How Long Does SEO Take?
First things first…
SEO Takes Time
We can’t predict exactly how long SEO will take
Age of Site
Again, Google has to trust that you have expertise and authority on a topic. Now, if your private practice specializes in something very niche, it’s likely that you’ll naturally rank higher than other businesses. This is because when people search “therapy in Minneapolis,” they’ll get a ton of search results. But, if they search “eating disorder therapy in Minneapolis” only those sites that Google sees as experts will rank. And, if those are specialist sites you’ll likely have multiple pages on your site (this is where blogging comes in) that really communicate to Google that YOU are an authority on this topic. This allows niche sites to rank higher. So, Google leaves out the same sites that may rank for a shorter keyword like “therapy in Minneapolis.”
When our SEO Specialists first start working with you, we want to know what makes your practice unique. We ask this, of course, to get to know you and the heart behind your business. Secondly, we want to make sure we use every opportunity available to show Google that your site and business have something unique to offer. In turn, getting you the results you want.
SEO Long Game
Building Your EAT Score
Remember how I said, “Google essentially has a mind of its own?” Well, in order for Google’s “mind” to rank your site well, you need to build your expertise, authority, and trust factors. Likewise, just as if Google were a person, it takes time for it to make gains in these areas. So, by doing just two or three months of SEO work on your site, there is a high chance that Google will notice the work and rank you well for that time. However, there is a chance that Google will then discredit you if you stop. The reasoning for this is that Google wants to see your site-building credibility over time, not just stopping once it gives you the results you want.
So, while you may get that instant gratification of ranking in the first one to three months of working with us, it’s unlikely that you’ll stay at the top of Google without completing six months of optimization. Google wants to be able to crawl your site and find everything it needs to know that you are an expert that it can trust to rank well. You can read more about EAT scores in our blog post about Google’s algorithm update in December 2020.
Service Pages and Blog Posts
A concern we often hear from smaller private practice owners is that they don’t provide enough services to complete our full timeline. For example, if you are a private practice owner who has just recently added clinicians to your team, you may only have three to five specialty pages. But, where you can continue to get a huge return for SEO when you don’t have many service pages is blogging. Yes, the ever-feared writing portion of your site.
Your SEO Specialist will recommend that once you have optimized each of your service pages, you begin optimizing blog posts. Our team recommends you have at least one cornerstone blog post for each of your service pages. Now… what’s a cornerstone blog post? You can read more about blog post length here, but for now, just know that they are hefty blog posts with roughly 2,000 words each. These long blogs show Google that yes, you have a service page, but you also really care about providing quality information, too. This helps website viewers and Google really understand that you’re an expert. Essentially, it shows Google that it can trust to show your site to searchers.
How do I know when it’s time to switch to an Alumni Package?
- Do you feel confident that the number of phone calls you’re getting will help you fill and grow your practice?
- Are you getting the right calls? More specifically, calls the convert to the clients that your clinicians are excited to work with?
- Is your website ranking well on Google? Meaning, are there a variety of keywords that your site is showing up for on the first or second page of Google?
- Have you had all of your key service pages and a handful of cornerstone blog posts optimized?
If the answer to all of these questions is yes, then it may be time to switch from consistently optimizing to an alumni package. You can find more information about our alumni services in this blog post written by our Alumni Services Coordinator.
The vast majority of our clients “graduate” from comprehensive SEO services after about 6 months and enroll in our smallest alumni package, the Alumni Tools package. The truth is that while you don’t have to actively work on your SEO forever, there are things you need to do to maintain your SEO.
Our Alumni Tools allows you to continue monitoring your SEO & continue to access our staff for support. While there will not be changes made to your site, it’s important to be able to monitor its metrics to ensure correct functioning. We want to see that the rankings maintain and potentially even grow a bit as an alum. Earlier, I referenced Google’s EAT score. Once you have done consistent SEO work on your site for six months and move to our alumni tools package, we anticipate that you will gradually gain rankings. This is because Google has gained trust with your site, and as it continues to recognize you as an expert on the subject, it will continue to build trust.
Begin Your SEO Journey with Simplified SEO Consulting
We understand that beginning SEO work on your website can be incredibly intimidating. So, we want to be transparent with you that yes, this will take time, money, and energy. However, the results you can see for years to come will be so worth it. Follow the steps below to start getting your site ranking on Google.
- Make an appointment for a free 30-minute consultation with our Client Success Specialist.
- Learn more about our process and our SEO Specialists.
- Get ranking and get the calls you’ve been waiting for!
Other Services at Simplified
Here at Simplified, we are passionate about helping therapists get connected with the clients they can make a difference with. We make that happen by working on private practice websites and helping Google see how awesome they really are! There are a variety of ways that you can begin working on your site’s SEO. If you’re the DIY type, you can teach yourself with the help of our DIY Online SEO Courses or Done With You services. Likewise, if this whole thing feels like too much, our SEO Specialists would be happy to take the lead using our Done For You services. We hope that you’ve found our blogs to be helpful. In addition, we hope that you reach out if you have any further questions about search engine optimization.
About the Author
Olivia Bahr is one of Simplified’s Mental Health SEO Specialists. Olivia’s mental health education and experience are extensive. She graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Missouri in Spring 2020. And, she has experience working as a case manager with survivors of intimate partner violence. Further, Olivia will be working toward her Master of Social Work degree later this year. She enjoys helping private practice owners optimize their websites throughout each of Simplified’s stages. And, she especially likes writing blogs and writing about blogging.
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