You’ve heard that in the modern area, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) should be part of your marketing strategy. And you know it’s true that most of your potential clients are looking for your services online. But the truth is, it just feels overwhelming to even think about working on your own website SEO.
Most of what you read about SEO feels like it was written in a foreign language and sounds really complicated. Sometimes, you even see conflicting advice. With over 200 factors that Google considers when deciding how to rank a website, where should you even start?!?
SEO First Steps
I’ve talked to way too many small business owners in the helping professions who knew they needed to work on SEO but just felt overwhelmed. So, I’m going to give you the first three steps I want you to take. Now, these three steps alone probably won’t get you to the top of Google. But they’ll give you what you need to work with down the road to get that first page ranking.
So, if you’re considering working on your SEO, here are the three things I recommend you start with:
I highly recommend doing keyword research early on in your SEO journey. It’s important to know what people are searching for so you target the keywords that will get you the best return on investment. Often, as professionals the words we use to describe what our clients are going through are different than the words they might be searching for on Google. For this reason, it’s important to at least have a few specific keywords in mind you are targeting when working on your site. Here are a couple of blog posts we’ve written that might help:
- Keyword Research Tools for Therapists
- Where to Use Keywords on Your Therapy Website
- Common Counseling Keywords
Most therapist websites I look at simply don’t have enough content on their website. Google doesn’t have the information it needs to realize it needs to rank your website for the search terms your clients are searching for. The joke is that every time one of our SEO clients talks to me, I end up telling them to add a new service page, blog post or section of a page to their website.
So, before you even start working too much on SEO you’re probably going to want to add some content. I recommend adding the following pages to your website:
- 3-5 very specific service pages
- A “location” page (even if you have an online counseling practice)
- A regularly updated blog
Each of these key pages should have enough information on the page to help paint a complete picture for Google of what your site has to offer visitors.
Set up Google Search Console
Google Search Console is where you can give Google a list of every page on your website, tell Google when you’ve made changes to a page and get a TON of really important data to track your SEO. So, setting it up early on is important. Once Google Search Console is set up, you’ll want to make sure you submit a sitemap so Google is aware of all the content on your site. We wrote a blog post on how to setup Google Search Console & submit a sitemap. I highly recommend following that process as early as possible when you’re working on SEO.
Does the order of these three things matter?
Not so much. It’s just important that all three of these things happen really early in your SEO journey. These all lay the groundwork for additional search engine optimization you’ll be doing down the road. So…they’re a starting place. But they don’t have to go in this specific order.
What if I don’t know how to do these things?
If you’re ready to get started with these three things but aren’t sure you know how, we can help! I created (with some help from Danica) a course that goes over everything you need to know about keyword research, what content to add to your website & how to connect your website to Google Search Console. Actually, I did more than create a video going over each of those topics. We also created demo videos. So, I show you some of the keyword research tools I use and videos of us adding a website to Google & submitting a sitemap (both a WordPress & Squarespace demo). Lastly, each module comes with a text summary.
So, what’s holding you back?
SEO doesn’t have to be complicated. We’re here to help break it down step by step so you can get ranking better and in front of your ideal clients!
Don’t want to mess with optimizing your own site? Or perhaps you’re past these first 3 steps?
We want to help small business owners at all phases in the SEO process! Therefore, we have a wide range of services. Don’t want to optimize your own site? Check out our “Done for You” services. Already past this point and want to know what else you can do to optimize your business website? Take a look at our “Top of Search Engines” online course with over 4.5 hours of video that goes over a wide range of things you can do to really optimize your site! Want more hands-on and individualized help as you learn SEO? Check our our 1 day intro or 2.5 day comprehensive in person workshops!
Not sure what the next step is?
I believe therapists can learn SEO. I also believe not every therapist wants to or that it’s not really the best use of their time. If you’re just not sure what will get you the best return on investment right now, go ahead and schedule a free Zoom consultation with us and we’ll take a look at your site together and figure out what will help you the most!