consider some common themes you’ve seen within the population you serve. If your clients talk about how their anxiety is higher because of the pandemic, take that into consideration. It could be beneficial to write a blog about “helpful coping skills you can implement at home or on-the-go.” From there, optimize it with the terms you’re wanting to rank for, and share it on as many platforms as you have access to.  Here are a few other ways to build backlinks:

Directories for Therapists

Some common directories are therapy tribe, good therapy, network therapy, find a therapist. If you are trained in a specialty, it’s worthwhile to be on that directory. A few examples are the IFS directory, DBT directory, EMDRIA directory, and HulaFrog.  In fact, we have a whole blog post specifically on therapist directories.

Resource Lists

Think of anywhere in your area that could have a resource list. Usually, anywhere large groups of people will gather. Consider schools, college campuses, churches, or gyms. Additional places that could worthwhile are law firms, spas, salons, or psychiatrist offices.

Be a Source for Reporters & Media

Be a source of information for reporters that are covering a topic within your scope. You can do this a few different ways. You can reach out to your local news or radio station and offer to write a monthly column. Take creative liberty with this! Contribute to a press release about a topic you are familiar with. In addition, you can respond to a prompt on help a reporter out. Note that you typically have to respond quickly to these prompts. Often times, many people are looking at the same listings.

Write Guest Blog Posts

Yay, blogs! Everyone’s favorite! I know many of you aren’t jumping for joy at the recommendation of writing more blogs. However, two things can be true at the same time. You can dislike writing blogs and you can do it to boost your SEO. A great way to boost your SEO is to write a blog post for someone else’s website.

Who Should I Write A Guest Blog Post For?


This ‘someone’ could be a colleague who does similar or complimentary work to you. In addition, consider writing a guest blog post for other other related businesses. If you see a lot families, consider reaching out to your local family law firm. Offering to write a guest blog post about the benefits of family therapy could be helpful to you and the law firm.

What Should My Blog Be About?

If you offer to write a guest blog post for someone else, it’s should be about something you are well-versed in. Additionally, it should be a blog post you haven’t posted other places. Posting the same blog post on multiple different websites is considered duplicate content. Plot twist: Google does not like that. Overall, the content should be new, but it can be about similar topics you’ve written about previously.

Job Postings

I bet you didn’t consider this one, did you? Take into consideration where you post this job listing. If there is a college or university in your town that has a job site, give it a shot! This means you’ll have a backlink from an educational institution. Which, in return, is great for boosting SEO.

Speaking at a Community Event

If you like public speaking, this could be great for you! If public speaking isn’t your cup of tea, still consider it. You can often get a backlink from the organization that is hosting the event. Overall, this can be a great opportunity.

Sponsoring or Donating

If you have the resources available to sponsor or donate, it could be worthwhile for your SEO. Additionally, it’s also a beneficial way to become more involved and well-known in your community.

Set a Google Alert

The purpose of Google Alert is to track your online presence. Putting a Google Alert on your name and business can help you gauge how ‘present’ you are online. For more helpful tips on Google Alert, check out this article that can help you improve your business and backlink quantity.

Be a Guest on a Podcast

Nowadays, most people have a collection of podcasts they listen to. So, this is a great market to get involved with. Getting a backlink from a podcast is a great way to boost your SEO. Make sure your website is linked on the podcast’s website so people can easily find your site.
Unrelated note: did anyone else start to sing “Be Our Guest” from the Beauty and the Beast, or was that just me?

Quick Backlink & SEO Check In

So, you now have 4,000 different strategies to get a backlink. On top of that, we know how to check them and how many to aim for. For my list people, I’ve got your back:
  • Directories for therapists
  • Resource lists
  • Being an informational source for reporters
  • Blog posts
    • Either writing one for your website or another website
  • Job postings
  • Speaking at a community event
  • Sponsoring/donating
  • Google Alert
  • Get on a podcast
Level four: complete.

Quality of Backlinks

In the wise words of Jessica Tappana, “not all backlinks are created equal.” There are evil forces in SEO land. Think of the Little Mermaid, but with an SEO twist. Instead of Ariel wanting to be part of the human world, she wants her website to be on the first page of Google. Ursula sees this desire and capitalizes on it. Instead of making a deal to trade Ariel’s voice to be on land, Ursula offers Ariel backlinks in exchange for $50 each. Feeling ecstatic, Ariel takes Ursula up on this offer. At first, everything is fine. She gets new clients because her website is ranking higher (this would be when she meets Prince Eric in the movie). 
However, Google realizes these backlinks are paid for and drops Ariel’s ranking. She doesn’t get anymore clients (this is when she loses her legs and becomes a mermaid again).  Her dreams are shattered. Things are no longer going swimmingly for Ariel. 

Consequences of Buying Bad Backlinks

As explained in the example, paying for backlinks is not good for SEO. We see many issues with paid backlinks. Most often, the biggest issue is that it drops your website ranking so low that no one can find your website. Altogether, we no know that paying for backlinks is bad and is the evil force in SEO land. Level five: complete.

How Do I Get Rid of Bad Backlinks?

Yes, bad backlinks are a problem for your SEO. If you’re in this situation, your ears are probably burning as you read this. While this situation isn’t great, there are steps you can take to fix it!

Ask For The Link to be Removed

This is when the phrase, “closed mouths don’t get fed” comes into play. Truly, it doesn’t hurt to email the source you got the bad backlink from and ask them to remove it.

Disavowing the Backlinks

So, let’s say you ask for the link to be removed and nothing happens. The next option is to disavow the link yourself. To disavow a backlink means to remove the link, often with the use of a disavow tool. To learn more about the process of disavowing backlinks, check out this source. The source, Linkody, is a source we use frequently for our work and have great outcomes with it.

Coming to the End of our Backlink Journey

We learned a lot on our backlink journey in SEO land. I realize that was a lot of information covered. So we’re all on the same sheet of music, here’s a reminder of what we’ve covered. We know what a backlink is and how many we should aim for. Additionally, we know how to get backlinks and how to check how many backlinks we have. We’ve also met the villain in SEO land: bad backlinks. Now, we know where bad backlinks can come from and how to get rid of them. If you find yourself wanting to learn more about backlinks, take a look at this helpful blog that takes a deeper dive into the quality of backlinks. 

Beginning SEO Services with Simplified

As much as it pains me to say this, there’s a chance that you read this post and felt like you read a bunch of gobbledygook. Perhaps you read this post (enjoying my jokes and analogies) and were intrigued with SEO land. Or, you scrolled to the bottom looking for a way to get started. Regardless, we’re here to help and we’re excited that you’re here! When you’re ready to begin your improving your SEO with our help, follow these steps:
1. Sign up for our free 7-day SEO course.
2. Schedule a free consultation with a member of our team.
3. Get on the first page of Google!

About the Author

Alyssa Kohne is in the process of obtaining her Masters in Social Work with a clinical concentration from the University of Missouri- Columbia. She has been doing SEO with Simplified for the last few months. Alyssa loves the unique intersect of ‘data and therapy’ that Simplified dabbles in. Recently, she participated in the two-part backlink webinar through Simplified.  She 10 out of 10 recommends the webinar to a friend.