When I bring up the subject of blogging with my SEO clients, I get a variety of different responses, but the most common responses are: overwhelm, anxiety, and annoyance. As a writer, I struggled to understand why my clients responded negatively to the idea of blogging. After all, blogging is a super important part of a well-rounded SEO strategy. It is a great way to serve your ideal client and get to the top of search engines like Google.

So, to satisfy my curiosity, I polled our clients.

Here was my question: What holds you back from blogging?

  • I want to… I just honestly don’t have the time
  • I’d much rather use my time to do literally anything else (I want it done for me)
  • I don’t know what information to include
  • I’m used to the world of academia… so writing in a less clinical way is challenging
  • I don’t know how to add content to my website

And… the results are in. The overwhelming majority of our clients said they just don’t have the time.

I get it. Blogging takes some time and as a busy clinician, that’s something that’s hard to come by. But, I want to make blogging feel easy and accessible, especially for those of you who have little free time to devote to it. So today, I want to simplify the blogging process. My hope is that this will make it seem less intimidating.

Write about Things You Enjoy

male therapist concentrates as he thinks about what to write about. He learned about copywriting for SEO and blogging for SEO from an SEO specialist.First things first, in order to make blogging pleasurable and easy to do, it’s critical that you choose a topic that you enjoy writing about. Nothing is more draining than pouring your resources into producing a blog that doesn’t interest you. When you’re not writing about something you’re passionate about, you’re far more likely to get distracted or spend hours researching this topic just to get some ideas. Furthermore, your lack of passion for the subject will come across in your writing and your readers may be able to pick up on it.

A therapist in Franklin, TN shared this antidote with me: “I kinda like copywriting. But I like it more than blogging for sure. I have to decide that “this is the time” and be in the mood to write and be creative. And, I was given a sort of structure outline when I updated my SEO with you all, which was super helpful.

I like writing copy where I can just be myself and realizing that’s the best way to get the best-fit clients. Also, I really hate blogging. Titling, meta descriptions, snippets. And then writing blogs so that the SEO words are in there – that makes it feel sterile in so many ways. So website copywriting is preferable.”

Perhaps, you can relate to his sentiments. Maybe, you’re wondering, how do I target specific keywords and channel my clinical passions? Here’s my answer, first write down a list of topics you’re passionate about, or a list of things you’ve frequently found yourself discussing with your clients. Then take this list, and a list of the keywords you want to target and see how you can tie them together.

Here’s an example:

You’ve been talking to your clients about the importance of sleep hygiene a lot. You’ve helped them understand how getting good sleep impacts their mental health and you’ve provided them with tips on how to solve their sleep-related issues. Great. Write this down.

Now, check out your keyword list. What keywords could you boost? Anxiety, anxiety therapist, anxiety treatment, depression, depression treatment, trauma..? The list goes on and on. Choose or two and think of a way to tie them into this subject. You could write a blog on how proper sleep hygiene lessens depression symptoms, or a Missouri therapist explains why sleep hygiene is important.

When you write about what you enjoy, the words will come and it will take less time.

My hope is that when you sit down to write a blog using this approach, you will find it easy to write about the things you’ve talked about with your clients time and time again. You will know how to explain the subject in a less clinical way and have tips to offer your reader because you’ve shared them with your clients already. When you know what you’re writing about, it’s easier and quicker to produce a high-quality blog.

Write About Timely Topics That Interest You

Another thing you can consider is writing about current events or timely topics. Recently, we discussed Simone Biles’ decision to withdraw from certain Olympic events. My colleague was able to quickly write this blog because she was interested in the topic and had a lot to say because it was fresh on her mind. I encourage you to look for opportunities to do the same.

Perhaps, you read a recent article or news brief that you think your clients would be interested in. Talk about it in a blog post. The key here is to do it when you feel inspired, and that’s usually soon after you hear about a current event. If you don’t have time to sit down and write 500 words on the subject, make a list of talking points on a piece of post-it or on your phone. Then, come back to it later.

Finding the time to do some copywriting is doable, but knowing what to write is another story…

If time isn’t your issue and thinking about what to include and the structure of a blog post overwhelms you, I can help you with that too.

Female blogger writes in a notebook at a coffee shop. She learned about copywriting for SEO from a simplified SEO specialistMy suggestion is, write as you would talk to a client.

  1. Address their pain points
  2. Emphasize
  3. Provide education on the subject
  4. Give them actionable tips
  5. Offer them hope (and tie it into your services)

If this isn’t your counseling style, that’s okay. You can still write like you would talk to a client. Then, follow the advice I gave earlier in this blog and look for keywords to target after you’ve written something that interests you. Don’t get too in your head about the structure or what to include, remember you talk to people for a living and you have the skills to communicate your message to your ideal clients.

Finding High-Quality Copywriting Services

Lastly, I have to acknowledge that some people truly do not have any extra time to write a blog. And, that is absolutely okay. If this is the case, I encourage you to consider outsourcing the work if possible. There are lots of copywriting options available at our company and elsewhere to help you blog and get in front of your ideal client. Consider the following:

  • Ask your clinicians if you have a group practice
  • Ask others to guest blog
  • Reach out to grad students or interns
  • Talk to a copywriter

A mental health consultant in Denver, CO said: “Copywriting for me feels like a luxury in my life these days. I generally enjoy it but only when I’ve had good sleep and exercise, my other work is caught up, and add that I have childcare…these stars don’t align often. I wish all my blogs could be in my voice or at least highlight more unique perspectives our practice works from. It seems I have to choose between not having it done or it being more generic.”

If you choose to hire a copywriter, it is best to find someone who is willing to work with you to learn about your practice, your ideal client, your brand, and most importantly your specific voice. Our team of SEO specialists would be happy to help you blog with the goal of attracting your ideal clients. We also have a resource list that includes other copywriters we know and trust.

Final Thoughts on SEO and Copywriting

woman sits at her laptop next to her cat and smiles. She learned about blogging for SEO from a simplified seo specialist

I realize that as a private practice owner, you’re pulled in lots of different directions. So, the time commitment and mental energy that is needed to write copy and blog for your website may be one of the last things you want to do. I hope that approaching blogging in this way will help lessen your stress. It takes some time to get used to blogging and writing copy, but once you do, it will be easier and less time-consuming.

A therapist in North Carolina and Maryland says it best: “Copywriting is so different and it took me a bit to get the swing of things. Using your own voice, connecting with your client, and market yourself is not always easy but totally doable and worth it once you can find your flow!”

Want to know more about blogging, SEO, or copywriting, please reach out to us!

If you’re looking for SEO support, we would love to help you and be a part of your journey to get to the top of Google and reach your ideal client. We offer a variety of SEO options designed to meet the needs of private practice therapists. When you’re ready to begin optimizing your therapy website, please follow these steps:

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

About the Author:

Cory Moss is a Simplified SEO specialist & our Content Specialist based in the Kansas City metro area. She specializes in working on readability for therapist websites. She really enjoys helping her clients get to the top of Google and attract their ideal clients. Cory is great at speaking to clients about their dream practice and figuring out exactly what content on their website will help them reach those goals. She enjoys helping people learn about SEO and watching how people can improve their optimizing over time!

The letters S. E. O. for Search Engine Optimization With Female Private Practice Therapist Using A Laptop Computer

What website platform is best for Your Private Practice Website SEO?

When building your private practice website, you have a LOT of options to choose from. As the digital world has expanded, so have the choices for creating your own website. Today, we are going over which website platform is best for SEO. When comparing different platforms, it’s important to understand if they have the tools you need, how customizable it is, and if it speaks to your unique brand.

Available Toolset For Your Private Practice Website

It’s important to understand the limits of the platform and the tools you have at your disposal. What does the platform allow you to do with your site? Does it give you access to the different SEO elements that help you rank well? These could include access to different elements of on-page SEO, such as headings, alt text, titles, slugs, and meta descriptions. If you can’t access these things, you can’t control the focus of what you are optimizing. You may need to find a workaround to optimize a certain element. Or contact the platform itself for additional support in the best ways to improve your site’s SEO.

Does it Work Well with Google?

When searching for the right tools, it is also important to know if the site will play nice with Google. An inability to link to Google Analytics, search engine crawlers and slower loading speeds could negatively affect your SEO. These reasons and others have led the way for competitors to learn from the past and make it easier than ever to edit your site for SEO. It should also be mentioned that Wix has also improved a great deal over the past few years. Rivals like WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace all now offer many of these SEO tools. But some still offer more options than others.

female therapist works in her at home office writing blogs after researching seo keywords that her ideal clients are looking for. She learns tips from members of the Simplified SEO consulting staffMake Your Private Practice Website A Custom Creation

Having the control to make your site in our own way is another important thing to keep in mind when asking if a platform is good for SEO. It’s great that users have access to basic SEO tools on most platforms. But in a competitive market, how can you stand out from others? The answer to this comes through customizing your site with additional integrations or plugins. Having access to these additional tools allows you to focus on improving more specific aspects of SEO that competitors may not have access to. As a result, you can help your site rank higher in Google by optimizing these elements. When it comes to options for affecting your site’s SEO, more is better.

Your Platform and You

Last but certainly not least, it is important to understand how the platform gels with you and your unique brand. Making your site on a platform that feels clunky or unintuitive can make finding the right elements difficult at times, among other issues.

When exploring a website platform, ask yourself:

  • Does the platform truly speak to who you are, and your practice?
  • Are there enough design options to express the brand you want for your practice?
  • Does your site/design speak to your ideal client?
  • Does the platform work well with google?
  • Will using a design/theme negatively affect the loading speed of a page?

If a platform can’t deliver on what you need in terms of SEO, that’s one thing. But, not having access to the tools you need to edit your site’s design elements is a whole other thing! If a platform doesn’t have the tools you need to design your site to the degree you want, it may be best to look at another platform. Or, might want to delve even deeper into what the platform offers.

Let’s Take WordPress for Example

WordPress allows users to create wonderful websites with their base page editor. But they also offer countless themes and builders that help you structure your site to your liking. Having these options are great for SEO. It allows you to build your site in a way that makes sense to you, while also allowing you to maintain a structure that can highlight important pages by including internal and external links when appropriate.

Our Choice for Best Website Platform Goes Too…Tablet with the word "SEO" and some icons on it laying on a desk. A calming photo illustrating how Simplified SEO Consulting breaks down the concept of search engine optimization and makes it understandable for any small business owner.

WordPress.com. It offers so many tools. It’s easy to learn how to use and allows you to add countless themes, builders, and plugins to make your site just how you want it. Our team has also found that Square Space consistently maintains good rankings in Google’s search results as well. The platform has a suite of SEO tools, extensions, and plugins to customize your site, so they come in at a close second!

When we do work on other platforms, it can be difficult to achieve the same level of results that we might get on a WordPress site. Factors such as the ones mentioned above can cause many small or significant issues at different points throughout the site. However, we have consistently received great results when working on the WordPress platform.

Begin Optimizing Your Website With Simplified SEO Consulting

Our trained SEO specialists have a lot of experience with WordPress. We can support you in improving the SEO of your site. We feel strongly about providing the best service possible. If you want to rank higher on Google, follow the simple steps below to get started:

  1. Book a free consultation,
  2. Speak to one of our SEO specialists
  3. Start ranking better on Google!

Other SEO Services offered by Simplified SEO Consulting

Simplified SEO Consulting offers a variety of SEO services designed to meet your needs. We offer a variety of SEO services including DIY Online SEO Courses, a Done With You 12-week SEO intensive program, and Done For You SEO services. For more information, feel free to visit our blog!

About the Author

Sterling Humburg-Cage is a member of the 2020 graduating class from the University of Missouri. He is intent on using his B.A. in Psychology to help provide the best results as an SEO specialist.  Sterling prides himself on helping alumni problems solve difficult SEO issues.  He’s great at giving clients multiple options about how to approach a situation and responding quickly to client concerns.  Since he started, Sterling has met frequently with our alumni and provided them extra problem-solving support often going the extra mile to do outside research and make sure alumni have everything they need to continue ranking well!

Happy Halloween! Hope you are finding a way to celebrate, or rest, or both, and please remember to set your clocks back if you’re reading this right away.

Why would I title this post, “Is SEO Dead?”

While searching the internet one day recently, I came across this question a few times: “Is SEO dead?” Now, as an SEO Specialist, I would certainly hope not! Perhaps, “SEO” is a person folks are concerned about? In which case, I also hope all is well for Seo. But, if this search is actually a referendum on Search Engine Optimization (aka: SEO in our little world), then I have some thoughts.

OH, THE IRONY.

Really? People are going to SEARCH for “Is SEO dead?” as a way to find out? Not a carrier pigeon, newspaper, or telegram? Nope. I didn’t think so. They’re searching for it. Good. Thank you for proving my point for me. I appreciate it.

Who is searching for this?

Is it concerned business owners who are worried about getting scammed out of money because they are being encouraged to invest in something that is actually outdated? Is it people in the SEO industry who are concerned about their job security? Perhaps, the searchers are folks who are currently paying for SEO services but not so sure their investment is worth it? Maybe, the searchers are considering what they need to do to get their website ready for SEO and have some doubts or concerns.

Things about SEO that should be dead

Having done this work for a while now, I know that there are some things about SEO that make sense. Logically, strategically, and ethically. There are also some things about this work that should probably end now.

Keyword stuffing…yes, that should be dead.

Keyword stuffing is a tactic in which a specific keyword is used way more than is appropriate in the content. This is especially harmful when the keyword is not relevant to the content. In fact, keyword stuffing could diminish the page or post’s overall quality due to its overuse. This is why Google frowns upon the practice.

Paying for backlinks…also dead.

This practice isn’t just one that should be dead ASAP, but also against Google’s Webmaster Policy Guidelines. You do not need to pay for backlinks to get your SEO where it needs to be. Laying intentional and ethical groundwork to increase your trust and credibility with search engines takes time, but it pays off in the long-run. Quality SEO strategy is a long-game. There are things you can do in the meantime to help boost your site traffic. Meanwhile, focusing on content creation, technical site auditing, on-page optimization, improving the user experience on your website and increasing conversion is worth it. If you want to learn more about ethical backlink strategies, consider our comprehensive backlinks course.

A lit white candle on a black background. Symbol of eternal memory, mourning, minutes of silence. Is SEO dead? Learn from an SEO expert for therapist websites and other helping professionals. Rest in peace, unethical, and unsustainable SEO practices. We won’t miss you over here.

As always, with SEO we have to stay flexible.

Yes, there are some constants. Keyword research matters. Speaking to your ideal client matters. And, the reality is that things change with SEO all the time. For example, Google recently changed the algorithm again. This could sound scary, especially to someone who relies on search engines to power your marketing and client attraction strategy. But, for our clients, we currently expect this most recent set of updates to be in-line with the recommendations we have been making for years.

So, how do we stay flexible with SEO strategy for therapy websites?

Search engines, like Google and Bing, change the mysterious algorithm and no one is privy to the exact information. We know many of the factors the top search engines use to inform rankings. And, we know there are around 200 factors considered. It would not be a good SEO strategy for therapist websites to try to optimize for all of these 200 factors. We focus on about 7-10 factors that we have found work very well for therapists and helping professionals. Different SEO companies focus on different factors (backlinks, video, blog posts, on-page SEO, metadata, and a whole host of other technical components of SEO). One of the constants regarding SEO strategy for therapy and other helping websites is keyword research.

Keyword Research: Every page, every time.

We use a number of tools to inform keyword research, and we do the keyword research every time. This is key (see what I did there?) because it would be easy to get lazy or make assumptions based on previous search or keyword activity in the region. But, search behavior changes over time! For example, not many people were searching for “Online Therapy” in 2019. Globally, search volume started to increase for “online therapy,” “online counseling,” “telehealth,” and “video therapy” as 2020 started and progressed. In the United States, we’ve seen these trends change over the months. That’s why it is important to make sure we do the research for each new client in their region. Like universal screening for mental health issues, we have to keep this central to any comprehensive SEO training, service package, or strategy. This piece is the cornerstone of a comprehensive and successful SEO strategy that converts more ideal clients.

typing a message rest in peace on a vintage typewriter close-up. Is SEO dead? Nope. Not at all. Learn more from a SEO expert here.

Now you know that SEO is, in fact, NOT dead.

We can absolutely be grateful that SEO is still relevant. And, we can talk about your concerns. Every SEO company is different, with a different focus for their clients. We highly recommend consulting with a couple of SEO companies, asking the tough questions, and making a decision that will be the best fit for YOU. No matter who you choose, we know that SEO is a worthwhile investment for private practice and small business owners.

Curious About SEO for Your Therapy Website?

Hopefully, you now know that not only is SEO not dead, but that there are some pretty amazing ways to help therapists. If you’re ready to begin optimizing your website to help you reach your ideal client on Google, we are ready to help! Follow these steps to begin SEO services with Simplified SEO consulting:

  1. Make an appointment for a free 30-minute consultation with a member of the Simplified SEO Consulting team
  2. Learn more about our SEO packages and training opportunities
  3. Start optimizing your website to get in front of more of the people who are looking for you

Other SEO Services Offered by Simplified SEO Consulting

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

Contact Simplified SEO Consulting to learn more, or book a free SEO consultation to decide which option is best for your business. We hope to hear from you soon!


Director of SEO Services, Danica Wolf, looks at the camera and smiles after meeting with a therapist to talk about SEO for therapy websites.About the Author: Danica Wolf, Director of SEO Services

Danica Wolf is an MSW with years of experience in the mental health field. First providing advocacy and education, then directing, our local campus Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention Center.  She spent years managing the website for that Center, then for her own birth business.
Soon after joining Simplified SEO Consulting in 2019, Danica quickly became a favorite among our clients!  Now, Danica leads our team of SEO Specialists working on the Done For You and Alumni Care services. She loves interacting with small business owners around the world and watching their business grow as they start ranking well on websites.  One of her favorite things about this work is hearing client success stories! Danica takes a very client-centered approach to optimizing and managing. Making sure websites not only rank well on Google but truly serve the needs of clients and potential clients who visit the site.

Maybe you’re interested in optimizing your website because you are trying to grow a group practice.

That’s actually how I first got interested in SEO. I’d filled my solo practice pretty quickly with referrals from former colleagues and friends. However, when I started bringing on 1099s, everyone calling wanted to talk to me. After all, they’d heard about what a great clinician I was.  The problem? I was full and I really wanted to fill up my 1099s so they’d be able to make a living and stick with my new group practice!

Enter: SEO.  As I optimized my group practice, people began finding Aspire Counseling online. Thus, they began calling Aspire Counseling not Jessica Tappana.  Now, it was much easier to point them in the direction of the therapist who best met their needs (specialty area, open appointment times, etc).

If you find yourself in the place where you are trying to fill a group practice, I want to give you some specific suggestions on how to structure your team page, create specific pages for each therapist, and add pages for any new specialties.

“About” Pages for Therapists

Group of therapist sitting in a counseling office discussing their private practice | SEO for therapists | SEO Consulting | Simplified SEO Consulting

I recommend every group practice has an “our team” type page. On this page, include a photo of every practitioner in your group as well as a paragraph or two about that person. I usually write this for my therapists. On this page, I do my best to capture who they are as a therapist and their personality.

I also consider keywords when describing each therapist’s specialty. Basically, you want to give a quick summary of the clinician and what they treat but also try to help the page rank for their specialty. For instance, “Diana is a very active therapist, who gives you very specific skills you can use. She regularly works with the following: military members, military families, trauma survivors, clients with PTSD, depression and clients seeking DBT.” One note about this part, if you notice that a lot of your clients are coming in seeking a specific type of treatment here is the place to list it. I find that a lot of people will come in looking for DBT and EMDR.  I don’t mention a lot of treatment modalities by name on this page, but DBT and EMDR are the two I’ll directly mention since we have so many people searching for those.

 

The founders of the group practice should not be at the top of the drop-down list of providers

As a founder of a private practice, our instinct is to put ourselves at the top of the list. I see this with a lot of group practice websites I look at. However, it’s the opposite of what I generally recommend. You want to have the clinicians who are looking to fill their caseload at the top. The people at the top tend to get more calls because people looking for services tend to go down the list and stop when they find someone who sounds like the might be a good fit. And as a group practice owner, not only are you likely full already, but you’re wanting to fill up your other clinicians caseloads so you can generate a passive income source for yourself.  So, I recommend stalling your ego for a minute and putting your name at the bottom of the list instead of the top.
 

Create individual pages for each therapist in your group practice 

On the team page, I add a button that allows visitors to click and see each therapist’s personal page. I have my therapists write these but I do give them some specific guidelines to follow.

Here’s what I ask my clinicians to have on their page:

  • At least 500 words
  • They include some keywords and topics that I suggest. I base my suggestions on what people in our area are searching for.
  • 3 photos – We often include one more professional headshot, one more casual photo of the clinician and one photo of something important to them. Many of my clinicians choose a picture of a pet for the third picture, though some have also included their own artwork or a picture of a favorite saying.

Should I pay to have individual therapist pages optimized on my group practice website?

Frequently we have clients ask if they should pay Simplified to optimize these individual pages. I go back and forth on this. I do optimize my own therapists’ pages to some extent. Especially if they have a specialty that you don’t yet rank for. Then, I can optimize the page to include alt text, subheadings, and a meta description that will be keyword heavy and help you rank better for this new specialty. However, if I had to choose, I would prioritize optimizing your service pages over these individual therapist pages. I would also prefer to optimize your home page and blogs before these pages.  Basically, if I teach you to optimize your own website at an SEO training I’ll tell you to optimize these pages last. If you’re paying us for Done for You services, you may just want to pay us to do the alt text and the meta description on the individual pages versus doing comprehensive optimization.
 

Have all your new clinicians identify their niche and create service pages

Diverse group of therapists discussing their private practice and website | SEO for private practice owners | SEO Consulting | SEO for therapists | Simplified SEO Consulting

Even if a therapist thinks that they are a “generalist,” they still should be able to describe a few specialties that they are very effective in treating. Once they do this, you can identify what types of specialty pages you need on your site.

Let’s use my own counseling website as an example. I started by creating specialty pages for the main types of counseling I enjoy doing. Then, as I added clinicians, I added on specific service pages for their specialties. Most recently, I hired a new therapist in December. She has very different specialties than anyone else at our practice. She sees clients going through life transitions, clients who have chronic illness, caregivers, and mothers. Prior to hiring her, I did zero marketing for her specific specialties. So, we worked together to create a specific service page about her niche with the goal of getting her more clients. Then, I heavily optimized these pages.  A month later, we rank #1 (above Psychology Today!) for her specialty and are getting calls to fill her caseload.

Won’t I eventually have too many service pages?

 
If it looks like you’re getting too many service pages, I have a simple suggestion. The first is to create subpages. For example, I have a PTSD tab on my website. And when you hover over it three additional subpages pop up: sexual violence, EMDR, and our PTSD E-Course. This keeps my drop-down menu from being overwhelming.
 

Strongly encourage your therapists to write blog posts that will help you rank for their specialties and increase inquiries

I get it. Getting your employees to write blog posts is sometimes like pulling teeth. But, blog posts that have been optimized and are full of keywords pertaining to their specialties will boost your website’s SEO and get more clients for your therapists. In my experience, if a therapist writes a lot of blogs, it is easier for my VA to get clients to schedule with them. She will say things like “based on the services you are looking for I think you would be a good fit for Christi because this is her specialty. In fact, she has written several blog posts on this issue. May I send them to you?” Another great example, one of my therapists wrote an awesome blog post about her fear of escalators and how exposure therapy helped. Then, I optimized it and added keywords. Now, we’ve been getting a ton of calls with people wanting to see her because they found that post.
 

Internal Links from Service PagesTherapists creating their group practice website | Group practice SEO | SEO for private practice | SEO for therapists | SEO consulting | Simplified SEO consulting

In the past, I had links from my service pages to the pages for the therapist that provides that service. However, I don’t do
that anymore. I learned this lesson the hard way! What I learned is that 
when a therapist leaves, I then have to go and unlink a bunch of pages, or I have accidentally forgotten to update it.
Instead,  I now link all of my service pages back to the “Our Team” page. From there, a visitor can read through each clinician’s specialties and find the person who works for them.
This is the easiest way to add necessary internal links while keeping it simple to add or remove therapists from your group practice website as they come and go. It also becomes very, very clear to Google that the our team type page is about a bunch of therapists, because so many pages on your site are linking the words “our therapists” or “the counselors at…” back to that team page.

The one time I link to an individual therapist’s page

The one exception is blog posts. And, if they’ve written a blog post I will include an about the author section. From there I will add links to the therapist’s personal page and to the relevant service page(s).

Begin optimizing your website with Simplified SEO Consulting

Ranking well as a group practice doesn’t have to be complicated. We love working with group practice owners!  As a group practice owner myself, I have a real soft spot for working with everyone from therapists just expanding into the group practice arena to owners of large, multi-site practices. If you are ready for your private practice to get to the top of Google, we would love to help!  To use any of our SEO services, please follow the simple steps below to get started:

  1. Book a free 15-minute consultation,
  2. Speak to one of our SEO specialists to find what service or package is the best fit for your private practice,
  3. Start ranking better on Google and get more clients!

Other SEO Services offered by Simplified SEO Consulting

Simplified SEO Consulting is pleased to offer you a variety of SEO services designed to meet your needs as a private practice owner. If you’re too busy and don’t have time to optimize your website, we offer the popular Done for You SEO Services. With this package, our team of SEO specialists will optimize your page for you. If you are the do-it-yourself type, we can help you too. We have SEO training packages designed to teach you the skills you need to get your website ranking well. A great place to start is with our “Top of Google” online course! In 2020, we’re excited to begin offering “Top of Google” 2.5 Day SEO Workshops. These intensive trainings are held in various parts of the country.  Contact us with specific questions, or book a free SEO Consultation to decide which service is best for your practice.

photo of Jessica Tappana SEO specialist and founder of Simplified SEO Consulting

About the author:

Jessica Tappana is a therapist, group practice owner & an SEO expert.  Jessica is passionate about helping therapists and their ideal clients find one another. She believes quality mental health care can change the world.  Her group practice has grown primarily through great SEO. It now has seven clinicians and one virtual assistant and she still sees around 10 individual therapy clients a week herself. However, most of her focus has shifted to helping other therapists around the world rank better on Google.

You have a great therapy practice, but do you even exist without a website? Not in today’s world! Check out these free, relevant resources for mental health professionals. If you want to learn more about how we can help your therapy website rank higher in the search results, book a free consult. I’d love to talk with you about which services could help you help more people.

I am not new to WordPress. For years, I had the responsibility of keeping up with my office’s website on the our local University’s server. Y’all, it was the Wild, Wild West when we first set up that site! I am definitely a DIY-er on a lot of things, but this was overwhelming. Coding? Site navigation? Design? We weren’t even thinking about meta descriptions and SEO at that point! After supervising two huge redesigns, I learned a ton about site upkeep, plugins, widgets, themes and accessibility (more on that next month). But, I did not know how to launch a brand new, DIY website. In fact, I thought all you had to do was purchase a domain on Google and WordPress would magically make it happen.

Nope. Not so much.

Well…sort of. You can go through WordPress.com, which is what I did with my birth services site a few years ago. Whoops! Don’t do this, unless you want to spend a bunch of money to “rent” the space. I can’t even get Yoast SEO tools on the site without upgrading to a more expensive package! No, thank you.

So, how do I get started with my therapy website?

First, you need to have a clear vision and mission for your website. This will help make the decisions much easier to make while getting setup. You do not have to have a fancy brand kit, but you will need to make some aesthetic decisions eventually. Don’t worry, these can be changed! Having a budget for what you are able to spend on basic website setup now, and on an annual basis, would be helpful. This is especially important if you have “shiny object syndrome” like I do. There are a ton of people who would love to sell you a bunch of bells and whistles online. Of course.

Okay, great! I have time and money. What’s next?

Short video loop of 4 adults from the show Seinfeld doing a celebratory looking dance with fast feet and hands in the air. From Giphy. Celebrate your SEO wins for your therapy business with Simplified SEO ConsultingNext, I HIGHLY recommend you block out a day to do the basic launch for your mental health or therapy website. Can it be done in a few hours, here and there? Sure. But, if you’re like me, focused time is way more productive than pieces. If you are able to immerse yourself in the training, and set up your site as you go, you’ll end your day of action with a live website! Celebrate your wins, folks. You deserve it.

Didn’t you say there was training involved?

Finally, get yourself registered for the FREE Yoast SEO Training on WordPress for Beginners. Like I said, I was not a beginner, but wanted to approach the process as a beginner would. This way, I could catch up on any features, tips and tricks that I didn’t already know. Let me tell you, I am so glad I did it this way! Was some of it a review of information I already knew? Sure. Of course. Here’s a hot tip for those modules that are more of a review for you:

Hot Tip: You can adjust the speed of each video! 1.25x was a decent pace for me to still listen for new concepts without feeling like I was “wasting” time. (Because NO ONE has extra time, amirite?)

For those of you who are less auditory, there are PDF pages with every module that provide more details than the videos. I started the training watching every video, then reading the PDF, then taking the quiz for that module before moving on to the next. After a couple of topics, I either just watched the videos or just read the PDF, depending on my comfort level with the action steps for the concept. Basically, you can do this however YOU learn best. Yes, this is the instructor in me talking now.

Wait…there’s a quiz?!?

Yes. Yes there is. Quite a few of them, actually. I was sort of hoping you wouldn’t notice that part, perhaps? In order to get your certificate at the end, you must score at least 80% overall. (Yes, you can re-take the quizzes after you’ve reviewed the answers and the concepts again…it’s really not that bad) Actually, this was a fun part of the training! As a high-achiever, you know I needed to do well on those quizzes and get that certificate.

Danica Wolf successfully completed the WordPress for beginners course by Yoast SEO!

Now, there were a few key takeaways from the training I would love to highlight! These are things that some of our clients have had questions about, so you might be curious too. I’d love to know what else you are curious about, so please leave a comment below with additional questions and/or topics you would like for us to cover.

Key Takeaways For Mental Health Professionals for Your Therapy Website

Module 4.2: Adding images, videos and embeds

Even those who know how to add images could benefit from this enhanced training. However, remember that with our Done For You Comprehensive SEO packages, we can do this for your counseling or therapy website.

    • Notice that GIF I included up there? Yep, fancy right? I didn’t know how people did that until going through this module! AND, because I know how to optimize Alt Text for both SEO and accessibility, that fun little image is giving this post a nice boost in the rankings while ensuring that all who read this page are able to experience the content. If that doesn’t put a smile on your face, I don’t know what will.
    • Maybe the GIF isn’t your thing. That’s okay. I also know that in order to captivate, connect and convert our potential (read: ideal) clients, we need to build the “Know, Like and Trust” factor. One great way to do this is to have more of you and your team featured. One way to do this is to spend a quick two minutes talking about a particular concept, on camera, and add it to a service page! (I know, it sounds scary…but you can do hard things, right?) Perhaps you could do a quick Facebook Live, download it to YouTube and embed the video on your site? If all of that sounds too scary, find a quality clip of Brené Brown for the time being.

Module 6.3 & 6.4: Common Mistakes and Security

Well, if that doesn’t entice you to watch this 3.5-minute video, I don’t know what will! Yes, please…just tell me the common mistakes. Not surprisingly, they are the type of things that we at Simplified SEO Consulting have a tendency to mention every month on Facebook, on consult calls and via e-mail. So, let’s review the top three for SEO, shall we?

  1. Photo of police officer, looking at the camera. Officer is a woman in uniform.Improper Permalink Etiquette: Set them up in a smart, strategic, SEO-enhancing way (or let us) before hitting “Publish”, and don’t touch them once they are published!
  2. Avoiding the Updates: Be sure to update your website, plugins and theme regularly! At least twice a month is best practice. If you have a web developer, they may be doing this already but you should still ask to be sure.
  3. Create a CLU password! Passwords shouldn’t be simple, or easy to guess. Did you know, StarWars made the list of most popular passwords? Yep. We’re not quite as clever as we think we are, huh?
    Get a CLU instead: Complex, Long and Unique!

Module 7.2: WordPress and the Yoast SEO Plugin

Before the training, I honestly didn’t know everything the Yoast plugin could do for therapy and other mental health websites. I’m still not positive I know the ins and outs of every piece (canonicals? crawlability? sure…) What I love most about the plugin is:

Bullet feedback –

Red. Orange. Green. I’ve been driving for over half of my life. I can certainly get on board with a basic stoplight system! Easy. Even as I’m typing this post, I check the real-time feedback every so often to be sure I’m optimizing this blog. (How Meta……get it?)

Readability analysis –

If you’ve been on a call with me, you know my oh-so-shameful secret already. Okay, it’s not really a secret, but it’s my biggest “growth edge” when it comes to SEO for therapy websites. Drumroll, please…I’m an academic. Yep. I have the horrible habit of making things WAY more complex than needed. In fact, I think I had that last sentence written three different ways before settling on its current form? (Checks readability color again)

Snippet editor –

What kind of magic is this?! I know we can’t actually dictate what the search engines choose to feature in search results. But, if we take the time to make it easier for the bots, they should reward us, right? I think so. This is that “secret sauce” that Jessica refers to, the meta description! In the past couple of months, I have learned a ton about meta descriptions. Way more than I knew was possible. If that sounds like a fun venture for you, definitely snag our free, 7-day SEO e-mail course.

To Wrap it All Up

In the final, “What Should You Do?” module, my favorite quote was “…of course, you could outsource this, but it remains a task that requires human effort.” Yes. Yes it does! That’s where we come in. If you are the DIY type, I totally understand. I am too. There are certainly some basics to know that will help you get set up, but ranking well on the search engines is a process that involves a surprising amount of trial and error. To make it easier, we are so excited to finally offer a live crash course in SEO via a weekend workshop! We would love to work with you online and/or in-person.

With affordable, accessible options for all sizes and scopes of clinics, we can help you maximize your online therapy website presence and attract more clients who are already looking for you. To get started, just schedule a free, 30-minute Zoom consultation by clicking here.

Happy helping, however you practice,

~Danica Wolf, MSW
Mental Health SEO Specialist