If you’ve seen any of our Facebook posts, read any of our blogs, or talked to any of our SEO specialists, you know that blogging is a thing. A very important thing. In SEO land, blogging is one of the most crucial things you can do to improve your SEO. In case you’re new around here, we’ll go over a few reasons why blogging is vital for building SEO for therapists.
1st reason why blogging is important for therapists: it’s helps us to stay relevant to Google.
Google has always valued content that is fresh and relevant. What’s more, Google has confirmed in the core update recently that it values fresh and relevant content. In Google’s eyes, this means that you’re staying “hip” with the times and know what you’re clients want to see more of. On top of that, Google associated this with your site prioritizing the user’s experience. Again, another one of Google’s priorities. A way to satisfy this criterion is to blog consistently and regularly. This shows Google, and your ideal client, that you know what’s up. And, that you’re dedicated to staying relevant.
2nd reason why blogging is important for therapists: it promotes longevity of SEO results
When we optimize a site, we initially focus on building the services pages. Why? Because having solid and SEO-savvy service pages builds the foundation of your SEO. Having these service pages tells Google that you know a heck of a lot about depression, trauma therapy, EMDR, eating disorders, and CBT, for instance. Having at least 500 words on each page dedicated to that service tells Google that we’re an expert in that topic. Expertise= higher ranking on Google = more folks seeing your site!
3rd reason why blogging is important for therapists: it establishes authority
This reason builds off the second reason. If our specialty is trauma treatment, we want to make it clear that we’re an expert in all things related to trauma treatment. So, we can write blogs about all of the topics related to the world of trauma. A few examples include a blog about:
- different symptoms/experiences following a traumatic event,
- different types of traumatic events,
- the pros and cons of treatment modalities
- navigating the anniversary of the trauma(s)
- how to handle triggering situations
As we can see, these blogs all cover topics related to trauma that our clients are experiencing. And, as a result, our clients are likely searching for things related to these topics. SO we want to make sure that we’re providing those resources so we show up in their searches!
That was a quick and fun review, right?
For those of you that know enough about SEO to be dangerous, that was likely a quick refresher for concepts that you were already familiar with. For those of you that are new around here, congratulations! You survived your first SEO crash course! And now, on to the purpose of the blog: blogging to improve your SEO. Moving forward, we’ll cover some important concepts to include when blogging to improve your SEO. This includes:
- Picking topics.
- Cornerstone blogs vs. normal blogs.
- Formalities, including length, frequency, and SEO components.
- Client conversion.
This blog is designed to cover the first few topics to implement when you begin to blog for SEO. I hope this is helpful, and I can’t wait to see how you implement this!
Topic 1 of blogging for SEO: Picking a topic.
Often, this is where our clients struggle. For many clinicians, it can be difficult to know what to blog about. There’s already so much information out there. Won’t I just be adding to the noise that exists on the internet already? Sure, but we want to be contributing helpful noise. Perspective is everything. Think about what your ideal clients are currently navigating. And, what they would find helpful in a blog post. Is your ideal client struggling to sleep at night because anxiety is keeping them up? Or, is your ideal client really struggling with seasonal depression even during the times of the year “they’re not supposed to be”?
Consider the pain points that they are coming to you with.
Whether that’s navigating relationships and setting boundaries, or working through a traumatic past. Refer to your intake documentation. What reason did your client provide for seeking services? Notice any patterns or overarching themes that exist. Then, create blogs that aim to provide helpful information for those experiences. In addition to the intake documentation, think about what they’re saying to you in session. Or, what they’re asking you in session. Then, remember Jessica’s golden rule: if at least two clients ask the same question in the same week, it’s time to write a blog post about it.
Or, you can just your clients want they want to read more about.
Seriously, just ask them! There’s no harm in asking them what they would like to read about. Or, what they think would be helpful. A unique way I’ve heard this question asked is, “if you had to send your best friend a blog, what would you want that blog to be about?” Or, “if you could go back in time and give yourself a blog post to help you navigate what you were dealing with at the time, what would that blog post be about?” Of course, operating under the assumption that this topic is related to mental health services. There are a million different ways you can ask this question. The semantics aren’t as important as getting a helpful response!
Topic 2 of blogging for SEO: Cornerstone blogs vs. regular blogs.
In SEO land, there are two types of blogs: cornerstone blogs and regular blogs. Regular blogs are blogs that you come across regularly. They’re typically between 200-1,500 words. Usually about one specific topic. If a site blogs regularly, they’ll likely have a lot of normal blogs. Think of these as the “standard” blog post. Cornerstone blogs are typically much longer usually around 2,000 words. Cornerstone blogs are blogs that cover the services that you want your practice to be known for. For example: a practice wants to be known for its approach to depression treatment. They create a cornerstone blog titled ‘A comprehensive guide to navigating depression.’ They write a 2,000-word blog including topics about common symptoms, triggers, the impact depression has on sleep, appetite, and energy levels, different treatment options, and coping skills, and common outcomes of depression treatment.
As we can see with this cornerstone blog post, many topics are covered. It’s designed to give the reader as much information about all things depression.
There’s also SEO benefit, too.
Is every person going to read the 2,000 words? No. But Google will. The more words on a page, the more Google thinks you’re an expert about a topic. On top of that, you can take this opportunity to cover other topics that are related to this topic and get ‘SEO credit’ for it. Let’s consider the previous example. If someone is experiencing depression and looking for a therapist, they could be searching a variety of topics. This includes the symptoms of depression, depression treatments, and ‘why am I tired all the time.’ Including these topics in our cornerstone blog post make it more likely that we show up for them as it pertains to depression.
Topic 3 of blogging for SEO: Formalities.
Google wants to see at least 500 words of content on pages. However, that is the minimum. It’s a good practice to include more than 500 words on a blog post. As an SEO specialist, I aim for at least 750 words on any page that I’m optimizing. Again, because the more words the better. It’s great to have variety in length. For some blogs, it might make sense for them to be shorter or longer based on the topic. However, 500 is the minimum. I know it sounds like a lot. But, I’m sure some emails that we send are about that long. Challenge yourself. Try to get creative. You can do this!
A great place to start is to blog twice a month. Preferably having the blogs post on the same days of the week (the second and fourth Wednesday of the month, for example). However, this isn’t a one-size-fits-all recommendation. There are many different factors that go into how frequently you should blog. One factor to consider is the competitiveness of your area and specialty. The more competitive your area or specialty, the more frequently you should blog. Another factor to consider is your goals for your practice. Are you brand new and trying to get your name out there? Are you a practice that’s trying to expand or fill a new clinician? Or, are you a practice that’s established but in “maintenance” mode? Depending on your goal determines if you should be blogging more or less than our typical recommendation.
We know that this can be confusing to determine, so our SEO specialists are happy to help you determine this.
Yes, we’re writing blogs for our ideal clients. And, we’re writing blogs for Google. Like DBT tells us, two things can be true at the same time. It’s important to incorporate SEO components in our blog. This includes headings, internal and external links, alt text, and meta descriptions.
Headings are important for ADA compliance because they help the user to navigate the screen- this includes folks using or not using a screen reader. Google sees the words in headings as “more important” than the other words on your page. So, take advantage of it! Throw in some keywords and location indicators to show Google that these words are more important.
Internal and external links
Internal links help the user to navigate your site by taking them to other pages on your site. This promotes the likelihood that they will stay on your site longer and visit more pages (these are two things that Google LOVES). It’s also important to consider the words you use in the link, known as anchor text. External links are links that take the users away from your site. Typically, we provide external links to other credible sources. This shows Google that we can recognize reputable sites. As backward as it sounds, external links are important to SEO.
Like headings, alt text is an ADA accommodation. Alt text is essentially an invisible caption that describes a photo. This is important for a screen reader, as it provides a description of the picture to the person using the screen reader. When using alt text, you can include keywords you want to rank for. Of course, it’s important to find a balance between describing the photo without keyword stuffing the alt text (this is a big no-no for Google).
A meta description can be very helpful for client conversion. This is the short paragraph that pops up on Google when someone searches your blog. A meta description provides a brief summary of that page. It’s important to use keywords and location indicators to get some SEO credit. And, to make it interesting so that you’re ideal client clicks on the page!
Topic 4 of blogging for SEO: Client conversion
Yes, blogging can help with client conversion. Your ideal clients have the opportunity get to know you as a helping professional by seeing the words that you put out there. This gives them a chance to get to know a little bit about your style, sense of humor, personality, framework, and mindset. And, hopefully, it’s a great match!
Aside from the content of the blog, we recommend that you add a Call to Action (CTA) section towards the bottom of the page.
We recommend prompting the client to start a service that’s relevant to the topic of the blog post. Take a blog about conflict resolution in a relationship, for example. The heading of our CTA section would be “Begin Marriage Counseling in (City, State).” We then would have a brief paragraph underneath with a summary of what was covered in the blog. And, prompting them to begin working with you. We recommend having a numbered list of steps. Here’s what that would look like:
- Set a consultation with us to see if we’re a good fit (link to your appointment request page)
- Get to know our team of marriage counselors (link to team page)
- Start to navigate the conflicts that arise in your relationship with more intention.
This list can follow whatever your practice’s process looks like. However, all of these components are vital for client conversion.
I hope this was helpful!
Thanks for checking out this blog! At Simplified, we’re here to help with all of your SEO needs! We offer many different services to help you reach your SEO goals. We offer Done For You Services where do the optimization for your site. If you’re the hands-on type, we can teach you how to do the optimization in our 12-Week Intensive Program. When you’re ready to begin services with us, follow these steps:
- Schedule a free 30-minute consultation with us.
- Get to know our team of highly skilled SEO specialists.
- Blog, blog, blog!
About the Author
Alyssa has been a member of the Simplified family for the past few months. And, is now stepping into a role providing training and additional support for folks learning SEO. As a current graduate student in the Advanced Placement MSW Program at Mizzou, Alyssa loves the world of mental health and technology. In addition, Alyssa has a growing interest in using social media to grow a practice, the importance of live feed, and building backlinks. She wrote a two-part blog post series about the importance of blogging for SEO. This series addressed the importance of blogging and original content. In addition, she is co-hosting a blogging masterclass that will soon be available for purchase. Stick around for some more hands-on opportunities!