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.

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