I want you to think about your favorite artist. Maybe this is an actor, a comedian, or someone you follow on a social media platform. Essentially, think of someone whose media you consume. Today, these artists are often referred to as “influencers.” We naturally gravitate toward media content we personally connect with. This connection can be founded on a shared lifestyle, a common struggle, or simply humor. Further, peoples’ connection to media and the “influencers” who produce it can become a part of their daily lives.
You probably are asking yourself what all this has to do with blogging. So, I want you to take a second to think of yourself, a mental health professional, as an influencer. While you may not naturally identify with this term, the truth is, you are an expert in your field! You have extensive education and training. That means you have a ton of amazing thoughts and ideas to share with the world. And, how do we connect with the world today? The internet.
What’s the point of blogging?
Simple answer: connection.
Blogging allows you connect with your clients outside of counseling sessions. Furthermore, you can connect with people from all over the globe! You have the opportunity to share your education, your experience, and your ideas with people who are searching. All you’ve got to do is put pen to paper! (Well, more like fingers to keypad… but you get it.)
With all this being said, it’s important to know how to effectively use blogging to connect with your website viewers. At Simplified, we see private practice owners make a lot of the same mistakes when it comes to blogging. Today, I’ll walk you through what those mistakes are and how to ensure you don’t make them.
Now, imagine that your favorite content creator never put out new media. No new movies, no new comedy specials on Netflix, and no more cute dog photos. What?! Most likely, you’d feel disconnected from your favorite influencer and a little disappointed. On the other hand, imagine that they put out new content twice a month. Or, even more frequently than that. Whoa! I assume you’d check their website or social media platforms pretty regularly. And, most importantly, you’d feel pretty connected to that creator.
Similarly, when you do not blog, your clients miss out on additional connection with you. As mental health professionals, we understand the importance of connection. Maybe they’re having a hard day and don’t have a session scheduled for awhile. They could be comforted by reading something from their therapist in the meantime. When you don’t blog, your clients don’t even have the opportunity to learn from you. Yes, clients should not be relying on blogs for mental health support instead of their scheduled sessions. But, wouldn’t it be something if your words connected with them on a day when they really needed it?
Blogging for SEO
On a different note, blogging is an essential part of a quality long-term SEO strategy. Creating and publishing fresh, original content tells Google that you are active on your website. Being active on your site makes Google happy! It wants to show searchers the most relevant information out there. Further, when you publish blogs on a particular topic, Google takes that as a sign that you are an expert on it. (Which we know that you are!) Consistently blogging helps you interact with Google in positive ways, thus improving your SEO. Furthermore, regularly blogging helps you connect with your current clients. And, it shows potential clients that you care about creating connection.
There are many reasons to blog. Here at Simplified SEO Consulting, we believe it to be an essential part of private practice owners’ SEO strategy. Now that we’ve covered the importance of blogging, let’s dive into blog content and mistakes to avoid.
Overthinking Blog Posts
Keep blog content helpful, relatable, and relevant.
Let’s go back to the “therapist as an influencer” idea. Typically, the media we choose to consume is helpful, relatable, and relevant. So, why shouldn’t blogs be this way, too? Whether someone is specifically searching for your blog, or they stumble upon it, they don’t want to read a graduate school essay. Even though your master’s program instructors programmed high quality, technical writing into your DNA during grad school, your clients don’t want it. And, neither does Google. In fact, Google likes simple writing, around the level of a fifth grader’s.
I commonly hear from private practice owners “what am I supposed to write about?” My answer to that is: anything! Obviously, it is important that your content is relevant to mental health, counseling, etc. Bottom line, your clients want to connect with you.
So, since Google wants simple writing and you want to connect with your clients, make it easy on yourself by writing for fun. Did she just say, “writing for fun”?! Yes, yes, I did. I encourage private practice owners to think of blogging as a time for reflection.
Blogging Content Ideas
What is going on in the world right now that connects to the population you serve? Listen to the common themes your clients are sharing. How are current events impacting their mental health right now? Or, how could something happening in the world impact their mental health in the short-term or long-term?
Did you read a new book that could be helpful to your clients? Here’s an idea: write a review of the book and call it a “blog.”
Our founder, Jessica Tappana, always brings up “if you had a conversation about the same issue with three different clients in the same week, it’s time to blog about it!” Sometimes, as mental health professionals, we notice trends among our clients’ experiences. If you’re picking up on a trend, it’s worth blogging about and connecting with your clients. And, once you’ve written an excellent blog, you can send it to your future clients who are struggling with the same issues you are writing about today.
Your clients want to hear from you. So does Google. Consistently blogging can help you positively impact your long-term SEO by proving to Google’s bots that you care about regularly providing your site visitors with high-quality content.
Prioritize Quality over Quantity
In terms of blogging strategy, it must be emphasized that best practice is quality over quantity. Unfortunately, we see many private practice owners do the opposite, and prioritize quantity over quality.
Think about if you went to another private practice owner’s site. You scroll to the blog tab. Once you get there, you see twenty blogs posted over the past six months. You see one you’re interested in, but when you click on it, there are only two paragraphs of text. Hmm… as a site visitor, you probably lose trust in the website. And, maybe even the practice owner who posted the blog. This content wasn’t helpful, relatable, or relevant. Maybe it was actually frustrating to view. You got excited to read something interesting, and felt let down when there wasn’t much information there. (Gen Z refers to this as “click bait.” Try using that term with your teen clients and see what they think!) It’s pretty clear that the blog was posted for SEO purposes only.
Let’s not give your website visitors the same experience. Give them content that is impactful and applicable to their lives. Likewise, blogging for quantity of blogs versus quality negatively impacts Google’s view of your site, too. Google’s bots are pretty dang smart. They know that blogging is intended for creating robust, informative material, not bits and pieces to feign expertise. It’s important to build that trust and connection not only with your clients, but also with Google.
The next mistake we often see is practice owners not promoting their blog content. Wouldn’t you want to know if Netflix put out a show with your favorite comedian? Of course! So, your clients should know when there is fresh content on your site. There are a few ways to promote your blogs:
- Create an email list so all of your clients are notified when a blog has been published
- Post a link on your practice’s Facebook for each new blog
- Share your blog on your personal Facebook account so friends and family can read and share
There are so many people out there who want to read your content. You just have to give them the chance! And, promoting your blogs can get more hits to your site. This helps new visitors view your blog, then maybe they’ll move over to your services tab. At this point, blogging, in a sense, is a form of marketing.
Keywords in the Titles
If you’ve been with Simplified for a while now, or even if you just started with us, you know that we are all about the keywords. Tracking keywords for your website is one of the most important pieces of SEO strategy. Especially important is ensuring you implement those keywords throughout your website to increase SEO rankings.
Keep in mind that when blogging, the priority is to create helpful, relatable, and relevant content. However, it is important that you use keywords in the headings and copy of your blogs. Google places more weight on words in the headings and subheadings of copy. So, make sure you strategically place keywords in the headings. Not only will this help you get more SEO juice for the blog post, but it will help your readers.
Remember, we are writing content that is easy to read and informative. A huge piece of easy reading is skimming. Yes, some people will read your blog in its entirety. But, most likely readers will skim using the headings and subheadings. This helps them identify the parts of the copy that are applicable to them and worth reading.
The reward for using keywords in headings is twofold. Your site gets an SEO boost by ranking well on Google, and your readers have a more pleasant experience. In an earlier blog, Jessica discusses more about keywords and their strategic placement.
Videos in Blogs
We have seen many private practice owners use videos as a part of their blogs. This is great SEO strategy! A great thing about using videos as part of blogging is the increased accessibility for site visitors. On the other hand, when using videos as part of blogging, it is imperative that there be a video transcript or closed captioning available. Likewise, if you are including video in your blog, you must include a body of text. Your blog needs to have copy supporting the information in the video. Google loves videos, specifically YouTube videos. But, a video does not have the functionality of indicating keywords or phrases your site should be ranking for. So, you must pair videos on blogs with text.
Are You Ready to Get Your Site Ranking?
If you are looking to increase calls at your private practice, then it’s time to consider working with an SEO Specialist. Yes, we geek out over blogging. But, you haven’t even heard the rest of the geeky stuff we love! Follow the steps below to connect with an SEO Specialist at Simplified SEO Consulting and start ranking on Google:
- Schedule a 15-minute consultation call with to discuss your practice’s goals.
- Meet with an SEO Specialist and discuss package options.
- Begin optimizing your website and meeting with the clients you want!
Other Services at Simplified SEO Consulting
At Simplified, we are passionate about meeting your business’s needs in whatever way fits you best. If you’re looking to outsource SEO work while you run your practice, our Done For You services may be a nice fit. If you want to become an SEO master yourself, we suggest you check out our DIY Online SEO Courses. Or, the 12 Week SEO Intensive program, called the Done With You package, may fit you best. However you decide to take on Search Engine Optimization, our team of SEO Specialists is looking forward to geeking out with you.